A couple weeks after Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 6, Samsung is today unveiling the $1,000 Galaxy Book 2, an always-connected Windows 2-in-1 that features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 processor and a revamped design that’s extremely close to the Surface. It goes on sale November 2nd, and US carriers including Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will be selling it with LTE plans.
Samsung says the Galaxy Book 2 is capable of gigabit-class LTE and delivers “multi-workday battery” on a single charge. Specifically, the battery estimate is “up to 20 hours.” The Book 2’s speakers include Dolby Atmos support and, just like Samsung’s flagship phones, are tuned by the company’s AKG division. An all-new rear kickstand has a Surface Pro-like hinge that allows you to adjust the angle of the 12-inch display to a near-flat level, and its included-in-the-box keyboard magnetically attaches to the bottom display bezel in the exact same way as the Surface keyboard.
From a usability standpoint, the kickstand and updated keyboard are an improvement on the original Galaxy Book, which had a keyboard that folded into a stand like Apple’s iPad. The Surface Pro isn’t ideal in your lap, but it’s workable. This should be too. The display is an OLED panel with a resolution of 2160×1440.
The Galaxy Book 2 runs Windows 10 with S Mode enabled out of the box, though you’ve got the option to upgrade to the fuller Windows experience for free. There’s also a fingerprint sensor at the upper right corner of the back for Windows Hello.
My initial hands-on time with the device was pretty positive. Web browsing and editing documents seemed snappy enough, and it’s definitely nice to have both a keyboard and S Pen in the box when other companies charge hundreds extra for the accessories. I’m a bit worried about having just 4GB of RAM, though. Even if this thing is by no means a powerhouse PC, that still seems like an obvious bottleneck.
Still, based on its claims, Samsung has addressed several of the weaknesses of the first Galaxy Book. Stay tuned to see whether the sequel is a worthy alternative to the Surface and other 2-in-1s — and just how helpful its perk of being always connected can be.
Display: 12-inch sAMOLED 2160×1440
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850
Ports: 2 USB Type C, microSD, 3.5mm headphone jack
Cameras: 8MP rear, 5MP front
Weight: 1.75 pounds