Samsung Galaxy Book Go

1 week ago 46

Very disappointing. Windows connected ARM plays nicely lone with a fistful of apps - and besides, you tin hardly spot it done the Galaxy Book Go's cloudy screen.

For

  • ARM-compiled apps are fast
  • Incredible artillery life
  • Instant-on is great

Against

  • Abysmal screen
  • Sluggish successful galore situations

Very disappointing. Windows connected ARM plays nicely lone with a fistful of apps - and besides, you tin hardly spot it done the Galaxy Book Go's cloudy screen.

Pros

  • +

    ARM-compiled apps are fast

  • +

    Incredible artillery life

  • +

    Instant-on is great

Cons

  • -

    Abysmal screen

  • -

    Sluggish successful galore situations

Two-minute review

We person to ideate that, immoderate clip successful 2016 oregon 2017, Samsung gleefully signed connected to the Windows connected ARM program, a determination which yet led to the Samsung Galaxy Book Go. We'd besides person to ideate that Samsung is not feeling astir arsenic gleeful close now, due to the fact that immoderate Windows connected Arm is expected to be, the Galaxy Book Go conscionable isn't it.

Its failures aren't lone the responsibility of the Snapdragon processor astatine its heart. That spot definite does its darnedest, and works astatine a decent clip erstwhile moving things which are pre-baked to enactment it. It runs cool, the instrumentality is super-quiet, and the phone-esque features that specified a chipset brings (notably instant-on and ridiculous artillery life) are a existent item here. But situation it successful immoderate mode and it crumples. 

Whatever compatibility furniture Windows 11 has implemented for x86 apps is mostly beauteous poor, which we somewhat expected. But we expected somewhat much snappiness connected the desktop; the 4GB RAM bundle successful this laptop conscionable isn't capable to bash much than 1 oregon 2 things astatine a time. This is simply a instrumentality that looks for each the satellite similar a mean Windows laptop, but doesn't person the popular wherever it counts - adjacent astatine the precise tenable terms point.

Samsung's attempts to deed that terms person besides led to immoderate superior sacrifices successful the hardware department. The screen, notably, reaches a commendable 1080p resolution, but is utterly unspeakable successful each different way. The lawsuit is bouncy integrative which does not precisely capable america with confidence. The ports are passable but honestly beauteous lacking successful options. The LTE connectivity is not 5G, and if Samsung's ain Galaxy A13 tin negociate it for acold little money, it's a existent shame that this can't. Admittedly Qualcomm's exclusive declaration for Windows connected ARM means Mediatek's cheaper chipsets don't get a accidental to shine, but we're inactive annoyed.

Ironically, it's lone the familiarity of Windows that truly saves this. You can, with luck and a large asterisk, tally immoderate Windows apps you need, thing a Chromebook can't offer. If you're cautious with your tab absorption you mightiness adjacent find this to beryllium a tenable instrumentality for utilizing online apps. But the Galaxy Book Go is acold from a productivity powerhouse. Pick 1 up and we'd ideate you'll consciousness the aforesaid benignant of buyer's remorse arsenic Samsung indispensable beryllium feeling for going down this way successful the archetypal place.

Price and availability

Spec Sheet

Here is the Samsung Galaxy Book Go configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 (Kryo 468 Octa-core CPU, up to 2.55 GHz)
Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x
Screen: 14-inch 1920 x 1080
Storage: 128GB eUFS
Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A port, micro SD reader, nanoSIM, audio combo jack
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, 802.11 ac (2x2), 4G LTE
Camera: Built-in 720p webcam
Weight: 3.04 pounds (1.38 kg)
Size: 12.75 x 8.85 x 0.59 inches (32.3 x 22.4 x 1.49 cm; W x D x H)

While it's not the astir ultra-cheap laptop successful the world, the 4GB rotation of the Galaxy Book Go supplied to america for reappraisal lands squarely successful the fund bracket astatine $349 (£349, astir AU$490). That said, we tin find nary grounds of it being officially disposable successful Australia - though stocks look plentiful elsewhere.

That's a magic number: it puts the Galaxy Book Go head-to-head some with a bully fig of Chromebooks, including Samsung's ain Galaxy Chromebook Go, with which it shares overmuch of its hardware design. It besides puts it up against the lowest reaches of the x86 marketplace - determination a Windows-on-ARM laptop mightiness not truly privation to be. 

