by Andrew Heinzman on
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The first Galaxy Book was something of an odd duck: a standard tablet form factor with a full-power Intel setup for running Windows. The sequel hardware mixes things up a bit.
The most obvious change for the Galaxy Book 2 is the Surface-style kickstand, integrated into the tablet for freestanding goodness just about anywhere. The original model used a wrap-around folio case with an integrated keyboard, very much like Google’s new Pixel Slate. The keyboard on this machine is also very reminiscent of the Surface, with chicklet keys and a fold-up “tent” angle, but unlike Microsoft’s machine, it comes in the box for no extra charge. So does the active stylus pen. If you’re keeping count, Samsung’s throwing in about $200 worth of hardware that Microsoft still wants you to buy separately.
The other big change is harder to spot: underneath that beautiful 12-inch AMOLED screen is a Snapdragon 850 processor, the same one that powers most other Windows ARM devices. Samsung is using Qualcomm’s new buddy-buddy relationship with Microsoft to run Windows on ARM-based hardware. And while that does bring a few disadvantages, like the loss of 64-bit applications, it comes with a few dividends, too. Samsung says the Galaxy Book 2 can run for up to 20 hours in Windows S mode, which is pretty amazing for a Windows-powered machine thinner than the average smartphone (7.6mm). That mobile hardware also means that LTE capabilities are built in at no extra charge. The Galaxy Book 2 will be sold at AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon stores with data plans that take advantage of its untethered prowess.
Other notable hardware includes 8MP/5MP cameras on the rear and front respectively, an integrated fingerprint reader, and two USB-C ports. Unfortunately, the memory leaves something to be desired, with just 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on the $1000 tablet. If there are more beefy versions of the Galaxy Book 2 in the works, Samsung didn’t mention them in its initial announcement. The tablet goes on sale starting November 2nd.
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