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Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book: Which should you buy?

Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book: Which should you buy?

Surface Pro (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Samsung Galaxy Book, available in both 10-inch and 12-inch options, is a direct competitor to Microsoft's updated Surface Pro. Both predecessors, the Galaxy TabPro S and the Surface Pro 4, make our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops, so there's no questioning we're excited about these updated devices. How does the Galaxy Book stack up against the new Surface Pro? Let's take a look in our head-to-head comparison.

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book tech specs

A table of specs is always a good way to start a comparison. You can see below that there are quite a few similarities between the devices. All are using seventh-generation processors, all have pen support, and all come in the 2-in-1 design.

CategorySurface ProSamsung Galaxy Book 10Samsung Galaxy Book 12
OSWindows 10Windows 10Windows 10
ProcessorIntel Core m3-7Y30
Intel Core i5-7300U
Intel Core i7-7660U
Intel Core m3-7Y30Intel Core i5-7200U
RAM4GB/8GB/16GB LPDDR34GB LPDDR38GB LPDDR3
DisplayPixelSense
12.3-inch
2736 x 1824
3:2 aspect ratio
TFT
10.6-inch
1920 x 1280
3:2 aspect ratio
AMOLED
12-inch
2160 x 1440
3:2 aspect ratio
Storage128GB/256GB/512GB 1TB SSD64GB eMMC
128GB SSD
128GB/256GB SSD
GraphicsCore m3: Intel HD Graphics 615
Core i5: Intel HD Graphics 620
Core i7: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Intel HD Graphics 615Intel HD Graphics 620
CameraRear 8.0MP 1080p
Front 5.0MP 1080p
Front 5.0MPRear 13.0MP
Front 5.0MP
BiometricsIR camera with Windows HelloNoneNone
Dimensions11.50 inches x 7.9 inches x 0.33 inches
292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm
10.28 inches x 7.05 inches x 0.35 inches
261mm x 179.07mm x 8.89mm
11.46 inches x 7.86 inches x 0.29 inches
291mm x 199.6mm x 7.3mm
Weight1.69 pounds to 1.73 pounds (0.77kg to 0.78kg)1.42 pounds (0.64kg)1.66 pounds (0.75kg)
PortsUSB-A 3.0
Mini DisplayPort
microSDXC card reader
Surface Connect
3.5mm jack
USB-C 3.1
microSD card reader
3.5mm jack
Two USB-C 3.1
microSD card reader
3.5mm jack
WLAN802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
WWAN4G LTE with nano SIM and eSIM (optional)No4G LTE-A Cat 6 (optional)
Battery13.5 hours9 hours11 hours
PenSurface PenS PenS Pen
PriceStarting at $799 (opens in new tab)Starting at $630 (opens in new tab)Starting at $1,130 (opens in new tab)

It's clear here that if you want a top performer, you need to go with the Surface Pro. The Core i7 configuration not only has a faster processor, it also has Iris Plus graphics, and you can cram in 16GB of RAM compared to 8GB in the Galaxy Book.

It should also be noted that the Core i5 processor in the Surface Pro is fanless, which gives it a bit of an edge over the Galaxy Book's fan that tends to run more often than not.

Winner: Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book display

All displays have the same 3:2 aspect ratio.

For anyone who doesn't need a 12-inch device, the Galaxy Book 10 has a smaller form but has a TFT display with a lower resolution. At 1280p, it will still look great, but it's not going to wow like the Surface Pro or Galaxy Book 12 displays.

Between the Surface Pro's 1824p display and the Galaxy Book 12's 1440p display, you'll have a harder time choosing. Samsung's AMOLED option is gorgeous, but so is the Surface Pro's PixelSense display. Between these two, we'll call it a draw.

Winner: Tie

See at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book design

Creating a tablet that doubles as a laptop and doesn't frustrate the user is no easy feat. Microsoft has kept most of their tried-and-true design here, with a kickstand built into the tablet and a detachable keyboard and touchpad. One big change is that the kickstand on the new Surface Pro can now extend to 165 degrees, something artists will love.