It's much pricey than, say, the Lenovo Ideapad Duet, a double-duty tablet which realistically offers a batch much flexibility; it's besides reasonably adjacent with the Microsoft Surface Go which, adjacent a twelvemonth on, remains a coagulated performer.

So the Samsung Galaxy Book Go has its enactment chopped retired for it. It has to propulsion astir Windows connected a level which mightiness amended suit a Linux oregon Android situation - thing those 2 competitors don't person to interest about. It has to connection capable non-touch laptop to beryllium worthy of a terms constituent which tin get you a reasonably coagulated two-in-one machine. Can it bash it? Well, no. And here's why.

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

Samsung has been generous with the power surface, though it is simply a small squishy (Image credit: Future)

Design

Samsung hasn't gone huffy with the Galaxy Book Go's design: this is pure, plain, silver'n'black functionality laid bare. 

That's perfectly fine. It's bladed enough, inoffensive, and sized conscionable right, with reasonably bladed broadside bezels giving it an impressively compact footprint - and we'll forgive its chunky chin and forehead, arsenic the other vertical scope stops the power aboveground ending up excessively cramped. 

There's adjacent a discrete powerfulness button, successful these days of each and sundry moving that relation to the apical close of the keyboard. It feels bittersweet to connection points for specified a insignificant feature, but present we are.  

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

It's precise hard to seizure the washed retired surface connected camera, but it doesn't look overmuch amended than this successful existent beingness (Image credit: Future)

The matte-finish surface is, adjacent considering that its 1080p solution tops astir different machines of this price, perfectly horrendous. It is truthful low-contrast it feels similar you're peering done fume to look astatine it, the colors are terrible, and portion it's not overly smeary astatine velocity you tin perfectly consciousness the 60Hz refresh rate. 

It's besides attached to specified a anemic and flexible lid that touching it - oregon adjacent typing peculiarly vigorously - causes small LCD wobbles successful the bottommost corners suggesting the sheet is nether immoderate superior tension.

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

The 180-degree hinge is 1 of Samsung's cardinal selling points - but we deliberation it's of questionable usefulness (Image credit: Future)

Its hinge is someway some stiff and wobbly. It's somewhat excessively rigid to unfastened one-handed, fixes the presumption nicely erstwhile open, but allows capable play that utilizing it connected your thigh sees it bouncing around. On a table things aren't truthful bad, however.

There's akin cut-corner flexibility connected the base. The keyboard platform is brushed and springy (though there's immoderate coagulated question connected its keys) and the trackpad is modular cheap-and-cheerful fare. None of this affects the Galaxy Book Go's functionality, and we had nary problems typing this reappraisal oregon mousing around, but there's nary getting astir the downsides of the terms point: magnesium alloy stiffness this ain't.

Image 1 of 2

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

On the left, a USB Type-C port, an audio jack and SD scholar (Image credit: Future)

Image 2 of 2

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

On the close you'll find a full-size USB 2.0 port, arsenic good arsenic a 2nd Type-C and the SIM slot (Image credit: Future)

In presumption of ports, things are reasonably basic. The near borderline offers up a USB 3.0 Type-C larboard (for charging and data) on with a combined audio jack and a microSD reader, portion the close borderline contains different Type-C larboard (the lone 1 susceptible of video output) arsenic good arsenic a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a Kensington fastener slot, and a NanoSIM cradle for LTE connectivity. 

An other Type-A larboard mightiness person been bully - and HDMI output is sorely lacking - but modern problems necessitate modern solutions, and you'll person to enactment with Type-C if you privation to hook up an outer display.

The portion itself is, fixed its mostly flimsy integrative outer, amazingly weighty. We'd person to presume there's either a heavyweight passive cooler oregon a immense artillery inside, oregon possibly both. This feels similar each spot of its 1.38kg - it's not a shoulder-breaker by immoderate means, but you'll announcement it successful your bag.

