Head-To-Head: Samsung Galaxy Book Vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

2-in-1 Showdown

Samsung is showing just how serious it is about competing with Microsoft in the 2-in-1 space. In connection with Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, the company launched its biggest challenge yet to the dominant Surface Pro 4 -- the Galaxy Book. Samsung is hoping the Windows 10 tablet plus detachable keyboard will lure in productivity-focused users looking for the latest and greatest in the 2-in-1 category -- being as the Surface Pro 4 actually debuted nearly a year and a half ago at this point (October 2015).

In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares the specs and price of the Samsung Galaxy Book versus the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

First Things First

Samsung is actually offering two models of the new Galaxy Book, one at 10 inches and another at 12 inches. The 12-inch model features the more-premium specs all around, as we'll show in the following slides. Both models will also come in Wi-Fi-only versions as well as LTE-enabled versions, for connectivity when no Wi-Fi is available. By contrast, the Surface Pro 4 does not offer an option for connecting over LTE.


The 12-inch model of the Galaxy Book features a premium display -- Super AMOLED -- with FHD resolution (2,160 x 1,440). The display on the Surface Pro 4 is comparable in size at 12.3 inches. And while it uses LCD (PixelSense) technology -- which may not be quite as vivid as Super AMOLED -- it does have more in terms of pixels, with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 for the Surface Pro 4 display.

For the 10.6-inch model of the Galaxy Book, Samsung opts for a not-quite-as-impressive FHD (1,920 x 1,280) display using TFT LCD technology.


As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Book benefits from the basic advantage of being a lot newer to market than the Surface Pro 4 -- and the processor is where that's an especially big deal. The 12-inch Galaxy Book features a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor (Intel's latest top-of-the-line processor series, dubbed Kaby Lake). The clock speed on the dual-core processor is 3.1GHz, according to Samsung -- though there are other benefits beyond speed, such as better power efficiency.

By comparison, Microsoft is stuck with the previous generation of Intel Core i processors -- with options for Core i5 (3GHz) or Core i7 (3.4GHz). At the lowest end there's also a version with a sixth-gen Core m3 processor (2.2GHz) offered.

The 10.6-inch Galaxy Book features the seventh-gen Core m3 processor (2.6GHz).

Thickness And Weight

The 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Book is a tad thinner than the Surface Pro 4 (without the keyboard in both cases), at 0.29 of an inch thick vs 0.33 of an inch thick. Meanwhile, the 10.6-inch Galaxy Book tablet measures 0.35 of an inch thick.

The 12-inch Galaxy Book is also lighter at 1.66 pounds compared with 1.73 pounds for the Core i versions of the Surface Pro 4 (the Core M version weighs 1.69 pounds). The 10.6-inch Galaxy Book is the lightest of all, however, at 1.43 pounds for the LTE version and a smidge lighter for the Wi-Fi-only model.

Battery Life

The inclusion of a newer processor is likely part of how the Galaxy Book achieves better battery life (at least on paper) than the Surface Pro 4. Samsung promises 10.5 hours of battery on a charge for the 12-inch Galaxy Book, and 10 hours for the 10.6-inch model. The Surface Pro 4 promises nine hours of battery life.

Ports And Pens

Samsung goes (nearly) all-in on USB-C with the Galaxy Book, with two USB-C ports in the 12-inch model and one USB-C port in the 10.6 model. Other than that, both tablets feature no other ports aside from a microSD slot.

The Surface Pro 4 doesn't feature USB-C connectivity -- but does have a USB-A port and Mini DisplayPort, plus microSD and Surface Connect ports (for power and docking).

Digital pens are also included with both tablets -- the Surface Pen for the Surface Pro 4, and a newly updated S Pen for the Galaxy Book.

Memory And Storage

The Surface Pro 4 has more options for RAM, with 4-GB, 8-GB or 16-GB configurations available. The 10.6-inch Galaxy Book comes with 4 GB of RAM, while the 12-inch model has options for 4 GB or 8 GB.

The Surface Pro 4 also has more storage variations -- of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB. The 12-inch Galaxy Book features 128 GB or 256 GB of storage, while the 10.6-inch model comes with 64 GB or 128 GB.

Price And Availability

So far, Samsung has kept quiet on the pricing and release date for the Galaxy Book. But we'll take a look at the pricing on two models of the Surface Pro 4 that are most similar to the two Galaxy Book models on specs:

* For comparing against the 10.6-inch Galaxy Book (with the seventh-gen Core m3 processor), the entry-level Surface Pro 4 (with sixth-gen Core m3) is currently priced at $799.

* For comparing against the 12-inch Galaxy Book (with seventh-gen Core i5 processor), the Surface Pro 4 with sixth-gen Core i5 (plus 128 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM) is currently priced at $999.

In the event that Samsung is able to meet or beat that pricing, the Galaxy Book--especially the 12-inch model--may be a compelling alternative for many productivity-oriented users over the Surface Pro 4.