Galaxy Book Ion Review: The Best Ultraportable Laptop?

8.2Expert Score

Samsung put so much commendable effort into the Galaxy Book Ion. That is why it is one of the best ultraportable laptops on the market today. It offers a catchy design, a decent number of ports, and a long-lasting battery. However, the graphics performance of this laptop is somewhat subpar.

Design, Display, Ports, And Connectivity

8

Processor (CPU) Performance

8

Memory (RAM) Performance

8

Storage Options And Performance

9

Graphics Card Performance

7

Battery Life And Performance

9

PROS

  • 1. Attractive
  • 2. Lightweight
  • 3. Impressive display
  • 4. High-end processor
  • 5. Good port selection

CONS

  • 1. Subpar keyboard
  • 2. Weak graphics performance

Are you searching for an ultraportable laptop with unique features? If so, this Galaxy Book Ion review is a must-read.

This review breaks down every important detail of the Galaxy Book Ion. Hence, it covers all aspects of the laptop from its design to specifications.

By specification, I mean its processor, memory, storage, graphics card, and battery life. Additionally, in various sections, I will offer the laptop’s benchmark test result and compare it with its closest competitors.

Not only that, but I will also be rating the laptop at the end of each section according to how I think it performed. Therefore, when you are done reading this Galaxy Book Ion review, you should be able to make an informed purchase decision.

Galaxy Book Ion Review: My Initial Thoughts

Galaxy Book Ion Review: My Initial Thoughts

Samsung is a popular brand in the laptop market and has been around for a while. So, in 2020, the brand released the Galaxy Book Ion which came out as one of the most impressive ultraportable laptops ever.

As a matter of fact, this laptop strongly competes with many other premium laptops including Apple’s MacBook Air. In my opinion, with the Galaxy Book Ion, Samsung offers a MacBook Air alternative at a cheaper price.

Speaking of price, when I wrote this review in June 2022, the Galaxy Book Ion had a price tag of $846. Having said all that, let us get to know more about this ultraportable laptop in other sections below.

Thus, kindly read on.

Galaxy Book Ion Design, Display, Ports, And Connectivity Review

To start with, the design of the Galaxy Book Ion screams “smart” from the moment you take it out of the box. The lid is almost bare except for the brand name that’s written on the right side.

Furthermore, this laptop which is made of magnesium appears sturdy and durable. As a matter of fact, there is absolutely no flex around the body of the laptop.

In the aspect of color, the Galaxy Book Ion is only available in a color Samsung calls aurora silver. This color gives the laptop a calm look and an attractive pearlescent sheen when light reflects on it.

While all these will impress you, I bet you’ll even be more impressed when you open the laptop’s lid. Opening the lid reveals the Galaxy Book Ion’s beautiful 13.3-inch display screen.

By the way, the laptop’s hinge allows the lid to the opened up to 140 degrees. Also, the hinge is made of metal and prevents the lid from wobbling significantly when nudged.

Back to the display, the Galaxy Book Ion’s 13.3-inch display is surrounded by very thin bezels. Despite these bezels being so thin, Samsung did not miss out on including a webcam at the top bezel.

Specifically, Samsung included a 720p HD webcam at the center of the laptop’s top bezel. Although this webcam isn’t particularly good for taking selfies, it is ideal for video chats or video conference calls.

Moving on to the features and quality of the Galaxy Book Ion’s display. To start with, Samsung used its television expertise with this laptop by giving it a QLED display panel.

The primary advantage of QLED over a typical LCD display panel is that the max brightness goes up to about 427 nits. Hence, thanks to the QLED panel, the Galaxy Book Ion’s display should be very bright.

Thus, the laptop should be suitable for outdoor usage as the display will be bright enough to prevent screen glares. That aside, the Galaxy Book Ion’s display offers an FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

With the combination of the QLED panel and this FHD resolution, the laptop’s display will be able to render a stunning picture quality. In actual fact, the display should be able to compete with Apple’s Retina display.

Having talked about the display of the Galaxy Book Ion, let us move on to the deck, where the keyboard and touchpad are located. Starting with the keyboard, this Samsung laptop features a standard keyboard.

However, the keyboard offers very shallow key travel, which makes typing somewhat uncomfortable. For your information, key travel is the distance between a key’s resting position to the fully pressed position.

On a positive note, Galaxy Book Ion’s keyboard has three-stage backlighting. Hence, you can type in dark areas without issues.

To add to that, the keys on the keyboard have decent spacing and are large enough to fit most finger sizes. However, the navigation/arrow keys are about half the size of the remaining keys.

Besides, Samsung included a fingerprint reader among the keyboard’s keys. This fingerprint reader is on the right side of the keyboard and allows for easy login into Windows via Windows Hello.

For the touchpad, Samsung ensured that the Galaxy Book Ion’s touchpad is very smooth and makes navigation seamless. Moreover, the touchpad has a pair of integrated click buttons that offers a nice accentuation point and registers inputs swiftly.

The next thing to consider in this section is the port selection of the Galaxy Book Ion. To start with, in many cases, manufacturers sacrifice ports to reduce the overall size and weight of their laptops.

