Two New Laptops: Galaxy Book Ion & Flex still no SGB12 update

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by DRTigerlilly, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Well, I got the laptop yesterday afternoon. I promptly set it up. I must admit, it's lovely. Like, really nice. Purchasing this was a splurge for me, and for me to keep it, I'll have to REALLY like it, but I've learned that if you're going to keep a device for 4-5 years, you should splurge... if you can afford it. If I keep it, this will be the most expensive laptop I've ever purchased.

    I'd like to work with it for a week or so to assess how I really feel about it, but my initial impressions of it, after using it for a day, are good. I must admit, some of these things that I list as a "pro" are that way because I've been using an older laptop... certain things about this laptop that have impressed me would probably be the same with almost any modern competitor- better battery life, better trackpad, better touch, faster sign-in, etc. But it's all added up to a very positive experience so far.

    Pro's-
    1)The Screen-
    I'm really surprised how much this impressed me, but it does. The screen is gorgeous! I didn't think I'd care that much, but I guess I do. :p It's vibrant, and it can get very bright. And it feels f*cking huge! I've never had a 15.6" laptop before. It's weird, but even though the device is only 3/4" wider than my older 14" Thinkpad (and actually a tiny bit shallower), the whole device feels luxuriously big because of the slim bezels. It's so big, in fact, that I can't really look at the whole screen at once. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but at the very least, watching TV and movies on this was fantastic, and it's a breeze to have two windows up side by side. For the first time, I even wondered if I could snap three windows side by side, a la the iPad. Color me impressed.
    2) The Pen-
    This is just as nice as I hoped it would be. Yes, the pen is a dream. Super nice to use out of the box. I very much like the HP pen I bought too. The side button is easy to find but I'm not making accidental presses.
    3)Touch-
    This impressed me more than I expected. My old laptop had touch too, but it was clearly a rudimentary 5-year old version of its implementation, because touch on this feels very much like a phone or ipad. Very responsive. Just the way I always wished it would be.
    4) The Blue-
    I admit, I'm a fan of this. It's a personal opinion, but I think it looks snappy, and yet somehow also elegant and professional. I like it more than I thought I would. I shouldn't care, but I do. LOL!
    5) The Weight and Thinness-
    This is more impressive to me than I thought it would be. I'm a little startled every time I pick this beast up that it is so thin and light. It's actually 3/4 lb lighter than the Thinkpad 14, and .25" thinner, plus the screen is 1.6" bigger. It's crazy to me that this is only 3.5 lbs, and still gets insane battery life.
    6) Battery Life and Charging Time-
    I expected to like this and I do. I charged this to full from 20% in only about 60-90 minute. Super fast. And even with setting everything up and not really trying to save battery, I'm going to EASILY get 10 hours. Maybe more. I'm not doing anything super intensive though. Browsing, working on a landscape design with pen input in Sketchbook, watching TV, setting up dropbox, etc.
    7) Wifi-
    I didn't expect to care about this, but I like it. There is a CLEAR difference between this machine and my old one. Wifi is much stronger and very very fast. Setting up Dropbox and downloading my files used to take FOREVER. This baby did it in like... 10 minutes, literally. I couldn't believe it.
    8) Trackpad-
    I've been a trackpoint enthusiast for about a decade, but still... this is a very nice trackpad. Big and very responsive. And I have to give Windows kudos here-- there are many more Advanced customizable options for multitouch gestures than I thought there would be. It has helped me get over the extreme speed that I could get out of using the trackpoint. I don't like hunting and pecking with a trackpad to close windows and such, so being able to customize 3 and 4 finger swipes and such has been great. I'm going to try out MultiSwipe to see if I can customize it more, use "tip and tap" gestures and such.
    9) Fingerprint Reader-
    I wish it had Windows Hello, but the fingerprint reader is still very nice. I don't have to type a password in every time anymore! And yet I'm still secure! Woohoo! The fingerprint reader has never once failed so far. 100%, every time, it's worked.
    10) Fans-
    so far, it's been pretty darn quiet and cool. Nothing to complain about here for me, but I'm not gaming or pushing it hard. Fans are pretty quiet when they come on, although there is a tiny high register they can hit that I don't like. "Quiet Mode" truly is silent. The fans turn off, and the device uses less power.


    Not a Con/ Not a Pro-
    1) Speakers-
    I was expecting better than I got. They're not bad, by any stretch, but they're clearly not loud enough. Sound quality is actually pretty good, but I guess it doesn't matter too much to me if it's not loud enough. I need to try some sort of software implementation to see if I can boost the sound some. If I can get them to safely be louder, then I would have no issue with the sound quality itself.
    2) Keyboard-
    I was expecting worse than I got. I'm working my way in to an opinion on this. It's actually far more comfortable than I would have thought, given the shallow key travel, as I'm a heavy-handed typist. Oddly, the thing that is a surprise for me is that, because the key travel is so shallow, the keys don't stand much above the board. This makes it a bit harder to find the separate keys while touch typing. I'm also not used to a number pad. Normally, I can blindly find my position on the keyboard because I can also find the Enter and Shift keys on the right edge. That's not as easy with the keypad there. Still, even though I thought it would be super important to me, it's less important than I thought it would be because a) the screen is so fantastic (LOL!), and b) I'm don't seem to be making many mistakes typing. It's just a different ergonomic feel. But it's actually a pretty nice keyboard, IMO. Nice and firm. Not squishy at all. A bit of bounce at the bottom, which I also like. Also, I've never once accidentally missed the 1/2 sized shift key. It's a non-issue to me, but I don't have big hands.

