Create Thread: Galaxy Book Flex or Galaxy Book Ion (assuming both 16GB RAM)? Includes poll

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by njweb, May 22, 2020.


Galaxy Book Flex or Galaxy Book Ion? (assuming both have 16GB RAM)

  1. Galaxy Book FLEX 15.6 16GB RAM

    3 vote(s)
  2. Galaxy Book ION 15.6 16GB RAM

    0 vote(s)
  1. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I bought the Galaxy Book Flex 15.6" 16GB RAM version from Korea. I am very happy with it so far, although the Ion is definitely lighter, has slightly better battery life and the keyboard travel is slightly better according to Engadget comparison video of the two...
    However, now that the Ion can be upgraded to 24GB, I am wondering if I should try the Ion...

    Debating now whether to try the Ion and buy a 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM stick for a total of 24GB RAM.
    The screen looks well built on the Flex and the screen durability in case of impact is always one of my first concerns with a laptop.
    Guess I could always buy a Celicious (or equivalent) impact screen protector.

    Flex Pros vs. Ion:
    Screen less likely to break than Ion?
    Solid build quality (at the expense of higher weight)
    nVidia and Iris Plus graphics (not sure how much of a real world difference vs Intel UHD only though if not gaming and not doing any 3D work etc.)

    Flex Cons vs. Ion:
    Noticeably heavier than Ion
    Reportedly keyboard travel is slightly less than Ion

    Ion Pros vs. Flex:
    Much lighter weight than Flex
    Slightly better keyboard travel?
    RAM can be upgraded to 24GB using a 16GB DDR4-2666 stick.

    Ion Cons vs Flex:
    Screen potentially not as strong as Flex??? Not sure regarding this.
    Intel UHD

    Which would you get - Flex or Ion, assuming RAM is 16GB in each?
    Is the CPU difference anything I will notice? Checked a comparison site and not seeing any significant performance difference.
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  2. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Really depends on your usage scenario, for me I would be looking at this device as a note taking device which would rule out the Ion. The Flex is a 360 design, based on the shape of the Ion hinge I would say that is not the case.

    Sent from my SM-N9600 using Tapatalk
    njweb likes this.
  3. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Thanks! I do not need the touchscreen and already have a small tablet; so for me both the Flex (which I bought already) and Ion are in the running.
    The Flex and Ion both checked number of other boxes for me over other competitors. Now I just want to decide if I should stick with the Flex or get the Ion + 16GB extra RAM. Both have their share or pros and cons relative to the other, so not an easy decision in my case (do not need the touch screen).
  4. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Debating sticking with the Flex due to the dedicated graphics on my Korean version of the Flex (nVidia MX250) and 3 USB-C ports (vs only 1 USB-C and 2 older USB 3.x ports on the Ion - did not realize till now that 2 ports on the Ion are 3.x and not USB-C, just knew the Flex had 1 extra TB port...). USB-C is more future proof.

    But still not sure given the lighter weight of the Ion and the potentially better keyboard which, if true, would be important to me (Engadget says it is a bit better, but how much is the subjective part)...
    24GB RAM total is also a nice bonus (with the 16GB stick for $67) and the Ion actually has 2 SSD slots; not sure the Flex supports a second SSD...

    As you can see, I am still not fully decided. :)

    PS: Build quality is another factor that could trump weight, but have not felt the Ion yet...
  5. Qyygle

    Qyygle Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    At this point, 2.6 lbs vs 3.3 lbs isn't really that big a difference. You said you're not going to use either as a tablet, so in your lap, does the ~0.7 lb difference make a big impression? Keyboard feel is something you'll have to decide yourself, being very subjective.
    What are you doing with the laptop? Running VMs? Doing a lot of RAM heavy tasks? Will the extra 8 gb of ram be useful in your day to day usage?
    Build quality wise, I don't imagine there's going to be much difference between the two. The Ion may be slightly stiffer due to not having the 360 hinge, but both are Samsung's top tier models. The previous Galaxy Note Pens haven't had any issues with build quality that I've seen.

    Otherwise, the Flex will perform slightly faster than the Ion. The Ice Lake CPU has not only a better integrated GPU but also is a 10nm chip, and is paired with LPDDR4X which runs faster than the DDR4 in the Ion. If your general use case for the laptop is office tasks, browsing, etc. you won't notice the difference. Either machine is more than enough for typical use cases.