Thankfully, Samsung takes a different route with the Galaxy Book Ion. Basically, despite the slimness of the laptop, Samsung equipped it with a reasonable port selection.

Specifically, on the left, the laptop features a full-sized HDMI port, 1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 3.5-mm audio combo jack, and DC charging port. On the other hand, the right side of the laptop has a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a microSD slot.

Finally in this section, we’ll discuss the weight and dimension of the Galaxy Book Ion. As mentioned earlier, this laptop is very thin, so it’s not surprising that it has a dimension of 305.8 x 199.8 x 12.9 mm (W x D x H).

For the weight, the Galaxy Book Ion weighs only about 970g, making it one of the lightest laptops out there. Hence, you can effortlessly pick this laptop up with a single hand and carry it around without any problem.

Comparatively, the LG Gram 13 is a bit lighter but thicker than the Galaxy Book Ion. Precisely, the LG Gram 13 weighs 965 g and measures 304 x 210 x 15.2 mm (W x D x H).

All things considered, I will rate the Galaxy Book Ion an eight out of ten in this design review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Processor (CPU) Performance Review

Galaxy Book Ion Processor 9 (CPU) Performance Review

The Galaxy Book Ion features a 4-core Intel Core i7-10510U processor with a base frequency of 1.80 GHz. This processor also has a boost frequency of 4.90 GHz as well as a cache memory of 8 MB.

Moreover, the Intel Core i7-10510U processor is a high-end processor that can effortlessly execute most computing tasks. Hence, with this CPU, expect the Galaxy Book Ion to be able to run demanding apps and handle intensive workloads.

Moving on, let us look into the laptop’s result on a Geekbench 4 benchmark test to further know how well its processor can perform. In brief, Geekbench 4 is an app-based benchmark test that evaluates the overall processing ability of a computer by putting it under a series of intensive workloads

Moreover, you need to note that a good performance on the Geekbench 4 test is represented by a high score. With that in mind, according to the test results, the Galaxy Book Ion achieved a score of 5,469 points.

Although this score is somewhat high and impressive, it is below the score gotten by the Dell XPS 13 9300. Specifically, the Dell XPS 13 9300, which uses an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, delivered a score of 5,589 points on the Geekbench 4 test.

Thus, I will be rating the Galaxy Book Ion an eight out of ten in this processor review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Memory (RAM) Performance Review

Starting off, the Galaxy Book Ion comes with one memory slot and a DDR4 memory type. Furthermore, the laptop offers a standard memory of 8 GB, which is also the maximum memory that it supports.

As a result, you cannot upgrade the laptop’s memory beyond 8 GB. While this sounds disappointing, you need to know that 8 GB of RAM is enough for this laptop to handle most computing tasks.

As a matter of fact, the Galaxy Book Ion should be able to multitask decently with this amount of memory. For example, while running about 15 Chrome tabs simultaneously, the laptop didn’t lag or slow down a bit.

Besides, with these Chrome tabs running, you can decide to stream a YouTube video and the laptop still won’t lag. That said, let us discuss the laptop’s PCMark 10 test result to further evaluate its memory performance.

For your information, PCMark 10 is a cross-platform benchmark test that assesses a computer’s memory performance by simulating office-related workloads. Additionally, the higher the score on this cross-platform benchmark test, the better the memory performance of the computer.

On that note, according to the result obtained from the test, the Galaxy Book Ion scored 4,862 points. In comparison, the Galaxy Book Ion outperformed the LG Gram 13 – the LG Gram 13 scored 4,592 points on the PCMark 10 test.

In conclusion, it would have been nice if the Galaxy Book Ion supports a larger RAM size. Nevertheless, its standard 8 GB RAM is enough to keep things going smoothly.

Considering all these, I will be rating the Galaxy Book Ion an eight out of ten in this memory review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Storage Options And Performance Review

Galaxy Book Ion Storage Option And Performance Review

For storage, the Galaxy Book Ion features an SSD (Solid State Drive) and supports a maximum storage capacity of 512 GB. Based on my personal viewpoint, 512 GB of maximum storage space should be enough for most users.

However, if you think otherwise, you can make use of the included microSD card reader for storage expansion. That aside, for insights into the storage performance of the Galaxy Book Ion, let us consider its CrystalDiskMark 5.2 test result.

In case you don’t know, CrystalDiskMark 5.2 is a benchmark that evaluates a computer’s storage performance by calculating its read and write speed. For clarity, read speed can be defined as the time it takes a device’s storage drive to open a file.

Whereas, write speed is referred to as the time it takes the device’s storage drive to save a file. By the way, at the end of the CrystalDiskMark 5.2 test, the result is represented in “MB/s”.

Hence, the higher the “MB/s” value, the faster the read and write speed of the device’s storage drive. So, based on the test result, the Galaxy Book Ion has a read speed of 2184 MB/s and a write speed of 2343 MB/s.

