Samsung on Thursday announced the Galaxy Book 2, a new always on and "Always Connected" PC (ACPC) built for all-day productivity. It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 mobile platform, which Qualcomm purpose-built for these kinds of devices with a claimed 30 percent performance uplift compared to previous generation ACPCs powered by the Snapdragon 835 SoC.
The Galaxy Book 2 is one of a relatively new breed of 2-in-1 devices wielding ARM hardware underneath hood and running Windows 10 S. There's an obvious raw performance trade off versus building a 2-in-1 around a burlier x86 chip, but these devices purportedly offer multi-workday (not just all day) battery life, in this case to the tune of uninterrupted workflow of up to 20 hours, Samsung claims. Assuming an 8-hour workday, Samsung is suggesting the Galaxy Book 2 can last more than two full work days on a single charge.
That's impressive, if it holds true. Just as importantly, the upgrade from a Snapdragon 835 chip to the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform gives devices like the Galaxy Book 2 more grunt. We saw a little bit of this a couple of months ago when early benchmarks of the Snapdragon 850 leaked to the web. Video editors and other professionals who routine use their laptops for heavy lifting chores will still want to look elsewhere, though for general purpose productivity, the Galaxy Book 2 and similar devices offer an interesting alternative to x86 laptops and 2-in-1s.
"The way the world works is undergoing an incredible transformation, and users need technology that keeps them connected and ready for anything when they’re out in the world getting things done," said Alanna Cotton, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Samsung Electronics America. "The Galaxy Book 2 brings together Samsung’s hardware and connectivity leadership with innovations from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Microsoft for a two-in-one that uniquely delivers PC productivity and superior mobility."
Samsung's Galaxy Book 2 features a 12-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2160x1440 resolution. In addition to the Snapdragon 850 part with four high-power 2.96GHz cores and four battery-saving 1.7GHz cores, it's equipped with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, the latter of which users can upgrade by way of a microSD card slot.
Other features include a 5-megapixel front camera for video conferencing, an 8-megapixel rear camera, USB-C (x2) connectivity, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, various sensors (accelerometer, fingerprint, gyro, geomagnetic, light), and 4G LTE connectivity thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon X20 LTE modem.
Samsung is including an S-Pen with the purchase of a Galaxy Book 2. It also comes with a keyboard, which is another value proposition for this type of 2-in-1. Samsung's asking price is $999.99, with availability starting November 2 online at AT&T, Microsoft, and Samsung. The Galaxy Book 2 will be available in brick-and-mortar stores at AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon later this month.