User reviews Galaxy Book2 Windows on Arm

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by mgerbasio, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. mgerbasio

    mgerbasio Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I read a few reviews written shortly after this PC was released. Looking for some actual user reviews after a couple of weeks using it.
    A lot of my work is using Office 365 via the web portal so battery life using a browser is important. How well does this PC work with Office 365 and does it last longer than an Intel PC? Does the last windows update improve this platform? Thanks
     
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  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I hope to be able to share some thoughts here once I get mine early January. In the meantime, do you still have yours? I came across your post on ATT, were you able to unlock it, and if so, what did the trick? Any first impressions on the device?

    Edit: received it early January, here are some collected thoughts

    Samsung Galaxy Book2

    Pros
    - Kickstand
    - Amoled, beautiful blacks, vibrant colors, good brightness
    - long battery life, around 10h on Win10 Home, 50% brightness, Word/Wifi/WhatsApp
    - microSD
    - 2x USB-C, it's the future (and the now)
    - S-pen, Wacom, low initial activation force (low IAF = 'easy to write')
    - pen and keyboard included in price

    OKs
    - Snapdragon 850 (performance similar to Surface Go)
    - medium-sized bezel
    - keyboard is fine, not great, little too clickly imo

    Cons
    - 4GB memory only
    - heavy at 1.85lbs (tablet only)
    - case quite slippery, easy to drop
    - no pen silo
    - (semi?)locked to carriers - check before buying
    - included pen is slippery, rattles, and secondary button hard to locate
    - Some apps (Chrome..) run very slow
    - ARM has some compatibility issues. No support for OpenVPN, that's a biggie
    - keys don't deactivate when you go to tablet mode. Huge PITA
    - unpleasant to grab under the stand (sharp corners and edges)
    - swapping microSD requires using paperclip/sim tool
    - Expensive! $1000
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  3. djas

    djas Graffiti User

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    QUOTE="mgerbasio, post: 529531, member: 51251"]I read a few reviews written shortly after this PC was released. Looking for some actual user reviews after a couple of weeks using it.
    A lot of my work is using Office 365 via the web portal so battery life using a browser is important. How well does this PC work with Office 365 and does it last longer than an Intel PC? Does the last windows update improve this platform? Thanks[/QUOTE]

    Getting mine Feb next year. Till then, nothing to contribute yet. How does the Wacom pen doing for you?
     
  4. mgerbasio

    mgerbasio Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @JoeS I'll know today or tomorrow if I can unlock it. ATT said I needed to wait 14 days after the purchase date.

    First impressions? Exceeded expectations. I didn't update to Win10 so it is running Win10S out of the box. Even with Win10 Pro, I use XoDo and Drawboard for marking up PDF, both run on Win10S. Edge is fine for me. Office 365 apps, that's about it. Multiple tabs open in Edge doesn't slow the device down as I typically have 5-7 open at one time. One place where it does get slow, and this is an Edge issue on other PCs too, is displaying large Acrobat files (E Size floor plans for example). I open the file in XoDo and it is fine.

    For my usage when mobile as above, my SP5 i7 isn't and faster. I rarely need a faster machine. In the office is different as I need to run virtual machines, AutoCAD, etc but that isn't why I wanted this. It was battery life, LTE and fast enough to be a good experience. Battery, I easily get 9 hours of usage, haven't run it past that. Usage being connected to the internet and in Edge most of the time.

    NordVPN isn't available in the Windows store and probably the only app I miss having right now. No luck finding a charger that will fast charge other than the one they ship with it.

    @djas I mostly use the pen for notes, sketches (If you call my scribble sketches) and I've used Wacom prior. No issues. The surface pen has a nicer feel and more professional look.
     
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  5. djas

    djas Graffiti User

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    @mgerbasio

    Your usage is almost similar to mine. Thank you for describing your workflow.

    My workflow is as yours above plus I live my work life in Outlook and OneNote (both versions)

    The battery life is why I'm requesting the Book2 as my next replacement. I am always on the go in our NOC and out. Also as I travel twice a month Asia-wide, like I am currently (in HK now) WOA LTE PC is more adequate when stuck in an airport or in transit somewhere. Using Enterprise S Mode with our own Store for Business.

    Am hoping IT let me keep my current Surface 3 for use as desktop PC connected to one of the 3 Sony TVs in my office.

    Lastly, when I am not in a position to break out the Book2, I can always work from the Note 5 (Note 9 soon) and use the S Pen interchangably with Samsung Flow.

