Samsung Galaxy Book 12 Review: OLED Display Meets S Pen And Portability

Samsung Galaxy Book 12, An OLED Equipped 12-Inch 2-in-1

Hybrid 2-in-1 tablet convertible devices like Samsung's new Galaxy Book 12 are a tough gig. Striking a balance between ultimate portability, performance, and battery life is not easy when it comes to the well-under 2 pound device class of products. That said, Microsoft made a go of it with the very popular Surface Pro series, and since then, even Apple has been trying to catch that elusive upscale large tablet convertible mojo, and mostly unsuccessfully we might add. 

Further, Microsoft has been asleep at the switch for a while, without a proper Surface hybrid refresh for what is essentially an eternity, when it comes to technology anyway. Though MSFT's next gen Surface was just announced, with Intel's Kaby Lake 7th gen series processors hitting full stride, competitive solutions, like the Samsung Galaxy Book 12 we'll show you here, are boasting serious horsepower in a hybrid tablet convertible form factor. Not to mention, they're here today and shipping. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 12 in Keyboard Dock

The good news is, you know Samsung brings that bright, punchy OLED goodness with tablet displays, and this time we've got 12-inches of premium screen real estate to work with. Take a quick gander a the full specs and video preview below, then we'll buckle-up for a test drive in this new Galaxy...

Hands-On Preview Of New Samsung Devices At Launch Briefing In NYC

Samsung Galaxy Book 12
Specifications & Features

If you weren't specifically looking at a tablet convertible device, you'd think you were gazing upon utlrabook laptop specifications, with 8GB of RAM, a full Core i5 dual-core CPU and a 256GB SSD. The SSD is an m.2 SATA variety, versus the higher-performing NMVe, but it's still a fairly robust spec, especially for a quasi-tablet device where eMMC storage is all too common. The display is also a serious upgrade over the average tablet or laptop even, with a 12-inch FHD+ 2160X1440 Samsung Super AMOLED panel providing the light show. You also get 802.11ac WiFi, a pair of USB 3.1 Type-C ports and a microSD card slot. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 12 Kit

About the only other spec that's relatively notable here is the Galaxy Book 12's 5070 mAh battery. If you do the math, that's roughly about twice the size of the average mainstream smartphone battery, in terms of rated capacity. Flagship premium phones, like Samsung's own Galaxy S8 and S8+ are offering 3000 mAh batteries. We'll look at battery life performance on the pages ahead of course as well, but with the kit, you do get a Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge AC adapter, as well as the keyboard cover, a Samsung S Pen and S Pen tip extractor tool, along with a few spare pen tips. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 12 removed from keyboard case with s pen

When you consider the specs and the bundle, compared to say the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with optional Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard for $1267 currently, and a similar config with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, with a last generation CPU for $1159, the $1329 as-tested config of the Samsung Galaxy Book 12 we've got here does seem a touch on the pricey side. However, the Galaxy Book 12 has Intel's latest 7th gen Kaby Lake Core i series processor under its hood, as well as that super-saturated Samsung Super AMOLED display that neither the MSFT or Apple product can lay claim to.

The other thing to note is that, like the Surface and unlike the iPad Pro with iOS, Samsung's new Galaxy Book 12 runs a full Windows 10 Home edition OS with full access to both the Microsoft Store and any 3rd party software developed to run on Windows. In short, the Galaxy Book 12 is basically a full-fledged laptop in a tablet-hybrid convertible design. 

Let's take a closer look...

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