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Samsung Galaxy Book2 review: A stylish, capable 2-in-1 with ARM and 4G LTE

Samsung Galaxy Book2
Samsung Galaxy Book2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows Central Recommended Award

There are two ways of looking at 2-in-1 PC innovation. Companies can either think outside the box, like the Lenovo Yoga Book c930 and HP Envy x2, or clone the Surface Pro.

Samsung did something in between with its Galaxy Book from 2017, which kind of felt like a Surface ... but in all the wrong ways.

Luckily, Galaxy Book2 innovates in the right area but sticks to what works in others. The result is a very satisfying PC experience that fills a hole left by Microsoft in the market.

Differentiators

What makes Samsung Galaxy Book2 unique?

Samsung Galaxy Book2

The Samsung Galaxy Book2 is the first PC that supports the brand-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. The concept of running Windows 10 on an ARM processor is now entering its second generation of devices, and while there are still some rough spots, the tradeoffs are worth it.

At its core, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 is 90 percent a clone of Surface Pro, but Samsung sprinkled in some welcomed improvements and innovations to make the device its own.

The Samsung S-pen, which uses the same tech found in its other tablets and even Galaxy Note series, is arguably better than the Surface Pen. The front and rear cameras are above average and the familiar fully articulating kickstand and keyboard design result in an outstanding user experience.

The real selling points of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 are outstanding battery life – at least four more hours of real-world use compared to a Surface Pro – along with instant-on abilities and always-connected 4G LTE.

Familiar design

Samsung Galaxy Book2 look and feel

Samsung went to the Microsoft well for industrial design and drank heavily with the Galaxy Book2. That's a compliment. The Surface Pro's design is arguably perfect for the device and while mimicking it may sound bad, it's tough to match Microsoft's manufacturing precision. Samsung has the hardware chops to do that, and it succeeds with the Galaxy Book2.

Weighing around 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) with keyboard and being just over 7 mm thin, the Galaxy Book2 is an all-metal Windows 10 tablet that still manages a different flair than Surface. The rounded top and bottom edges are flanked by sides that look cut off, making it easy to hold, with a flat area for the ports and SIM slot.

CategorySamsung Galaxy Book2
Display12-inch sAMOLED FHD+ (2160 x 1440)
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 850 (Quad 2.96GHZ and Quad 1.7 GHz)
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Camera8MP rear-facing camera
5MP front-facing camera
PortsTwo USB Type-C
microSD
3.5mm
SensorsAccelerometer
Fingerprint sensor
Gyro sensor
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Wireless connectivity802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4+5GHz
VHT80 MIMO
LTE supportSnapdragon X20 LTE Modem Cat.18 5CA, up to 4X4 MIMO
Dimensions11.32 in x 7.89 in x .30 in
Weight1.75 lbs (793 g)
Battery lifeUp to 20 hours (S Mode)
OSWindows 10 Home in S Mode
AccessoriesS Pen and keyboard (both included)

The all-silver chassis and grey keyboard scream business-first. While the keyboard does not look fantastic, typing is solid, with proper actuation and consistent force curves. There's also two-stage backlighting.

Microsoft Precision Drivers power the trackpad, so it feels great, but the trackpad height is a bit on the short side, making it less enjoyable than devices from HP or Microsoft.

The rear kickstand, while not as sturdy as the Surface Pro's, can still fully articulate giving you endless angles for typing or drawing.

Samsung Galaxy Book2

Two USB Type-C ports are found on the right-hand side along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and one of the AKG-tuned speakers. Those Type-C ports can be used for charging and peripherals but can also be a bit finicky (I could not get the Spyder Elite colorimeter to work when using an adapter, for instance).

On the left side are the physical SIM and microSD slots along with the second speaker. It's dual-sided, saving space compared to most dual-card options.

A power button and volume rocker are found on the top of the Galaxy Book2.

Backlit keys of the Galaxy Book2 when dark.

Backlit keys of the Galaxy Book2 when dark.

