I tested a rare in Russia Samsung Galaxy Book S on a Snapdragon processor. Great impressions

In recent years, I very rarely change the Apple ecosystem, which is most likely noticeable from my reviews on the site. The time of experimenting with different pieces of iron seems to have passed for me.

But I still can’t refuse unusual things. Samsung Galaxy Book S – just such a thing. This laptop is not new, and it is extremely problematic to buy it from us. It was released last spring and has never been sold in Russia, unlike the Acer Spin 7 of the same kind, but preparing for release in the country this summer.

But I was still very interested in getting it and testing it. Because the Samsung Galaxy Book S works on a Qualcomm 8cx processor, that is, an ARM chip… And this is very rare. And also – future.

Very lightweight body and good keyboard

Samsung Galaxy Book S weighs 961 gram, what very small for a 13.3 inch machine… It looks heavier than it actually is. You take one in your hands, and it becomes just unusual, as if the battery has forgotten to connect.

The body is made of plastic, except for the lid. It is aluminum. Despite all this, there are no questions about the quality: the keyboard unit does not bend, the case is monolithic, does not crunch in the hands and on the table.


The laptop is very thin and lightweight. Outwardly, it does not seem so, but it is worth picking it up, and …

On the sides on the protrusions there are 2 USB-C 3.1 ports and a headphone jack. There is something else interesting at the bottom, I will tell you about this separately below.

A fingerprint sensor is installed in the power button, which is very convenient for logging into a Windows account.

I love low-profile keyboards, so the one in the Galaxy Book S really pleased me. Yes, not everyone will like it, because it takes some getting used to, but printing is super fast. There is a good distance between the keys, and they themselves are located at the correct distance from each other. The move is tangible, albeit minimal. In general, I’m happy with this.

The touchpad is also decent by the standards of Windows: it supports multitouch gestures, does not dull or slow down, and also does not work accidentally when typing from the keyboard.

The display is good, but not bright


The screen, which is otherwise good, has only two drawbacks – viewing angle and brightness.

The Samsung Galaxy Book S has a widescreen 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) TFT LCD panel.

Despite the relatively low resolution by modern standards, in reality, the image on the screen looks very good… It also helps that the color reproduction is not just at the level, but even better than the average ultraportable laptop in the mid-price category. Feels the imprint of the Samsung experience.

The weak point of this screen is low maximum brightness… According to the passport, it pulls out only 380 cd / m2, and you can feel it. If you work in an office, then there are no problems, the brightness will almost always be enough.

But outdoors, for example, the brightness is often not enough to “kill” light or glare on the surface. And at an angle, the display is completely dimmed so that practically nothing is visible on it, even indoors. The latter can be counted as a plus, not a minus.

As a result, both work and just watch movies on such a screen pleasantly… Just outside or on a sunny day by the window, you may not have enough brightness.

The touch display is very convenient


Windows has come a long way towards touch compatibility, and it’s even convenient now.

One of the common features of Windows laptops, which is not yet available to macros, is, in fact, a touchscreen display. This is exactly what is installed in the Samsung Galaxy Book S. It only supports finger input, and specialized styluses do not work with it.

The theme of the need for a touchscreen polarizes the community. In the meantime, using the “tach” in Win10 has become noticeably more convenient over the years. It’s only inconvenient all the time reach out into the screen, over time the hand gets tired. The laptop does not fold out 360 degrees to turn into a full-fledged tablet.

Windows 10, of course, is not a touch-oriented OS, and from time to time you will stumble upon things that are not optimized under your thumb. But in general, managing applications, flipping pages and using the laptop via the touchscreen as an entertainment device turned out to be surprisingly effective, even relaxing after a long time working through the physical touchpad and keyboard.

I adhere to the position that the presence of a touch screen in a laptop cannot be considered a disadvantage. On the contrary, it is useful feature, which brings variety to the methods of interaction with the device. Let it be everywhere, and the user will already decide how best to manage the computer.

Performance is sufficient for work, but not shock

Samsung Galaxy Book S comes with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and processor Snapdragon 8cx.

Qualcomm, whose processor is installed in the Samsung Galaxy Book S, has never positioned this hardware as ultra-powerful. We are dealing with a mid-range chip geared primarily to the balance of power consumption.

