Samsung Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

GalaxyBook

Samsung announced new tablets today in Barcelona. The Android Galaxy Tab S3 and the Windows Galaxy Book. I already had a chance to try them, and I have a pretty solid opinion on them.

The Galaxy Tab 3 follows the same design pattern as the iPad Pro 9.7. It's a very solid device with a georgeous display supporting HDR video, long battery life and pen input. Samsung uses a Wacom pen that works without charging and pairing. It is fast, accurate and recognizes 4k levels of pressure. It has a clip and a button which turns the pen into an eraser. I tried it with OneNote and it worked just as well as an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. The Tab S3 will hit the market next month at exactly the same price points as an entry level iPad Pro, with and without LTE. The pen is in the box and not a separate purchase like the Apple Pencil. The tablet comes with only 32 GB of storage that can be expanded up to 256 GB with a microSD storage card. If you like Samsung phones, you will like the Tab S3. Unlike the Galaxy Note, it does not provide for storing the pen. It is too big to fit into the device, there is no magnetic attachment, you could only glue a loop to the cover.

I am not into Android tablets, but I like Windows 10 convertibles. So the Galaxy Book is right up my alley. There is a 10.8" model with 7th generation Core m3 and 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage, and a 12" Core i5 with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. They will hit the market in June. I find the smaller model to be underpowered on the memory front, while the 12" model looks perfect to me. Like the Surface Pro it attaches a full screen keyboard with magnets and pogo pins and it supports exactly the same pen as the Tab S3. There is no kickstand so you have to use the cover to prop up the device in laptop mode. The smaller model has one USB Type C port, the bigger one two.

The Galaxy Book does not have a fingerprint reader or a Hello camera, but you can log in via the tight integration that Samsung provides with their own Galaxy phones. Once again this looks like a great device for somebody already in the Samsung eco system, which I am not. The keyboard and trackpad work well, you will immediately feel at home. There is NFC support in the keyboard cover to bond the Galaxy Book with your Galaxy phone. Good news: Samsung will offer an LTE version of the device, which makes it truely mobile.

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