Turn to the rear and things get interesting. Samsung opted for a fingerprint reader near the rear camera instead of a Windows Hello-based infrared camera for facial recognition. Samsung cites concerns about orientation issues for facial recognition that fingerprint readers don't have to contend with. That may be true, but a good IR camera is still more accessible, faster, more reliable and not biased towards left-handers like a fingerprint reader. The reader is mostly good, but there are occasional misreads.

The front and rear camers are also very good (see samples below). Not quite as good as Surface Pro but definitely better - and sharper - than most tablet and PC cameras.

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For audio Samsung has dual side-flanking speakers tuned by its audio subsidiary AKG. The included Dolby Atmos software simulates great space and lets users customize the sound profile using the included graphic equalizer. Dolby Atmos is not for everyone and can be disabled.

Finally, for the OS, the Galaxy Book2 ships with Windows 10 Home in S-mode. Users can easily switch out of S-mode, which restricts installation of apps only from the Microsoft Store.

S-s-super AMOLED

Samsung Galaxy Book2 display

Samsung Galaxy Book2

The Galaxy Book2 features a dazzling 12-inch 2160 x 1440 (FHD+) Samsung Super AMOLED display. Since AMOLED pixels are their own power sources, there is no backlight compared to how typical LCD operates. Blacks are black because the pixels turn off and the color and contrast are excellent. Brightness is excellent on the Galaxy Book2, and the FHD+ resolution makes text and images sharp.

Just like most AMOLED displays, there is occasional color shifting when using a web browser that has white backgrounds with black text. It's rare but noticeable and an artifact of this technology.

We have not seen any other Windows on ARM laptops with AMOLED displays, nor ones with this high of a resolution. It all works great. The 3:2 aspect ratio and bezels, while large, are expected and shouldn't distract.

A worthy pen

Samsung Galaxy Book2 pen and inking

Samsung Galaxy Book2

Samsung went a long way to carry over the S-pen experience from the Galaxy Note to this laptop. It feels 1:1 for features and execution right down to the Samsung Air Command radial menu that gives you quick access to Samsung Notes and screen capture tools. You can literally take your little yellow S-pen from the Galaxy Note 9 and use it on the Galaxy Book2 and vice versa.

Samsung Air Command and S-Pen is ported from its Galaxy phones.

Samsung Air Command and S-Pen is ported from its Galaxy phones.

Inking with the S-pen is buttery smooth, and the pen is comfortable to hold. Samsung included magnets to keep the pen on the left side of the device, but they're extraordinarily weak. Samsung says that magnets – no matter how strong – would never survive transport in a bag or a sleeve, so the thinking was this would only be used during meetings as a quick, but temporary holder. Maybe, but a stronger magnet would have been better.

Samsung also included an odd holster for the S-pen. It doesn't do much besides preventing the pen from rolling off a table, but it does protect the plastic nib during transport. And a Bluetooth-enabled clickable top button would have been nice.

The turning point

Samsung Galaxy Book2 performance

Samsung Galaxy Book2

I believe the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 will blur the lines between Intel (x86) and Qualcomm (ARM). The 2.96GHz Snapdragon 850 is the first specifically-tuned ARM chip for Windows 10, and it's a welcome improvement over the previous Snapdragon 835, which was almost good enough.

Evaluating performance is tricky with ARM since it just surpasses Intel's lower-end processors for single-core but trounces those same chips for multi-core, due to the different architecture. Geekbench 4.3 can now benchmark Windows 10 on ARM, as well as 32-bit applications running under ARM.

CPU

Geekbench 4.0 benchmarks (higher is better)

DeviceCPUSingle coreMulti core
Galaxy Book2 (ARM)SD8502,2627,405
Galaxy Book2 (x86)SD8501,3454,164
HP Envy x2 (ARM)SD8352,1116,314
Surface GoPentium2,0783,934
Surface 3Atom x71,0782,777
Surface Pro 4m3 6Y302,8545,350
Surface Pro 4i5-6300U3,3196,950
Surface Pro 2017i5-7300U4,3028,482
Surface Pro 2017i7-7660U4,5139,346

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
Galaxy Book2722 MB/s205 MB/s
HP Envy x2513 MB/s197 MB/s
Surface Go (SSD)1,185 MB/s133 MB/s
Surface Go (eMMC)260 MB/s145 MB/s
Surface 3149 MB/s33 MB/s
Surface Pro 4758 MB/s159 MB/s

Based on these metrics, we can say that for single-core processing using ARM-compiled apps, the Galaxy Book2 pulls ahead of the Surface Go. And for multi-core processing using ARM-compiled apps, the Galaxy Book2 beats a Surface Pro 4 Core i5.

