Samsung’s new Galaxy Books promise seamless work across device boundaries with an integrated smartphone. That sounds suspiciously like Apple – but does it work?
The elephant is in the room. Because the new seamless user experience that Samsung is promising for its new Galaxy Books has been known to Apple users out there for years.
File exchange from the phone to the computer and back? No problem with Airdrop. Synchronous data in the online storage, without additional apps, word processing, spreadsheets, e-mails and presentations? Power the iCloud. Windows users do not have these direct options. You have to take detours via paid office packages, additional apps or third-party services.
And this is exactly where Samsung comes in: Galaxy Book and Galaxy smartphones should simply work together. No long fiddling, no computer science studies – just tap and you’re done. How do you do that?
Have a look: three flat, simple notebooks
The notebooks are not noticeable from a purely visual point of view. Simple and elegant, they come with Windows 10 as a convertible Galaxy Book 360, as a large notebook Galaxy Book and as a slim high-performance Galaxy Book Pro notebook. It contains Intel chips from Core i3 to i7, 8 to 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, up to 512 GB of permanent storage and, if desired, LTE radio (except 360). There is also the Galaxy Book Go with a Qualcomm chip. Price: between 450 and 1,800 euros.
All models are neatly made, have good screens and keyboards, fingerprint sensors and long battery runtimes. Unfortunately, pen input or touch operation is only available on the Galaxy Book 360. The Galaxy Book Pro has a very attractive AMOLED display.
The setup is quick. If you have clicked your way through the Windows setup, you still need a Samsung account. Samsung programs are then installed in the background. Works straight away. But it also ensures that users now have to keep their software up to date in two places. Once Windows, once Samsung.
Quickly slide the picture over
Then the test with the Samsung Galaxy S21 in hand. How does the data exchange work? Samsung’s solution for this is called Quick Share. It is preinstalled on the Galaxy Books and runs on all Samsung Galaxy with at least Android 10. The setup is simple: switch on, select who can see your own computer or phone (nobody, contacts, everyone), done.
If you share a file on your smartphone, compatible devices appear nearby. A tap on the symbol sends the file over without further request. Whether you really want to receive it or not – that is not asked. But Quick Share only works on the notebook if you start the corresponding app. In return, the transmission speed is fast.
If you send files from the notebook, a right click is enough. Quick Share is listed as an option in the Windows context menu, where other devices can be found nearby. This can be other Samsung notebooks, smartphones or tablets. Other Androids and iOS devices are left behind here. Quick Share is currently only available for Samsung devices.
Conclusion: Yes, it works fine if you only have Samsung
Samsung’s Quick Share works. It’s a good tool for swiftly sharing files and making it easier to work with multiple devices. With the other Samsung programs on the Galaxy Books, so much pain disappears that Windows users previously had when using notebooks and smartphones. Finally, you can move a file in a few simple steps and you don’t have to upload it somewhere, send it by email or drag it to USB sticks.
What is missing in the Samsung package is neatly integrated online storage with its own calendar solution and productivity software. Only then would it be possible to catch up with Apple’s iCloud. Instead, there is Microsoft’s Office 365 and OneDrive online storage. These services are again well integrated in Windows, and they work reasonably well on Android smartphones. However, it only offers full functionality with a paid subscription.
The new Galaxy Books remove a long-standing and annoying obstacle, at least for Samsung devices. So if you already have a Samsung smartphone and are looking for a notebook: One of the Galaxy Books could be a good solution with added value. If you don’t have a Samsung smartphone, you get solid notebooks for every application scenario – without a smooth connection to your own smartphone.