During the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) in San Jose (California), Samsung has announced three new laptops aimed at “younger millennials” who don’t want to compromise on portability, no matter the task at hand. To address this market, Samsung proposes thin & light and ultralight solutions going from 13.3 to 15.6 inches displays.
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex
The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is the premium laptop designed to pair up with high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 10 or S10+, even down to the color – that is, if you like that beautiful metallic blue.
The Book Flex is Samsung’s “Yoga” laptop, which means that it has a 360-degree hinge that allows it to turn into a tablet and everything in between. The aluminum design is manufactured with high-quality materials, and it is quite obvious that it is a relatively expensive computer, even though no official pricing has been revealed yet.
The Samsun QLED FHD display is highly promoted by Samsung, as it is the first time that this technology and branding makes it out of the Television market. In some way, I’m surprised that it took so long because quality aside, the branding could help Samsung since it’s very difficult for PC OEMs to differentiate with a display panel brand.
For a good reason, reviewers compare intrinsic qualities such as brightness (in NITs), or color gamut (in % of the sRGB space). However, not everyone understands what that means, and having a powerful brand could be a sway factor.
This particular QLED display’s specification shows that it can go to 600 NITs of brightness (way above average) and cover the whole sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts (again, way above average). Most screens are capable of reproducing 16M colors, but Samsung’s can top 1 Billion. We’ll take a closer look when we review it.
A tradeshow is a terrible place to check how good the audio performance is, but technically, the AKG speaker setup is 178% louder than Samsung’s previous generation laptop in this category.
At 1.2Kg (2.53 Lbs) and 12mm thin, the Galaxy Book Flex 13-inch is among the lightest thin & light laptops to have been announced. If you need to get more done, there’s a 15-inch version that has a discrete NVIDIA GPU option, as well. Both come with a 10th Generation Intel processor, although the exact models remain unknown for now.
The Galaxy Book flex also shared a couple of things with the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series: it has a wireless charging pad just below the trackpad (at least 10W), and that’s hugely convenient if you want to charge your phone while watching a movie, or quick-charge wireless earbuds.
The integrated digital pen lets users write with ease on the large screen. The S-Pen behaves just like the Galaxy Note 10’s and features a laser pointer (!), programmable buttons, air commands, a set of gestures to control slides, volume, and more.
Finally, the Galaxy Book has a large 69.7Wh battery that is quite unusually large in the 13.3-inch thin & light PC market.
Quick specs: Intel Core 10th Gen, 13.3 or 15.6 inches FHD QLED display, 16GB RAM max, 1TB SSD max, GeForce MX250 option for the 15.6” version.
Galaxy Book Ion
The Galaxy Ion is an ultra-mobile laptop and is more akin to something like the LG Gram, which is super-light, but normal-looking.
Samsung didn’t try to make the Galaxy Book Ion super-thin, as it would make everything inside much more expensive, and instead focused on the weight.
From afar, it looks like a regular laptop, but its magnesium chassis makes it much lighter than aluminum competitors.
Weighing just 0.97 Kg (2.13 Lbs), it feels a bit odd when you grab it the first time as your senses are telling you that it a dummy mock-up, even though you’re holding a real, fully-functional, laptop. The QLED display quality is the first hint that the computer is indeed running.
The internal components of the Galaxy Book Ion are very similar to the Galaxy Book Flex, including the fact that both 13.3 and 15.6” versions exist, and they have the same 69.7Wh battery capacity.