Those are some impressive results. When using Windows 10, native in-box apps like Microsoft Edge browser, Mail, News, Weather, Office 365, Movies & TV, and most apps in the Microsoft Store (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Slack, and Skype) the Galaxy Book2 feels very much like at least a Core i3 processor, but at times more like an older Core i5.

Where the story gets complicated is using non-Store apps, or traditional Win32 programs like the Google Chrome browser downloaded off the web. Here, performance drops due to the way Windows 10 on ARM runs those apps.

To sum that up, for single-core processing using Win32 apps, the Galaxy Book2 performs like a Surface 3 (Intel Atom). And for multi-core processing using Win32 apps, the Galaxy Book2 performs like the Surface Go. In other words, if you stick to Microsoft Store apps and the Edge browser the performance is excellent, but if you go outside the Store, you get Surface 3 to Surface Go performance.

There are other rarer exceptions of apps that don't run at all. Adobe Photoshop Elements found in the Microsoft Store is x64-based and does not run at all on the Galaxy Book2. That's a temporary hiccup as being able to recompile apps for ARM64 is due in the coming months, which should result in Photoshop Elements running near-native in performance.

Gaming is also a weak spot. Most PC-based games are not compatible with the ARM architecture, and the system lacks a comprehensive graphics processor to rival even Intel's HD platform. While you can play some simple Store arcade games like Candy Crush, more intense ones are likely out of the question. Still, brand-new games like Bridge Constructor Portal play just fine and are a blast on the Galaxy Book2.

Rear camera and fingerprint reader on the Galaxy Book2.

Rear camera and fingerprint reader on the Galaxy Book2.

Turning to storage, the Galaxy Book2 uses a Samsung eUFS (KLUDG4U1EA-B0C). While not as fast as a PCIe NVMe SSD, the 722 MB/s read and just over 200 MB/s write speeds are faster than the HP Envy x2 and Surface Go with eMMC for storage. Faster is always better, and the storage here did not feel slow for this class of hardware.

Battery life is rated at 20 hours of video playback, but real-world usage is around 12 hours. That's a bit less than the HP Envy x2 which can hit 14 hours often, but it is about four hours more than the Surface Pro 6. Combined with excellent standby, instant-on (there is no hibernate mode), and rapid charge using Samsung's included Galaxy charger (same as its Galaxy phones), battery life is still significantly better than any Intel x86 system.

Since the Galaxy Book2 is fanless and it runs an ARM processor, there are no real thermal considerations. It's quiet, it's cool and doesn't throttle.

The 4GB of RAM may be the most significant limiting factor if you have lots of tabs and apps open. Windows 10 does a great job with 4GB of RAM, but having 8GB as an option would give a little extra room to lets apps breathe.

Compared to the HP Envy x2 or Lenovo Miix 630, the Galaxy Book2 feels substantially better for processor performance and even beats the Surface Go especially for multi-core processing.

Always connected (to one network)

Samsung Galaxy Book2 4G LTE

Samsung Galaxy Book2

I've covered Microsoft's tweaks to Windows 10 to allow native LTE support that seamlessly changes data between Wi-Fi and LTE. There's so much user control, even down to the app level, that those who are conserving data on their plans should never have to worry. Management is a breeze; drop in a SIM, and the OS does the rest.

