Samsung has had a troubled past as a laptop maker. Instead of competing against the usual PC makers like Dell, HP, Lenovo and ASUS, Samsung focused on making more mobile-friendly machines. It prioritized thin-and-light designs and great displays, with onboard stylus, borrowing the features that made its smartphones popular.
With the Galaxy Book Flex, Samsung showcased its superior display tech. The Flex is the first laptop with a QLED panel, which promises more colors, deeper blacks and greater brightness. Click "Read More" to know more.
It also comes standard with an S Pen and a wireless-charging pad built into the trackpad. Two models -- 13 inch and 15 inch -- are available.
The company has seriously stepped up the design of its laptops over the past few years. The Galaxy Book S and Galaxy Chromebook both had super sleek builds, and the Flex is no different. This thing is all clean lines and sharp corners, with gleaming edges that give it a polished look. The deep royal blue is refreshing as compared to the usual black and silver.
Though it’s impressively thin, the Flex feels solid and dense. It’s still pretty light though at just 1.15kg. In comparison, the new MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are both heavier by 0.2-0.35kg. The Flex’s 13.3-inch screen is surrounded by minimal bezels on the top, left and right sides, with a fatter chin at the bottom. That thicker bottom bezel is still common in laptops, though Dell managed to do away with it in this year’s XPS 13 -- maybe the rest of the industry will catch up soon. Samsung still managed to squeeze a webcam above the Flex’s screen, although it sadly doesn’t support Windows Hello logins.
The Flex’s full HD display excels in terms of color reproduction and vibrancy. The rich, autumnal colors in the leafy forest settings were stunning, and it was easy to make out details in even dimly lit scenes. The Flex’s Outdoor Mode is supposed to combat that by bumping the brightness an extra 200 nits to 600 nits. But switching it on via the keyboard shortcut only helped a little bit. However, it was much more useful on a slightly gloomy day.
Outdoor Mode also added a weird yellow cast to the screen, as if it turned on a blue-light filter. This wasn’t a big deal other than when I needed to edit photos for color temperatures. In those cases, you’ll have to turn off Outdoor Mode and figure out some other way to see your display without that brightness boost.
Performance and S-Pen
The Flex may look like a dainty machine, but it actually packs a powerful 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. One of my favorite things about Samsung laptops is the S Pen. It’s not only fun for drawing self-portraits or scribbling down notes but also helpful for signing urgent PDFs. I just had to open the document, select “Add a Note” from the toolbar and sign on the dotted line.
The Flex offers the same onboard stylus as the Note 10 -- don’t expect the bigger, more pen-like version on the Galaxy Tab S series. Still, it’s comfortable enough to use for hours while drawing a self-portrait. Fans of Samsung’s Air Command menu on its Note phones will be pleased to know it pops up here too when you slide the S Pen out of its slot.
Thanks to the Flex’s QLED screen and 69.7Whr battery, Samsung promises up to 20 hours of runtime. In reality though, that number is a lot lower. The beauty of the screen means the battery consumption will always be substantial but it will be a worthwhile trade.
Galaxy Book Flex is a pretty machine with a nice display, powerful guts and useful S Pen. However, there is little news if we can get it at our shoe. Pricing wise, we should be looking at almost $1700 to $1900 range, based on conversion from pricing in USA.
Still, if you’re looking for a gorgeous, beefy laptop with a good screen and don’t need it to last forever, the Galaxy Book Flex is worth considering. More important, it proves it’s time to take Samsung’s laptops seriously again.