Samsung Takes Another Tilt At The 2-in-1

Posted by Ryan Raubenheimer on

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A year after their last attempt, Samsung is taking a second tilt at the hugely popular 2-in-1 market, releasing an all-in-one device designed to be all things to all people.

The result is the Samsung Galaxy Book, a tablet available in 12-inch or 10.6-inch form that’s hitting some, if not all, the right notes.

The Samsung Galaxy Book

While it flies under a new flag, the Samsung Galaxy Book is in many ways a reincarnation of Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S, but with a few improvements along the way.

They’ve added an extra port, ramped up the processor and delivered a new keyboard.

The aim is to weigh further into the hugely popular Windows based 2-in-1 market currently cornered successfully by the Microsoft Surface Pro.

It’s an arena designed to cater to the worker on the go, who can have all the convenience of Microsoft Office wherever they may be.

Unlike the Surface Pro, the Galaxy Book comes complete with a keyboard and an S Pen stylus included in the box, entering the market in roughly the same price bracket at US $1129 for the 12-inch model.

That means the Galaxy Book is fighting in the Surface Pro and iPad ring, but according to reviewers may be lacking the power punch.

So what does over a grand get you in the latest Samsung tablet?

The digits

Processor and memory

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 only a 64GB solid state drive and only one USB port.

Galaxy Book

Display

Samsung excels at their displays and the Galaxy Book is no exception. On the 12-inch they utilize 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.

Cameras

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.

Battery

Samsung claims 11 hours battery for video playback, with three-hour rapid charging. Reviewers didn’t quite get this longevity from the battery, but let’s be honest, in the real world battery life rarely lives up to supplier specs.  

The verdict

Samsung’s latest challenge to Microsoft Surface Pro receives mixed reviews. The general consensus is they haven't quite ironed out the kinks, with improvements coming at the expense of other areas.

 On the positive side, the display commands widespread praise, with TechRadar labelling it “sensational”, and The Verge describing it as “sharp and vibrant with good contrast and lovely black levels”.  

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 longevity.

“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 new Samsung galaxy Book hit the market in May retailing from US$1129 for the 12-inch model and US$629.99 for its 10-inch cousin.

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