Samsung plans to sell the Galaxy Book2 through AT&T starting November 2 in the U.S. and then it should hit Verizon and Sprint later that month. The bad news is each device is semi-optimized for a specific network. The unit tested for this review is for Verizon, and if I drop an AT&T SIM in it works, but it does not always pick up the same LTE bands as a truly unlocked 4G device would. For instance, the Verizon SIM managed 55 Mbps down and 17 Mbps up with only three bars for a signal. Dropping in the AT&T SIM, the Galaxy Book2 picked up the LTE and pulled down 47 Mbps. Upload speeds were a paltry 1 Mbps. The same AT&T SIM in the Surface Pro with LTE did 70 Mbps down and 37 Mbps up revealing quite a difference in how these devices treat different LTE networks.

That puts the Galaxy Book2 in a weird spot. It's not SIM locked – the AT&T SIM works – but it means the Galaxy Book2 is less flexible than truly unlocked devices. Samsung is leveraging its long-standing relations with carriers in the U.S. to get the Galaxy Book2 literally on store shelves (and online). That likely means co-marketing with those carriers like AT&T.

Until now, Surface Pro with LTE, HP Envy x2, and Lenovo Miix 630 have had no carrier ties, and as a result, no carrier push either. In the U.S. having carriers as partners is very important to any product's success. That's good for Samsung, and the success of Windows 10 on ARM, but it's bad for customers.

Another downside is there's no electronic SIM (eSIM) support. The Surface Pro with LTE, Lenovo Miix 630, and the Acer Swift 7 all support the new technology. Chalk this up as another victory for US carriers, who likely pushed back on the idea from Samsung, because the hardware is capable.

Putting aside the carrier concessions LTE performance is good. On Verizon, even with just three bars of reception, the Galaxy Book2 pulled down over 40Mbps and could often hit 70Mbps in areas with a better signal. GPS also works with the integrated LTE modem, letting users leverage Microsoft's Maps app for turn-by-turn directions and other location-aware apps.

Few flaws

Samsung Galaxy Book2 is the best of many worlds

Samsung Galaxy Book2

While some may criticize Samsung for borrowing from Microsoft here, I won't. The design works, and they did an excellent job all around at making this device. The processor never felt sluggish, the display is excellent, typing is accurate, and the audio is well done.

The trackpad could be taller, the pen magnets stronger, and the keyboard could look better. But these are minor quibbles. The Galaxy Book2 fills a big void right now for those who want a Surface Pro-like device and want all the benefits of using ARM – long battery life, instant-on, 4G LTE, and no fans.

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Samsung Galaxy Book2

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Samsung Galaxy Book2

The most significant compromise is how this device goes back on the idea of freedom from carriers. While the Galaxy Book2 is not exactly SIM-locked, it has made some concessions regarding eSIM and 4G LTE. Of course, if you plan on buying this to use on your carrier of choice through your carrier, that's probably no big deal. But you won't be able to purchase temporary data through eSIM if you travel.

It's also currently not clear what Samsung plans to do outside of the U.S. Right now, the Galaxy Book2 is slated only for U.S. release on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, with direct sales through Samsung and Microsoft.

Pricing starts at $999 which includes the Galaxy Book2, keyboard, S-Pen, and rapid charger. That price seems fair for the quality of hardware and native 4G LTE. (Surface Pro with LTE costs nearly $1,700 when you add the keyboard and pen).

Perhaps the bigger news is just how the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 works compared to similar Intel chips. The performance gap is narrowing. Even if this version is not for you, it is just a matter of time before Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips rival Intel's Core i3 and i5 processors. That's genuinely exciting.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

