Samsung Galaxy Book (12-inch) review – CNET

The Samsung Galaxy Book rightfully belongs on the quickly growing list of impressive Microsoft Surface Pro contenders.

It’s a Windows 10 tablet with a stunning 12-inch Super AMOLED display, Intel’s latest processors and detachable keyboard cover with stylus. It starts at $1,130 (£910, AU$1,506) for the Wi-Fi-only version and $1,300 (£1,046, AU$1,733) for the LTE model, sold via Verizon, which was the configuration we reviewed.

Though it’s seemingly more expensive than the latest Surface Pro’s entry-level $799 (£615 or AU$1,069) starting price, that price doesn’t include the $129-to$169 (£125- £160, AU$200-AU$240) keyboard cover or the $99 (£60, AU$95) stylus pen. (Microsoft requires you to buy the must-have keyboard for the Surface line separately.)


Samsung bundles the Galaxy Pro with a keyboard and stylus.

Josh Miller/CNET

The Galaxy Book makes no illusions about its price tag; it’s expensive but still roughly comparable in price to the Surface Pro with keyboard and stylus. The bad news is that the Galaxy Book’s design falls short of the Microsoft tablet.

The Surface tablet and its accompanying keyboard’s physical design are among the best. Its perfectly adjustable kickstand and slim magnetic keyboard cover are excellent. Samsung’s large and floppy keyboard stand just doesn’t stand a chance in comparison. If it wasn’t placed on a completely flat surface, it bent easily, and using it on my lap required careful balancing, otherwise it would topple over.

Samsung has not yet confirmed pricing or availability in the UK or Australia. Pricing listed is converted from the US price. Samsung offers a 10-inch variant that runs for $630 (£507, AU$840), but this review is on the 12-inch model.


The S-Pen stylus also comes with the Galaxy Tab S3.

Josh Miller/CNET

Body like an Android

Unlike other 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablets, the Galaxy Book’s svelte dimensions make it look and feel more like an Android tablet than a Windows 10 PC.

Removed from its cover, the Galaxy Book is slightly more svelte than the Surface Pro 4. It’s 7.36mm thick and weighs 1.66 pounds (754g), versus 8.5mm and 1.69 pounds (766g) for the Surface Pro. Smooth, rounded edges help convey the visage of its seemingly slimmer facade.


Rounded edges make it appear slimmer.

Josh Miller/CNET

While its chassis is more iPad-like than Surface-esque, it’s still a big device. As a standalone tablet, it’s too big and heavy to hold in your hands and watch an entire half-hour of “The Office,” let alone an entire movie. The fanless tablet also got rather hot when used for a long period of time, making it uncomfortable to hold. It all makes the included keyboard case accessory, which doubles as a stand, an even more important addition.

Accessories included

One of the Samsung Galaxy Book’s biggest advantages over the Surface Pro line is that it comes with a keyboard case and stylus.


The keyboard case protects the screen without adding too much bulk.

Josh Miller/CNET

The tablet magnetically docks into the folio case, and the back flap can fold back into a stand. There are few different configurations, but thanks to the awesome screen quality, viewing angles are great no matter how it’s set up.

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