Impressively, this laptop’s read and write speed is way faster than that of other laptops in its category that also use SSD. For example, the Acer Swift 3 delivered a read speed of 1435 MB/s and a write speed of 1307 MB/s on the CrystalDiskMark 5.2 test.

All in all, I will rate the Galaxy Book Ion a nine out of ten in this storage review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Graphics Card Performance Review

Coming down to graphics card, the Galaxy Book Ion employs an Intel UHD Graphics. The base frequency of this graphics card is 300 MHz, while its boost frequency is 1150 MHz.

However, this graphics card is an integrated graphics card and is embedded into the laptop’s processor. Thus, in order to execute graphics-related tasks, it has to share the system memory with the processor.

Due to this, the Galaxy Book Ion won’t be able to effectively handle graphics-demanding tasks like video editing. Also, the laptop will not be able to play high-end games or title AAA games.

Nonetheless, it should be able to run a few games under low graphics settings. For example, while playing Dota 2 Reborn (2015) under low graphics settings, the Galaxy Book Ion delivered a decent frame rate of 60.9 fps.

However, if you dare change the graphics settings to high, the frame rate will reduce to as low as 16.8 fps. As a matter of fact, the game might not even start if you run it under ultra-high graphics settings.

Having said all that, let us get to know the graphics performance of the laptop even more by highlighting its 3DMark test result. If you are curious, 3DMark is a graphics-based benchmark test that evaluates how well a computer can render 3D graphics.

Furthermore, a high score indicates good graphics performance, according to the 3DMark test. So, based on the test result, the Galaxy Book Ion scored 1,674 points.

Sadly, this score is the lowest in its category. Hence, the Galaxy Book Ion was beaten by all the laptops in its category.

For example, the Acer Swift 3 scored 2,809 points on the 3DMark test.

In conclusion, if you are a gamer or graphics designer, the Galaxy Book Ion isn’t the one for you. Moreover, the laptop was outperformed on a graphics-based benchmark test by all its competitors

Hence, I will rate the Galaxy Book Ion a seven out of ten in this graphics card review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Battery Life And Performance Review

Galaxy Book Ion Battery Life And Performance

A 4-cell Li-ion 4546 mAh battery powers the Galaxy Book Ion. Samsung claims that the battery life of this laptop is 22 hours, which is amazing.

However, we have seen manufacturers lie about the battery life of their products. Hence, to confirm if Samsung’s 22 hours battery life claim is true, we will now discuss the laptop’s result on a video playback test.

By the way, this video playback test involves continuously playing a YouTube video on the laptop until it dies. So, at the end of the test, the Galaxy Book Ion delivered a battery life of 13 hours and 3 minutes.

Although this battery life is good and should last a full day, it is far less than the 22 hours that Samsung claimed. However, the laptop’s battery life is longer than that of its closest competitors.

For example, according to the same video playback test, the Dell XPS 13 9300 has a 10 hours battery life. Also, the Lenovo Yoga 720 has a battery life of 12 hours.

After thorough consideration, I believe the Galaxy Book Ion deserves a rating of nine out of ten in this battery review section.

Galaxy Book Ion Review: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does The Galaxy Book Ion Have A Touchscreen?

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Book Ion does not come with a touchscreen display.

2. When Was The Galaxy Book Ion Released?

Samsung released the Galaxy Book Ion in 2020.

3. Is The Galaxy Book Ion Lightweight?

Absolutely, the Galaxy Book Ion is lightweight – it weighs just 970.6 g

4. Does The Galaxy Book Ion Offer An HDMI Port.

Yes, the Galaxy Book Ion comes with an HDMI port.

5. How Much Is The Galaxy Book Ion?

When I wrote this review in June 2022, the Galaxy Book Ion had a price tag of $846.

Galaxy Book Ion Review: My Final Thoughts

Galaxy Book Ion Review: My Final Thoughts

The Galaxy Book Ion is an ultraportable laptop that offers lots of impressive features. To give more details, this laptop comes with an attractive design and a durable build.

As a matter of fact, the laptop is one of the lightest laptops ever, weighing just 970.6 g. Impressively, unlike most ultraportable laptops, the Galaxy Book Ion offers a good port selection.

In addition to that, this Samsung laptop has an incredible battery life of 13 hours+. However, the laptop’s keyboard is subpar and its graphics performance isn’t particularly impressive.

Nonetheless, if you need an on-the-go laptop with adequate performance, the Galaxy Book Ion is worth considering.

I hope you found this Galaxy Book Ion review helpful? If you found the review helpful, click Yes to “Was this post Helpful?” below.

You could also review this product with the “Leave a Reply” form found at the end of this page.

Finally, for more gaming laptop reviews, visit our Laptop Reviews page. You may also find our Laptop Specs page very helpful.

References and Further Reading

  1. techradar.com – Samsung Galaxy Book Ion review
  2. notebookcheck.net – Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 13.3 Review: Subnotebook with QLED display
  3. trustedreviews.com – Samsung Galaxy Book Ion (13-inch) Review
  4. lbtechreviews.com – samsung-galaxy-book-ion
  5. pocket-lint.com – Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15 review: Positively charge



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