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Samsung’s lakiểm tra Galaxy Book S is one of the first laptops available with Intel’s new hybrid processor that aims to lớn be both powerful & power efficient for long battery life. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Samsung’s lademo Galaxy Book S is one of the first laptops available with Intel’s new hybrid processor that aims to lớn be both powerful & power efficient for long battery life. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is no ordinary máy tính as it contains one of Intel’s br& new “hybrid” processors designed to give sầu PCs smartphone-lượt thích battery life while running regular Windows 10.

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The Book S follows the Book Flex in Samsung’s return to lớn the UK PC market, but is confusingly available in two versions both costing £999: the Galaxy Book S Hãng sản xuất Intel (as reviewed here) & the Galaxy Book S Qualcomm, which is slightly older và has a completely different type of chip.

The Book S Hãng sản xuất Intel looks lượt thích a fairly standard Windows 10 laptop, except it is super thin và light at just 11.8milimet thiông chồng & 950g in weight. For comparison, the Book Flex is 1.16kilogam and 12.9milimet thiông chồng, while the Apple MacBook Air is 1.29kilogam and 16.1milimet thiông xã.


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The máy tính xách tay feels solid and well balanced, with a good-sized keyboard & a smooth matt finish on the deông chồng. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe backlit keyboard is good, with well-spaced, responsive keys with enough travel – how far down it pushes – for most. The trackpad is wide và precise, but makes quite a loud clichồng when depressed.

There’s a small fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button in the top right of the keyboard, which is a much more sensible position than taking up half the shift key, as was the case with its sibling.

The 13.3in full HD touchscreen is good, but not quite as colourful và vibrant as the Book Flex, covering only 80% of the DCI-P3 colour palette. It can get super bright with a dedicated outdoor mode that boosts the brightness from 350nit khổng lồ 600nit, making it easier to lớn see in sunlight. The mã sản phẩm tested lacked automatic brightness control, but just setting it lớn 70% brightness worked well in most scenartiện ích ios.

The screen is noticeably less crisp than higher-resolution rivals, và being in the 16:9 ratio (matching your TV) means there’s less vertical space lớn work with. I found myself scrolling up và down a lot more than I would on taller screens with 16:10 or 3:2 ratquả táo.


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A microSD thẻ slot is on the underside of the máy vi tính in a small pull-out tray. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Specifications

Screen: 13.3in FHD (1080p) LCD touchscreen (166PPI)

Processor: Hãng Intel Core i5-L16G7

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 512GB

Graphics: Hãng sản xuất Intel UHD

Camera: 1MP

Connectivity: Wifi 6, công nghệ Bluetooth không dây 5, 2x USB-C, microSD, headphones

Dimensions: 203.2 x 305.2 x 11.8mm

Weight: 950g

Hybrid Hãng sản xuất Intel chip


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There is a single USB-C port in the right side of the máy vi tính. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianFor some time ARM chips, such as those running in all smartphones, have sầu promised to lớn deliver better battery life & similar performance than the Hãng sản xuất Intel processors used in almost all laptops. They haven’t yet delivered on that promise in Windows computers, but it hasn’t stopped Intel designing chips in a similar way khổng lồ ARM models in an attempt lớn head off the competition.

The Hãng Intel Core i5-L16G7 running in the Book S is one of the firm’s first khổng lồ try a so-called big.Little thiết kế. What that means in English for this particular model is that you have one, high-power processing unit paired with four smaller, lower-power và lower performance units on one chip.

The idea is that the lower power cores handle the simple things, và the high-power core handles the important things. The reason you have sầu this sort of thiết kế is that for simple things the chip consumes less power than the equivalent standard dual or quad-core chip, but it still has the poke to bởi heavy lifting when required. It also means this machine is fanless, relying entirely on passive cooling, và making operation totally silent.

In reality the Book S has very mixed performance. When you’re doing too much the laptop really bogs down, feeling slow và ponderous. It was particularly noticeable when first setting up the machine, performing updates và downloading apps – a similar thing occurred with the Core i3 processor in the lathử nghiệm MacBook Air.


