Not long ago, the laptop category teemed withdesktop replacements, sorta portable workhorses withbig screens and powerful processors. They’ve given way to laptop replacements, —tablets with pop-on keyboards and enough oomph tomake atablet your only computer.
The new 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Book is the latesttablet that’ll make you think twice about buying a laptop. A10-inch version offers lesser specs and it’s nice enough, but the big Book is where it’s at. In terms of ethos, the closest match is Microsofts Surface Pro 4. You could argue both tablets were designed to be laptops first: Their screens, with3:2 aspect ratios, accommodate documents and browser windows when you use them in landscape mode with a keyboard.
TheGalaxy Book weighs 1.6 pounds, runs Windows 10, and sports a redesigned S Pen stylus and a surprisingly good keyboard cover. The backlit keys offerplenty of travel, and sufficient spacing to feel like you’re typing on a 13-inch laptop. The touchpad provides plenty of space to do your thing, and a pair of USB-C 3.1 ports let you get jiggy with peripherals.
That matte-finish S Pen feels like a 0.7mm rollerball, and you dont need to charge it. No need to juice that keyboard, either. Magnets hold it in place,pogo pinsprovide the connection, and the backlights sipfrom the Galaxy Books 10-hour battery. When it’s time to throw it in your bag, the three-position stand collapses easilyagainst the back of the device and the keyboard lays flat against the screen.
No word yet on the price or availability, so if you want one, sit tight.
For now, the Galaxy Book beatsthe Surface Pro in terms of feeds and speeds. It sports newerinternals, with Intels 3.1GHz Kaby Lake Core i5 dual-core CPU. Fully loaded it provides 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 256GB SSD. A microSD slot doubles the storage, so long as you provide the card. The base model featuresWi-Fi, and Samsung will offer a 4G LTE option.
This may be a productivity machine dressed like atablet, but it can still party. The AMOLED display (2160 by 1440, with a resolution of 216 pixels per inch) supports HDR video playback from as-yet-unnamed streaming services. Itll sync with a Samsung phone to delivermobile notifications and text messages tothe bigger screen, and you can use the fingerprint reader on your Galaxy phone to log into the Book. You can quick-charge the battery, just like the latest Galaxy phones.
These new Galaxy Books run Windows, but Samsung isnt abandoning Android tablets. The new10-inch Galaxy Tab S3 featuresa Snapdragon 820 and an AMOLED display that supports HDR video. Samsung describes it more ofan entertainment device. If you want a keyboard cover, you’ll have to buy it separately.
The 10-inch machine is nice, but the 12-inch Galaxy Book represents the next step in computing. Windows 10 can morph to fit the experience of any device, powerful components letslim machines do almost anything, and detachable keyboards are getting really, really good. It took about15 years, but the era of the tablet PC may finally be here.