Samsung brings the QLED technology driving the displays of many of their TVs into their new Laptops
Since 2019 Samsung has been making TVs based on QLED technology, this is a type of LCD display that offers far greater color and contrast compared to traditional LCD displays. They use a metallic quantum dot filter to enhance the image and offer better performance.
This same technology is forming the basis for the displays in a selection of Samsung’s new laptops for 2020. Releasing today are the Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Flex Alpha, and Galaxy Book Ion. Three different laptops from Samsung that all offer QLED displays.
It’s an interesting combination of laptops, with no single clear overall best model, but each with slightly different designs and priorities, which will suit different types of users.
Here’s a summary of what each of them offers:
Galaxy Book Flex
This is a royal blue, 2-in-1 convertible laptop, with a touch screen, and a sleek modern design. You can use it in Laptop or Tablet mode,
The Galaxy Book Flex comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, equipped with the latest Intel Iris Plus Graphics, this is not going to be able to come close to competing with top-end dedicated graphics cards, but does offer some of the best graphics performance of any integrated GPU, and will offer gaming performance a step up from it’s Intel UHD Graphics equipped siblings.
A neat feature not very common in laptops is what Samsung calls “Wireless PowerShare”, where you can charge Qi wireless charging compatible devices, such as phones, headphones, and smartwatches, by placing them on the laptop.
The speakers are provided by AKG, and you get a pair of 5w stereo speakers, great for watching films or listening to music.
The flex includes a Galaxy S Pen, for stylus control or for art and creativity. It also supports remote gesture controls for things like volume control when you’re not currently at your laptop.
The Galaxy Book Flex comes in a 13.3” display configuration, with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, or a 15.6” display configuration, with 12GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Samsung says you’ll get up to 20 hrs of battery life in the 13.3” model, and 19 hours on the 15.6” model.
It’s $1349.99 for the 13.3” model or $1399.99 for the 15.6” model.
Galaxy Book Flex Alpha
The Flex Alpha is a cheaper version of the Flex, missing features like Wireless PowerShare and AKG speakers, or the built-in Galaxy S Pen. There’s also the option of a cheaper i5 processor, for users that don’t need a high-end processor. If you want something closer to a standard laptop without the extra bells and whistles, this still features the same QLED display, attractive slimline design, and convertible 2-in-1 functionality, so it’s a great value package.
It comes in Royal Silver, and so far that’s the only color option.
The Galaxy Book Flex Alpha 13.3″ Inch display, and comes with an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Or there is an Intel Core i7-10510U option, which has 12GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Samsung says that the Galaxy Book Flex Alpha will give you 18.5 hours of battery life.
It’s $849.99 for the i5 model or $999.99 for the i7 model.
Galaxy Book Ion
This is the non-touch, non-convertible traditional laptop of the lineup, that still features Samsung’s QLED screen technology, and some of the unique new innovations also seen in the Galaxy Book Flex. It comes exclusively in “Aura Silver”.
This is the only model out of these three new QLED laptops that offers a full-size HDMI port, which will come in handy if you need a machine to connect to external displays regularly. This model also offers Wireless PowerShare for Qi wireless charging from the Laptop, and also comes with 5w stereo speakers from AKG.
The Galaxy Book Ion comes with either a 13.3” or 15.6” display, and both sizes are equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U processor, and 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Samsung says you’ll get up to 22 hrs of battery life in the 13.3” model, and 21 hours on the 15.6” model.
It’s $1199.99 for the 13.3” model and $1299.99 for the 15.6” model.
These are all interesting models, they’re attractive and contain some unique features and design elements. Depending on how you want to use a laptop, any of these would be a good choice. Our biggest takeaway is that the cheaper models of each variant, with smaller screens, less RAM/SSD space, or with slower processors, don’t really represent much value. Compared to some other lines of laptops, the price difference between the top end and bottom end configuration is pretty slim, and with each of these machines, you’re getting a decent upgrade. Unless you’re especially concerned about the physical size/weight of your laptop or are on a strict fixed budget, we’d encourage people to look towards the top end configurations on offer here.
All of these laptops come with resolutions of 1920×1080. It’s the mode obvious specification where competing laptops can offer larger numbers. There are multiple options from rival manufacturers that largely match these new laptops from Samsung in most areas, but also offer 4K resolution displays. Depending on your sensitivity to differing pixel densities, this may be a problem for you, or maybe now. Samsung is hoping that their excellent color reproduction and high contrast levels offered by their QLED technology will appeal more than simply ever-increasing resolutions, and certainly, it will be better for battery life when on the go, but it’s up to customers to decide what is most important to them.
They also all come equipped with a fingerprint scanner for secure login and to keep your files protected.
You can order these laptops today from Samsung, and they’ll be made available from other retailers in the future, although with ongoing supply chain disruptions, it’s not entirely clear when that will start to happen.
Galaxy Book Flex, from $1349.99
Galaxy Book Flex Alpha, from $849.99
Galaxy Book Ion, from $1199.99