Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious

Arriving in 10.6- and 12-inch versions, Samsung's new tablets are packed with productivity features—plus the inevitable extra trick for Samsung enthusiasts.

If Samsung can beat Microsoft’s pricing, then it may just have a wily competitor to the Surface Pro line. On Sunday, Samsung announced Galaxy Book, a 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet that’s packed with productivity and entertainment features, and immediately evokes thoughts of the Surface Pro 4 the moment you see it attached to its Pogo keyboard.

Unlike the Surface, which boasts just a single screen size (a 12.3-inch, 2736x1824 display), the new Galaxy Book comes in 10.6- and 12-inch versions. The smaller Galaxy Book features a traditional TFT LCD display at 1920x1280, but the 12-inch model rocks a breathtaking, HDR-capable AMOLED display at 2160x1440.

And, remember, these are Windows tablets, so Intel silicon runs the show. The 10.6-inch Galaxy Book includes a 7th-gen Core m3 running at 2.6GHz, while the premium model boasts a 7th-gen Core i5 running at 3.1GHz.

samsung book Michael Simon

Here’s the 12-inch Galaxy Book, complete with Pogo keyboard and updated S Pen.

It’s all very PC-like. And that’s not bad for a 7.4mm tablet that comes with a solid typing experience and strong pen support.

Why this, why now? The two Galaxy Books slide nicely into Samsung’s mobile productivity story—a narrative that’s missing the Note7 flagship phone, certainly the most useful phone in the world before it fizzled and died.

I spent about 20 minutes playing with the larger Galaxy Book, and was impressed with Samsung Flow (which sends Galaxy smartphone notifications straight to the Galaxy Book); the Pogo keyboard (which has three levels of back-lighting, and 1.5mm of key travel); and the new S Pen (which triggers Samsung’s “Air Command” menu options for a whole bunch of cool productivity features).

In all, it’s a compelling package that may satisfy the curiosity of Samsung diehards while the company preps the follow-up to the not-so-flame-retardant smartphone. And, hey, if the Galaxy Book can attract some would-be Surface Pro buyers, that’s good news for Samsung too.

samsung pogo keyboard Michael Simon

The Pogo keyboard has three levels of backlighting.

Pretty, pretty pixels

Samsung demoed the Galaxy Book 12’s AMOLED display by playing a video with High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, and the color saturation was amazing. Granted, there’s not much HDR content currently floating around, but if you want to prepare for the next big thing in video, the larger Galaxy Book is ready.

Equally fun: the animated GIF creator that pops up in Samsung’s Air Command menu. Just hover the S Pen over a hotspot on the right side of the display, and you’ll get a snazzy menu of various productivity features. There are Air Commands for screen capture, PDF annotation, display magnification, and a few other things, but it’s the GIF creator that will keep you busy turning videos into quick, easily shared animations.

You can become the most annoying person on the Internet in seconds!

galaxy book edge Michael Simon

The Pogo keyboard attaches to this connector, and requires neither charging nor Bluetooth tethering.

The S Pen includes more than 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity, and doesn’t require any charging or Bluetooth tethering to the tablet. There’s also a special S Pen feature that’s only available on this Windows 10 machine: the ability to tilt the pen to create brushstrokes of various widths. To this extent, the Galaxy Book becomes a strong tool for artists—and it’s something that’s not yet available on the Surface Pro 4.

Unfortunately, though, there’s no way to physically tether the S Pen to the tablet once you shut down—no pen loop, and no storage hole built into the chassis.

Let’s get down to business

Samsung’s Pogo keyboard gives the Galaxy Book its 2-in-1 Windows laptop vibe, and in my limited time with it, I found it just as comfortable to use as Microsoft’s Surface keyboard. The key action just felt good at 1.5mm of travel, and the bright back-lighting was impressive even in a well-lit demo room. And, remember, it’s not a Bluetooth keyboard, so you don’t need to worry about batteries, charging or tethering.

But Samsung Flow may be even more impressive in the big scheme of Samsung’s productivity story. First introduced with the Galaxy TabPro S, this feature pushes notifications from your Galaxy phone to the new Galaxy Book. The usphot is that if the two devices are tethered via Bluetooth, your phone’s emails and text messages will appear on the tablet, and you can reply to them from a Samsung Flow interface on the Windows 10 machine.

Sadly, Samsung Flow only works with Samsung Galaxy phones, but it’s a great tool for consolidating all communication on your desktop. And it should come in even handier if your phone is sitting in another room.

Samsung will have optional LTE versions of both Galaxy Book sizes. The 10.6-inch tablet comes with 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB SSDs. The 12-inch version has two memory options: 4GB RAM paired with a 128GB SSD or 8GB RAM with a 256GB SSD. And all versions come with microSD support for another 256GB of storage, as well as fast-charging batteries.

Price? Availability? Both are unknown at press time. But if Samsung really wants to make some waves, it will aggressively undercut Surface Pro 4 pricing. Sure, the Galaxy Book offers a few compelling unique features, but it’s still a Windows tablet playing in a competitive space.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags notebookssamsungMWC 2017tablets

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Phillips

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?