Galaxy book flex2 alpha, 13", 256gb, royal silver galaxy books

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A stunning display, powerful internals & 5G tư vấn make the Galaxy Book Flex 2 the go-to convertible laptop, but it doesn"t come cheap

Is this the best convertible máy tính you can buy?

ByAnyron Copeman, Senior Staff Writer

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The 13.3in display (which we’ll talk about in detail later) is housed within some impressively narrow bezels, although these are unchanged from the regular model. Here, you’ll find the same 720p webcam as last year – it"s fine for occasional clip calls but nothing more, và still doesn’t support face unlock. I had hoped that Samsung would prioritise the quality of its webcam this year, although the company has added a second 13Mp snapper above the keyboard. This is designed to lớn be used as a rear camera in tablet mode, và offers far better clarity và dynamic range. I still wouldn’t recommend using this for anything beyond the odd photo for reference, but it would have been nice lớn see the same quality of sensor used in the webcam.

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As with the previous model, the Flex 2 has a 360-degree hinge, allowing it khổng lồ be used in ‘tent’ mode and as a tablet of sorts. Windows 10 still doesn’t feel optimised for cảm biến input, although the hinge is much stronger và less wobbly than before.

That keyboard I alluded lớn earlier has had a nice upgrade. It offers significantly more travel & a more convincing typing experience than its predecessor, despite being unchanged aesthetically. The keys are backlit, although there doesn’t appear to lớn be a way khổng lồ customise the brightness level.

It includes the same fingerprint sensor as before, which remains easy khổng lồ enrol và near-faultless in its unlocking of the device. However, one minor criticism of the keyboard is that the function keys don’t work with a single tap – you"ll instead have to hold down the ‘Fn’ key at the same time. I couldn’t find a way to turn this off in settings. The trackpad is slightly taller and narrower than the original, but still feels cramped at times. If you plan on using the device long-term, I’d recommend connecting a separate mouse.

Another area which has seen significant changes is ports. While many manufacturers are choosing lớn remove them in the quest for ultra-thin & light devices, the Flex 2 is proof that you can retain a full range of connectivity options without compromising on a premium design. Samsung has dropped one of the USB-C ports from the original model, but replaced it with a full-size HDMI & USB-A. The latter"s absence was one of the most annoying things about the original Flex, so I’m delighted to see it here. You still get a 3.5mm tai nghe jack và SIM thẻ tray too, which is now 5G enabled.

It’s clear Samsung wants the Flex 2 khổng lồ be used for consuming content as well as productivity, making speakers of paramount importance. A continued partnership with AKG meant audio was always going to lớn be a strong point, although there’s a noticeable improvement lớn bass và clarity here.

Screen & S-Pen

The Flex 2’s thiết kế prioritises functionality over looks, but the same can’t be said of the display. The 13.3in Full HD OLED (or QLED, as Samsung calls it) touchscreen is a joy to lớn use, offering full support for the sRGB colour gamut. You could be forgiven for expecting higher than the 1920x1080 resolution at this price point, but the rich, vivid viewing experience more than makes up for it. It’s particularly noticeable when watching TV or other multimedia content, where the colours really pop. Samsung allows you to lớn tailor this khổng lồ your liking with a choice of six presets, but I was more than happy lớn stick with the mặc định ‘Auto’ setting.

The screen also gets impressively bright - I recorded 426 nits at 100% brightness, while a Samsung-specific ‘Outdoor+’ mode boosts this khổng lồ an incredible 600 nits. The settings thực đơn warns you that the latter will drain the battery very quickly, but it’s a nice option to gọi on in direct sunlight.

Samsung has moved the S-Pen lớn the front of the device (or the đứng top when in tablet mode), but its functionality is largely unchanged. It connects instantly via Bluetooth, offering the same 4096 levels of touch sensitivity that the stylus has become known for. Removing the S-Pen from its slot opens a Galaxy Note-style menu, with options to lớn create notes, capture the screen và create live messages. I typically used it instead of the touchpad at times for a more precise touch & noticed almost no input đầu vào delay. I still prefer the chunkier S-Pen you’ll find with the Tab S7+, but it’s a real bonus to have such a capable stylus built into the device.

