Galaxy Book Flex initial impressions 15.6" 16 GB RAM + nVidia (Korean version)

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by njweb, May 18, 2020.

  1. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I recent bought the Galaxy Book Flex 15.6" edition which I found with 16GB for the same price as the 12GB BB version since the Ion only came with 8 GB in the US (before someone posted today that the Ion can be upgraded to 16GB).

    Flex Likes:

    1. Small for a 15.6 laptop - Much smaller than my HP Elitebook 1050 G1.
    2. Lighter than most competitors; notable exceptions are the LG Gram and Samsung's own Galaxy Book Ion which weigh even less.
    3. Great QLED screen
    4. Great battery life for browsing
    5. Intel Iris and nVidia graphics! (keep in mind I have the Korean version; US 12GB version does not have the nVidia graphics).
    6. Clean / sleek / modern design and looks; love the Royal blue color too!
    7. Decent build quality
    8. Unit can be opened easily if SSD dies, battery needs replacement or fan goes bad etc. (unlike Surface Book 2 15" e.g.).


    Flex dislikes

    1. Sound output level (i.e. dB output) is not loud enough at max volume (the Elitebook's B&O speaker gets MUCH louder). Sound quality is good though.
    2. Keyboard a bit too shallow; that being said, I can actually type about as fast as the HP Elitebook 1050 G1 which has a really nice keyboard feel. So it may just be a matter of getting used to it.
    3. When I tested my Flex with Google Meet and online game (e.g. online poker), battery life dropped really significantly. I expected a decline, but this was way beyond expectations. May run some battery tests when I get time of the 1050 G1 and Flex with same intensive apps running.
    4. Bluetooth connection issues with Logitech 'MX Anywhere 2S' mouse after resuming from sleep in Windows 10.
    5. Massive fingerprint magnet; they show up more due to the royal blue case color - After just one day, the thing looked like it has been used for a month. Wiping it down with a microfiber cloth was easy enough though.
    Pros and Cons above may be missing a few things, but I will update the above when I have more time.

    Think I am already getting used to the Korean characters next to the US letters / characters on the keys.
    Also ordered a smaller power adapter / charger from Amazon (other dedicated thread on that).

    Overall, as much as I like the Elitebook's sheer performance and upgrade-ability and great keyboard, after having also tried numerous laptops before it including Notebook 9 Pen, Lenovo X1 Extreme, MS Surface Book 2), I still wanted something smaller and sleeker than the Elitebook with better battery life (HP is not bad but...), I think the Flex may work out well for me.
    I love how portable it is in comparison.

    However, still wondering whether to try the Ion, now that I know the RAM can be upgraded to 16 GB (thanks to the post by Dangreen).
    As I had posted previously, when they were announced, I initially wanted the Ion due to the slightly better keyboard travel (per Engadget comparison video), but when the Ion came to the US as 8 GB and I found a Korean 16GB version of the Flex for sale, I decided to give it a shot.

    I also need to figure out warranty registration for my Korean Flex since the Korean Samsung site says I need a Korean nationality account when I try to register it and the US Samsung site does not seem to recognize the serial number, probably since I suspect it is validating against the US database only...
    Anyone done this?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  2. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Edited my post above to reflect a con I had forgotten about - Audio output volume in the Flex is too low... I used an enhancement to boost it a bit, but still far softer than my Elitebook 1050 G1.
    The Elitebook admittedly gets really loud and other notebooks I tried can't compete, but the Flex is much quieter at max volume and I expected more from the AKG system they tout.
    The Flex's sound quality itself is good, just not the maximum output level (dB).
     
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  3. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    EDIT - Tried an updated Intel driver for the Bluetooth issue with the Logtech MX Anywhere 2S mouse when resuming from sleep; initially I thought the driver I downloaded might have fixed it, but it did not help after all - the issue persists. :(

    I removed the 'frozen taskbar' issue from Cons, since that stopped occurring.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  4. fishdavis

    fishdavis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for the impressions! You've had it a little while, how do you feel about it now? I'm tempted to get a 16gb Korean 13.3 off ebay since the NA 8gb version isn't enough for me.
     
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  5. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thank for the impressions! I assume you got yours off Ebay?
    I've been scouring Ebay for this or perhaps the NP9 (MX150) version... it's getting to the point where I can identify all the different serial numbers and understand what they mean!

    I'd be very interested if you keep us up to date on the warranty registration process, thanks!
     
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  6. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I really like my Flex a lot (great design / looks and build quality, small form factor, very good battery life, reasonably lightweight, great QLED screen [aside from reflections].
    The biggest thing I still do not like is the keyboard - lack of keyboard travel / feel. I am still not used to it - it is even harder in my case since I am spoiled by a mechanical keyboard on my main setup for working remotely and a great keyboard on the HP Elitebook 1050 G1 which the Flex is replacing..,).
    The other thing I do not like is the fact that RAM is soldered to MB and lack of second SSD slot. The Ion has an available RAM slot and a second SSD slot too...

    One more minor issue (currently at least) -
    There is also a nagging Bluetooth connection issue (reproducible with 2 different BT mice, including the one that came with the Flex); the issue occurs whenever the Flex resumes from sleep (workaround is to turn off the BT radio and then turn it back on [in BT settings] after resuming from sleep).
    New BT driver over the weekend did not fix it.
    Sure this will get sorted out eventually. I may try a Windows repair install though if all else fails.

    Update - May have addressed the Bluetooth issue above, but will confirm tonight to ensure the fix (which I could have sworn I already tried, but maybe it required both the new Bluetooth driver from the weekend and at the same time the 'fix' which I had tried before the new driver.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  7. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I think people may have bid less on the one I got since it was the Korean version... Hopefully if you keep checking eBay, someone may offer one at auction again without a high BIN. Good luck!

    Korean-specific differences (since you're considering one):
    1) Korean characters on keys - I do not even really notice the additional Korean characters on the keyboard anymore! I originally thought that might distract / bother me longer.

    2) Plug - I bought a USB-C PD power adapter to minimize the footprint of the power adapter anyway; as a side benefit, this also eliminates the need for the US adapter (which seller included) to attach to the OEM Korean plug.

    3) Display of Korean, followed by English translation for speakers and microphone devices in Windows audio settings. In Device Manager the same devices are only in English characters.
    I have not noticed anything else in Korean.

    Other than the above, I have not noticed any differences from a US laptop.

    Sure; I did not register the warranty yet. I had tried via both US and Korean sites, which did not work as noted in my earlier post.
    I have not tried again since then - I have been busy with work and other personal things; thanks for the reminder (I almost forgot).
    If anyone else has any experience / suggestions with registering a Korean Samsung device in US, let me know. Will contact Samsung support online when I get a chance.
     
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  8. Worzyl

    Worzyl Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So, when you bought the laptop it had windows 10 in english or korean? Or was it not set up?
     
  9. njweb

    njweb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It was new, so Windows 10 was not yet set up yet.
     
  10. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Looking at the ebay listings for these from South Korea, what I find crazy is that the N9P hasn't dropped much in price at all. In fact, depending on the deals, there isn't much price difference between a Flex with MX250 compared to some of the N9P configs with an MX150
     
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