Laptops

Samsung Galaxy Book Review: Best of both worlds?

Published

on

It was exactly a year ago when I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, and while it was a complete Windows system inside a slim tablet, there were three drawbacks: no bundled stylus pen, overreliance on the keyboard case, and lack of ports. The newer, upgraded Galaxy Book — yes, the naming scheme changed once again — fixes one of those issues.

Before we begin, let’s clear up a couple of details.

One: Despite being part of the Galaxy series, the Book is not an Android device like the ubiquitous Galaxy S smartphones; this is a Windows 10 machine through and through.

Two: I’ve tested the 10.6-inch model which comes with an LTE SIM card slot. (There’s a larger 12-inch variant available, as well.)

It looks like a regular laptop upfront

The 10.6-inch model has a 1080p resolution on its TFT LCD unlike the 1440p AMOLED of the 12-inch version

But you can fold it back into a plain tablet

Perfect for pure stylus use on the Full HD display

Here’s how it looks from the side

You can see one of the side-mounted stereo speakers, as well

This mode is better for typing with the keyboard, though

The keyboard case attaches to the tablet magnetically

And you can set it up at a steeper angle

I just wish I could incline the keyboard the same way

The keyboard is fun to type on

This is way better than the overly flat keys of the Galaxy TabPro S

But the trackpad isn’t as responsive

A lot of accidental taps and gestures are bound to happen

You’re better off using the touchscreen for navigation

Multi-finger gestures are readily available

Or better yet, the bundled S Pen

Handy for taking down notes and highlighting sections of your screen

This funny-looking tray can accept one nano-SIM and a microSD card

It doesn’t look very happy :/

How well does it perform?

Performance varies depending on which configuration you get. For my test unit, I had a low-end Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of memory, and 64GB of storage to play with. That’s similar to the Galaxy TabPro S, but there’s one major exclusion: no rear camera for quick snaps this time around.

It’s odd for Samsung to remove a feature highlighted by the predecessor, but this can be seen as a move to make the Galaxy Book look more like a notebook and less like an all-in-one tablet. I’m honestly fine with having just the 5-megapixel front-facing webcam, since I already have a smartphone handling Instagram duties for me.

Another upgrade over the TabPro S I would’ve liked to see is an additional USB Type-C port. Updated models of USB-C-loving notebooks have already opted for two ports, making the Galaxy Book feel so left behind. You’d need an adapter to allow charging and physical data access at the same time — ugh.

Besides those setbacks, the Galaxy Book is totally capable of getting work done without taking up much space on your work desk. During my tests, it only struggled when I had more than ten tabs idle on Chrome, Photoshop running in the background, and Spotify pumping music at the same time. But like with the TabPro S, don’t expect to game or edit videos smoothly on this thing.

Can it last an entire day?

As expected of a low-powered, efficiency-over-performance gadget, the Galaxy Book can likely outlast that smartphone you have on you, but that’s only possible on one condition: you rely primarily on Wi-Fi and not use the battery-hogging LTE connectivity. Without a SIM card inserted, I could get more than six hours of mixed usage, which is two hours longer than I get on most slim notebooks.

Unfortunately, true to its tablet-like functionality, the Galaxy Book comes with a rather slow charger. Samsung promotes its Adaptive Fast Charging, but it’s the same wall charger with a short one-meter cable you’d find packaged with a Galaxy S smartphone, which has a much smaller battery. Filling up the Galaxy Book’s 4000mAh capacity takes more than three hours when the screen’s turned off; charging while working takes even longer, depending on how much load you put on it.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Galaxy Book is an interesting entry in Samsung’s budding convertible lineup; it’s technically the successor to the popular Galaxy TabPro S from last year, but it feels like a different product altogether — and not just in the naming convention.

First, the good: Bundling an S Pen upped the usability of the Galaxy Book by several notches, and the highly improved keyboard makes the experience so much more fluid. Whether it’s on my lap or beside my desktop PC as a secondary computer, this convertible always felt like it was part of my daily workflow despite its unconvincing size.

As for the not-too-good: I really wish Samsung added another USB-C port this time, and did something about the tablet’s reliance on the keyboard case to keep itself propped up. The first issue translates to needing a separate USB-C hub to insert your flash drives and HDMI-powered devices, while the latter means you must hold onto the tablet if it isn’t attached to the keyboard’s stand.

