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

2-in-1 Rivalry Heats Up

This week was a busy one in the 2-in-1 tablet space. Samsung's Galaxy Book -- the company's latest attempt to take on the popular Surface Pro series of tablet-keyboard combo devices -- went on sale this week (we got an early look at the CRN Test Center). Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled a successor to the Surface Pro 4, simply called the Surface Pro. Which of the two devices is a better fit for you? In the following slides, we compare the new Microsoft Surface Pro vs. the Samsung Galaxy Book on specs and price.

First Things First

One thing to mention up front is that Samsung has a higher- and lower-end version of the Galaxy Book. One is a 10.6-inch model, and the other is 12 inches, with the latter having the more premium specs. Both models come in Wi-Fi-only versions along with LTE-enabled versions.

The Surface Pro will have just one model, but unlike the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Pro will eventually be enabled with LTE connectivity. Microsoft said a Surface Pro with LTE should be "coming later this year."


For the Galaxy Book 12-inch version, the display uses bright Super AMOLED technology and has FHD resolution (2,160 x 1,440). The Surface Pro display is similar in size at 12.3 inches, and uses LCD (PixelSense) technology. While LCD is not quite as pretty as Super AMOLED, the Surface Pro compensates by having a higher resolution, of 2,736 x 1,824.

For the Galaxy Book 10.6-inch model, Samsung goes with FHD (1,920 x 1,280) resolution and not-as-fancy TFT LCD technology.


Both devices in our comparison come with processors from Intel's latest Core i line, the seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" chips. Microsoft offers more processor choices for the Surface Pro, however. The Surface Pro base model comes with Intel Core m3, while Core i5 or i7 processors are available for heavier-duty usage. The top level is the Intel Core i7-7660U (with a clock speed of up to 4GHz). The 12-inch Galaxy Book features just one processor choice, the Core i5-7200U (clocked at up to 3.1GHz). The 10.6-inch model goes with Core m3, a clock speed of up to 2.6GHz.

Battery Life

Apart from the upgrade to Kaby Lake processors, one of the biggest leaps forward with the Surface Pro is around battery life. Microsoft promises that the Surface Pro can get up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a charge. That's substantially more than what Samsung is pledging with the Galaxy Book -- 10.5 hours of battery for the 12-inch model, and 10 hours for the 10.6-inch Galaxy Book.

Thickness & Weight

The 12-inch Galaxy Book is a tad lighter than the Surface Pro (without the keyboards), at 1.66 pounds compared to 1.73 pounds. It's not hugely surprising that the smaller Galaxy Book tablet is the lightest of all, at 1.43 pounds.

The 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Book measures 0.29 inches thick, vs. 0.33 inches thick with the Surface Pro, while the 10.6-inch Galaxy Book is 0.35 inches thick.

Pens & Ports

One difference between the devices is that, while both are built to work well with digital pens, the Galaxy Book includes a pen with the device while the pen for the Surface Pro will be sold separately.

Another difference is around ports. Microsoft sticks to traditional ports with the Surface Pro, including a USB-A port and Mini DisplayPort, along with microSD and Surface Connect ports (for power and docking). There's no USB-C to be found on the new Surface Pro whereas, with the Galaxy Book, that's all there is to be found. Samsung includes two USB-C ports in the 12-inch Galaxy Book and one USB-C port in the 10.6-inch model. (As of this writing, Samsung includes a free USB-C multi-port adapter with purchase of the 12-inch Galaxy Book.)

Memory And Storage

For RAM, the Surface Pro has three options -- 4GB, 8GB or 16GB. That's more choices than on the Galaxy Book, which has 4GB or 8GB configurations for the 12-inch model and just a 4GB option for the 10.6-inch version.

The Surface Pro also has more choices around storage -- 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB. You can get the 12-inch Galaxy Book in two storage variations -- 128GB or 256GB -- and two different variations of the 10.6-inch model, 64GB or 128GB.

Price & Availability

Along with not including a digital pen with the Surface Pro, Microsoft also does not include a keyboard (aka the Type Cover), which many users will want to have. The new Surface Pro Type Cover will add $160 to the price, and the pen will add $99.

The new Microsoft Surface Pro with Core i5 and 4GB of RAM is priced at $999, making it $1,159 with the Type Cover. That is just a bit above the price of the 12-inch Galaxy Book with comparable specs at $1,130.

Meanwhile, the Core m3 version of the Surface Pro is priced at $959 (with Type Cover and 128GB of storage), compared to the 10.6-inch Galaxy Book (which also uses Core m3) and is priced at $730 for the 128GB storage model.

Pre-orders are underway for the new Surface Pro, and Microsoft says it will begin shipping the device in the U.S. on June 15. Meanwhile, as mentioned, Samsung began shipping the Galaxy Book this week.