Samsung’s answer to the Surface Pro is back, and this time it’s ditched Intel for Qualcomm
Back in February 2017, Samsung released the Galaxy Book. No, this thankfully wasn’t the South Korean firm’s first foray into branded literature, but a 2-in-1 convertible to rival Microsoft’s Surface Pro. With a clip-on keyboard and support for the S Pen stylus, this was a Windows 10 machine that was designed for everything.
Now Samsung has announced the Galaxy Book 2, and it’s a very similar story to the first… only this time Intel has been dumped, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 is running the show.
Samsung Galaxy Book 2: Everything you need to know
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 release date: When is it coming out?
Samsung’s galaxy Book 2 is due to start shipping from 2 November. That’s a confirmed US release date, by the way, there’s currently no word when (or if) the Galaxy Book 2 will arrive on this side of the Atlantic.
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 price: How much will it cost?
Samsung says the Galaxy Book 2 will “start at” $1,000. What more expensive configurations will get you isn’t quite clear at the moment, but we’ll update this piece when we hear more details.
We’ll also hopefully have a price in pound sterling, too. Though a quick currency conversion gives us the magic number of £762, that doesn’t factor in tax. £850+ seems rather likely.
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 design and features: What does it look like, and what does it do?
From the looks of things, it doesn’t look like the Galaxy Book 2 is remarkably different from the original model. A little more angular, and a touch bigger (it now weighs in at 1.85lbs, with dimensions of 11.32 x 7.89 x 0.30in), but the basics are still here: a 12in tablet display with a kickstand and a clip-on keyboard with trackpad to turn your tablet into a fully-fledged PC.
I say fully fledged, but the proof will be in the pudding here. Rather than using Intel chips designed for laptops as the previous generation of Galaxy Book did (Core m3 or i5 processors, depending on your budget), the Surface Book 2 is turning to Qualcomm and its untested octa-core 2.9GHz Snapdragon 850 chip to run the show.
Given the performance questions we had over Windows laptops powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset in the past, we’re going to reserve judgement here – though it’s important to note that Qualcomm promised a 30% improvement in performance when the 850 was unveiled earlier this year.
And if performance is up to snuff then there are real advantages in using a mobile chip, the chief of which is efficiency. Samsung reckons the Galaxy Book 2 will get a whopping 20 hours of video playback on a single charge, which isn’t too shabby.
Elsewhere, you’re looking at 4GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage – though this can be topped up via microSD card. There are two USB Type-C ports, and it runs Windows 10 in S Mode. Sadly, because the Galaxy Book 2 is powered by an ARM processor and doesn’t play well with the majority of desktop apps, you won’t be able to upgrade to fully-fledged Windows 10.
Brilliantly, both the S Pen and keyboard are included in the box, which makes it an attractive rival to not just the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface (where both stylus and keyboard cost extra), but to Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab S4, where just the S Pen comes in the box.
Samsung Galaxy Book 2: Early verdict
We liked the original Samsung Galaxy Book a lot, and the sequel is shaping up to look very attractive indeed – especially with the S Pen and keyboard included in the price.
The real question mark is over that processor, however. Without question, Qualcomm manufactures the market-leading Android CPU, but its pedigree running Windows is yet to be proved. If the Snapdragon 850 matches astonishing battery life with solid performance, the Galaxy Book 2 could yet be the convertible you’ve been waiting for.