Tested: Samsung’s Snapdragon 8cx-powered Galaxy Book S lives up to extraordinary battery life claims
Windows 10 on ARM devices are relatively few and far between at the moment but it is an initiative that Microsoft is taking seriously – after all, it is not a trivial effort to port a major desktop operating system to a substantially different chip architecture. One of the reasons Microsoft committed to developing Windows 10 for the ARM 64 architecture is superior performance-per-watt capabilities of ARM-based processors. In recent times, too, ARM-based chips like the relatively new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx have started delivering performance that is highly competitive with Intel’s direct competition as we recently found with the MacBook Air.
To test Samsung’s claims of being able to deliver up to 25 hours of continuous video playback with its new Galaxy Book S, we used the industry standard PC Mark 10 battery life test. The test closes and launches a video loop repeatedly until around 20 percent of battery life remains. Although still connected to the internet as well, the Galaxy Book S managed to deliver 18 hours of video playback while draining 80 percent of its battery. Given that scenario, we are able to extrapolate battery life of 22.5 hours if the test was to run the full course of the battery's capacity.
Samsung makes no claims about the Wi-Fi being on during its in-house video playback testing, so it seems pretty fair to say that the company has delivered on its promise. The battery life of the Galaxy Book S really is quite extraordinary and puts to shame the battery life performance of most the typical Windows 10 and macOS competition. For example, the Intel Core i5-8210Y powering the MacBook Air only offers 13 hours of battery life, despite packing in a larger 49 Wh battery than the 42 Wh battery found in the Galaxy Book S.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming head-to-head tests between the Samsung Galaxy Book S and the Microsoft Surface Pro X, powered by a supercharged custom variant of the Snapdragon 8cx Microsoft has dubbed the SQ1. This will be followed by a head-to-head with Apple’s MacBook Air. We will also be testing out the graphics and real-world app performance capabilities of the Snapdragon 8cx and Microsoft SQ1 along the way. As continues to be reaffirmed in our testing, the Windows 10 on ARM initiative is delivering on its promises.