The Galaxy Tab Pro S was an impressive first hybrid from Samsung. It grabbed headlines as the first device from the company to run Windows 10 instead of Android. However, while the Tab Pro S was a great first stab at a Windows hybrid, it missed the mark in a few areas -- most notably, performance.
Taking customer feedback into account, Samsung has announced its latest Windows 10 hybrid -- the Galaxy Book. It's follows the same design as its predecessor, featuring a keyboard portfolio that also acts as a stand for the tablet and adjusts to three different viewing angles. However, Samsung took all the customer feedback on the first device, and focused on improving the hybrid.
I had a chance to get hands-on time with the Galaxy Book ahead of its announcement at MWC 2017. And, although my time with the device was limited, based on my first impression, it seems Samsung might finally have an enterprise-worthy hybrid.
One of the biggest complaints from Tab Pro S customers centered on the keyboard, according to Samsung. It was too short and didn't offer a comfortable user-experience -- something I also noted in my original review. Samsung has extended the keyboard on the Galaxy Book, which gives it a more natural feel. After just a few minutes of use, I can safely say it's vastly improved over the Tab Pro S.
Samsung also chose to go with a backlit keyboard on the Galaxy Book -- another common request from Tab Pro S consumers. The bigger keyboard and backlighting help make the device feel more like a notebook than the Tab Pro S.
The S Pen has also been updated, with a smaller .7mm tip and better pressure sensitivity. It feels more like an actual pen, compared to the Surface Pen, and in the short time I played around with it in One Note, I was impressed by how well it captured my handwriting.
The only downside is that the S Pen doesn't have a home on the device. That is, there's nowhere to attach the S Pen to the device, which means it's easy to misplace the slim, black stylus.
[ Related story: Hands on with the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 hybrid ]
The original Tab Pro S only housed an Intel Core M processor and 4GB of RAM, which limited its performance. It was hard to recommend that device against other, similarly priced devices like the Surface Pro 4, which offered more performance. But Samsung listened to its customers and upped the performance of the Galaxy Book.
The 12-inch model includes an Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM -- more than enough for the average user; the tablet also includes two fans to help prevent overheating. I didn't have a chance to push the performance of the device, but I was impressed at how it handled basic tasks compared to the Tab Pro S. Samsung will still offer the device with 4GB of Ram and an 128GB SSD, but for those who want more power, 8GB option as well.
Two sizes of Galaxy Books
Unlike the Galaxy Tab Pro S, the Galaxy Book will come in two form factors -- a 10-inch and 12-inch model. Samsung expects the 12-inch model to become the go-to choice for business users, while the 10-inch is aimed at the casual consumer. The 12-inch model is certainly more comfortable to use, especially in an enterprise setting.
Galaxy Book's new features
Samsung also introduced Samsung Flow, which is similar to Apple's continuity feature. It lets you seamlessly switch between your Samsung devices, receiving notifications and alerts across all of them. You can also share your mobile hotspot instantly with your other Samsung devices and quickly share images, files and more. However, just like Apple's continuity feature, it will work only between your Samsung devices.
Business features of the Galaxy Book
Samsung hopes to entice business users and IT departments to the Galaxy Book with a trade-in program, extended warranties, dedicated support and new protection plans. Samsung hasn't announced any type of workstation for this enterprise-focused device, but the device includes two USB Type-C ports and a MicroSD port. Samsung did not announce pricing or availability, but it has confirmed that both the keyboard and the S Pen will ship with the device.
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