Samsung has announced a new version of its Galaxy Book 2-in-1 PC and it features the new octocore Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 mobile PC processor rather than one of Intel’s chips.
The previous Galaxy Book was based around Intel’s 7th-gen Core m3 and Core i5 processors (Kaby Lake) and the natural competitor for this new model remains Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6. Unlike the Surface Pro and other competitors, the Galaxy Book 2 includes the S Pen stylus and keyboard cover.
The $999 Galaxy Book 2 has been announced for the US only for now, but we expect it to come to the UK.
Aside from the 850 platform, the rest of the core specifications include a 12-inch 2,160 x 1,440 Super AMOLED display alongside 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and dual USB-C ports. It’s lightweight, weighing in at around 840g.
Qualcomm has been talking about Snapdragon processors being inside more PCs for some time now and although the results so far have been lacking in performance and generally too expensive (like the £850 Snapdragon 835-based HP Envy X2, for example), there are some encouraging features in terms of the mobile-like 4G connectivity, instant resume and multi-day battery life.
The Galaxy Book 2 offers 20 hours of battery life according to Samsung. There’s also fast charging as you’d expect and the 4G LTE connectivity comes courtesy of Qualcomm’s also new X20 modem.
Like other Snapdragon PCs, the Galaxy Book 2 runs Windows 10 in S Mode, which means you can’t install apps from outside of the Windows Store.
That’s understandable because Snapdragon is an ARM-based processor and so standard desktop apps aren’t compatible, but it’s a bit of a disadvantage (not least because of silly Microsoft meddling such as not being able to change the default search from Bing).
The Windows Store is improving all the time, but there are many apps which are still missing.