Samsung Galaxy E book Flex assessment: lengthy battery laptop computer with fold-back display | Samsung

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Samsung has returned to the buyer laptop computer market within the UK with a sequence of recent machines led by the Galaxy E book Flex.Not like a lot of the PC market, the E book Flex is refreshingly solely obtainable in a single model within the UK with a selection of silver or blue, costing £1,349.The royal blue model reviewed right here is just beautiful, with a deep blue aluminium physique, lid and backside, trimmed with silver sides. It actually stands out in opposition to the gang. The silver one is way more commonplace.You may maintain the laptop computer folded up with one hand, nevertheless it’s not simple for lengthy durations. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe Flex bit refers back to the display, which folds all the best way over to the again, making it a laptop computer that turns right into a pill. Nonetheless, this isn’t removable, which means you’ll have the keyboard going through outward when folded into pill mode. Weighing 1.16kg, it’s fairly mild for a laptop computer, however not for a pill.It’s solely 12.9mm thick, which suggests slipping it right into a bag is simple, whereas construct high quality is top-notch, making it really feel very strong. It compares favourably to the 13in laptop computer competitors, together with the Floor Laptop computer 3, Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Professional.The keyboard is sweet. The nice-sized keys are remoted and well-spaced with an inexpensive quantity of journey and really feel. The trackpad is great – giant sufficient, responsive and correct, with a great click on to it. The facility button is on the aspect of the machine, relatively than the deck, as are the speaker grilles.A fingerprint sensor handles biometric login with Home windows Howdy. It’s pretty large, quick and correct, however its placement takes some getting used to because it takes up half the house often devoted to the precise shift key.It took per week to regulate to the shortened shift key taken up by the fingerprint scanner. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe display is each a power and a weak point. It’s a 13.3in LCD (QLED) full HD display with a real widescreen (16:9) ratio, much like a TV. It’s vivid, stunning and vibrant with 100% DCI-P3 protection. It even has a super-bright “outside mode” that enhances the display briefly so you possibly can see it extra simply in direct daylight on the contact of a button however this does drain the battery extra shortly.Nonetheless, it’s noticeably much less crisp than higher-resolution screens of an identical measurement fitted to similarly-priced opponents such because the Floor Laptop computer 3, Apple’s machines and Dell’s 4K XPS 13.Having a 16:9 ratio makes it wonderful for watching widescreen movies and flicks, however it’s much less good for engaged on, just because the display isn’t that tall. Meaning you find yourself doing lots of vertical scrolling as websites and paperwork don’t match in addition to on laptops that use a taller ratio equivalent to 16:10 or 3:2.S-PenThe S-Pen stylus neatly slots into the physique of the laptop computer, out of the best way till you want it. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe E book Flex’s different trick is a hid S-Pen stylus, which is similar one shipped with Samsung’s Galaxy Notice sequence of large-screen smartphones. The stylus slides right into a slot subsequent to the Thunderbolt 3 ports and is saved neatly away till you want it. You push it in to launch the stylus after which write on the display. Just like the current Notice 20 Extremely, you should utilize it like a magic wand by urgent a button and swiping it within the air in numerous instructions to manage apps for duties equivalent to skipping a monitor or adjusting quantity.Specs
Display: 13.3in FHD (1080p) QLED touchscreen (LCD, 166PPI)
Processor: Tenth-generation Intel Core i5
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
Working system: Home windows 10 Dwelling
Digital camera: 720p HD
Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-C, microSD/UFS, headphone
Dimensions: 202.9 x 302.6 x 12.9mm
Weight: 1.16kg
Prime chips, lengthy battery lifeThe laptop computer has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, the S-Pen and the ability button in a single aspect. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe E book Flex ships in a single configuration within the UK, with a Tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD, that are roughly the minimal necessities for top-end laptops in 2020.As such, it’s a highly effective, succesful machine that may deal with most issues aside from graphically intense gaming {and professional} video enhancing, which might require the next decision show.The E book Flex sailed via all the things I threw at it, together with pretty complicated picture manipulation in Affinity Photograph on an exterior 4K monitor. It was typically cool-running too, with the followers often audible at a low stage, and the deck of the laptop computer changing into solely barely heat to the touch. The toes on the underside don’t give it a lot floor clearance, which means it was cooler when used on a tough floor relatively than a tender desk.The laptop computer additionally has a wide selection of ports. It has two full Thunderbolt 3 ports on the precise aspect and one USB-C solely port on the left, which suggests you will have extra flexibility in your connection choices when you will have one port for energy and one other for a monitor. A microSD card reader, which may additionally take the quicker UFS reminiscence, is within the left aspect however not like most opponents is contained in a sim-tray-like mechanism. You want a sim-ejector instrument or lengthy paperclip to entry it, which lends itself extra to storage enlargement utilizing a card you