Samsung Galaxy Book 12″ Windows 10 2-in-1 PC Review
If you’re in the market for a Windows Tablet or Ultrabook, the Samsung Galaxy Book 12″ packs a lot of power into a thin tablet design.
Despite the tablet design, the Samsung Galaxy Book 12″ packs enough power to give some desktop computers a run for their money. An speedy Intel Core i5 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB solid state drive (also available in a larer 8GB, 256GB size) is more than suitable for ever day tasks such as email, web browsing and documents. The 4GB of RAM is a little on the low end, so you won’t be able to do high-end video editing on it, but some light gaming would be fine. Oddly, the fan on the tablet seems to always be running, even if I’m not really doing anything with it.
I think the display on this thing is very close to the 4K TV I just purchased a few months ago, although the tablet is not quite a 4K resolution (it is 2160 x 1440 QHD). Being this close to the display really allows you to appreciate the incredible amount of detail and vividness found in a high resolution display and is something you may not notice sitting 10 feet away from a 4K TV. The picture display on the Samsung Galaxy Book 12″ is breathtaking, especially when you find some 4K YouTube videos to watch.
However, screen brightness seems to auto-adjust in an odd fashion. It seems like it’s either very dim and hard to read, or very bright and I’m reaching for sunglasses. There doesn’t seem to be a happy middle ground, which leads to me setting the brightness level manually.
The Samsung Galaxy Book 12″ is very portable with the included keyboard case. However, propping up the display’s stand with your lap and is not as comfortable as a traditional laptop (with a self-supporting display) would be. Either of the two USB-C ports can be used for charging which is a plus as there is no proprietary charger needed (I found it charged with my Anker USB-C Power Delivery charger).
The Galaxy Book gives you the easy-to-hold benefits of a tablet (when undocked from the keyboard case) and the power of a laptop when you need it, making it ideal for business travel or carrying around a college campus. The tablet does have some weight to it, so you may not be comfortable holding it for long Netflix binge sessions.
The Samsung Galaxy Book has a robust feature set. As is typical with most tablets, the Galaxy Book includes Bluetooth connectivity to speakers, keyboards and mice. If you’re in the Samsung ecosphere and have a compatible Samsung smartphone, the Samsung Flow allows you to sync notifications and texts – as well as send and receive files – with this tablet thanks to “Samsung Flow”.
If you’re feeling artistic, the S Pen allows you to “draw” on the screen as well as sign PDFs or jot down a quick memo. The pen doesn’t need to be charged. If you hover it over the display and tap the button on the pen, a quick menu pops up that allows you to take a screenshot and annotate it with the pen or jot down a virtual sticky note to save for later. There is a holder included in the box that attaches to the keyboard case via adhesive, which makes me wonder while they didn’t just sew a loop into the case to begin with.
The keyboard is back lit and has a nice laptop feel to it. The keys provide a satisfying “click” as you type. The keyboard case attaches via magnetic pins and is powered by the tablet. The back of the case magnetically props up the tablet in 3 different viewing angles. It works well on a desk, but is not very stable when trying to prop it up on your lap.
The Galaxy Book 12 appears to be Samsung’s answer to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. But the Surface Pro 4 starts at $799.99 while the Galaxy Book 12 starts at $1,129.99. Why the huge difference?
When you bump up the Surface’s processor to match the Galaxy Book’s i5, the Surface’s cost increases to $999.99. The Surface also does not include a keyboard case, while the Galaxy Book does. So that’s another $179.99 added to the Surface’s price. In the end, they’re similar in price when you match up the specs and accessories.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Book 12" is a powerful tablet that gives you many of the features that a laptop or ultrabook would. The powerful i5 processor provides desktop performance while the QHD display shows photos and movies in stunning detail.
- Beautiful display
- Powerful processor and great performance
- S-Pen is comfortable and does not require charging
- Slim yet comfortable keyboard
- Somewhat short battery life
- No built-in kickstand
- Auto screen brightness is wonky