    Thanks again for your impressions. Please post more thoughts.
     
  6. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I haven't used the book 2 as my primary machine but I have tried it out quite a bit for a couple of different projects.

    Office 365 on this is great. Fast and responsive and no odd lags like with some software (see below). I wish office in general was more pen/touch optimized, but that's not a Book 2 fault.

    Pros:
    1. Outstanding battery life- I have used it for a full day plus including using LTE quite a bit and ended the day with over 30 percent left. Much much better than my primary mobile device which is a surface go.

    2. Very good LTE speeds. I'm on ATT and it gets better faster signals than my iPhone, surface go or iPad pro especially in marginal areas.

    3. Display- very bright and quite color accurate-. My only very minor complaint is that the power saving is aggressive in dimming the display starting when the battery hits 50% or lower

    4. Spen- This is the first time I have used it extensively and I can see why some here are such fans. Virtually no lag and very good software to support it.

    5. Instant On- always connected. This is more subtle but if you move around a lot during the day like I do it's a real benefit. It has the fastest wake of any device I use (usually faster than I can set it down) and the move between wifi and LTE is seamless.

    Cons:

    1. App compatibility is a mixed bag. If you have an ARM based app it just flies. With older X86 Apps it varies greatly. Chrome and Acrobat pro are among the worst I've seen with long load times and intermittent odd pauses with no obvious reason.

    2. It needs 8 GB RAM. I have no idea why they don't at least offer an 8GB option. We also have a Lenovo yogabook with ARM which has 8GB in the office and when you are doing more than a little bit of multitasking the speed difference between the two is dramatic.

    3. This is a personal gripe but It seems like it's heavier and thicker than it needs to be. I'd trade a bit of battery life for lighter and thinner. If they could hit an iPad pro 11 form factor I'd buy one for myself in a heartbeat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  7. mgerbasio

    mgerbasio Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @desertlap
    You loaded Win10, I'm using Win10S. I can't run Acrobat but that isn't a showstopper for my use with this PC. Typically, even on my desktop I use Xodo and Drawboard. I've been disappointed in Adobe software as they don't support touchscreen and pen devices well. I refuse to sign on to their subscription model, its overpriced (at least for my use), lacking good pen support and the software just isn't that important to me.

    I don't find multitasking a problem on the Book2 but I generally use Edge and a couple of Office apps. Maybe with x86 apps, things are different. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the machine specs. Being an older guy where I was building my own PCs and you'd try match components and buy as fast as you could afford. Now, I'm looking for usability rather than having the fastest machine in my bag. 4gB or 8, as long as it runs well is all that matters to me but I would have gone with the 8gb if it was available.

    I wouldn't trade battery life, thinner and lighter is better but not at the cost of battery.

    A couple of my complaints are minor. I like to have a multiport charger in my bag but I can't find one that will charge the Book2 nearly as fast as the OEM charger. A QC3 charger seems to get my Book2 charging 40% slower than the Samsung charger.

    AT&T service has been very good, fast enough were I never know how I'm connected unless I check. But I hate that the device is locked to AT&T and I can't get it unlocked. I can't even get a consistent answer from AT&T about how I can unlock it. I paid full price from a retailer, locking this is poor on Samsung's part.

    I bought a Samsung microSD card for more storage but the card can't be read in the Book2. Other cards work and the one I have now works in other devices, just not this one.

    Windows 10S hasn't been updated, still running build 17134 version 1803 and not 1809. Hoping the later build will fix my micoSD card problem.

    Otherwise, I'm really happy with the Book2.
     
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  8. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    4gb RAM, dead in the water.
     
  9. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have to use pro for work purposes but I actually think the idea behind 10S is solid and is something MS will do more of in the future.

    I also like edge quite a bit compared to chrome. In fact the combination of edge and Kindle Cloud reader is a serviceable alternative for the lack of a native Kindle App.

    I'm at a loss as the issue with why your book seems locked to AT&T. The unit we have came from Samsung, but it came with an AT&T sim. However it does work on Verizon. I wonder possibly if it's an undocumented 10S issue? Our book came with pro.

    PS: did you use the microSD card in an Android device before you tried it with the book? I did see that with one card I had (Sandisk Ultra) and the solution was to reformat it on another windows machine and then the book read it just fine.

    Keep us posted as you use it more, real user experience with these devices is very helpful to me in my job.
     
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  10. djas

    djas Graffiti User

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    Gosh. Can't.Wait.For.Mine. :)
     
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