A Windows tablet with integrated gigabit LTE and 20 hours of battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 offers a lot of potential for tablet buyers looking for a more powerful alternative to the Apple iPad. Theoretically, the $ 999.99 Galaxy Book2 combines the best of the big-screen Apple iPad Pro (long battery life, instant start, vivid touch screen, pen support) with the power of Windows 10 (the ability to use a mouse and run desktop software) , , Add a Gigabit LTE modem, and it gets even more fascinating. The big mystery, however, is whether Book2's Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor is powerful enough to deliver a computing experience that is not affected by sluggishness and incompatible apps. We have a quick first look and a few impressions.
Keyboard and Pen Included
Samsung gave PCMag a first look at the Book2, which will be released on November 2nd. When I picked it up, I noticed that the physical design of the tablet shares much more with the Microsoft Surface Pro than with the Apple iPad Pro. That's because it has a built-in stand on which the tablet can be mounted on the desk. It is also equipped with a keyboard cover in the box. Attach the keyboard cover ̵
Microsoft pioneered the Surface Pro and other companies such as Dell, HP Lenovo has refined it later with devices such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 520. In the case of the Galaxy Book2, the whole package feels like a thick coffee table book rather than a laptop. The 12-inch screen is slightly smaller than the iPad Pro 12.9 inches and the Surface Pro is 12.3 inches, but it's a negligible difference if you hold it. A typical example: Without a keyboard cover, the Galaxy Book2 weighs 1.75 pounds and measures 0.3 by 11.32 by 7.89 pounds (HWD), while the Surface Pro 6 measures 0.33 by 11.5 by 7.9 inches (HWD). HWD) and weighs 1.7 pounds. You will be hard pressed to give the edge.
The keys feel very solid and travel a satisfying distance when you push them, but the keyboard cover itself is quite pliable, resulting in a significant amount of flex when you enter hard. I appreciate the textured back of the keyboard cover, but by far the best I can say is that unlike the Surface Type Cover, which must be purchased separately from the Surface Pro, it is included at no extra cost.  Samsung Galaxy Book2 4 "border =" 0 "class =" center "src =" https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/613218-comfortable-keys.jpg?thumb=y&width=980&height=456 "/>
The display is an AMOLED panel and its resolution of 2,160 by 1,440 pixels is between 4K and Full HD, and it is not as high resolution as the 2,736-by-1,824-pixel Surface Pro 6 screen AMOLED technology lends a liveliness to the colors that the Surface Pro can not achieve, but I personally would rather have the higher resolution than the AMOLED technology, but it's certainly a slim decision.
The Galaxy Pen S pen pen (which is also included in the base price of $ 1,000, as opposed to the optional $ 99 Surface Pen) is pleasing to use, with excellent pressure sensitivity and palm rejection.I guess Samsung has a replacement pen tip, as well as a tool for replacing the Tips that over time like a pencil tip t ut boring.
The Major The disadvantage of the S Pen is that it has a weak magnet. It sticks to the left side of the tablet, but it takes some effort to hold it, and every time I took the tablet, the pen fell off. Microsoft also has to deal with the problem, including a pocket clip in early versions of the Surface Pen, before eventually adding stronger magnets to the Surface Pro 5.
I'm not a fan of the gray color of the Galaxy Book2 scheme, but at least it's consistent, with the S Pen, the keyboard cover and the back of the tablet all almost the same shade of gray. The bezel or frame around the screen is pitch black and quite wide, especially compared to the vanishingly thin bezels that now adorn the latest ultra-portable laptops like the Dell XPS 13 .
More connectivity than an iPad  19659003] If you're in the market for a Windows tablet, you're probably looking for more connectivity options than an iPad or Amazon Fire tablet can offer. The Galaxy Book2 is partially covered, with two USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack and an SD card slot integrated into the SIM card slot. To insert an SD card, you must pull out the compartment with the supplied SIM tool. It is a pity that there is no USB Type-A port that you can find on the IdeaPad Miix 520.
Mixed with the ports are two speakers, one on the left and right edges. They seem to provide above-average sound for a tablet based on streaming a YouTube music video for a few seconds. I will offer a more detailed audio quality rating in my full review of the machine, but for now it is enough to say that the fact that AKG has tuned the 2-watt speakers is more of an advantage than a gimmick.
The 8 megapixel main camera offers very good picture quality as far as laptop or tablet webcams are concerned. In indoor shots in low light, the graininess is almost nonexistent. There is also a 5 megapixel front-facing camera for Skype sessions.
The Galaxy Book2's 4GB of storage and 128GB of storage are pretty stingy for a $ 1,000 machine. On the plus side, you certainly will not run heavy multitasking or other memory-intensive activities or install massive game files on this tablet.
Promising battery life and performance
The real potential of the Galaxy Book2 as a game Changing the Windows tablet is Samsung's battery life and computing power expectations, and we're working hard to test it in PC Labs. Evaluating the performance of the Snapdragon 850-powered Book2 is not like testing normal laptops or desktops with Intel or AMD processors because the CPU uses a completely different set of instructions. This means that some of PCMag's benchmark apps are not compatible, and despite Microsoft's efforts to get app makers on board, some of their favorite apps may not be.
The good news is that the Windows-on-Snapdragon situation seems to have improved tremendously since the launch of the first machines earlier this year. Plagued by a slower processor (the Snapdragon 835) and an earlier version of Windows 10, the Asus NovaGo was so sluggish that it was practically useless when I tested it for the first time.
 But that's not the case with the Galaxy Book2. Thanks to the hardware and software improvements, the few hours I have spent with it are completely stuttering. This applies not only to Microsoft apps such as the Edge web browser and the Sticky Notes app, but also to third-party apps such as the Opera browser, the Samsung note application, and the pre-installed Verizon app that lets you manage your data connection , Note that the Book2 comes standard with Windows 10 S-mode, and you must upgrade to the full version of Windows to install apps that are not available in the Microsoft Store.
Although I have not tested extensively The wireless connection, one thing I know: thanks partly to Verizon's reliable network and partly to the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, the Galaxy Book2 can take advantage of the extremely fast mobile data rates. I have measured 37MBps download speeds and 4MBps upload speeds with Ookla Speedtest.net in PC Labs, which usually has very poor signal strength in the networks of all carriers. (Note: The publisher of PCMag, Ziff Davis, also owns Ookla.) This means not only fast downloads and web browsing, but also the prospect never again to connect to the airport or WLAN of a café.  Samsung Galaxy Book2 29 "border =" 0 "class =" center "src =" https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/613243-samsung-galaxy-book2-29.jpg?thumb=y&width = 980 & height = 456 "/>