In the world of the mobile worker, an effective 2-in-1 computer that you can take anywhere to use anytime is akin to the Holy Grail. It’s also a market tapped with increasing vigor by the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Samsung as they try to create the ultimate device that is all things to all people.
The latest addition to this lineup is the Samsung Galaxy Book. It’s a new take on Samsung’s TabPro S that’s yet to have an Australian release date, but by all accounts is a device that ticks some, if not all, the essential 2-in-1 boxes.
What it does…
The Samsung Galaxy Book comes in the form of a 12 or 10-inch tablet, with a stylus and keyboard cover included in the box. Running Windows 10, it’s Samsung’s second attempt at cornering a market currently ruled by Microsoft and their enduring Surface Pro.
Along the way, Samsung’s tried to learn some lessons, both from the mistakes of its competitors, and from the knowledge it's gleaned of its own accord.
That means the Galaxy Book now has a better, if not entirely faultless keyboard, more ports than its predecessor, and additional power in the form of a Kaby Lake processor.
So what else is in the box?
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Samsung likes to offer users a little more bang for their buck, and a big buck it is. Although yet to be announced for the Australian market, a straight conversion of the American price means the 12-inch number will cost nigh on $1500.
The extra bang? It’s the keyboard cover and stylus - items that neither Microsoft nor Apple includes with their device.
Still, this puts the Galaxy Book right in the firing line of the heavyweights of the 2-in-1 market, and according to reviewers it might lack that power punch.
The 12-inch Galaxy Book comes standard with an Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor, 4GB memory and 128GB solid state drive. Memory is expandable via SD card.
Meanwhile, the tablet also features two USB type C ports, which are available for charging and to connect additional devices.
The specs on the 10-inch are a little less. It features an Intel Core M3 (Kaby Lake) processor, with 4GB RAM but starts out with a 64GB solid state drive and only one USB port.
Samsung excels at their displays and the Galaxy Book is no exception. On the 12-inch they utilise a Super AMOLED display for crisp, bright images with resolution of 2160 x 1440. The 10-inch features a TFT touch panel rather than AMOLED, and resolution of 1920 x 1280.
According to reviewers the cameras are nothing to write home about but there are two to enjoy on the 12-inch and one on the smaller model. Both feature a 5mp front camera, while the 12-inch also has a 13mp at the rear with autofocus.
Samsung claims 11 hours battery for video playback, with three-hour rapid charging.
What others say
Samsung’s certainly putting in some hard yards to get a foothold in the market, but chances are Microsoft still rules the roost. The general consensus is Samsung’s made some welcome improvements but haven't quite ironed out the kinks. The extras and additions come at the expense of other areas.
There’s also ticks for the keyboard being included in the box, and the fact it doesn’t require either pairing or charging, but both note it can be awkward to use.
Meanwhile, TechRadar also explains the plastic frame doesn’t exactly pander to the price bracket, and the Kaby Lake processor delivers greater power, but no measurable increase in battery life.
“The result is a Windows tablet that’s just fine in construction and performance, but one that continues to lag behind rivals,” they conclude.
The Australian release date and pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Book are yet to be announced.