Samsung is arguably top of the tree when it comes to smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks – so can it achieve the same success with its new laptops?
Samsung’s recently-launched Windows notebooks aimed at the business market have gained plenty of attention, so I wanted to get my hands on one. I’ve been trying out the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro over the past few days. This is part of a range that includes the Galaxy Book Pro 360, a 2-in-1 convertible with a rotating touchscreen, and the more affordable Galaxy Book. RRPs start at £799, and the model I tested is listed at £1,099.
So, what was it like? In short, really good.
First off, the Galaxy Book Pro is light and thin. And by that, I mean really, really light. There’s a choice of 13.3” or 15.6” screen models, weighing 868g and 1.056kg respectively. For comparison, the latest 13.3” MacBook Air weighs in at a chunkier 1.29kg. That’s a big advantage for those likely to be regularly switching between home and office working. This low weight hasn’t come at the expense of build quality, and the keyboard and trackpad both have a solid, responsive feel.
Let’s talk about the screen, as it’s somewhat unusual – in the Galaxy Book Pro and Pro 360, Samsung have gone for 1,920 x 1,080 AMOLED screens, instead of the traditional LED. I’ve tested the 13.3” version, and I can report that it’s excellent, and fully lives up to Samsung’s claims to offer vivid colours and high contrast.
The Galaxy Books include 11th-generation Intel Core processors, the latest Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and Windows 10 Pro. The 360 models also include LTE wireless for remote working. The Pro model I tested has legacy HDMI, USB 3.2, Thunderbolt 4 and MicroSD ports, which many users will appreciate, as well as USB-C.
For users who already have a Samsung Galaxy device, the laptops have some really handy integration features, such as Quick Share, which enables you to easily move documents and photos between laptop and smartphone. The Galaxy Book will also run apps from your Galaxy phone, using Microsoft’s Your Phone app, and you can use your Galaxy Tab S7 or S7+ as a second screen.
As this laptop is aimed at businesses, it needs to offer some features to keep the IT manager happy. For a start, security is helped by a fingerprint sensor, and Samsung’s Smart Switch software makes it easier to migrate from an old laptop, while a three-year warranty, extendable up to five years, gives long-term reassurance.
Another plus point for businesses is availability. As Samsung manufacture such a high proportion of the components themselves, they've got a tighter control of their supply chain than others – at a time when many vendors are struggling with delays, and lead times are continuing to increase.
In terms of support, as one of five UK Spearhead Partners for the new laptops, Total's account managers have received early product training, and can give customers detailed product information, quotations and loan units.
Overall, I can confirm that Samsung have done a fantastic job in providing a truly light laptop with an excellent screen and good (20-hour) battery life, without compromising on features, performance and quality.
It’s an incredibly competitive market, and Samsung are going up against Dell, HP, Apple and others. The Galaxy Book Pro is a strong contender, and for some its lightness will make it an automatic buy. Other users may well find that the features to work with your Galaxy phone, syncing and running apps, are compelling.
We’re all likely to be doing more home-working in the future, with hybrid office/home combinations a frequent choice, and the Galaxy Books look like an impressive new option in the business Windows laptop market.
If you’d like to find out more about Samsung Galaxy Books, please speak to your account manager.