Samsung’s been busy this week. At the start of the week, they revealed the Galaxy Watch Active 2, which seems to be a promising refinement of the first model. Only a few days after, Samsung unveiled their highly-anticipated Note 10 and Note 10+, the presentation receiving mixed reviews.
But these products were leaked ages ago. Where’s the original content, Samsung!? Wait, a new laptop?
Yes, that’s right, Samsung decided to surprise the tech community by unveiling a new laptop that seems to challenge Chromebooks while keeping Windows.
Welcoming a New Member
This laptop is the Galaxy Book S, Samsung’s ultraportable offering to go against the Surface Pro. Well…sort of.
The Galaxy Book S’ main selling point is the fact that it’s super lightweight, weighing only 2.12 pounds. The laptop is thin as well, allowing portability on par with the Surface Pro/Go and Apple’s MacBook Air.
Perhaps the most courageous claim is the 23-hour battery life Samsung is toting for the S. While real world usage probably won’t reach 23 hours, we’re still talking a battery life that could go last 10-15 hours on a single charge! With such a thin chassis and light frame, how did Samsung accomplish this?
This is where the catch comes in.
Non-Participation in the Power Gauntlet
A battery life like that can only be reached by either a) a big, big, battery or b) a low-powered device. As it turns out, the Galaxy Book S is the latter.
Instead of repping the latest Intel or AMD processor, the Galaxy Book S uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor—the same line of processors found in Samsung’s phones.
Worries crossed my mind whenever I heard that the new Galaxy laptop is going to use an ARM processor. An ARM processor running Windows! It can definitely be done, but the results aren’t always pretty.
It’s not that ARM processors are bad, as they’re just processors with reduced power and heat output. For mobile devices and smaller, non-resource-intensive devices, ARM processors are more than fine, but running Windows 10? Don’t be shocked when the laptop slows down or takes forever to load is all I’m going to say.
I get it though. Some people require a laptop that will last the whole day, and ARM processors are the solution. However, the Book S’ starting price of $999 is, in my opinion, absurd.
For $200 less, you can currently get a Surface Pro 6 that comes with an 8th generation Intel i5, a lightweight frame, and probably has enough battery to get you through the work day. For $200, I can get a whole VPN router and keep my home secure!
I’m not dissing the Galaxy Book S or anything, as I like the idea of ARM laptops; it’s the fact that Samsung is trying to price gouge consumers for what is basically a giant, foldable phone (RIP Galaxy Fold).
Samsung isn’t the only company to pull this in recent years: Google’s take on the Chromebook, the Pixelbook, costs a lot of money. The Chromebook was designed to be an affordable, decent alternative to Windows laptops or Apple MacBooks, but Google decided to charge $999 as well.
Samsung, Google and other companies are attempting to take advantage of the ultraportable trend right now. It was only a decade ago that most laptops were fat, heavy pieces of metal that almost broke your back, and now you can have the power of a desktop in a 2-pound package.
However, this leads companies to take advantage, and I don’t see how this benefits them. Will some people buy the Galaxy Book S? Undoubtedly. Will the product succeed? I don’t know, it won’t be out until September.
These corporations getting involved with the more…niche laptops is a good thing for the growth of those laptops, but it kind of hurts growth and development if no one can afford the devices in the first place. Come on Samsung, your phones are already breaking the $1,000 barrier, keep your laptops on the down low.