Samsung Galaxy Book S first impressions:  A laptop worth a much closer look

Samsung Galaxy Book S first impressions: A laptop worth a much closer look

Swapnil Mathur | 08 Aug 2019
HIGHLIGHTS

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX

The laptop measures just 6.2mm at its thinnest and weighs just 960 grams

During its Unpacked event, Samsung had a few surprises up its sleeve. The Korean tech giant announced a major partnership with Microsoft as a means of adding substance to Dex. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even made a special appearance to add weight to the collaboration, one result of which is the Samsung Book S.

The Samsung Book S measures just 6.2mm thin and weighs only 960 grams. Despite the thin and light build, the Samsung Book S was pretty stiff and didn’t exhibit any noticeable flex. The lid carried Samsung’s branding to one side, a rather minimal approach. Both the sides of the Galaxy Book S house a Type-C port each, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. The lack of a rich port selection allows Samsung to keep things slim.

Samsung Galaxy Book S

Samsung Galaxy Book S only offers two Type-C ports, one on either side

On the inside, the Samsung Book S is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX, a processor designed by Qualcomm for laptops. It’s a 7nm, 64-bit chip with eight cores. Four cores operate as efficiency cores and the remaining four are for performance. There’s 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage to ensure speedy operations. The 13.3-inch IPS-LCD display has resolution of FHD, pretty standard for thin and light laptops. Samsung says that the Book S can run a video loop for 23 hours, but in reality, we’re expecting the number to be lower. To top it all off, the chassis has a fanless design.

The Samsung Galaxy Book S weighs only 960 grams, making it perfect for those who are always on the move

Using the Samsung Book S during the company’s Unpacked event in New York, there were a few things that were apparent. The keyboard has very little travel, but the keys are spongy which allows for the perception of decent feedback. Second, the laptop is deceptively light, but when you factor in the fact that it has the bare minimum of ports, you sort of get the sense of why the machine is so light. Samsung is expecting the Samsung Book S to be an extension of the smartphone experience, which the company hopes will be a reason for those who are always on the go to turn to this laptop.

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is super thing and unexpectedly light. The claims of battery life are really tall we would all be happy if those claims turn out to be true. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX chip is at a similar performance level as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and it remains to be seem whether the 8CX can deliver performance that would not make the user feel like he’s not using a traditional, Intel powered machine. The keyboard on the Book S was nice to type on and the trackpad worked really well. Since there’s no Intel chips here, that means there’s also no Thunderbolt 3. The Type-C ports operate on the USB-PD2.0 standard, meaning they support fast charging and fast data transfer rates, but stop shy of allowing daisy chaining of devices. The Samsung Galaxy Book S does feel like a rather lucrative laptop for those who need something very portable with great battery life to do simpler things like type out documents or indulge in office work. However, without having actually tested the machine with any kind of benchmark, it is hard to presume how far can this new breed of portable machines be pushed. We, for one, are excited to see what this baby can do, and what it cannot.

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Swapnil Mathur

Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor

Samsung Galaxy Note10 256GB

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