Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

Samsung stopped making Windows laptops back in 2014  but with these new Galaxy Book devices, you’ll be able to buy a Samsung ‘laptop’ once more. Here’s how the Galaxy Book stacks up against the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, reviewed.

First, note that there are two models in the new range, one with a 10in screen and one with a 12in screen. We've spent a limited amount of time with the Galaxy Book at MWC, and don't yet know how much it will cost as Samsung hasn't yet announced pricing, so this comparison is based on our hands-on time and specifications. Keep up with the Surface Pro 5 launch event live.

The fact Samsung has gone for Galaxy Book is interesting, since Microsoft already has its Surface Book, but the Galaxy book is much more similar to the Surface Pro tablets.

See also: Galaxy Book release date 

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4: Price and release date rumours

As with many products announced at MWC 2017, there is no word on price or availability from Samsung. This means we can compare the Galaxy Book with the Surface Pro 4 only on specs currently.

However, it’s relatively safe to assume that they’re not going to be more expensive than the equivalent model from Microsoft. And don’t forget that the Surface Pro 5 is expected shortly. Naturally, we’ll compare this with the Galaxy Book when it is officially announced.

Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

The Surface Pro 4 is available in the following configurations:

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4: Specifications

Here’s how the Galaxy Book 12 compares to the Surface Pro 4 at a glance:

Samsung Galaxy Book

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Windows 10 (version not specified)

Windows 10 Pro

12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi

12.3in display, 2736x1824, 267ppi

7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz

Up to 6th Gen Intel Core i7

4GB / 8GB

Up to 16GB RAM

128GB / 256GB

Up to 512GB storage

2x USB-C

USB 3.0

Video output via USB-C

Mini-DisplayPort

MicroSD reader

MicroSD reader

802.11ac Wi-Fi

802.11ac Wi-Fi

LTE model available

No LTE

Bluetooth 4.1

Bluetooth 4.0

5Mp front camera

5Mp front camera

13Mp rear camera

8Mp rear camera

Pogo Keyboard case included

TypeCover not included

S Pen included

Surface Pen included

291.3×199.8×7.4mm

292x201x8.45mm

754g (tablet only)

766g

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4: Design and features

Keyboard

Clearly, the Galaxy Book is aimed squarely at the Surface Pro, and Samsung is clever to have bundled both the S Pen and keyboard case in the box.

Few people buy a Surface Pro 4 just to use as a tablet, so rather than feeling relief at saving money on a peripheral you don’t need, the extra £109 cost of a TypeCover hurts as – in reality – it is an essential purchase.

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

Samsung’s keyboard is improved over last year’s version – as included with the TabPro S – thanks to a 50 percent larger trackpad, individual keys (with decent travel) and backlighting.

Also, the stand allows you to alter the angle of the screen, although we still prefer the kickstand on the Surface Pro. (But it’s one advantage over the fixed-position iPad Pro keyboard.)

Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

Screen

Both tablets have similar size screens, but the Samsung's has a slightly lower resolution. This won't be noticeable in general use, however, and the screen also supports HDR. 

Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

The Surface Pro 4's screen has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and Samsung has gone for the same, albeit using the same resolution as the Surface Pro 3 rather than the higher pixel count of the Pro 4.

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

Processor and performance

Given that the Surface Pro 5 is due out very soon, it’s slightly unfair to criticise the Surface Pro 4 for not having the USB-C ports of the Galaxy Book, or the latest generation of Intel Core processor. We’re sure that Microsoft’s next 2-in-1 Windows device will be bang up to date.

Performance is another area where we’ll have to wait for benchmark results, but the fanless, low-voltage Core i5 in the Galaxy Book – combined with 8GB of RAM if you opt for the top model – should be powerful enough for most people. Samsung says it will run Photoshop, but we’ll reserve any judgements until we’ve tried it for ourselves.

We already know how the Surface Pro 4 performs, and you can read our full review of the Pro 4 to find out specifics. Of course, there are many different models, including the range-topping Core i7 version with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. That’s sure to beat the 12in Galaxy Book, but then again, Samsung is sure to price the Galaxy Book appropriately.

The Galaxy Book has four speakers, but we’ve yet to have a chance to properly listen to these. 

Battery life

Samsung claims up to 10 hours of battery life, and we recorded 11 hours when testing the Surface Pro 4. Whether the Samsung's 10 hour battery life figure is conservative or not, we don't yet know, but we'll have to factor in performance before we can say which device has the best performance-to-battery life ratio. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 12: Specs

  • Windows 10
  • 12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz
  • 4GB / 8GB
  • 128GB / 256GB
  • 2x USB-C
  • Video output via USB-C MicroSD reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • LTE model available
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • Pogo Keyboard case included
  • S Pen included
  • 291.3×199.8×7.4mm
  • 754g (tablet only)
  • Windows 10
  • 12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz
  • 4GB / 8GB
  • 128GB / 256GB
  • 2x USB-C
  • Video output via USB-C MicroSD reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • LTE model available
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • Pogo Keyboard case included
  • S Pen included
  • 291.3×199.8×7.4mm
  • 754g (tablet only)

OUR VERDICT

It's too early to give a verdict on which of these 2-in-1s is best. Much will depend upon how Samsung prices the Galaxy Book models, and then how they stack up against the equivalent Surface Pro. We'll update this article with benchmark results as soon as we can.