Samsung always has a few surprises planned for its big launch events, so after announcing the new Galaxy Note 10, Samsung announced an ARM-based laptop with built-in LTE connectivity and a claim of a whopping 23-hours of battery life.
Starting at $1,000, the Galaxy Book S looks to deliver a streamlined computing experience for people constantly on the go. Like the previous Galaxy Book 2, Samsung’s new laptop runs Windows 10, and instead of a processor from Intel or AMD, the Galaxy Book S comes with a Snapdragon 8cx chip from Qualcomm.
Additionally, the Galaxy Book S includes a 13-inch full HD screen, a slim profile, USB-C charging, AKG stereo speakers, and a silent, fanless design. As for specs, we’re looking at 8GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and 802.11ac wi-fi.
Samsung says the Galaxy Book S was also created to deliver a more mobile-friendly computing experience with touch-to-wake features and nearly instant power on times.
Weighing just over 2 pounds (0.96 kg), the Galaxy Book S should be exceedingly light and easy to carry around, while integration with Microsoft’s Your Phone app should help the laptop easily transfer things like photos, files, and emails synced between your phone and laptop.
And to make signing into the laptop a bit easier, Samsung has given the Galaxy Book S a built-in fingerprint reader that works with Windows 10.
Either way, 23 hours of battery life is a damn big number, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing if the Galaxy Book S can actually live up to Samsung’s claim in real life.
The Galaxy Book S will be available later this fall in two colors (gold and gray) directly on Samsung.com and in-stores from Verizon.
[Update: 6:00 PM] After getting a quick chance to check out the Galaxy Book S in person, I’ve got a few important takeaways. The first is that the Galaxy Book S is a very simple laptop. The only ports on the machine are two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a dual-slot tray for holding a microSD card and a SIM.
In hand, the Galaxy Book also feels incredibly light, even less than its 2 pound listed weight. It reminds me a lot of LG’s Gram line, but with a slightly stiffer body that should make it better for lap use.
The Galaxy Book S’ performance also seems significantly improved from the Galaxy Book 2. Qualcomm says the Galaxy Book S has 40 percent faster CPU performance, and 80 percent better graphics, and that seems about right.
Moving windows around and opening apps was much snappier than any other ARM-based Windows laptop I’ve tried, which should make the Galaxy Book S a good choice for people who just want to check emails, browse the web, and get some light work done.
My one concern though is the Galaxy Book’s keyboard. Its keys sit nearly flush against the laptop’s deck, and there’s very little bounce or key travel while typing. It’s almost like typing on a modern MacBook keyboard, which is already not a great experience, except that the Galaxy Book’s keys have even less of a tactile click.