Samsung Galaxy Book Review: Windows 10 Hybrid Hubris

We take a closer look at the 10.6in Samsung Galaxy Book. Can it usurp the Microsoft Surface as the king of Windows 10 hybrids?

Tap, type and touch

Galaxy book keyboard and penUnlike the Surface Pro, the Galaxy Book comes with a keyboard cover and Samsung’s S-Pen stylus; that makes it a decent package out of the box, but it comes with caveats.

The soft-touch plastic keyboard feels comfortable and solid enough to rest my hands on providing I’m using the Galaxy Book’s laptop mode on a desk rather than my lap where things get a little wobbly. 

Galaxy Book KeyboardGiven the size of the tablet, the keyboard isn’t particularly spacious, but the keys are well spaced and facilitate moderately accurate touch typing. Key travel and feedback is decent enough, but to my fingertips it lacks the tactile feel of the rather excellent Surface TypeCover.

Of course, you have to pay an extra £125 or so for the TypeCover while the Galaxy Book’s cover doesn’t come with an additional premium. But the savings here sadly mean it feels inferior to Redmond’s efforts; it’s by no means a bad keyboard just not reaching the highest hybrid echelons or replicating the feel of typing on a good ultraportable. 

Galaxy Book keysThe trackpad, while precise thanks to the sue of Windows Precision drivers, is cramped and not great for scrolling through lengthy documents of webpages, but the touchscreen helps negate those problems somewhat. 

My biggest issue with the keyboard cover was its design. The tablet connects to the keyboard neatly using magnetic pins and a neat grove, but to prop it up in laptop mode a magnetic flap needs to be positioned on the tablet’s rear to set it at the desired angle.

Galaxy Book hingeI found this to be quite a faff with the flap feeling a little insecure and has slipped off its position a good few times. As such, the lack of a built-in kick stand found in the likes of the Surface Pro and other hybrid 2-in-1s is a bit of a pain, though it does mean the tablet can be laid flat, which digital doodlers and artists might like when using the S-Pen. 

DSC_0036Speaking of which, the S-Pen is decent stylus if a little bit too light for my preference. It offers decent sensitivity and is accurate to use with little in the way of lag; it can’t really stand up to some of the more premium styluses such as the Surface Pen and Apple Pencil, but then it avoids the hefty additional price of those accessories. 

Galaxy Book PenGiven the options of navigating the tablet via touch, trackpad or S-Pen, the Galaxy Book offers a decent overall user experience out of the box, though there’s plenty of room for improvement if Samsung decides to create a second generation Galaxy Book.

Find out about performance on Page 3…