The tasks of a typical working day, such as browsers, text editors, relatively small tables, are given by Snapdragon 8cx without problems. The same goes for watching content in 4K quality, including through streaming services. That is, as a computer for ordinary things, the Galaxy Book S fits well.

But this is not a workstation, if that. After the 20th tab in Google Chrome deceleration becomes visible to the naked eye. But that’s what Chrome is for. But some Photoshop when working with RAW photos, it almost immediately slows down the laptop and runs into the ceiling of the chip’s performance. Modern games, with the exception of simple arcades from Microsoft Storeare also slow.

So a thin case, light weight and an ARM processor in this case give the right signal: this is compact work laptop for a work day and relaxed use in the evening.

The LTE modem inside is just a fairy tale


The most, I’m not afraid of this word, the funnest feature of the laptop is the LTE modem.

At the bottom of the case there is a SIM card slot combined with a microSD card reader. You can insert any nano SIM-card there, including the Russian one.

You can connect to the cellular LTE network through the drop-down menu Net in Windows in the lower right corner of the screen. The process takes a second or two, and you are online. As far as I understand, it will not work to receive calls and SMS through the internal SIM (like on the iPad). But the mobile internet itself works great.

It would seem such a trifle, right? The SIM card slot itself is not anything outstanding, it is just very rare in laptops. But in fact, it really changes everything.

С Samsung Galaxy Book S you feel freedom… You don’t need a tethering mode on your smartphone, you don’t need Wi-Fi, and you don’t need to use some random public network with unpredictable security. At any time, you can sit down anywhere and work, even in the middle of an open field.

Moreover, in large cities, you are very likely to achieve from the built-in LTE modem several times (and sometimes even tens of times) higher speed than on the vast majority of public Wi-Fi networks.

Now I seriously want an LTE modem in all laptops, because it completely changes the perception of the device and increases its real usefulness at times. IMHO, absolutely necessary a feature for any laptop in a compact form factor!

Opening hours inspire respect


The included LTE modem cuts off 30% of the battery life, but even so it does not drop below 9 hours.

ARM processors are known for energy efficiency, and in this regard, the Samsung Galaxy Book S with Qualcomm 8cx on board is a pleasure.

On average, I wound up on it from 9 to 14 hours on Windows, including many tabs and various applications like Adobe Photoshop. The brightness of the screen was above average.

Battery life dropped most noticeably when using an LTE modem and at high screen brightness. But such a laptop will last a working day without charging unambiguously, and in most layouts the charge will also remain for the evening.

The laptop charges through either of the two available USB-C ports, and it has a 30-watt power supply. You can even get by with a smartphone charger. After 2-3 hours, it will be 100% powered again.

I think it is now clear to everyone that ARM processors are the future of portable computers. I am ready to subscribe to it, when even an ultra-thin and light laptop on the ARM version of Windows can work for more than 10 hours. All hope for the supporters of PC ecosystems so far is on Qualcomm: Unlike the promises of other processor manufacturers, these guys are developing the direction with tangible results.

What are your overall impressions?

Samsung Galaxy Book S pleased first of all with weight and autonomy. it real marathon runner: he does not run fast, but he runs for a long time.

The quality of the touchscreen, keyboard, and touchpad make the device a good choice for on-the-go workloads. And the built-in LTE modem is a fairy tale, which adds a lot of benefits to an already super-corporate laptop. It’s great to be free of Wi-Fi at any given time and solve problems wherever you want or feel like it.

Samsung has made a good piece of hardware primarily thanks to Qualcomm and their ARM processor. After all, it is he who allows such a device to work for more than 10 hours from a charge. It is Qualcomm’s onus in the coming years to show the PC world all the benefits of moving away from traditional x86-64 chips.

As a first showcase of the capabilities of ARM Windows laptops, the Samsung Galaxy Book S inspires respect and interest to follow this trend more closely. What I will do and advise everyone. The sooner our laptops (and Windows) finally migrate to ARM chips, the better for everyone.

And here no one should have a monopoly. Because when you come home all day later with a laptop, and that one has more than half the charge left, this is very good.


Source: iPhones.ru — Новости высоких технологий, обзоры смартфонов, презентации Apple by www.iphones.ru.

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