65 Comments
  • Verge called it "the surface amateur"
  • That's a pretty accurate description. The Galaxy Book2 would be a good competitor against the non-Pro Surface 3, but it doesn't come close to the Pro 4's benchmark.
  • Luckily I prefer my review, whichy feature things like benchmarks and testing data ;) But to each his own.
  • I would agree with you Daniel IF all the major software was recompiled for ARM (looking at you Google and Adobe), or if there were even a native Kindle client...until then it is x86 and for real life use it is just above Surface 3 but below Surface Go even on your test bench.
  • Sure, it totally matters what you use for apps. That's why it comes in S-mode out of the box. I'm an Edge user and find many arguments for using Chome not really logical, or rather, just preference. It's a legitimate area of contention which is why I stress those benchmarks, so still a good point you make. The ability to even run non-compiled apps on ARM is kind of crazy and it will only get better, but it's still definitely not for everyone. Like most devices, this one needs the right user, so hopefully, this review helps people decide that.
  • Sometimes Chrome is about more than just preferences, especially if you live in multi-platform environments and you don't like Safari...
  • I thought Edge is multi-platform too. And Chrome is less battery life & touch friendly on pc and of course the privacy issues (in case you find that important).
  • Only place you can't find Edge is macOS, which is what I assumed he was referring to. But yeah, I use Edge on Windows 10, Android and even iOS (the whole no default browser thing is really NBD, you can set Edge as default in Outlook for instance).
  • "I'm an Edge user and find many arguments for using Chome not really logical, or rather, just preference" Every time I try Edge I can't search history. I use that feature daily in Chrome, it's the only reason I haven't switched. I find touch support much worse on Edge then Chrome on my SP3 but i can get used to it. What i can't get used to is not having a feature I use all the time., Has search in history been added yet ? Inking on my SP3 sucks, 1/2 the time it never works, if this is as good as on my Galaxy Note 8...awesome. The only annoying thing is the pen not docking. I use my pen on the Galaxy Note 8 all the time because it's with me all the time.
  • "Every time I try Edge I can't search history. I use that feature daily in Chrome, it's the only reason I haven't switched."
    Legit point, but have you tried using Timeline feature? It literally lets you do that and in a much more satisifying way (it works across devices, is visual, and time based). I felt the same about search, but Timeline is sooooo good at this now that it's all I use, it's amazing.
  • Yeah, many of us here keep Chrome for (1) Hangouts, gah (2) Using our YouTube channel. That's it, though.
  • LOL! Daniel, you used Geekbench which everyone knows is a fraud, especially when comparing ARM chips to x86 chips.
  • Suggest something better then.
  • The Verge is just nervous this cuts too close to their own favorite Surface Amateur, the iPad "Pro".
  • It is similar to an iPad Pro, but without a modern ecosystem.
  • Like Half Photoshop and Mini Matlab? And don't you have pets to take care of?
  • Nice to see the first 850 out. Maybe MS will take a cue from Samsung and release an ARM version of Go. I'm sure the Salmon sisters would appreciate longer battery life. ;0)
  • Agreed; with the performance gap narrowing, its only a matter of time before the next chip (SnapDragon 1000?) gets to i5 levels, 5G becomes available, win32 apps either run at i3 levels and the 64 bit issue is resolved around 2nd quarter 2019. Its really technology and carriers having to race and catch up for this is be the next big thing. (Andromeda 3rd quarter :))
  • Man I am on the fence about this. Looks great and the performance finally is high enough to make this worthy of using. I'd love one at a lower price without the LTE to be honest. I'd rather just tether it to my phone connection if I need mobile connectivity with no WiFi signal. Hmmmmmmmm.............................
  • I have a non-Pro Surface 3 laying around if you're interested lol. Basically the same device but it's from the Surface team.
  • I have a Surface 3 and the performance difference is massive. Surface 3 = slow, annoying whereas this is just right for the same apps. For Surface 3 pen is worse, no Windows Hello, painful slow storage, worse display, and no modern Type-C (good luck with micro USB in 2019!).
  • Really like your review of the Samsung Galaxy Book 2, it certainly gives perspective as to what expect in the future for next arm processors.
    I wish they make a 256 SSD version later (preferably with 8Go) and if they make this model for European it will then certainly not be sim or carrier locked.
