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The new Galaxy Book Flex and Ion laptops from Samsung bring better designs to the line-up

Samsung has a few new laptops – the Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion – that will replace the old Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 models respectively. Samsung makes some major changes to these laptops, both inside and out. There are of course the expected improvements in the specifications, as well as very welcome redesigns that bring the two models more into line with the modern design language that Samsung introduced earlier this year with the Notebook 9 Pro.

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The new Galaxy books are the first Samsung laptops that use QLED displays, the same display technology that the company uses in its line of high-end flat-screen TVs. Samsung says they should be brighter (with a maximum of 600 nitts using a special "Outdoor Mode" and up to 400 nitts regularly) and that the colors are more accurate than before.


Samsung & # 39; s new Galaxy Book Flex (left) and the old Notebook 9 Pen (right).

Both laptops also have the latest 10th generation chips from Intel: the convertible Galaxy Book Flex has 10nm Ice Lake processors, while the Galaxy Book Ion has the 14nm Comet Lake chipsets based on the older architecture. Both laptops (in their 13- and 15-inch sizes) are certified as part of the Project Athena program from Intel, which means that you should have up to nine hours of battery life in practice.

The third major change is the inclusion of a new Wireless PowerShare touchpad that also serves as a fully-fledged wireless Qi charger for all your wirelessly chargeable gadgets. Although it is a strange function: you must first switch on the wireless charging mode with a keyboard combination, so it is not as simple as simply dropping your phone onto the pad. And when you charge a device, you cannot use the touchpad at all, which limits the functionality of your laptop (unless you have an external mouse handy). Given that the rest of the laptops are made of metal, the glass trackpad was the only place to place it. And if you really want to charge your Galaxy Watch Active 2 or AirPods, you have the option.


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Finally, there are some changes to the S Pen that come with the Galaxy Book Flex. It now has similar Air Action gestures as the Galaxy Note 10, so you can control your laptop with motion gestures with the stylus.

As for the actual designs, these are major improvements over the old models. Just like the Notebook 9 Pro, they are all metal designs, but the old design style of Samsung has finally got the ax. Compare the new Galaxy Book Flex with last year's Notebook 9 Pen, and it's not a competition. The sparkling-looking curves and corners have been replaced by the sharper edges that it introduced earlier this year. There are also much smaller screen edges, which reduces the overall size of the laptop.

Better yet, Samsung has even improved its first attempt with these models. Where the Notebook 9 Pro looked like a rip-off from a MacBook Pro, the new Galaxy Book Flex, with its striking blue hues, finally looks like its own unique product.


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Similarly, the Galaxy Book Ion without a touchscreen seems to stand out with a smart raised design where the back of the screen raises the keyboard a little when it is opened. There is also a nice blue accent strip at the back that sets it apart from the crowd.

Regarding the rest of the specifications: both laptops are available in 13-inch and 15-inch formats, with a maximum of 16 GB RAM and 1 TB NVMe SSD & # 39; s. (Although, as noted earlier, the foldable Flex laptops will have newer 10nm processors from Intel.) The 15-inch models also have optional Nvidia MX250 external GPUs, although Samsung has not yet announced exact configurations for a of the laptops.

There is no word about prices, although Samsung says prices should be within the same margin as the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 clamshell laptops that will replace the new models.

More curious is the release date, or the lack thereof: Samsung only gave an "early 2020" window, which is confusingly far removed from today's announcement. Samsung also recently missed a release date for Galaxy Book: the company's ARM-powered Galaxy Book S was originally sent in September, and we still have no release date nearly two months later.

Photography by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge