Samsung Galaxy Book Laptops Truly Set Themselves Apart from the Pack

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Samsung has unveiled some extremely sexy new laptops, and its time to see what sets them apart. Take a listen as we speak with Steven Cull and break down the latest Samsung Galaxy Laptops available now!

Transcript:

Announcer:
This is “YourTechReport.”

Marc Aflalo:
Welcome back to “YourTechReport” normally with Mitchell Whitfield who was down for the count after his knee surgery, but that’s okay. We’re going to replace him with an equally if not more qualified individual in terms of a guest. His name is Steven Cull. He is a director of product management and strategy over at Samsung, a company that I think that we all know probably best for obviously the smartphones, the Note, all the great devices that we’ve been using for a long time. But Steven, there’s another product line that we’re going to be talking about today that I’m equally if not more excited about which is the Galaxy Book line.

Steven Cull:
Yeah. Thanks, Marc, and glad to be here. We just launched our new laptops and it’s quite exciting for us in Canada to bring this new technology to the marketplace.

Marc Aflalo:
Well, it’s exciting to have these devices here because when you look at a company like Samsung who not only makes incredible products, but if you look at all the components and everything that goes into these devices, Samsung pretty much makes almost absolutely every component that goes into these devices. And that’s always a fun company to talk to and a fun company to work with. Because number one, we get great reveals, great product reveals because it’s very hard to leak information when it’s within your own company, which is always fun. And I always like getting surprised, but we also see design cues and we see experience from other sectors of the company reflect on these new products. And I think we’re definitely seeing the mobile side come through on the Galaxy Book line. And I’m guessing that’s intentional. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Steven Cull:
No, Marc, you’re absolutely correct. I mean, we are experts in mobile and the laptop is definitely a mobile device and one that a lot of consumers need to use in multi-purposes. So we’ve taken a lot of what we’ve done for years in handsets, perfecting battery and ensuring that you could have all day access to your technology. Perfecting screens, making sure that it is there for when you need it, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. And really giving you all the great tool sets that you need for both work and play. So there is very much pulling from handsets, our tablets, and even TVs, which is quite exciting and quite differentiated in the marketplace with bringing the first QLED screens to a laptop.

Marc Aflalo:
No, that’s absolutely amazing. And to see that in a laptop is quite impressive. Now, when we talk about the Galaxy Book line, we’ve got the Galaxy Book S, we’ve got the Flex, and we’ve got the Ion. And each one has its strengths in different areas. So let’s start with the Book S for example. This is designed to be always on, always connected yet at the same time, a completely more than capable PC. Talk about obviously this specific computer, the benefits, the market that you’re going after, and what we can expect when we get hands on with this.

Steven Cull:
Yeah, the Book S series is ultra thin, ultra light. It is the lowest profile laptop there is in the marketplace. And it provides you that all day battery power that you need. So we know we can’t work in Starbucks today, but you’re out and more mobile. So you need to be able to use your device without having to worry about whether or not you need a charger. And that’s what the Book S gives you. Full portability, full transport capable without having to worry about being close to a power cord. Not only that, but it’s a fan-less design, so it’s ultra quiet. So there’s no fan running in the background. You don’t need to worry about your laptop heating up your lap while you’re sitting in the back sun doing some work or watching a Netflix movie. It’s completely quiet. And that allows for it to be lower profile.

Marc Aflalo:
It really doesn’t compromise in terms of speed and performance. Does it?

Steven Cull:
Not at all. I mean, it does have an i5 Core processor with Intel’s 10th gen chipset. So it provides you all the power and capabilities you need in a laptop to get the things done that you need even with the low profile, thin weight, and no fan.

Marc Aflalo:
The design, you guys got to check this out, go to samsung.com.ca and definitely take a look at this device because the design is absolutely beautiful and seamless. When you look at even just the ports, how they protrude a little bit so that they don’t take away from the thinness and the portability, the design. And then if you look at how the screen actually lifts the back of the laptop to give you a little bit of that ergonomic element to it, I’m guessing that was of course intentional, all these design cues.

