Galaxy Book: Will It Outshine the Microsoft Surface?
Samsung introduced their first Windows-based hybrid tablet, the Galaxy Book. The Galaxy moniker is the only thing to be shared with the previous tablets of the Korean company. The Galaxy Book is pitched against the Microsoft Surface product line.
The rivals have a lot in common. Both are powered by Intel, with Windows 10 aboard and handwriting support. Yet, unlike Microsoft, Samsung included the keyboard cover and S-pen with the tablet purchase.
The Galaxy Book comes in both a 12 and 10-inch size.
The 12-inch Galaxy Book features a jaw-dropping AMOLED screen with 2,160×1,440-pixel resolution, and the dual-core, low-voltage Kaby Lake processor Core-i5 with the 3.1GHz speed. The tablet has an internal storage option of either 128GB or 256GB, and either 2 or 4 GB of RAM. The SD-slot supports cards up to 256 GB, so the amount of internal storage is not critical. However, the RAM is important, considering the memory consuming nature of Windows 10. Usually the larger RAM corresponds to the larger storage, so only the most storage will enjoy the 4GB of RAM and a smoother performance. LTE models will also be available. Samsung changed all USB ports to USB Type C, and the Galaxy Book will have two of them.
The 10-inch Galaxy Book is more modest, starting with the HD screen with a lower, 1,920×1,280-pixel resolution and slower processor. The dual-core Intel Core m3 7th generation features just 2.6GHz. However, Samsung has not disclosed that 2.6GHz is the turbo speed of the CPU, while its normal speed is around 1.0GHz. The internal storage options for the budget model are limited to 64GB and 128GB, but both iterations feature 4GB of RAM, which is good news. There is only one USB Type-C port, but the 10-inch Galaxy Book will have LTE connectivity as well.
Judging from the ad video, the Galaxy Book features the SSD storage, but in post-Surface world, it’s a must-have for any hybrid. The tablet is 7.4 mm thick, not exactly the slimmest portable in the world, but Samsung, obviously, had other goals in mind.
The great thing about the Galaxy Books is that they come with the S-Pen in the box. The stylus features a precise rubber tip and supports tilt, for thicker lines when drawing at an angle. The S-Pen doesn’t need any charging, which makes the hybrid more mobile. One less thing to worry about, you won’t have to think about charging the pen or storing batteries for it. Flat sides won’t let the S-Pen roll off your desk or lap. On the other hand, there’s now a clip-on for the pen on the tablet, so you’ll have to store it with a built-in clip like an ordinary BIC. It makes the chances of losing it a bit higher, but there’s nothing perfect in this world.
Samsung turns the Galaxy Book into the Galaxy ecosystem with the Flow software for smooth and care-free access to messages from any of your Galaxy devices. Flow can be compared to the Apple’s iMessages. When you receive a text on your Samsung Galaxy handset, it will also appear on the screen of your Samsung Galaxy Book (or other Samsung Galaxy device for that matter) and you’ll be able to easily respond to messages from there.
The keyboard cover has a fold to serve as a prop for the display. It’s still unclear if it can wake the device upon opening, and send it to sleep when closed, the way Surface Pro 4 covers do. The keyboard itself is a mobile one, lacking the numeric pad and the backlight. However, I doubt it will take long for third-party keyboard covers to follow.
Can the Samsung Book really outshine the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book? Considering that, with the Windows 10 aboard, they share the same market segment now. Adding the keyboard cover and the stylus in the box is a genius move, I must say. While Surface buyers pay for the tablet only, Samsung fans will get the whole bundle for the same price. I don’t compare the hardware here, because nowadays the top model’s hardware is more or less the same. So, it’s the range of accessories available from the start, and some software features, that play a significant role. Again, while Microsoft loaded their pen and keyboard with other secondary features, like controlling apps, Samsung makes them as simple as they can get. You won’t need to download a manual or watch a video to learn how to master your stylus.
Samsung has a lot of experience in manufacturing and engineering tablets. They are Android tablets, but some of the best on the market. So, in my opinion, I’d bet my money on the Samsung Book.
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Samsung Galaxy Book Official Launch