    (Galaxy BOOK 1 with LTE in Europe no problem whatsoever) Also come on Daniel, stop with Surface 3 bashing :-) Its true weakness was its painfully slow emmc storage for everything, the atom processor was quite snappy for me. "(good luck with micro USB in 2019!)". Yes true and i encourage people to skip Surface Pro 6 and wait for next refresh if they Can :) Also as a matter of fact, Micro usb is pretty much still everywhere for me :
    Bose QC35, Jabra Elite Sport, Hi Res mp3 player, wireless speakers, Samsung smartwatch charger and all my currrents (and old) Smartphones STILL rock with micro usb.
    For micro usb to usb-c, at least for charging all you need is a small usb-c adapter for my Galaxy Book (which is still my only device at the moment with 2 usb-c). I i probably won't change phone until Samsung Note X so now micro usb is far from dead for a lot of us.
  • "Also come on Daniel, stop with Surface 3 bashing :-) Its true weakness was its painfully slow emmc storage for everything, the atom processor was quite snappy for me."
    Just comparing ;) The good news is if you're fine with Surface 3 performance you'll down right love Galaxy Book2!
  • this Samsung Galaxy line. You are lucky it is not $2000.00.
  • 40Gbps? Presumably a typo on LTE performance. The review on the whole doesn’t seem to corrrspond with the overall rating given performance for price.
  • Still he didn't correct 70Gbps in the same line. 😂
  • I want this but in a 10inch version.
  • Besides the advantages of Samsung hardware (AMOLED and the battery-free, silky smooth S-Pen) I think this device points to a future with long battery life and app and game streaming. When internet speeds are fast enough, who needs lots of processing power on your local device? Delegate all that to the cloud. The future looks bright.
  • It's a good point. Game streaming is how Qualcomm sees as a solution to gaming on these devices - not adding a beefy GPU. That future is not here, yet, but obviously, it's coming quickly.
  • Why does Samsung always make the same mistake - put the Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen in a silo in the device, and sell the full size pen as an accessory for those who want that. NO MORE MAGNETS OR PEN LOOPS - PLEASE! It is the best of both worlds; you never leave your desk without a pen for note taking; and it doesn't come off in your bag. Second - BAN 4gb RAM Windows devices - Intel or ARM. It is as bad as the Apple old penchant for only 16gb storage in the iPhone.
  • Good points. I think the 4gb is okay on e.g. the entry Surface Go but on this premium device it seems low.
  • So per review the multicore on arm has better score than i5-6300U. That is very tempting to get this device for consulting battery life purposes...
  • But that is only when running what is basically unicorn software. Windows ARM software is nearly non-existent.
  • It's the majority of apps in the Microsoft Store - around 95 percent last I heard.
  • But that is such a thin library...
  • You do realize it's realtive, right? I live in S mode for many of my devices without compromise - am I some poor light user who barely lives in a PC? No. This is thin-light productivity machine for Office, Edge, Email, inking, and more. For some peopel that library is not thin, for others it is. Have you been on a commuter train and talked with people use ThinkPads and see/ask what they use them for? Outside a few core apps it's not much.
  • All I need is a Xen Workspace and RDP. If I can go to datacenter or client and forget charger this is worth it. Thanks for the article.
  • Windows 10 in S Mode (catchy name!) removes any reason I have for using Windows. Chromebooks look really good when compared to S Mode and with PWA coming online, Google is in a great position to lead a cloud centric future. I really think Microsoft needs to make a big move and soon. Core OS might be it, I just hope they remove any reference or ties to the Windows brand. If it is called Windows or even has any resemblance to Windows it will be a tough sell.
  • Chromebook is **** as compared to windows 10 in S mode....*******. you do know that you can run hyper-v in windows 10 pro in S-mode if need arise for 32bit apps. You Know nothing about how Microsoft windows works..you really never use windows since windows 95. **** even windows 95 is more useful than ******* crappy chrombooks.
