There’s no denying it, the age of the 2 in 1 is here. More and more of us are buying laptops that are actually tablets as well. We’re a fan of the Surface Pro and the Lenovo Yoga convertible – slim portables that are do-anything machines.
We must admit, we’re looking forward to trying out the convertible version of the Dell XPS 13 that we saw at CES 2017. But here at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Samsung stepped in with a super powerful keyboard and tablet combo called the Galaxy Book.
We’ve also been hands on with the lovely Galaxy Tab S3 this week, but here at T3.com we love a device that enables you to get stuff done. And that’s what the Galaxy Book is for.
Available in 10.6-inch and 12-inch models with Windows 10 and different specs, the 12-incher is our pick of the two. That’s because there’s a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor under the hood. The 10.6-incher has a Core m3 mobile processor and, while that’s enough for most tasks, it won’t cut it for intensive work.
They’re also supremely thin, from 7.4mm thick for the 10.6-inch version. You can put the screen in three different modes - easel mode, laptop mode, and 'wedge mode' (we made that up), where it's flat on the desk but raised at one end.
There’s also a further distinction between the devices – the screen uses different technology. The 10.6-inch screen is a standard TFT LCD, while the 12-incher goes a lot further with a Super AMOLED screen. That’s the same super-bright display tech that Samsung uses in its high-end smartphones. Both feature support for HDR video content.
USB-C is used for charging as well as connectivity to a monitor and we were shown the 12 incher working seamlessly with two USB-C displays.
For the first time, the S Pen works with Windows. Samsung has worked with Adobe to ensure that the S Pen works brilliantly with Photoshop and Acrobat. The pen itself has been redesigned with a 0.7mm tip – it’s the same pen that comes in the box with the new Galaxy Tab S3.
Both devices also support Pogo (pin-style) clip-on keyboards with no separate charging or pairing required. Samsung says it has worked hard to provide a laptop-style experience on the keyboard, with a 1.5mm travel depth.
Samsung is talking ab out a 10.5 hour battery life on the 12-incher for video playback, though obviously the proof will be in the pudding when we give it a full review.
Samsung is also talking up Samsung Flow. It’s cross-platform app that enables you to push information, pictures and links between your devices. It's rather like Pushbullet or Apple’s Handoff, if you've ever used those. It'll be very useful for Android owners to push stuff across to their PC and vice versa.
T3 Early Verdict
Galaxy Book is clearly a superb workhorse, but the interesting thing will be the pricing. How will it compare to Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Surface Book and the raft of ultraportable rivals?
The Galaxy Book release date is 31 March, although you can pre-order one a bit before that – 17 March.