The Galaxy Book's kickstand is built into the keyboard, so if you don't have it attached, you can't prop the tablet up to, say, watch a movie or TV show. Even when attached it can be a bit bothersome and isn't as adjustable as the Surface Pro. Both Galaxy Book models do weigh less than the Surface Pro, but only marginally.

Overall, the design category is close to a draw. These slim tablets are easy to carry around with you and have about the same amount of bezel. However, it's the kickstand built right into the tablet that pushes the Surface Pro ahead.

Winner: Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book touchpad and keyboard

The Surface Pro's Type Cover acts as a sort of case for the device when it's not in use, giving it a dossier look when closed. The Galaxy Book has the same idea, but doesn't use the same Alcantara fabric.

Both keyboards have backlit chiclet keys and Precision touchpads, meaning all Windows 10 gestures work here. It's hard to pick a winner, as there are no doubt many differing opinions on which keys have better travel and better spacing, so we will call this one a draw.

Winner: Tie

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book features

The Galaxy Book 10 has one USB-C port while the Galaxy Book 12 has two USB-C ports, meaning if you're still using older peripherals with USB-A, you'll need some dongles. None of these devices support Thunderbolt 3, which is not surprising in a tablet form factor.

A microSD card reader on both size models allows you to expand the storage up to 256GB. The Surface Pro has retained the USB-A 3.1 port, and also has the same microSD card reader. Both have 3.5mm headphone jacks.

If you're looking for LTE connectivity, both the Galaxy Book 12 and Surface Pro are suitable options. Note that the Galaxy Book 10 is so far Wi-Fi only.

Best Surface Pro Accessories

When it comes to inking, in other words using the Surface Pen and S Pen, casual users are going to get about the same experience. Artists, however, should take advantage of the new Surface Pen, especially when coupled with the Surface Dial. Also, unlike the Surface Pen's magnetic attachment, the S Pen must be attached with a loop on the keyboard.

Perhaps the biggest thing missing from the Galaxy Book is Windows Hello, the biometric security system that lets you log in with a fingerprint reader or IR camera. The Surface Pro has the IR camera, whereas the Galaxy Book has neither option. If you're logging in, it's with a good, old password.

Winner: Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book pricing

ConfigurationSurface ProGalaxy Book 10Galaxy Book 12 (Wi-Fi)Galaxy Book 12 (LTE)
Base model$799 (opens in new tab)$630 (opens in new tab)$1,130 (opens in new tab)
Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD$999 (opens in new tab)$730 (opens in new tab)$1,130 (opens in new tab)$1,300 (opens in new tab)
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD$1,299 (opens in new tab)$1,330 (opens in new tab)
Core i7Starting at $1,599 (opens in new tab)

Here's the kicker. The Galaxy Book 10 is almost $200 cheaper than the base model of the Surface Pro, and that's without factoring in the price of a Type Cover and Surface Pen. If you're just looking for a new 2-in-1 device to browse the web and watch some TV, the Galaxy Book 10 should be taken into serious consideration.

However, once we compare the Galaxy Book 12 and the Surface Pro, it becomes a bit more difficult to decide. For a Surface Pro with an Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, you're looking at about $1,300 (opens in new tab). A Type Cover and Surface Pen are sold separately from the Surface Pro, which will up the final price by a couple hundred dollars.

For a similar Galaxy Book 12, you're looking at about $1,330 (opens in new tab), but you also get the keyboard and S Pen included.

Just want the fastest device possible? The top Surface Pro Core i7 configuration has the power you need, but it's going to cost about $2,700 (opens in new tab) without adding the cost of a Type Cover and Surface Pen.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Book

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Book overall winner

In this comparison, it's the Surface Pro that comes out on top, winning the performance category thanks to its Core i7 configuration, winning the design category thanks to its integrated kickstand, and winning the features category thanks to Windows Hello compatibility.

The Samsung Galaxy Book is still a very attractive option and will no doubt suit many people thanks to its lower price and similar function.

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.