don’t take away, relatively than as a standard reader you simply use briefly with a card you’re taking out of your digicam or comparable.The headphones socket, USB-C port and microSD card tray sit within the left aspect of the laptop computer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianBattery life was excellent. Lasting a median of 11 hours between fees through the work day, together with 90 minutes of picture enhancing, plenty of searching and phrase processing, with the display brightness set to 70%. The 2020 MacBook Professional and Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 3 every lasted 7.5 hours underneath comparable situations.A part of that lengthy battery life is the comparatively low-resolution display, which consumes much less energy. A lot of the competitors have the upper decision 3K or 4K screens, that are noticeably crisper than full HD.The E book Flex has a trick up its sleeve. The trackpad doubles as a wi-fi charger that may energy a Qi-compatible smartphone, watch, headphones or different accent. After all you possibly can’t use the trackpad when it’s charging one thing, so it’s of restricted use, however might be helpful for charging up a set of headphones or comparable with out reaching for a cable.The E book Flex comes with a 65W USB-C charger and recharges from flat to 100% in two hours, reaching 50% in about 50 minutes.SustainabilityThe E book Flex can typically be repaired by authorised service centres. Samsung charges the battery for no less than 1,000 full cost cycles whereas nonetheless sustaining no less than 80% capability. Samsung additionally has battery lifespan-extending choices on the laptop computer, equivalent to people who restrict the utmost cost to 85% to lengthen its helpful life.The battery may be changed out of guarantee by authorised service suppliers. The laptop computer shouldn’t be created from any recycled supplies and whereas Samsung does provide trade-in and recycling schemes for different units, it doesn’t but for laptops.Home windows 10 HomeSamsung’s pre-installed apps present capabilities such because the Air Command instruments for the S-Pen. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe E book Flex ships with Home windows 10 Dwelling within the UK, with just a few Samsung apps and instruments put in, plus McAfee Livesafe, which I’ve had issues with prior to now so uninstalled instantly, reverting to the built-in Home windows Defender for anti-virus.A lot of the Samsung apps are helpful. The Samsung Settings app means that you can change quite a lot of options, together with battery lifespan-extending settings, booting choices, audio and video results, fast settings and a silent, low-performance mode. Samsung Replace handles drivers and different bits, though so can Home windows Replace. There are instruments for the S-Pen, a Fast Search app, a restoration instrument for if issues go unsuitable, and a safety app that means that you can use your webcam to observe login makes an attempt to the laptop computer.Utilizing the laptop computer was typically trouble-free, other than one occasion making an attempt to hitch a WebEx video convention. This brought about the sound card drivers to fail, requiring a full removing of the sound card software program and drivers to rehabilitate.ObservationsThe convertible type means you possibly can stand the laptop computer up as an A-frame. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
You will get the laptop computer as well from chilly when the lid opens.
The audio system are surprisingly loud and clear, however lack any actual bass and vibrate via the deck of the laptop computer quite a bit.
The webcam and microphones are about common for video calls – adequate in vivid mild and in case you converse up at a distance.
A very helpful charging and battery standing display is displayed once you cost the laptop computer whereas powered off.
PriceThe Samsung Galaxy E book Flex is offered in royal blue or silver for £1,349.For comparability, Dell’s XPS 13 has a beginning RRP of £1,399, Microsoft’s Floor Laptop computer 3 prices from £999, Huawei’s Matebook X Professional prices £1,400 and Apple’s 13in MacBook Professional prices £1,299.VerdictThe Galaxy E book Flex marks a strong return to the laptop computer market within the UK for Samsung.It ticks most containers, has a great quantity of energy on faucet, lengthy battery life, a great keyboard and strong construct. The display is colour-rich and vivid, however its 16:9 ratio and comparatively low decision let it down in contrast with better-equipped rivals.The power to fold the display all the best way over shouldn’t be one thing I would typically use, however is beneficial for folding up like an A-frame or for the occasional doc markup utilizing the included S-Pen stylus, which is great and neatly tucked away till you want it.The fingerprint sensor is nice, however its placement, changing half the precise shift key, isn’t implausible. It has three USB-C ports, of which two are Thunderbolt 3, which is best than some opponents that ship with only one or two. The microSD card reader is nice for including extra storage, however much less good to be used for swapping playing cards out and in of cameras and the like.I just like the laptop computer, I simply don’t find it irresistible. However in order for you a strong, versatile and adaptable convertible laptop computer, with lengthy battery life and loads of energy, the Samsung Galaxy E book Flex is among the finest.
Professionals: lengthy battery life, Tenth-gen Intel Core i5, 2x Thunderbolt 3 + 1x USB-C ports, microSD/UFS slot, vivid display, convertible hinge, good keyboard, good trackpad, fingerprint scanner, hide-away stylus
Cons: 16:9 display ratio, decrease decision display, odd fingerprint placement in keyboard
The lid of the E book Flex is clean aluminium. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianOther critiques

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