  • ChromeOS is dead. Google is in a horrible position. ChromeOS is doing very poorly (about 0.5% of the desktop market - between 5-10 million active users worldwide). It is so bad they are trying to move tablets to ChromeOS to prop up things, but Android has done very badly in the tablet market. There are few Android apps optimized for tablet. The same is happening with ChromeOS. School orders were down heavily this year from what I've heard. ChromeOS is teetering on the edge of death. Google's cloud offerings continue to fall behind competitors and they are bleeding there. They are now fourth behind Amazon, MS, and IBM and plummeting. My company has used Google and will be leaving shortly due to how poor GCloud is and how badly it matches our needs as we grow. The low latency DBs they offer (firebase and firestore) are terrible compared to Dynamo and Cosmos in AWS and Azure. None of Google's Cloud services can hold a candle to their competitors. Android is a broken system with poorly programmed apps littering the landscape and an OS that struggles to properly manage resources. And Google cannot consistently find revenue outside of its ad space. It still makes a ton of money, but 87% of all revenue comes from ads. They are the least diverse of the Big 4 (Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google). Any serious shake up in the ad space and Google will be hurting. They use it to subsidize their other projects. G-Suite is about to lose a lot of clients that were sold a bill of goods and bought in due to low prices but lost a lot more hours of productivity and will be returning to Office 365 - I know of at least four massive corporate accounts that will be shifting within the next year. Google is in bad shape. Their revenue won't be in bad shape due to their ad sales, but they have a lot of bad publicity, privacy concerns, security concerns, and have consistently failed at everything outside their core businesses (ad sales and search). Android is a massive failure. It looks like it isn't due to the amount of users, but Google is losing control of it and may have to deal with a future where it will get less and less data from the platform. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the rates Google plans on charging for services in Europe. Alternatives could spring up - and MS could decide to give it a go if they sense an opportunity. I doubt they bring back Windows Phone, but they have the services to plug into Android as an alternative - they could offer them cheaper in Europe in an attempt to drive business away from Google.
  • That's an interesting perspective. I actually hope Chrome OS does well, if anything just for competition. But it does work nicely for the limited set of Web-based tasks it tackles. My mom's desktop runs Chrome OS, and it works like a dream.
  • It works well for some, but I expect Google to pull the plug in the next 2-3 years. It has never shown any real growth. Much hinges on if Google can grow its revenue outside of ads or not. If not, I expect they will pull back on subsidies for other projects.
  • Great review. If only there were an option for 8GB of RAM, in spite of the fact that Windows 10 has surprisingly good memory compression and management.
  • Yeah, agree 8GB would be even better. I've still yet to use an 8GB W10onA device.
  • As LTE data is still expensive where I live, the most interesting aspect of these WoA devices is battery life for me.
    That being said I find the 12 hours of real life usage disappointing. If I'm not mistaken there are Intel laptops out there that can do that already (or almost). I would have found it interesting if it could hit some 15-16 hours, but 12 is way too little for all the compromises.
    I hope someone else will be able to do better, otherwise this is not worth it as it means you can't get a second day of operation out of it without recharging.
  • 4 hours - at least - over Surface Pro is still 4 more hours of work. And Surface Pro 6 doesn't even have LTE. I don't think you can really wave your hand and brush away 4 extra hours of producitivty on an always-connected, instant-on PC. That's...very good. I"m also likely being conservative here as others seem to be reporting more.
  • I agree that 4 additional hours of operation are nothing to scoff at, but unfortunately there is kind of a hard limit in the scenario: make it through a second day of work without recharging.
    If you can't, it doesn't matter that much if you must recharge early afternoon instead of morning - you still have to recharge halfway through.
  • Yeah, I think the competition is the best battery life on a detachable (Surface Pro) rather than the best battery life on an ultrabook. If you want an ultrabook, you'll get an ultrabook. If you want a detachable tablet with awesome battery life, this is it (depending on your app use case).
  • The battery life is not ultra high because of the high resolution screen. Honestly I think full hd would have been sharp enough anyway for a 12 inch device, but Samsung (like Microsoft and Apple etc) is known for putting high reso screens in their devices. Perhaps HP or Lenovo or such will release WoA 850 snapdragon tablet with a full hd screen.
    Also I think if you set the brightness low you can also get very long battery life (since the screens seems like the culprit and dimming the screen often than makes quite a bit of difference).
  • I suspect that the real culprit here is the thickness of the device. Maybe Daniel can confirm but I believe this is slimmer than the SP. If it's true then they sacrificed battery capacity to achieve that.
