News hardware lightweight, powerful and durable: Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 2 laptops are serious competitors to MacBooks
Samsung is making a comeback on the portable PC market in Europe, with its Galaxy Book 2 range. In the viewfinder: Apple’s MacBooks. With a well-thought-out ecosystem and a nice technical sheet, these ultraportables have serious arguments. Prints.
It’s been more than 6 years since Samsung withdrew from the laptop market in France. The manufacturer, however, considered to have an ecosystem mature enough to return to it. The Korean brand also believes that the boundaries between smartphones, tablets and computers are increasingly blurred and that it is therefore necessary to offer a wider range of products.
Galaxy Book 2 Pro: the MacBook Air in the crosshairs
We were able to handle several Galaxy Book 2 / 2 Pro models. As a reminder, the “Book 2 Pro” range is intended to be the most upscale, notably by betting on an AMOLED screen and a magnesium chassis, offering greater lightness. We were particularly amazed by the Galaxy Book 2 Pro in 13.3-inch format, which weighs only 870 grams, but which does not look fragile. It benefits from a mat treatment on its anthracite frame (the only color available in France) which is very pleasant and which gives it a nice impression of robustness despite its wasp waist (its thickness does not exceed 1.1 cm). In short, a real ultraportable PC that you can easily slip into a small bag and easily carry under your arm.
A “unified” Galaxy ecosystem, like at Apple
We were talking about it at the beginning of this article: Samsung considers that its ecosystem is mature enough to relaunch laptops in Europe. Above all, this means that the interactions between smartphones, tablets and PCs are more advanced than before. For its Galaxy Books, Samsung has developed a “Galaxy” application, which will offer different possibilities related to the use of a device of the brand. You will thus be able to access your photo gallery on your smartphone, receive various notifications (SMS, Whatsapp message, etc.) and reply to them directly from the PC, or even send a message to any of your contacts. All this interconnection between Galaxy devices is done via connection to a single Samsung account, and of course recalls what is found at Apple and iOS / macOS environments. The idea is in any case good, especially since the manufacturer insists on the fact that “nothing is closed” and that we remain on a complete Windows 11 environment.
New 12th Gen Intel processors to the rescue
For its new Galaxy Books, Samsung wanted to integrate the latest generation components and therefore logically called on Intel. There will therefore be processors ranging from Core i5-1255U to Core i7-1255U. Using the EVO platform, these low-power processors should provide excellent battery life for Galaxy Books, up to 21 hours of video playback according to the manufacturer. To be checked of course, but the promises are beautiful.
For the graphics part, no dedicated GPU from Nvidia or AMD, but an Intel Iris Xe iGPU which offers limited performance in recent games, but should allow you to play some low-power titles. But the surprise comes from the 15-inch Galaxy Book 2 Pro, which can optionally integrate the brand new Intel Arc GPU. In development for many years, this GPU finally arrives on the market. It may not compete with the GeForce RTX 30s or the Radeon RX 6000s, but it should provide good performance at 1080p in recent games. However, Samsung France has not confirmed to you that this version equipped with Intel Arc will be available in France.
Slick ultraportables, good value for money
We must admit: the Galaxy Book 2 caught our eye, especially the “2 Pro” model in the 13-inch version, which offers an ultra-lightweight chassis, an AMOLED screen whose quality is well established and , we hope, a high level autonomy. It also offers a fairly extensive connection given the format (1 USB-A port, 2 USB-C ports, 1 HDMI). As a reminder, the Galaxy Book 2 range will be released in April 2022.