Samsung Galaxy Book2: Is it better than the Surface Pro?

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If you’re stuck between choosing to buy a laptop or a tablet, there’s a chance you might be better off with a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid. The most popular 2-in-1 laptop, that most people go for is the Microsoft Surface series. However, other manufacturers aren’t going to let Microsoft dominate this niche market. An example of this competition is Samsung with its latest Galaxy Book2. Does it accomplish its goal of dominating over the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 in this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet category? Let’s look at the specs and find out.

Design & Display

Samsung Galaxy Book2
Image: Samsung

The Galaxy Book2 uses the classic all-aluminum structure for the main tablet. With the keyboard detached, it looks like a normal tablet with rather large bezels. The display is a 12″ 2160 x 1440 sAMOLED panel, which is one of my favorite features of this device. It’s no news that Samsung makes the best displays and this is another example of that. The display does, however, have an unusual 3:2 resolution instead of 16:9 but I guess you won’t be able to tell the difference while viewing content.

Move to the back and you’ll notice something familiar. Similar to Microsoft Surface devices, you get an aluminum retractable stand. It is sturdy and can be adjusted to almost any angle, which makes it perfect for propping up the Book2 while using it as a laptop or watching videos. The rest os the back is fairly simple, you get a subtle Samsung script in the center, an 8MP camera and a fingerprint sensor on the top-left.

Samsung Galaxy Book2
Image: Samsung

Additionally, with the Galaxy Book2, you do get an S-pen and a detachable keyboard. The S-pen is different from the one used in the Galaxy Note series but uses the same Wacom EMR technology that allows it to function without the need of a battery. The keyboard panel isn’t made from aluminum but is super thin and light, making it all the more portable. With it, you get keys with a decent travel and feel along with a trackpad.

Performance

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850
Image: Qualcomm

Powering the Samsung Galaxy Book2 is the ARM-based Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 850, which makes this one of the few using this setup for Windows 10. Now, the Snapdragon 850 isn’t exactly a bad chipset and, in fact, actually runs smoothly in normal circumstances. However, you’ll feel that an Intel Core U processor might’ve been a better choice once you run CPU-intensive programs as the Snapdragon just isn’t powerful enough. There’s also an issue with this not being able to run 64-bit apps but that’s expected to go away with software updates.

Another big disappointment is regarding the Galaxy Book2’s RAM. You only get 4 GB of it which, in this day and age, is pretty much obsolete for a Windows 10 device. The storage isn’t that great either as you only get 128 GB. That, however, can be forgiven as the Galaxy Book2 does have a MicroSD slot that allows storage expansion of up to 512 GB.

As far as the battery is concerned, you get a 6120 mAh Li-ion unit that is claimed to give the Book2 a standby time of 20 hours. In a device with an ARM-based CPU, this is actually useful and pretty good. In addition to that, you also get an ENERGY STAR® certification, which is always a nice thing to have in a portable device.

Samsung Galaxy Book2
Image: Samsung

Connectivity

You don’t get much when it comes to connectivity. On the sides, you get 2 USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. I’ve talked about the MicroSD slot so thank God for that. You do, however, get a nano-SIM slot, which supports 4G LTE connections. This is a rather odd yet useful inclusion as it means you can have internet access on-the-go. You also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well.

Price & Verdict

For $999, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 is on the pricey side. That makes this $100 more expensive than the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, which offers a proper CPU and 8 GB of RAM. I admit, the display on the Surface isn’t as great but it isn’t bad enough to be a deal breaker either. If you’re looking an ultra-portable laptop/tablet, with an amazing display and battery life for casual use and have lots of cash to spare, then go with the Galaxy Book2. Otherwise, just get the Surface Pro, it’ll do everything the Galaxy Book2 can and then some.

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