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Samsung Galaxy Book review: Samsung goes head-to-head with Microsoft’s Surface

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Pop into PC World or John Lewis and you’d think the 2-in-1 market had gone the way of the dodo. Microsoft’s world-gripping dominance is paramount with its Surface devices taking pride of place, but where are its competitors? Samsung it seems, says that’s not on, launching not one, but two laptop/tablet hybrids at this year’s MWC. This is Samsung’s Galaxy Book.

Now, it’s not an Android tablet. Running Windows 10, both flavours of Samsung’s Galaxy Book – 10.6in and 12in – are designed with productivity in mind, a fully-fledged Windows PC on the go. It’s sleek, lightweight and powerful, but will Samsung’s Galaxy Book make a dent in that Surface-dominated market?

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Key specifications and release date

Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6in

Samsung Galaxy Book 12in

10.6in TFT (1,920 x 1,080)

12in Super AMOLED (2,160 x 1,440)

7th gen  Dual-core 2.6GHz Intel Core m3

7th gen Dual-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i5

4GB RAM

4GB/8GB RAM

64GB/128GB eMMC

128GB/256GB SSD

Windows 10

Windows 10

Price TBC

Price TBC

Expected March

Expected March

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Design, key features and first impressions

With either black or white paint jobs, both of those Galaxy Books ship with up-to-date Kaby Lake processors. There’s a bit of a jump between the two (you’ll be far better suited with the i5-powered 12in model), but both seemed wonderfully swift during my brief bout of playtime.

There’s an updated S Pen, too, with a more accurate writing experience, facilitating more precise sensitivity. My initial time spent with it was short and I’ve never been sold on stylus note-taking, but I can see the Galaxy Book being the perfect companion for my many press goings-on. Even better, this year’s S Pen doesn’t need a battery to work.

The keyboard cover is an interesting one. Microsoft’s Surface cover was always a bit too finicky for my liking – a lacklustre keyboard replacement – as was Apple’s Smart Keyboard, but Samsung’s own was a delight to use. That touchpad is huge, with plenty of room for my multi-touch flourishes. And the keyboard itself? Well, it had a surprising amount of depth given its slim frame, with each key alluding a generous amount of feedback with every press.

Samsung Galaxy Book review: Early verdict

Samsung still covets the tablet game. While trends would say otherwise, the Korean tech firm has put all its eggs in one basket, launching two versions of a Windows 10-powered tablet that it thinks will be the de facto PC hybrid this year.

Whether that holds true remains to be seen. It’ll largely boil down to price, something Samsung failed to share with us at MWC. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 will still net you around £800, a high price point that’s certainly off the cards for a fair chunk of people. If Samsung can, miraculously, undercut this (at least with that 10.6in model) , I can see the Galaxy Book being the go-to laptop/tablet hybrid for the next generation. Until we get official pricing, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic.

Stay tuned for my full Samsung Galaxy Book review in the very near future

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