The Samsung Galaxy Book Go is a product that I find to be really exciting because it is a very different device from the traditional laptops, and if you have a use case for it, it can work better than the more expensive laptops for you.
It starts at 38,990 Rs. in India, but you can also get an instant bank discount of 3000 Rs., so for just 36,000 Rs., you are getting a very usable laptop with some unique qualities.
This is an ARM based laptop that doesn’t have a traditional x86 CPU, which offers some really nice advantages but we will also talk about its limitations, because it kind of shares its DNA more with a smartphone than a laptop.
The Galaxy Book Go looks quite sleek, and it looks more expensive than it actually is because of its aluminium finish, even though it is made completely of plastic. The build quality is decent, and even though there is some flex in its plastic body, it has passed some military standard testing, and it also has a spill resistant keyboard, which is nice to see.
It is a thin and light device at 1.38 kg weight, and 14.9 millimetres thickness, so you can easily take it anywhere, and portability is a very important factor for me these days, because it just makes me want to use the device more.
KEYBOARD & TRACKPAD
The keyboard is surprisingly good on the Galaxy Book Go, even though we don’t have a lot of travel on the keys because of its thickness, the keys feel tactile, and I didn’t have any issues with typing my scripts on this keyboard.
The touchpad we have here is also kind of large, it tracks your fingers nicely and all the Windows 11 gestures and palm rejection works well on this.
On the left side of the device, we have a USB C Port, a combined audio and mic jack, along with a Micro SD Card reader, and on the right, you will find a USB C port that supports displayport out, along with a USB A 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock.
The Galaxy Book Go has a 14 inch full HD display. It looks quite sharp at this size, but this is a TN panel, so you will have to keep it at a proper angle, otherwise its colors and contrast can shift. When you are looking at the panel straight up, it looks quite decent, and you can enjoy watching video content.
The lid of the laptop does go all the way back, which is kind of rare to see on devices of this class, though you do have to make use of your both hands to open it.
The Galaxy Book Go has only one storage variant available in India, which is a 128 GB model with 4 GB of RAM, and while the storage is decently fast and it makes it boot up quickly, 128 GB is not a lot of storage, so you have the option of expanding this by using a Micro SD Card.
WINDOWS ON ARM
Now this is an ARM based device, which means that it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Processor, instead of something from Intel or AMD, so even though this comes with Windows 11 64 bit, it is running something called Windows on ARM, which is the ARM specific version of Windows that can still run most things.
The great thing about this processor is that this makes it an always on device, which means that the power button on it works like the power button on your smartphone, so just make it go into a standby mode instead of shutting down, and when you want to resume, you can just get back to your work instantly.
Now I’ve had laptops with very fast SSDs that boot into seconds, but an always-on device is faster and more efficient than that, and this makes it really amazing for using it in college or other places where your work requires constant pausing and resuming.
Having an ARM based processor means that this laptop doesn’t require a fan for cooling, and I really like this design a lot because you don’t have to worry about dust and fan noise, and if you use your laptop in your lap, the heat can actually affect the quality of your sperms by heating up your testicles, so keeping things cool can be useful in the long term.
The performance on the Galaxy Book Go is good for everyday tasks but you can make it better with some tweaks, for example, just disabling transparency effects improves performance noticeably.
Windows 11 is actually kind of a heavy OS for a device with 4GB of RAM, so you will find the RAM usage to be mostly over 80%, even when you just have one tab open in a browser, and opening multiple programs will mean that you are in the high 90% of RAM usage.
This doesn’t create many issues in practice, but if you have lots of tabs open, you may see them getting refreshed when switching back to them, and you will have to be mindful about opening many heavy apps.
Another very important concern I had for this laptop is its ability to run x86 apps, because its CPU has a different architecture, but it is able to do that well, and even though you will find native ARM64 apps to perform better, most of the regular 32 and even 64 bits apps will run on this laptop with emulation.
I tried testing this with a variety of programs, the emulation does seem to work quite well. I was able to run GIMP on this without issues, and I think that Adobe apps like Photoshop and Lightroom are also supported. It was also able to run the 64 bit version of VLC without issues, and it even ran the Cinebench Benchmark, and it already comes installed with Microsoft Office Home & Student.
Then I tried to install some games on it, and it was able to run Dead Cells properly, and I also tried Counter Strike, but it only worked in software mode with choppy framerates.
Again, the fact that these programs even ran is a big deal, and this should make you confident about being able to run whatever you want on this.
One area where you may run into issues is with drivers, because hardware that doesn’t have drivers for Arm64 may not work with this. I tried using an old printer, and even tried installing drivers manually, but it didn’t work. There may be a way to make printers without ARM64 drivers work, but I haven’t yet been able to figure that out.
Regular plug and play stuff like mice and keyboards, and wireless hardware will mostly work, but you will just have to keep the hardware compatibility in mind (text: I also failed to make it detect a webcam). Installing Linux and other OSes also seems to be a bit tricky on this.
But a big advantage of having an arm processor is that it has a TDP of just 7 watts, so you can expect really great battery life from these devices. Samsung has claimed 18 hours of battery life on video playback, and I tested that by playing a 4K video on loop, which is more resource intensive, and I was able to get around 14 hours of run time on 50% brightness on the screen, so you should be able to reach close to the 18 hour figure, especially while doing regular everyday work.
This is on a different level when you compare it with other x86 based laptops, and it is just so nice to have the confidence to take this anywhere you want without its charger, even though the one that comes in the box is a compact 25 watt fast charger which this laptop supports, and you can of course just charge it with any mobile charger with the USB C ports on both sides.
The onboard speakers we have here also sound quite good, and even though they of course lack bass, they are very usable for watching video content. I don’t know how this works, but even though these speakers are down firing, it also sounds like the sound is coming out from the top of the laptop
We also have a 720p webcam here, and this is what it looks and sounds like. It can look quite good actually, but you will require a lot of light for that, though one thing I like about this is that the microphone on it sounds really nice.
Samsung also has some Samsung specific features on this, so you can use one of their tablets like a second monitor to extend the screen, and you can link this easily to their phones and their earbuds, and this is of course also possible with non Samsung devices but it won’t feel as Samsungy.
So overall, the Samsung Galaxy Book Go can be a really amazing device for you, but you will have to ensure that you are okay with some of its limitations. If you have a use case for it, it can work better than more expensive laptops for you, so for example I will be taking this to my college after this review is done, because it is just a perfect device for that kind of use case because of its long battery life, and it’s always on design, and I’ll also use it a lot as a secondary device to write scripts, because most people don’t really need a super powerful device for their work.
At its effective price of 36,000 Rs., you can find other x86 laptops that offer similar or better specs, but again, I really think that having an ARM based laptop has advantages if you know what your use case is, and the other laptops won’t be as slim and light, or have a fanless design which I also really prefer having in a device.
The only thing that bothered me a little is the TN panel screen, but the rest of the hardware is quite good, and I am really glad that the keyboard and trackpad work well on this.
Check out on Official website: https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/galaxy-book-go/