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

Viewing angles connected the 1080p sheet are fundamentally non-existent (Image credit: Future)

Performance

Benchmarks

Here's however the Samsung Galaxy Book Go performed successful our suite of benchmark tests:

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: 1927.3ms
JetStream 2: 55.851
Geekbench 5 CPU Benchmark: 508 (Single-Core); 1399 (Multi-Core)
Cinebench R20 Multicore: 359
Battery beingness (Techradar Movie Test): 11hrs 30mins

Windows connected ARM, then. Frankly, simply knowing that this is simply a Windows connected ARM device, you'll astir apt person formed your ain sentiment astir what the Galaxy Book Go is susceptible of - the bully quality is you're right, immoderate you mightiness think. Except erstwhile you're not. 

Do you deliberation ARM is much astatine location connected phones, tablets, oregon operating systems built astir it similar macOS? Bang on: portion Windows 11's halfway functions are snappy capable if the processor isn't overburdened, it's precise casual to find ways to propulsion the Galaxy Book successful the incorrect absorption and autumn foul of the not-so-quick translation layer.

Sometimes things get precise syrupy; Google Chrome, for example, doesn't yet person a autochthonal app, and ran terribly. Few things we tried wholly refused to run, meaning this is simply a acold outcry from the acheronian days of Windows RT, but we'd suggest you shouldn't bargain this if there's thing you specifically privation to bash extracurricular of a web browser which isn't Chrome, which is simply a beauteous ridiculous connection to marque of a Windows laptop. 

On the flip side, definite things genuinely amazed us. For example, little demanding 2D indie games built for accepted PC processors ran beauteous smoothly, though 3D is thing of a trial excessively far. 

Think Windows connected ARM fundamentally turns a laptop into a phone? Right again, kinda: Qualcomm's mobile processor expertise makes phone-adjacent functions enactment superbly well. 

This is simply a instrumentality meant for monumental artillery performance, thing we'll get to shortly, but besides 1 which instantly wakes from slumber with each of your radios already connected. It runs soundless and stays chill adjacent erstwhile you're doing wholly excessively much. For a functional fund laptop, that's perfect - and astir unsocial to this category. Samsung besides includes a full clump of ecosystem apps which necktie this nicely to its ain telephone line, though you'll find a batch much show with your telephone docked successful DeX mode, which renders them somewhat moot.  

Think scaling up what is fundamentally telephone hardware to tally a afloat laptop isn't going to work? First, you shouldn't place the MacBook, which makes magic with its M1 chip, but successful the lawsuit of the budget-priced Galaxy Book Go you're not wholly wrong. 

4GB RAM gives this little representation to enactment with than adjacent galore fund phones, and it's not hard to propulsion it to the headdress if you're not frugal with your browser tabs. But again, we were comparatively surprised: immoderate the middling benchmarks mightiness suggest, there's capable powerfulness present to spot you done your day-to-day browsing, enactment and mild entertainment, arsenic agelong arsenic you're blessed to enactment successful your lane.

That's wherever your expectations should end; were you to inquire much than that from this, you'd beryllium arsenic disappointed arsenic you would beryllium of a basal x86 instrumentality astatine the aforesaid price. Passable is the connection of the day. The down-firing speakers are large but deficiency clarity, making Samsung's prime to licence Dolby Atmos confusing astatine best. The webcam is fine, but wholly unspectacular and easy blown retired by agleam lights. The LTE connectivity is simply a bully touch, but it's a wide procreation behind.

The benchmark results carnivore our real-world experiences out. Cinebench, moving done what it internally calls a Virtual CPU (the ARM-to-x86 translation layer, successful different words) crawled its mode to 1 of the lowest scores we've ever seen it produce. Geekbench likewise struggled, peculiarly compared to the benignant of results we'd expect from a similarly-specced modular Windows machine. Even the browser benchmarks, tally done the autochthonal Microsoft Edge app, didn't stroke america away.

Battery life

We person to springiness the Galaxy Book Go its due: it does person a truly monolithic battery. This happening goes and goes; it burned done our movie trial for nigh-on fractional a day. 

The information that you wouldn't really take to ticker a movie connected it is irrelevant: you could, and you could bash truthful for the immense bulk of an planetary flight. Never caput that this is excessively large for a tray array and the viewing angles volition marque the surface intolerable to use. You could bash it. That's what matters.

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

There's a skinny-fat aerial astir the Galaxy Book Go, which tucks its bulk underneath (Image credit: Future)

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