Meet the Galaxy Book Fold and Galaxy Book Ion, a pair of 13- and 15-inch laptops that are the first to offer Samsung's QLED displays. Oh, and the trackpads in these laptops can charge your smartphone and other Qi devices.
We're awaiting pricing, but Samsung says to expect these laptops in the U.S. in early 2020. We spent only a bit of hands-on time with the Galaxy Book Fold and Galaxy Book Ion, so we don't know if they have the right stuff to make our best laptops list yet. But we are impressed with the design of these systems.
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Ion Specs
|Galaxy Book Flex||Galaxy Book Ion|
|Special Features||S-Pen, Qi-wireless charging trackpad||Qi-wireless charging trackpad|
|Displays||13.3-inch, 15.6-inch | QLED touchscreen | 1920 x 1080 pixels||13.3-inch, 15.6-inch | QLED | 1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Processors||10th Gen. Ice Lake Intel Core CPUs||10th Gen. Comet Lake Intel Core CPUs|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2 GB Memory | Intel UHD Graphics | Intel Iris Plus Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2 GB Memory | Intel UHD Graphics|
|Memory||Up to 16GB||Up to 16GB|
|Storage||Up to 1TB NVMe SSD||Up to 1TB NVMe SSD (15-inch model has SSD expansion slot)|
|13-inch model dimensions||11.9 x 8.0 x 0.5 inches||12.0 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches|
|15-inch model dimensions||14.0 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches||14 x 9.0 x 0.6 inches|
|13-inch model weight||2.5 pounds||2.1 pounds|
|15-inch model weight||3.4 - 3.5 pounds||2.6 - 2.8 pounds|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 3 | 1x USB-C | microSD reader | headphone jack||1x Thunderbolt 3 | 2x USB 3.0 | HDMI | microSD reader | headphone jack|
Design: Your choice of chassis
The biggest differences between these laptops are simple. The Flex is an aluminum 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge and touchscreen panel, and the Ion is a magnesium clamshell laptop. The Flex also sports a chamber for stashing its S Pen.
The Flex will be sold in both Royal Blue and Aura Silver (which looks a lot like white to me) — while the Ion is only available in the latter.
Both the Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion feature a fingerprint scanner as a separate key in the keyboard, as it's moved out of the power button from the Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pen to make it easier to find.
QLED Displays: Super bright with outdoors mode
While I look forward to testing these laptops in our lab, the Samsung QLED displays in the Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion impressed me pretty quickly. Watching nature footage on the Flex and last year's Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (the laptop it's replacing) at the same time, I saw brighter images, with greener greens on swamp flowers, and other stronger hues, including a passing alligator.
Both the Flex and Ion have the same bright, vivid screen tech, and Samsung's rated them both for up to 600 nits when Outdoor Mode is activated by hitting Fn + F10.
Galaxy Book Flex, Ion Qi-charging trackpads
Yes, you read that right. The trackpads in the Galaxy Book Flex and Ion will actually charge your smartphone, smartwatch, headphones or any other Qi-based wireless charging devices. Basically, whenever you don't need to use the trackpad, you can activate Wireless PowerShare with a keyboard shortcut, and drop your device on the glass trackpad.
It's going to be ideal for when you can take a break from your laptop work, but didn't remember to bring a charger for your wearable or phone. I got to test it out for myself by placing a Galaxy Watch on the trackpad and watch it regain a little bit of its charge.
Galaxy Book Flex, Ion Battery Life: Should be great
Samsung's rating the 69.7-watthour batteries in the Flex and Ion for longevity of up to 20 hours. This rating is based on the Mobile Mark 14 benchmark. We look forward to running these laptops through our own tests when they hit our labs.
Galaxy Book Flex, Ion Specs: Flex for more brawn
These Samsung laptops have Intel's 10th Gen processors, though the Flex machines sport Ice Lake chipsets with updated graphics performance. The Galaxy Book Ion laptops pack Comet Lake chipsets.
If you opt for a 15-inch Galaxy Book Ion or Flex, you'll get the option to upgrade to an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU.
Both laptops offer up to 16GB RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. Wi-Fi 6 also comes standard, as do Thunderbolt 3 ports — though you get 2 on the Flex and 1 on the Ion.
We're hoping that the Galaxy Book Flex or Ion prove to be worth your while, but we don't know if it will land on our best laptops page. We look forward to providing our full review soon.