Hardware & performance

The Flex 2 is powered by Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors, with a choice of i5 or i7 chips. I can only comment on the latter, which will cost you £200 more than the base mã sản phẩm and wasn’t available on the original Flex. This combines with intel Iris xe pháo graphics & up to lớn 16GB of RAM, although the mã sản phẩm I tested only has 8.

Still, it offered stellar all-round performance, handling complex web browsing, multitasking and photo editing with ease. The device isn’t pitched as a gaming machine, but I’d be surprised khổng lồ see it falter in that area.

This strong performance has contributed khổng lồ the Flex 2’s inclusion in Intel’s Evo Platform, a new category of premium thin and light laptops. To lớn qualify, eligible devices must be running Intel’s latest chips, wake from sleep in less than a second & offer nine hours of usage from a single charge. It also needs to have Thunderbolt 4 và Wi-Fi 6 support, with the Flex 2 ticking all these boxes.

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Samsung has also added 5G to lớn its laptop line for the very first time, but the relatively limited rollout of the technology meant I wasn’t able to chạy thử this for myself. Still, it does mean the device is well future-proofed, making it a great portable productivity device for many years to lớn come.

Battery & charging

One of the key reasons for this is stellar battery life. The Flex 2 comes with the same 69.7Wh battery as its predecessor, but offers significantly more usage from a single charge. To lớn help quantify this, I ran a 720p đoạn clip loop demo with the brightness set lớn 120 nits, lớn give an idea of the screen-on time you can expect. I recorded an extremely impressive 19 hours and 44 minutes before the device put itself to lớn sleep. That’s among the highest figures we’ve ever had at Tech Advisor, & a full two hours longer than the original Flex.

However, there are a couple of caveats lớn be aware of here. Firstly, 120 nits really isn’t that bright – in a well-lit environment you’ll probably want it higher for a comfortable viewing experience. Playing the same clip on loop, while useful, is also far from typical of everyday usage. It’s almost certain you won’t get that long before reaching for the charger, but a full work day should be well within reach.

Talking of charging, the Flex 2 comes with a 65W fast charger in the box. It connects via either of the USB-C ports (having one on either side is convenient), & I was able to lớn get 42% charge back in just 30 minutes.

To help maintain battery health, Samsung has also included a ‘Battery life extender +’ feature in Settings. When turned on, the maximum your battery can charge to is 85%, which Samsung says will extend the physical life of the battery. It’s one of a few software tweaks dotted around Windows 10, but none have a big effect on the look & feel of the operating system.

Price and value for money

Price is the big thing that counts against the Flex 2. It starts at an eye-watering £1,649 via the Samsung website và Amazon in the UK, with the i7 mã sản phẩm I tested coming in at £1,849. The device is not currently available in the US.

While there are some clear upgrades over the original Flex, I was hoping for a price drop in order to make it more competitive. When you consider that many devices in our best máy vi tính chart cost barely half the price of the Flex 2, it becomes much harder to justify.

However, O2 selling the Flex 2 on contract may help soften the blow. Plans start at £45.99 a month with £20 upfront for 1GB of 5G data. That’s still a significant investment, even if you bởi get AKG Y500 wireless headphones và 6 months’ không tính phí Disney+ at no extra cost.

Verdict

The Flex 2 is arguably the most complete 2-in-1 máy tính xách tay you can buy, but you’ll pay for the privilege - at least £1,649 to lớn be exact. In exchange, you get a gorgeous 13.3in OLED display, excellent performance và truly outstanding battery life. The new secondary camera adds versatility to lớn the tablet mode, while the addition of a USB-A and full-size HDMI port is much welcomed. You also get Samsung’s signature built-in S-Pen, while the new hinge is far sturdier than last year’s model.

Aside from the rather boring Royal Silver colour scheme and a slightly clunky trackpad, there’s really not much lớn complain about here. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive – that alone makes the Flex 2 much more difficult to recommend.

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