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The bottom of the laptop lacks vents for fans, but still has small feet lớn prop it up from a table for passive cooling. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianOnce cài đặt was complete, if I wasn’t running any updates, performance was pretty good. On a par with most regular laptops, handling Chrome, Windows Mail, Evernote, Nextgene Reader và a bunch of chat apps just fine.

It started lớn come unstuông xã when I opened a couple of fairly large photos in Affinity Photo. It managed the photo lớn manipulation tasks OK, but was fairly slow doing it. It also struggled a little here và there when I connected it khổng lồ an external 4K monitor và went into total meltdown when I attempted khổng lồ open a spreadsheet while holding a Google Meet.

But that isn’t the point of this máy tính. It’s designed khổng lồ be used as a light-work laptop that lasts a long time between charges. When used this way with all the apps open as above sầu it lasts comfortably over 10 hours between charges, which is long by most máy tính xách tay standards, although beaten by an hour by the Book Flex.

Charging the máy tính xách tay with the included tiny 25W USB-C charger takes 2.5 hours from dead, reaching một nửa charge in an hour, which is pretty slow so it might be worth buying a more powerful power adapter. The Book S has two USB-C ports, one each side, và a headphone socket on the left. There’s a microSD card slot hiding in a small pull out tray on the left too.

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The left side of the máy vi tính has a USB-C port next khổng lồ a headphones socket. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Sustainability

The Book S can generally be repaired by authorised service centres. Samsung rates the battery for at least 1,000 full charge cycles while still maintaining at least 80% capathành phố. Samsung also has battery lifespan-extending options on the máy tính, such as those that limit the maximum charge lớn 85% to lớn prolong its useful life.

The battery can be replaced out of warranty by authorised service providers. The máy tính is not made from any recycled materials và while Samsung does offer trade-in & recycling schemes for other devices, it does not vày so yet for laptops.

Windows 10 Home


The power button doubles as a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint sensor. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe advantage the Book S Hãng Intel has over ARM-based laptops, such as the Surface Pro X, is that it ships and runs regular Windows 10 trang chủ và therefore any standard Windows tiện ích.

At the time of writing, the Book S has still not received the May 20đôi mươi Windows 10 feature update, as there are some incompatibility issues for Microsoft to solve.

There was some unwelcome pre-installed software, including McAfee LiveSafe, Clonix RansomDefender & the usual Candy Crush Friends & Farm Heroes Saga, which I uninstalled on first use.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Book S Hãng sản xuất Intel costs £999 with 8GB of RAM và 512GB of storage in either grey or gold.

The Galaxy Book S is also available in a Qualcomilimet version with an ARM chip for £999.

For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex costs £1,349, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 costs from £999, the Dell XPS 13 costs from £1,399 & the Apple MacBook Air costs from £999.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is a sleek laptop with a new type of processor that is neither a trang chủ run nor an abysmal failure.

It was disappointing to lớn see a £999 máy vi tính struggle with updates and video clip conferencing, but outside of those higher-demvà tasks, performance was pleasingly snappy. Battery life was also very good for a máy tính this thin và light with a relatively small capathành phố battery, & without the compromise in phầm mềm compatibility that an ARM chip imposes. Therefore it’s not a bad start for the Vi xử lý Core i5-L16G7, the first of Intel’s hybrid chips.

The keyboard is good, the trackpad too. The fingerprint scanner is in the right place. Two USB-C ports are welcome, as is microSD thẻ tư vấn. The screen is good và the outdoor brightness mode really does make a difference.

The Book S is therefore better thought of as a good road-warrior’s máy tính xách tay. One that can easily be packed, lasts a long time & gets the basics done with the minimum of fuss, just don’t expect it to lớn be a premium power máy vi tính. Whether anyone actually wants a road-warrior máy vi tính in the current pandemic remains to be seen.

Pros: super thin và light, long battery life, normal Windows 10, two USB-C, headphones socket, tiny charger, microSD thẻ slot, fingerprint scanner, good keyboard and trackpad, bright screen.

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Cons: processor struggles when doing a bit too much, fairly slow lớn charge with included 25W power adapter, 16:9 screen ratio, lower resolution screen.


Chuyên mục: Tin Tức