23 Comments
  • Never waste my money on Samsung.
  • Thankfully, the Galaxy Book 10 will have an LTE version in Europe... when [finally] released. The smaller size makes it a clear winner for me.
  • Surface look much better. The camera component on SGB look cheap. Well... I prefer 1st party devices. It's the same reason why I use Nexus. Because Samsung tempers the API.
  • TFT display for the 10 inch version? You must be kidding! And no back camera? Well, those combined are the deal breaker for me. T_T
  • The lack of a back camera might be a deal breaker for some, but I cannot ever imagine myself turning on the back camera of any tablet, be it a Windows device or an iPad, no matter how good that camera may be. Regarding the TFT display on the 10-inch version: According to a German hands-on report (netzwelt.de) the difference between the TFT panel of the 10-inch version and the sAMOLED panel of the 12-inch version was surprisingly little. Meaning that the TFT panel is of high quality. Provided we can believe the report...
  • Thanks ronaldlangley. If Samsung do not use AMOLED (which I am still sceptical for burn in), at least give me IPS like Surface 3. With my Surface 3 good quality screen, it's hard for me to upgrade to TFT panel.
    .
    On the camera, I use mine all the time for
    - Office Lens
    - Snap photo and put directly into OneNote
    - Take quick video for my OneNote
  • I am pretty sure it will be an IPS panel. I really wouldn't be concerned about that. Though I understand that in your use-case a back camera on the tablet might be handy, why not just use your mobile phone that you most likely have it with you anyway and probably takes way better quality pictures than any tablet on the market? At least that is what I would do.
  • My use case for OneNote is like that.
    I take photo and annotate on it or around it, then share it right away. It makes my life much easier and I am being 100% more productive.
    .
    That's why Surface is a hero device for me. I cannot go back to a device without back camera now. You can also tell how unimpressed I am with Surface Laptop Lolz.
  • Fair enough. Cheers (My biggest gripe with the 10-inch version is the lack of back-lit keyboard as opposed to the 12-inch version one.)
  • Arrr... another gripe... :D
  • How about for taking a picture of a check when using mobile deposit for your bank... need that rear camera.
  • Which one?  Neither.  Here comes Eve.....
  • Definitely MS! I'm definitely not a fan at this time of Sammy and not completely confident on they manufacturing process and quality control.
  • I would have gotten the Galaxy Book over the SP4, but I'm not sure which I would go with right now, I'm a fan of both companies and like both devices.
  • Well I'm pretty sure the Galaxy Book was shown at the end of Wonder Woman. So I think I'll be buying that one.
  • I think that was an Android tablet (Galaxy Tab?). I saw the Android's triangle and circle icons on the taskbar.
  • Oh yea, that's right. Galaxy Tab is more accurate.
  • I believe I will wait for Windows 10 on ARM devices. Hopefully the prices are right.
  • Why would anyone buy a Samsung - as soon as I saw the keyboard I was out. SP3/4/5 Hardware is superior to any hardware built I have ever used in the Wintel ecosystem. Dell's Precision machines come to mind but man they weighed a TON! Not to mention MS' great service when things go wrong...Spend hours on phone with some dude around the world or step into a MS Store, grab a Coke and let them deal with the problem!! MS: Great device and Awesome service - the choice is clear.
  • Not getting Samsung since they won't support Windows 10 Mobile
  • I dunno man, I picked up the M3/8gig/256gig (Gold, updated Best Buy model) open box for $399. The OLED screen is nuts. Looks so damn good. It's a perfectly servicable computer. Watching Netflix on it now as a matter of fact. Stunning panel. I didn't get the crappy $79 bluetooth wacom (Que?) pen so I just use it as tablet with a keyboard mostly. Having full Office on it is great for travel. You can really do everything possible on it. The new ones are neat, but too expensive. And the SP are always great, if not a bit big (vs this little guy). OLED will spoil you.
  • I hate the keyboards that do that little flip in the back.  Clear winner in keyboard is surface.  Just for that feature.  Just like the ipad pro keyboard, and the pixel c.  yuck!
  • Thank you Dan for another great review. I think that the 2 in 1 is the future of mobile computing. Keep 'em coming.