    Con-
    1) Ports-
    This is the only real clear con to me. I hate dongles, and its stupid that this doesn't have, at the very least, one retro USB port. I'm probably going to be a bunch of converters and just permanently connect them to the peripherals I use. I don't work in an office or travel to other place or do demonstrations in board rooms or some such thing, so it's actually not that important to me functionally. I work from home and meet clients directly (or atleast I used to). But when you want to plug something in and can't, it sucks.
    2) Fingerprints-
    Yes, this sucks. Not sure how I feel about it.

    Things I've not used-
    number pad, backlighting, webcam, microphones
     
  2. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Saw Lisa's review today and all through the video i just kept thinking how beautiful it was!
     
  3. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Dude. Truth.

    It's very odd, but it somehow seems very light and small when I hold it, but huge when it's in my lap, because of the increase in screen size.

    I've downloaded Boom 3d, a program for increasing volume and increasing a surround sound feel. I'm currently on their 28-day trial, after making an account. It's 12$ with a sale if I decide I want to keep it. After I figured out how to use it, which took a while fiddling with things since there's almost zero documentation, I'm impressed.

    The speakers, given the right drivers, really do get very loud and have a nice full sound. Perhaps, when teamed with Boom 3d, some of the loudest best speakers I've ever had on a laptop? I don't know what's up with the in-house MS drivers, but presuming the Boom 3d shift continues, I'm now officially actually very impressed with the sound. It's really loud and full enough I'm not sure I need a bluetooth speaker, unless I really wanted something particularly cinematic. But it's quite nice now.

    I'd be curious to see if other owners can try it and have similar results. ?? This device really does scream to be a multi-media laptop.

    Next step would be to buy a host of adapters and just permanently attach them to all the peripherals I use at home-- another two USB to USB C ones, and a VGA to USB-C. Do they even make that? LOL.
     
  4. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    If possible....could you do a drawing battery test....like drawing in either Clip Studio Paint or Photoshop at full screen brightness using the pen. Samsung made a pretty big 19 hour battery claim with the Flex 15.....and well....not that I'm in the market for one.....but I'm curious if an illustrator were to draw non-stop ....full screen brightness....just how long it would actually last on the flex.
     
  5. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Of course, at full brightness in a hog like photoshop, there's no way in hell you're getting 10 hours. But also, I would never want to use this at full brightness at close range for hours and hours. It's too bright. I also don't draw in photoshop, so... When I get to noodling around more with it and setting everything up, I'll explore Photoshop more. But I only have CS6.

    The battery is pretty big though- 69 Wh I believe? And it's on the new Ice Lake chips, so it should be sipping more. Given the setup and my usecase, it seems about right. Someone else who had this model or the last one got similar hours. I forget who.

    I'm getting 10-12 hours with the sort of workload I was talking about- Office, Edge, watching TV, using Sketchbook Pro and Sketchup Pro. I've not set any setting to particularly try and save battery life, but I'm also not really pushing it hard to try and do so.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  6. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That's all great to read and I'm very glad you are pleased.
    You experience is something that I remind my guys of often is that 99% of people experience a system in totality and that no matter how great a specific spec might be, it's the total system that is used.

    You reaction to this system is similar to my wife's reaction to the specter x360, it just ticked all the boxes for her.

    We have a unit in to test, unfortunately due to recent events we have a bit of a backlog, but I'm looking forward to trying it out possibly late next week.
     
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I've never been personally affected by a screen with flicker, so I can't really tell if this makes a difference. But this screen is not giving me headaches.

    I will say that when you use the flicker-free version, it CANT get as dim at lowest brightness. The lowest setting is much brighter. It's actually a substantial difference. It's so bright at its lowest setting that I actually turned off the "flicker-free" option while working in the early morning hours-- like 5-7, when I like it dim and leave the lights off. I guess I'll figure out tin the next few days if I have issue with the high-frequency flicker or not, as it's turned off now.

    As I remember, the flicker is only at a very high frequency or some such thing, right? Supposedly makes it an issue to less people? I just read about it, but didn't pay much attention to it. I can't tell if I'm not affected by flicker, or if having Thinkpads for a decade as meant that I've just not experienced it.
     
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  8. MobileTechReview

    MobileTechReview Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yes, Samsung warns that the display can't go as dim with PWM control on. But it still gets quite dim- fine for a fairly low light room at night.

     
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  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I sometimes work in the total dark-- no lights on at all when I wake up at 500 am. For me, personally, I found the flicker-free setting too bright in that situation at it's lowest setting. However, for any other situation, it would be dark enough-- if there was a light on in the room, or in a naturally lit room during day time with no lights on. In those situations, I could see using it even at its lowest setting. It's dim then, just not SUPER dim.

    I also like my screens pretty dim normally. I turn it up super bright when I go outdoors for work on site though, so my needs are for an uncommonly large spectrum of brightness to be available.
     
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  10. MobileTechReview

    MobileTechReview Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I draw in a fairly dark TV room at night. But not in total darkness-- no doubt I'd fall over the nearest piece of furniture or the lurking cat if I did that. ;)

     
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