Samsung Galaxy Book S

Samsung’s lathử nghiệm Galaxy Book S is one of the first laptops available with Intel’s new hybrid processor that aims khổng lồ be both powerful và power efficient for long battery life. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Samsung’s latest Galaxy Book S is one of the first laptops available with Intel’s new hybrid processor that aims lớn be both powerful and power efficient for long battery life. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is no ordinary máy tính xách tay as it contains one of Intel’s brvà new “hybrid” processors designed khổng lồ give 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 the UK PC market, but is confusingly available in two versions both costing £999: the Galaxy Book S Hãng Intel (as reviewed here) and the Galaxy Book S Qualcomilimet, which is slightly older và has a completely different type of chip.

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


The máy tính xách tay feels solid và well balanced, with a good-sized keyboard and 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 & 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 lớn 600nit, making it easier lớn see in sunlight. The Mã Sản Phẩm tested lacked automatic brightness control, but just setting it to lớn 70% brightness worked well in most scenarios.

The screen is noticeably less crisp than higher-resolution rivals, & being in the 16:9 ratio (matching your TV) means there’s less vertical space khổng lồ 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.


A microSD card slot is on the underside of the laptop in a small pull-out tray. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


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

Processor: Hãng sản xuất Intel bộ vi xử lý Core i5-L16G7


Storage: 512GB

Graphics: Hãng Intel UHD

Camera: 1MP

Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2x USB-C, microSD, headphones

Dimensions: 203.2 x 305.2 x 11.8mm

Weight: 950g

Hybrid Intel chip


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 lớn deliver better battery life & similar performance than the Hãng Intel processors used in almost all laptops. They haven’t yet delivered on that promise in Windows computers, but it hasn’t stopped Hãng sản xuất Intel designing chips in a similar way lớn ARM models in an attempt to lớn head off the competition.

The Hãng Intel Core i5-L16G7 running in the Book S is one of the firm’s first lớn try a so-called big.Little design. What that means in English for this particular Model is that you have sầu one, high-power processing unit paired with four smaller, lower-power & 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 this sort of design 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 vì heavy lifting when required. It also means this machine is fanless, relying entirely on passive sầu cooling, và making operation totally silent.

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


The bottom of the máy tính xách tay lacks vents for fans, but still has small feet khổng lồ 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, Nextren Reader and a bunch of chat apps just fine.

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

But that isn’t the point of this máy tính. It’s designed to lớn be used as a light-work máy tính 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 standards, although beaten by an hour by the Book Flex.

Charging the máy vi tính with the included tiny 25W USB-C charger takes 2.5 hours from dead, reaching 50% 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, & a tai nghe 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 tính xách tay has a USB-C port next to a headphones socket. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


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% capacity. Samsung also has battery lifespan-extending options on the máy tính, such as those that limit the maximum charge khổng lồ 85% 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 and while Samsung does offer trade-in & recycling schemes for other devices, it does not do 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 và runs regular Windows 10 Home & therefore any standard Windows ứng dụng.

At the time of writing, the Book S has still not received the May 20trăng tròn 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 and the usual Candy Crush Friends & Farm Heroes Saga, which I uninstalled on first use.


The Samsung Galaxy Book S Hãng sản xuất Intel costs £999 with 8GB of RAM & 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 và the Apple MacBook Air costs from £999.


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

It was disappointing to lớn see a £999 máy tính struggle with updates và đoạn Clip conferencing, but outside of those higher-dem& tasks, performance was pleasingly snappy. Battery life was also very good for a laptop this thin và light with a relatively small capađô thị battery, & without the compromise in phầm mềm compatibility that an ARM chip imposes. Therefore it’s not a bad start for the 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 card 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 laptop. One that can easily be packed, lasts a long time & gets the basics done with the minimum of fuss, just don’t expect it khổng lồ be a premium power máy tính. Whether anyone actually wants a road-warrior máy tính in the current pandemic remains khổng lồ be seen.

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

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.

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