  • The high-res AMOLED screen is nice, but I don't think it's worth it if it sacrifices battery life which is the purpose of the device. I would prefer if it was slim as HP Envy X2, it had better battery life as well.
  • Yeah, you're right about thickness. Surface Pro 6 is 8.5mm this is about 7.6mm. Pretty big difference, at least on paper. Ther QHD display defintely affects battery life the most. Pretty much all WoA devices have been just FHD so far. Other way of looking it: it's amazing to use a sAMOLED QHD display and still get 12+ hours.
  • Could you please compare battery life and performance (with and without emulation) between HP Envy X2, Surface go and this?
  • I'll stick with saving my pennies for a surface go. Most of my go to software Requires 64bit. Besides, I prefer the nail side of the thumb and the quality I've come to expect from Surface Hardware.
  • I would like something like these in iPad size, and for sure more memory
  • "And for multi-core processing using ARM-compiled apps, the Galaxy Book2 beats a Surface Pro 4 Core i5." Daniel, that is a load of crap and you know it. The Surface Pro will absolutely crush any ARM run tablet. Geekbench has been proven to be a fraudulent benchmark, especially when it comes to comparing ARM to x86. Geekbench heavily favors ARM because of encryption. Gordon Ung of PCWorld benchmarked the original iPad Pro against the SP3 and SP4 a few years ago. Geekbench showed they were comparable, but in every other benchmark the SP crushed the iPad Pro. Stop using or trusting Geekbench. A Surface Pro 6 will crush this device in real benchmarks.
  • (1) Geekbench 4.03 now officially suports testing Windows 10 on ARM and that is why it was used - take up any controversy with them (2) There are no other well-known benchmarks that can do both ARM and "Win32 on ARM" testing. There's some in PCMark 10 just announced last week, but it's still a bit rough. (3) Suggest something better (4) Putting benchmarks aside I 100% percent stand by the results/conclusion/analsyis here because unlike you I've been using this device - and other ARM devices - for weeks and months now (5) Fact: Intel Pentium = fewer cores than ARM SD850. (6) Provide ANY evidence that contradicts my conclusion, not just ranting/raving and conjecture, please.
  • I wish instead of putting 1440p Amoled screen, they put 1080p IPS screen and 8GB ram, it would have been more useful. On an 12" screen 1440p is a little bit overkill. Full HD might also have helped with the performance and battery life. Looking forward to Lenovo C630 WOS review...
  • How would this device hold up connecting to a virtual desktop? Please can someone give some information? Waited for this but seems as if it would be best to wait a lil longer. But connecting to VDI may be the cure all for the lack of apps etc.
  • Office 365 and Slack (plus iTunes and EverNote) ARE Win32 apps. They'll suffer from the same problems as Chrome no matter where you install them from.
  • "In other words, if you stick to Microsoft Store apps and the Edge browser the performance is excellent, but if you go outside the Store, you get Surface 3 to Surface Go performance." So it's terrible then. Few buying a Windows device is going to accept this compromise. Samsung are partly to blame for only including 4GB RAM. They can't do much about the processor but particularly should've included 8GB!
  • If these work cheap, like many Chromebooks, many would forgive the performance hit but they're about the same as Surface Pros but you get (possibly) Surface Go performance. Few are going to considering the extra battery life enough of a reason, given that the 20 hours isn't a real world number. I only get about 4 hours, 5 hours sometimes maybe, out of my Surface Pro 4 so if the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Pro 6 can give 8-9 hours is already a significant improvement.
  • I'm still waiting for a 6-8inch Windows 10 ARM tablet.
  • For what it's worth, I was at MS Future Decoded in London today and attended the talk "Surface in the LTE World" by Richard Warren. He gave an outline of and overview over LTE, why it is important in a business context (basically so that "Front Line Workers" don't have to go back to base for any task), and how it is implemented in MS products, specifically Surface products.
    At the end of the session, an audience member asked Warren about the specifications for the Surface Go with LTE. Warren laughed and answered that he can't answer the question because answering it would be tantamount to a product announcement. And then he paused, and continued that the Surface Go will have the same LTE modem as the Surface Pro with LTE. So. Interestingly, earlier in his presentation, when Warren discussed Microsoft's commitment to LTE; he said that it is very important to future Surface products _and other future Microsoft devices_. Now, I don't believe that Andromeda will ever see the light of day. But what else could he have meant?
  • Just ordered mines. Will be here Monday. Look forward to checking it out.