Most consumers might also be turned off by the lack of a rear camera, but I myself never use my tablet’s main shooter if I have my smartphone on hand, which is a hundred percent of the time.

The most affordable configuration (4GB of memory and 64GB of storage) currently retails for US$ 500 (discounted from the original US$ 630 price tag). The only variant being sold in the Philippines is priced at PhP 44,990 (4GB of memory and 128GB of storage).

Alternatively, you may consider Samsung’s more notebook-styled convertible, the Notebook 9 Pro, once it’s available. It solves most of the Galaxy Book’s issues, albeit in a much larger package.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Review: Looks good, feels good

[irp posts=”16150″ name=”Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Review: Looks good, feels good”]

Laptops

The Galaxy Book3 features the best hardware for a notebook

Published

on

Everyone has their eyes on the Galaxy S23 series. Given what Samsung launched, it’s no surprise. However, the brand also has another trick up its sleeve. During the same Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung introduced the new Galaxy Book3.

Raw power

Much like the Galaxy S23 series, the Galaxy Book3 showcases the best of today’s hardware. Inside, the notebook boasts up to the latest 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor and up to a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. It can also carry up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB SSD (with a slot for an expansion drive).

For its display, the Galaxy Book3 comes with up to a 16-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display — the same technology used in the brand’s smartphone lineup. It can put out images in 3K resolution and with 120Hz refresh rate. Plus, with VESA ClearMR and DisplayHDR TRUE BLACK 500 certification, the notebook can reproduce images to detailed accuracy.

Pure flexibility

Besides the notebook’s amazing hardware, the Galaxy Book3 uses software to make working seamless between devices. With Microsoft Phone Link, it’s easy to take your work wherever you go. Additionally, Samsung Multi Control allows users to conjunctively use all of their Samsung devices into one seamless ecosystem.

For example, Second Screen converts a Galaxy Tab into a second screen for the Galaxy Book3. Expert RAW automatically transfers high-res images from your smartphone to your notebook.

Price and availability

The Galaxy Book3 series comes in three flavors: Galaxy Book3 Ultra, Galaxy Book3 Pro, and Galaxy Book3 Pro 360.

The top-of-the-line Galaxy Book3 Ultra features all the premium specs. It comes in Graphite.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Book3 Pro, featuring a thinner frame, will come in Graphite and Beige.

Finally, the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, with a convertible form factor and S Pen compatibility, will come in Graphite and Beige.

All models will start being available on February 17.

Continue Reading

Deals

ASUS 2.2 OLED Festival sale: Win a Vivobook 13 Slate

Enjoy 10% off on Vivobooks, Zenbooks

Published

on

ASUS is celebrating 2.2 early, offering customers the chance to win a Vivobook 13 Slate OLED through the OLED Festival Sale on Lazada and Shopee.

From January 28 to February 5, selected Vivobook and Zenbook devices get up to 10% off. During the promotional period, a purchase of any ASUS OLED laptop entitles customers to a raffle entry.

One (1) lucky winner will be announced on February 10 through ASUS Philippines’ official Facebook page.

Award-winning laptops get more affordable

Participating laptops in ASUS’ OLED Festival Sale include the following:

  • Zenbook 14 Flip
  • Zenbook 13
  • Zenbook 14
  • Vivobook S14X
  • Vivobook S 14 Flip
  • Vivobook 13 Slate 
  • Vivobook Pro 15 
  • Vivobook 15X

The powerful 12th Gen Intel Core and Intel Iris Xe-boosted Zenbook 14 Flip gets a reduced price of just PhP 83,695 from PhP 87,995.

This foldable features ASUS’ 360-degree ErgoLift Hinge technology, a 2.8K OLED HDR 90Hz NanoEdge touch screen display, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and 512GB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage.

Meanwhile, both the Vivobook S 14X and Vivobook S 14 Flip retail for PhP 71,295 and PhP 71,245, respectively.

Both laptops are powered by up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and have 2.8K OLED displays, long battery life, fast-charging technology, and impressive performance.

They come with Microsoft Office for Home & Student pre-installed, as well as a 1-month free Adobe Creative Cloud upon purchase.