Steven Cull:
No, absolutely. I mean, the whole idea is comfort and usability, right? We want our products to look good, to stand out, but most importantly, it’s innovation with the consumer in mind and at heart, right? The heart of what we do is driving highly performance technology devices in the hand of consumers, allow them the flexibility to do what they do without having to worry about carrying around an old clunky piece of equipment. So they look great, they feel great, and they allow you to work great.

Marc Aflalo:
Yeah. Screen technology on the Book S is quite impressive. Obviously, you got a touch screen, which makes it interacting with it quite nice, but there’s an outdoor mode that blows the display away from any competition quite honestly with a 600 nit display. That means when you’re outdoors in glaring sunlight, you’re not going to have a problem working on your device.

Steven Cull:
Not at all. And that is one of the things that we pride ourselves on is screen technology. And as you mentioned, the top end, I mean, we build these components ourselves and we’re known worldwide for incredible screen design. And we know that consumers today, especially in the current conditions, aren’t working indoors all the time. They want to have that flexibility to work where they want to, and definitely working on a back deck on a hot summer’s day, the sun glaring down, you don’t want to lose or squint your eyes and trying to see what you’re doing. So outdoor mode, adaptable displays are certainly one of those key elements of Samsung technology that we’re happy to bring to laptops.

Marc Aflalo:
Now, when you talked about the fact that this is a fan-less design, how do we manage heat on a device like this? Does it just not get hot enough that we need to have a fan or is it the case itself really designed to dissipate that heat?

Steven Cull:
The case has a design that allows the heat to evaporate, but there’s also an internal cooling engine that keeps the laptop within operational temperature. It’s the same type of cooling engine, cooling capabilities that we’ve designed for our Note and our S family of smartphones and similar to what we have in tablets. So we’re taking these elements that we’ve developed and perfected over the years within our handsets and our smartphones and our tablets and brought it into this new category for us in Canada laptops.

Marc Aflalo:
Now, when I looked at the Book S and you get that beautiful, that kind of unibody design. When I jump ahead and look at the Book Flex, which is a two-in-one, a premium two-in-one, it’s got a little bit more of a squared form factor around the edges. And I’m obviously doing this for the benefit of the people who are listening and obviously looking at this like I am online. Tell us about the Book Flex. Who’s that designed for? It can definitely be a powerhouse.

Steven Cull:
Book Flex is by far, if I have a favorite, it’s my favorite of our laptop lineup. It’s the standout device.

Marc Aflalo:
You’re not supposed to pick favorites, Steven.

Steven Cull:
Yeah. No, I love them all equally like my children, but in this case, like my youngest, this is my favorite. No, I can’t say that. She might be listening, but the design of this laptop really stands out. It’s got a royal blue color. It’s aluminum body and it’s squared off. So it’s not like your traditional laptop with rounded edges. It’s not the same old same old of what you’re seeing in the marketplace. And we really take a lot of what we do in our Note devices. So like the Note 10, for example, there’s the Note 10+, and we’ve added those kinds of design cues and elements into our Flex product. The Flex has an S-pen. It is the exact same S-pen that we have in the Note. And that’s really what we’re trying to do in this space, is provide customers with the compatibility across the devices that they’re engaging with and that common interface and common tool set that they need.

Steven Cull:
So if they need bigger, they need more, they’re going to be hunkered down for a little while, the Book Flex is the right device to get there. And you still got the S-pen. You can still do all the pen drawings. You can still do all the note-taking. You’re not compromising based on the device you need. And from a design perspective, you’re not compromising either. It has those same cues that follow through whether you’re using the Note 10 or Note 10+, or whether you flipped on your Book Flex to get the hardcore work done.

Marc Aflalo:
Now, you said hardcore work and that’s because this does feature a 10th gen Intel Core processor. 21 hours of battery life, in what kind of situation are we going to hit 21 hours?

