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Computers

Samsung's insanely thin Galaxy Book S lasts 23 hours, arrives in September for $999

Using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx compute platform for Windows with LTE support, you'll be able work anywhere.

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Sarah Tew

Samsung surprised us with a new laptop at Wednesday's Unpacked event for the Galaxy Note 10. The Galaxy Book S is an ultrathin, ultralight laptop with a 13.3-inch touchscreen that runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx compute platform. Like past Qualcomm-based PCs we've seen, the Galaxy Book S sips power and is capable of 23 hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. 

While battery life was extremely long on past Snapdragon-powered laptops we've tested, performance in general lagged behind their Intel competition, including Samsung's Galaxy Book 2. However, at Computex 2019, Qualcomm's demonstration of the 8cx compute platform showed it could more than keep up with an Intel Core i5. The new chipset gives the Galaxy Book S 40% greater CPU performance and 80% greater graphics performance than the Galaxy Book 2, said Samsung in its announcement. 

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Sarah Tew/CNET

What's equally impressive is that you're getting the increased performance and battery life in a fanless aluminum body that measures 11.8mm (0.46-in.) at its thickest and weighs less than a kilogram (2.1 lbs.). Combined with its Gigabit LTE support and 802.11ac wireless and instant-on capabilities that work similarly to a phone, you've got a laptop well designed to work wherever and whenever you want. 

Being so thin, though, you have to wonder if Samsung will run into similar troubles as Apple has with its MacBook keyboards.Though the MacBook's keyboard has some supporters, Apple has updated the design to address key issues some users have experienced and an all-new design is rumored for later this year. Also, extremely low-profile keyboards like the one on the Galaxy Book S can be uncomfortable, so I'm interested to see how Samsung's feels during long typing sessions. 

As part of its partnership with Microsoft, the Galaxy Book S will have OneDrive cloud storage and Microsoft's Your Phone app that allows for a seamless connection between the Galaxy Note 10 and the laptop so you can access and move files, photos and video between the two as well as answer calls, send texts and receive notifications. 

Although you'll probably be relying on cloud storage for the most part, Samsung will offer 256GB or 512GB of storage in the Galaxy Book S with a microSD card slot to add up to 1TB more. Both come with 8GB of memory to back up the laptop's 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor. 

The Samsung Galaxy Book S will be available in gold or gray versions in September starting at $999. 

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