Following last nights Samsung event everyone may be talking about the new Galaxy Note 10 series, but I’d argue that the new Galaxy Book S is the more exciting product.
Unlike the Galaxy Book and Galaxy Book 2, this one is more of a traditional laptop with a permanent keyboard and clamshell design.
What makes it stand out from the crowd is the latest Snapdragon 8cx from Qualcomm. Windows on Arm had a bit of a shaky start, though I still use my HP Envy X2, it is just not very fast. With a couple of years of regular Windows updates and two chipset iterations since the SD835 on the Envy X2, Windows on Arm could be the way forward for ultra-portable all day always-on laptops.
The Galaxy Book S sports a 13.3-inch FHD TFT display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and supports 10-point multi-touch. Thanks to the tiny and low powered Snapdragon the laptop weighs just 0.96kg. That makes it one of laptops on the market. For comparison, the Surface Pro 6 weighs 770g without its keyboard, and the LG Gram weighs 1.09 kg.
The notebook is then complemented with 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and is available in the 256GB and 512GB solid-state drive variants. You can also expand this storage with up to 1TB with a microSD card
There are two USB Type-C ports, providing support for Power Deliver 2.0, Adaptive Fast Charging and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 for when you want to charge the Galaxy Book S. Sadly no Wi-Fi 6.
Wireless connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0, up to LTE Cat. 18 speeds using a nanoSIM card, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, and GPS. There’s also a fingerprint reader for those that want additional security, along with a 720p HD camera up top, and Stereo Speakers that have been tuned by AKG.
Thanks to the low powered chipset the laptop is completely fanless, it also allows for an Always On, Always Connected laptop. With this, the laptop works like your phone, it doesn’t switch off or go to sleep when you press the power button it comes on straight away with all the apps as they were when you left them.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy Book S’ 42Wh is enough to support video playback of up to 23 hours on a single charge. So for normal use, you should easily get multi-day performance.
The notebook will be available in the colours Earthy Gold and Mercury Gray. As for availability, it will be released in September in select markets starting at a price of $999, which we think will include a 256GB SSD.
There is no announced UK availability, but I would expect it to happen, and I would also guess that the price will be £999
Just like on our phones, the Snapdragon 8cx is more than just a CPU, it is a full system on chip providing the GPU, and wireless connectivity including 4G mobile data all in a package that uses a fraction of the power compared to Intel.
The Snapdragon 8cx features eight cores and is manufactured in 7nm at TSMC. The 4 Kryo 495 Gold cores are based on the ARM Cortex-A76 architecture (for performance) and clocked at 2.84 GHz under load (no single-core Turbo). The 4 Kryo 495 Silver cores are small ARM Cortex-A55 cores for power efficiency and clocked at 1.9 GHz under load.
The integrated X24 LTE modem supports up to 2 Gbps download speeds, though Samsung are advertising this as 1200Mbps.
The processor performance should be similar to an Intel Core i5 8th gen U-series (e.g. i5-8250U) according to Qualcomm.
The integrated Adreno 680 graphics card is a beefier version of the Adreno 640 in the Snapdragon 855 and should be twice as fast as the old Adreno 630 (in Windows laptops) and offer a 60% higher efficiency.