Steven Cull:
Well, you’re outside. You’re working, you’re watching movies. You’ve lost track of time because you’re so in depth in what you’re doing. Your battery is running all the time and you may forget to charge it. You may be working, put it in the house, then you go to take it out, you want to use it again. Oftentimes, battery is the critical piece as to whether or not you’re going to be able to get the work done or get that movie going that you need at that time when you need it. And again, battery life is so important in technology today. Everything runs on batteries. Everyone’s looking for chargers. We’re fighting for space to get our things plugged in when we’re pausing for a few minutes.

Steven Cull:
What we’ve done at Samsung is focused on enabling the consumer that peace of mind. That regardless of where they are, what conditions they’re in, they’re going to be able to use their devices and get the full power and capacity out of it. Whether it’s a phone, whether it’s your laptop, your tablet, or your watch, you’re going to get that full day battery because that’s a key element that we bring to the market that differentiates us.

Marc Aflalo:
And this is not a selfish laptop because Wireless PowerShare is a new feature that allows you to actually charge other devices. Right?

Steven Cull:
Absolutely, Marc. And again, it’s another one of those elements that we’re bringing the technology. We first invented and brought to handsets, now bringing it into other devices. So again, it’s about compatibility. You always have more than one device on you. You want to make sure that you’re able to keep everything going at the same time. And that’s where Wireless PowerShare comes in. So by using the track pad, you’re able to charge your buds for example. So your wireless headphones, you’re able to charge your watch, your phone without compromising the ability to work on your laptop.

Marc Aflalo:
So tell me what makes Flex your favorite child. What is the standout feature or features that make this one the favorite of your kids?

Steven Cull:
Well, I love screens, right? I’m watching screens all day long and this has a QLED screen. The outdoor mode is incredible for those few off afternoons I get to work outside in the sun. Not many, a lot of them in my basement. But when I am outside, the fact that I can see, I want to say movies, but I should say work and spreadsheets so clearly is incredible. And I just love the design. I love the fact that it’s different and unique. And yes, I’ve had the chance to take these outside and play with them in different areas. Been able to do my work on a laptop, on my Book Flex without someone asking me, “Hey, what is that? And where did you get it?” Because it stands out that much. It’s an extension of your personality and allows you all that power. So it’s incredible. If I had to say so, but hey, I don’t want to choose. But yeah.

Marc Aflalo:
I know. It’s funny because normally when Mitchell’s on these interviews with me, he’s the one who specifically calls it out and says, “Which one’s your favorite child?” But you actually did that for him. So I’m quite impressed. That takes kudos. Let’s talk about the Galaxy Book Ion because this seems… You can clearly see that it’s taking design cues from the Book S and the Flex. It’s kind of like the baby cousin, let’s say, so to speak. Who’s this one designed for?

Steven Cull:
I wouldn’t actually call it because it’s more like the middle child although treated a lot better than the middle child. Not that I have the middle child, but if I did, that’s where this one would fit in. It’s got the hinge design on the back much like the Book S. It’s got the square design much like the Flex. And it has an incredible QLED screen. It has power sharing. So it has a lot of power components to it that we have in the Flex. And it has a lot of those ergonomic portability elements that we have in the Book S. And so it’s really designed for those that are more on the go from a work perspective. If you think about Flex, Flex is really about it’s a creator tool. It’s a design piece, it stands out, and it gives you that kind of power performance.

Steven Cull:
So you’re not going to be… Well, it is movable and transportable. It doesn’t look like 10,000 pounds. It’s still very light. It’s not as light as the Book S. The Ion is in between those two in terms of [inaudible 00:12:59] weight, if you will. So it’s still a very light laptop. It is ultra light. It’s not ultra-ultra light like the Book S. So it’s portable, it’s a work machine. I look at Ion as a device that you’re going to be comfortable with every day. It’s your everyday laptop that you’re going to be engaging with. It’s got an incredible screen. It’s got all the power functionality you need. It’s got all day battery. It’s the workhorse of the lineup if you will.