    The Flex has all USB-C ports, but the Ion also has 2x USB-A's. You listed this as a 'future proof' point, but I don't really agree. Having 1 thunderbolt port is typically enough and having the legacy ports is a good thing unless you enjoy the dongle life.
    2 SSD slots is the only major factor I can see as an actual hardware difference (aside from the touch and pen, and GPUs, but you stated these weren't factors for you) that would be important to what you've listed.
    If you're interested in the larger potential storage capacity down the line, go for the Ion. Otherwise, the Flex you already bought will be faster and just as well built.
    njweb likes this.
  6. Worzyl

    Worzyl Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
  7. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Thanks! Appreciate all your feedback.

    Tablet use - Correct. I may use the Flex (or Ion) as a tablet at times, but that is definitely not my primary use. Now it is even less likely since I just got a deal on a Galaxy Tab 5Se (10.5" tablet); bit of an impulse buy.

    Keyboard - Keyboard feel - Agreed. I just used my HP Elite 1050 G1 keyboard the other day to set something up for my wife (she is using that now) and, after using the Flex so much now, it quickly reminded me how great the keyboard feel is on the Elitebook; in fact I like it more than the venerable keyboard on the Lenovo X1 Extreme ThinkPad! which I sold due to battery life and keyboard in favor of the HP 1050 G1.

    I am not running VM's on it. RAM intensive tasks - only in the sense that I typically keep numerous browser windows open which eats system resources quickly.

    RAM- Re extra 8 GB. 24 GB is not necessary and would more be a 'nice to have' and make it even more future proof (although in reality I may / will probably be on a new laptop by that time).

    Build quality - Subjectively, I suspect the aluminum Flex could take a bigger direct impact than the lighter magnesium Ion (not that I expect something to fall on it of course and I always carry them in bags when traveling and am careful).
    (Ironically, thanks to its lighter weight, the Ion could likely take a slightly bigger fall onto the ground).

    Honestly, I love the Flex overall (aside from its flat keyboard as noted):
    I love the build quality / looks
    Smaller footprint and lighter weight relative to most of the offerings from competitors
    Great battery life
    QLED screen

    Also, compared to Ion specifically, I prefer the following on the Flex:
    USB-C PD capability
    More powerful graphics processing
    More future-proof ports (2 TB3, 1 USB-C) vs the Ion.
    (Not a major / huge factor >>) Looks (love the brushed aluminum sides and rear venting design / look, Royal Blue color)

    Your last line sums it up regarding the Flex.
    If I decide to consider the Ion over my current Flex, the decision would probably mostly come down to keyboard feel / travel of the Ion vs. the Flex since that really is my biggest annoyance.

    As part of the equation, I may also still factor in upgrade-ability / repair-ability of RAM and SSD; which can be very handy if working remotely away from home to minimize any potential downtime if RAM or primary SSD dies - e.g. get second SSD for Ion and have a disk image ready / RAID mirroring if not too much of a performance hit).
    The Ion's lower weight is nice but, as you also said, probably not a big enough factor at this time.

    Edit - Missed the legacy ports comment, sorry. I guess that is user-specific. :)
    In my case, I have limited need for USB-A luckily these days, if any.
    I use a Bluetooth mouse and even my extra keyboard (K810) is BT. The Flex comes with a small USB-C to USB-A adapter.

    Edit 2:
    PS: I forgot to clarify, I like the extra USB-C ports of the Flex over the Ion because of extra external monitor support (also helps that my Flex has the nVidia graphics).
    For extra productivity, I used an Asus ZenScreen (ZS) portable monitor (someone on the forums recommended it) with my 1050 G1 laptop when I work remotely from an alternate location for a week at a time occasionally. The ZS just requires a laptop with USB-C display output capability.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
    JoeS likes this.
  8. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Flex for me

    The Ion to my knowledge does not have an S-pen so that discounts it right away.

    And for my uses, USB-C Thunderbolt is way more useful then type A ports. Faster transfer speeds, data/display/and power for secondary monitors, power delivery, and eGPU options just win out over legacy needs, I just have small usb-c converters attaches to my old thumb drives and spare one in my laptop bag. Problem solved.
    njweb likes this.

Share This Page