Samsung Galaxy Book review

Samsung has been making good tablets for years, but it’s a market that Apple continues to dominate. Some of the best android tablets on the market have struggled to convince the tech buying public that they are worth the money.

Therefore it’s no surprise that Samsung has used MWC 2017 to update its flagship Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab S3, but also rebrand and update its high-end Windows 2-in-1 tablet computer. Enter the Galaxy Book.

Samsung has made a 10.6in and a 12in tablet to make up the Galaxy Book range. We went hands on with the larger of the two at MWC. Here’s our Samsung Galaxy Book review.

See also: Samsung announces the Galaxy Book, its answer to the iPad Pro and Surface Pro

Samsung Galaxy Book review: UK price and availability

At the time of writing the release date for the Galaxy Book is unconfirmed, though the Android Galaxy Tab S3 will be available from 31 March right here.

We expect the Galaxy Book to ship around April though, and will likely cost, for the 12in, in the region of the £849 launch RRP of the Galaxy TabPro S that it replaces.

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Design and build

It was never really in doubt that Samsung would make a good looking bit of kit. The Galaxy Book is every bit as premium as you’d expect from the company that designed the Galaxy S7 edge, and visually slides easily into its line-up.

This might have proven a tad easier for Samsung seeing as this wasn’t designed out of thin air. It’s a clear and pleasing improvement on the TabPro S, a device let down by the keyboard case. It was too flimsy meaning the tablet would often flop over while typing.

Then, typing itself was a drag as the design placed the keys too close together, making for a frustrating experience. Thankfully the Galaxy Book’s (included) keyboard is miles better. The slightly concave keys are spaced much more like you’d expect on a laptop and helps the 2-in-1 feel like one. They are also backlit, which was sorely missed on the TabPro S.

The kickstand can be adjusted into two positions and is very sturdy. We rattled out some sentences on a unit and it all worked together excellently. The keyboard has a Pogo connector akin to the iPad Pro’s. This means it needs no charge, and auto pairs with the tablet as soon as the two are docked.

Tablets like this are normally let down by their keyboards (iPad Pro) but others are triumphs because of it (Surface Pro 4). Luckily the Galaxy Book falls into the latter category.

A clue to its laptop pretensions is the rear camera and logo placement – both central when held landscape. The silver metallic back is only broken by said camera, while the front side bezel is a business-like black. You can choose between a white or black keyboard though.

Read next: iPad Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Book

When held landscape, the bottom edge has the pogo connectors and is ridged to allow it to sit in the keyboard dock. The left side has a speaker and SIM slot (on the LTE model), the right another speaker and the very welcome two USB-C ports. The top edge has the simple power and volume keys.

Also in the box is Samsung’s S Pen, the ongoing device you can also use with its Note range of phones. It’s either silver or black depending on the colour of keyboard, and completes a very attractive 2-in-1 package that folds away. Yes, it’s still more annoying than just using a laptop. But if you like this form factor, the Galaxy Book is up there with the best.

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Features and specifications

The 12in model measures 291.3x199.8x7.4mm and weighs 754g. That’s an impressive weight for a machine that has a fanless but powerful 7th gen Intel Core i5 Dual Core 3.1GHz CPU inside.

Obviously it’s a bit heavier with the keyboard cover attached, but it’s still a pleasing weight. It has a superior Super AMOLED FHD display with an incredible 2160x1440 resolution that looks as good as it sounds (the 10.6in model only has a TFT display with 1920x1280).

You’ll also get your pick of Wi-Fi only or full LTE models.

The specs we were given show that there are two versions of the 12in Galaxy Book: one with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD, and then one with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. As well as no pricing information, it’s unclear whether these options will be regionalised or whether you’ll get to pick between the two. Hopefully the latter, though expect the price to be eye wateringly high for the 8GB RAM version, a la the Surface Pro’s tiered pricing.

In fact, here’s our head to head comparison of the Surface Pro 4 and the Galaxy Book.

If you plumped for the smaller SSD though you can still expand up to 256GB with the microSD card slot. The whole unit charged via USB-C and the bundled fast charger.

The rear facing camera is 13Mp and can record video in Full HD at 30fps, while the 5Mp[ front facing lens will be more than adequate for long Skype sessions.

It’s all the specs that you’d expect, Kaby Lake and all. It just does depend a lot on how much it turns out to cost, because we’re probably looking at a high-end tablet that a lot of people won’t be able to justify paying for.

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Software

Windows 10 runs as you’d expect on the Galaxy Book, and is best when used with the keyboard docked. The trackpad on keyboard cases is a necessity, but space restriction means they are always a tad small and on the 12in Galaxy Book it takes a few swipes to go from the left to the right of the screen. But that’s what you get with hybrids.

Everything works like it does on a desktop or laptop, except for when you unclip the keyboard and go into tablet mode. Windows is tricky to use with just touch controls, so you also have the option to enter tablet mode, which is designed to be easier to use and navigate like you might on an Android tablet.

However, even though it’s a good idea, it’s still a bit clumsily executed, and we can imagine most users using the keyboard to find that all important Netflix video rather than prodding about a full operating system with your finger.

The 12in i5 will be more than up to the task of powering all but the most intense of multitaskers. It will certainly fare better than the Core m3 chip in the 10.6in model.

Samsung Galaxy Book 12: Specs

  • Windows 10
  • 12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz
  • 4GB / 8GB
  • 128GB / 256GB
  • 2x USB-C
  • Video output via USB-C MicroSD reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • LTE model available
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • Pogo Keyboard case included
  • S Pen included
  • 291.3×199.8×7.4mm
  • 754g (tablet only)
  • Windows 10
  • 12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz
  • 4GB / 8GB
  • 128GB / 256GB
  • 2x USB-C
  • Video output via USB-C MicroSD reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • LTE model available
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • Pogo Keyboard case included
  • S Pen included
  • 291.3×199.8×7.4mm
  • 754g (tablet only)

OUR VERDICT

We had limited time with the Galaxy Book but our first impressions are good. Samsung has definitely improved the obvious flaws of the TabPro S from last year and produced a product that it will market heavily against the upcoming Surface Pro 5.

It really will depend on the price though. It could be far too high for a product that many people will still think twice about before committing to. The Galaxy Book promises to replace your computer, but what if everyone is already happy with their laptop?

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery  

Price comparision from , and manufacturers