Marc Aflalo:
So one thing I omitted was on the Flex and the Ion, they’re available both in 13.3 and 15.6. So obviously, it gives you a different variety of things to choose from. How configurable are all these devices in terms of storage, in terms of RAM, in terms of any of them, colors?

Steven Cull:
Yeah. So colors are pretty standard in terms of what we have. So the Book S and the Ion both come in a silver color or Book S is more of a gray color. The Book Flex, we have in the royal blue. From an additional RAM or storage capacity, you have that option to add memory, add RAM to both the Book Ion and the Book Flex. As well, we have different memory and power options within the Ion and the Flex. In the Ion, we have both i5 processor capability, as well as the i7. Again, both 10th gen Intel chipset. So the latest and greatest available from our partner at Intel. And you can add more if you need.

Marc Aflalo:
So in terms of availability and the Canadian market, especially, I know that obviously that May 29th, people are able to start pre-ordering. So the pre-orders have already gone. We’ve got June 5th. We started seeing the Book Flex, right? Ion will be available, I’m trying to find the dates here.

Steven Cull:
So Book Flex and Ion were launched. They were live and we’re seeing great demand in the market for those. And Book S will be coming closer to the end of June. So we’re just waiting on some shipments to come in and then we’ll be alive and selling.

Marc Aflalo:
Now, are these going to be in a year… What’s the commitment from Samsung in terms of the laptop lineup, especially here in Canada? Are we going to see this evolve over time? Are we going to see software variations, etc., etc.

Steven Cull:
Absolutely. We’re committed to driving it. We believe at this point, compatibility across our ecosystem is important. We’ve got a lot of great elements that we’re putting in smartphones that we think are going to really transform the way people look at laptops. In fact, just last night, I was on a call with our team in Korea looking at next year’s lineup.

Marc Aflalo:
Oh, nice.

Steven Cull:
So we have some real powerful and exciting things coming. This is not a one and done. We believe that we have a great state power, and we’ve really transformed what people think about when they see our laptops.

Marc Aflalo:
No, definitely. And I have to echo that because when you look at the mobile lineup and you look at the success there and you see the trickle down effect, and obviously, the use of technologies cross-platform and everywhere, it’s quite unique and it’s nice to see this kind of approach to it as well. Before I do let you go, I wanted to ask you the challenges of launching devices like this while everybody’s stuck at home, while we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Did you feel a little bit more challenging to launch products like this, or do you feel like the audience was a little bit more captive?

Steven Cull:
Yeah. I think it is a lot more challenging because you’re reliant on web and online. And unfortunately in the Canadian marketplace, online sales and online shopping is not as prevailing, especially not in the tech sector as it is in other areas. So it’s been a bit more of a different approach we have to take. We’re very excited to see more retail shops open up, and we’re happy to be able to get in there and start to really show off these products because I think it’s hard for consumers to really understand the value prop and the differentiation and what it truly means to have a QLED screen when you’re just simply looking at it on what is not a QLED screen, right? Your laptop today is not QLED, but you’re trying to understand the benefits you’re going to get from having essentially a TV screen that’s portable in a laptop.

Steven Cull:
That’s hard to do from a web perspective, much easier to do from an in-store perspective. I mean, I think the market reception has been very positive. We’ve seen a lot of interest in [inaudible 00:17:28] and our early sales have been phenomenal. So we’ve been well, but it hasn’t been an easy process to get to market in a pandemic.

Marc Aflalo:
Well, hopefully, we can help you extend the message. And hopefully through product reviews and stuff like that, we can help make people realize exactly what the benefits are even though they can’t necessarily go hands on, which is pretty cool. Steven, thank you so much for taking the time to join me. It was obviously great to catch up. You’re going to have to come back and tell me all about next year’s product lineup once you can, of course.

Steven Cull:
Can’t wait, Marc. Thanks for having me today and wish Mitchell the best with his leg.

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