Samsung Galaxy Book 2 vs. Surface Pro 6

How does Samsung's new 2-in-1 stack up against the tried-and-true Surface Pro 6?

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for a premium Windows 2-in-1, both the Surface Pro 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 might be appealing for you.

Each of these devices shares a similar form factor and design, but be it LTE connectivity or difference in pricing there are disadvantages and advantages to both. In this comparison, we’re stacking the two against each other to help you choose the one that is best for your money.

Design

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Surface Pro 6 and the Galaxy Book 2 both share a few design elements, most notably the kickstand, weight, and dimensions. Both feel premium to hold, but Surface Pro 6 is made of magnesium, whereas the Galaxy Book 2 is made of aluminum. The difference in materials makes for subtle differences in how it looks too. The magnesium on the Surface Pro 6 means for more dull and rough edges, whereas the aluminum on the Galaxy Book 2 makes for shiny edges that make the device pop. The kickstand is also the same between the two, sturdy enough to make typing comfortable.

As for the displays, it is hard to beat Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel. The Surface Pro 6 comes in with a 12.3-inch display with 2,736 x 1,824 resolution and 267 pixels per inch. On the Galaxy Book 2, the display is smaller at 12 inches, but with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 or 216 pixels per inch. Samsung might be packing fewer pixels per inch, but the Super AMOLED panel makes for vibrant and bright images. We won’t know for sure until we properly test the display, but these are two very high-quality panels.

Just like the display, the keyboards also make a difference between the models. The keyboard on the Surface Pro 6 is great, with no cramps to deal with when typing. However, it is not included in the $900 pricing. With the Galaxy Book 2, both the keyboard and pen are included in the $1000 price, ensuring that you’ll get the most out of Windows 10 without any extra purchases. We found the typing experience on the Galaxy Book 2 keyboard feels equal to the Surface Pro 6, providing solid room for travel when speed typing.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The big catch between the Surface Pro 6 and the Galaxy Book 2 is the processors, configurations, and connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 starts at $1,000 and sports 4GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 6 comes with options for a quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor an Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB or 16GB RAM, or 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The base-level $900 Surface Pro 6 comes with the Core i5-8250U processor, which we found was good enough for running more intense software.

For the Surface Pro 6, you’re getting a much more powerful processor, for tasks like photo and video editing, The Galaxy Book 2’s Qualcomm processor, on the other hand, has less horsepower. Though we haven’t yet fully benchmarked the device, we’d be surprised to find it as powerful as the Core i5. Not to mention that the Galaxy Book 2 ships with Windows 10 Home in S mode, so you’ll initially be limited to just apps in the Windows Store. Switching to regular Windows 10 is free, but with a lot of the Qualcomm drivers being proprietary, there might be performance issues.

However, what the Galaxy Book 2 might lack in performance, it leaps ahead in terms of connectivity. The Snapdragon 850 provides the device with LTE, which means it’s always being connected to the internet. On top of that, it also has two USB-C ports, which the Surface Pro 6 lacks.

Portability

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 comes in at 0.30 inches thick and 1.75 pounds in weight. That is roughly the same as the Surface Pro 6 which comes in at 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches and 1.70 pounds. The weight is pretty common on these devices, as is the thickness. Neither is as light as an iPad Pro, but both are still comfortable to hold as a tablet and easy to throw in a bag and travel with.

We’re also going to warn about battery life here, as the differences are significant. In our testing with the Surface Pro 6, we got to about 9.5 hours of web browsing and 14 hours of watching videos. Samsung talks up a big 20-hour battery life for the Galaxy Book 2, but we haven’t tested that as yet. In our initial hands-on time with the device, we were given a unit with a 67 percent charge, and it held up for a full hour and a half of web browsing. The Qualcomm processor on board is similar to what is found in phones, so it should provide better standby time and longer battery when on the road.

Go for power and buy the Surface Pro 6

surface pro 6
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

There’s still more to know about the Galaxy Book 2. We haven’t yet tested important metrics such as the battery life, processor performance, and display quality. But for now, it’s not hard to see where the device pulls ahead of the Surface Pro 6. The built-in LTE connection and bundled-in accessories make it a more versatile device right when you pull it out of the box.

However, the Surface Pro 6 offers up more powerful specs for not too much more money. For those looking for a proper laptop replacement, it is the more capable PC.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes which distinguish the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Computing

Microsoft takes up to $330 off of Surface PC bundles in Black Friday promo

'Tis the season for savings at Microsoft. The Surface-maker is offering some nice Black Friday deals on its Surface Pro 6, Go, and Laptop 2 hardware. You'll also find deals on notebooks from HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we've rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Apple

iPhone users are finding themselves randomly locked out of their Apple ID

According to posts on Reddit and Twitter, it looks like users on Reddit and Twitter having some issues with their Apple accounts. Specifically, it seems as though users are getting randomly locked out of their Apple IDs.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Photography

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.
Computing

Your MacBook can live in the lap of luxury with this leather case

Though there are several cases which we think are best for covering up MacBooks, Twelve South's Journal case is one of the newest available, providing luxurious leather coverage for your Apple laptop.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

15-inch MacBook Pro gets more powerful with new AMD Vega GPUs

Confirming Apple's quiet October announcement, new configurations for the top-range 15-inch Apple MacBook laptop are now available, coming complete with AMD Pro Vega 16 or Pro Vega 20 graphics cards on board.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.