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Samsung’s latest ultrabook is fast and long-lasting, with caveats

For the longest time the tech industry has had a nonsensical obsession with making devices thinner and lighter, at the expense of a bigger battery. Do consumers care about shaving off a few millimeters or grams if it means the device won’t get you through a day of use?

Samsung’s latest laptop, the Galaxy Book S, claims to have nailed the balance. Despite packing a 13.3-inch touchscreen display, full size keyboard and 4G connectivity, the $1699 device weighs less than 1kg with a frame that’s just 11.6mm thick, and delivers a ‘rated’ battery life of up to 25 hours.

The Galaxy Book S is thin, light and powerful, but its ARM processor means you'll want to stick to Microsoft Store apps.

The Galaxy Book S is thin, light and powerful, but its ARM processor means you’ll want to stick to Microsoft Store apps.

On paper, this seems like a home run. But as is always the case when it comes to tech, the devil is in the details.

Unless you like to keep your display at uncomfortably low brightness levels and plan on watching videos all day on a remote island with next to no network connectivity, you’re going to get closer to 12 hours of battery. In fact I was getting a little over 10 hours with the screen set to 30 per cent brightness and 4G connectivity enabled. That’s still nothing to sneeze at but it’s well below the 25 hour claim.

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