Be sure on the lookout for these deals from ASUS, as well as free shipping vouchers of up to PhP 100.

SEE ALSO: ASUS Vivobook Slate 13 OLED: Stay on top of your game

Continue Reading

Entertainment

LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop

It’s pretty… expensive

Published

on

By

NewJeans is continuously making waves both in and out of South Korea. From their ultra-catchy songs, dance moves that are trending in TikTok and Instagram Reels, to reaching top charts in UK and US’ Billboard, there’s no surprise that homegrown tech brand LG Electronics partnered with these power rookies.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

LG just released the gram Style NewJeans Limited Edition! While this is an unfortunate news for Hanni (who is actually an iPhone), it’s actually a big step towards knowing NewJeans past the K-Pop hype (and by that you should stream Hype Boy).

Mini and Big Bunnies

This special edition LG Gram Style is available in two styles: Mini Bunny and Big Bunny.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s actually no stark difference between the two except for — you guessed it — the size of bunny decals on its lid. Either of the two, you will never get wrong choosing the bunny for your personal taste.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Other than that, the highlight of this laptop comes from its weight. From the brand itself, it’s just 999 grams — actually 23 grams lighter than the 2022 model. It also has the US military-graded MIL-STD 810H standard that passed seven (7) durability tests.

Powerful punch

The LG gram Style NewJeans isn’t slouching in performance. Just like a hopping bunny, it’s quite a powerful device for its size and heft.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Hardware specifications of these two Bunnies aren’t too far off — at least after making a side-by-side comparison of their spec sheets. Both styles come with an Intel Core i5-1340P under EVO Platform for lightweight ultrabooks plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It’s then paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of NVMe 4.0 SSD with an extra PCIe 4.0 slot for expandability.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Just like NewJeans‘ visuals, you can’t also go wrong with the visuals of this device. It has a 14″ low-reflective OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800), a 16:10 aspect ratio for wider screen real estate, and an improved 400nits brightness over last year’s 350.

Moreover, it supports 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for color-accurate goodness as well as VESA Certified DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 for deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Its 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support make it a full-on entertainment device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

One more highlight is its “Hidden Touchpad”. Instead of the usual rectangular trackpads, it’s highlighted by two halo lighting on its two sides dubbed as “Aurora White” paired with haptic feedback for that nice feeling when clicking.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

For ports, it has two (2) USB-C plus one (1) USB-A ports, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, earphones, amplifiers, and other audio peripherals.

Goodies for Bunnies

If you have actually reached this part, you’d know that you are not here for its powerful hardware, rather for the NewJeans styled-laptop. Aside from having that special laptop, there are more goodies that come with this device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Being one of the few Bunnies out there since NewJeans’ Attention, I was actually more excited when I saw the list. There’s a notebook pouch, cable strap, posters, sticker and stationery set.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s even a free NewJeans-style mouse with this cute vinyl-like mousepad. These are truly treats for Bunnies! The laptops even come with preloaded wallpapers and four icons in it.

Pricing and Availability

While the LG gram Style is light, the pricing isn’t. It’s a pretty laptop with a pretty expensive price. It retails for around KR₩ 2,700,000 — which is about US$ 2190 / SG$ 2675 / ₱119,513.

There’s no word on global availability but LG will hold a live event in Korea with NewJeans on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday) around 8PM KST (Korean Standard Time).

If you will participate during the live, a comment could help a participant win a specially-signed autograph from NewJeans or three winners of the Limited Edition Goods.

If you plan on buying the NewJeans’ limited edition laptop, there are more benefits other than having the Limited Edition Goods set such as 12 winners of NewJeans autographs.

But if you’re just opting to buy the regular LG gram Style without the NewJeans skin, it will still give you other perks such as a free LG gram mouse, Wiggle Wiggle goods package consisting of a notebook pouch, mousepad, and a cable strap, as well as a free 512GB microSD card.

More advanced purchase benefits are Intel software package, 2023 gram gift pack, and 5,000g Jammy points coupon.

Other common benefits include MelOn one-month free subscription, 10,000 membership points after writing a photo review after purchase, and 20 winners of two Helinox chairs and table set.

Continue Reading

Trending