Samsung Galaxy Book S vs MacBook Air: Specs, Price [Comparison]

Just weeks after Apple refreshed the MacBook Air and dropped its price, Samsung has unveiled a new always-connected, ultra-thin and lightweight laptop called Galaxy Book S. Samsung’s new laptop is a successor to Galaxy Book 2, and could give the MacBook Air a tough competition. Both of them are portable and lightweight laptops. Let’s check out how the new Galaxy Book S stacks up against the MacBook Air.

Design

Both the Galaxy Book S and MacBook Air have a premium aluminum body, though Apple’s device has a slight edge in terms of build quality. Samsung’s laptop measures 30.5cm x 20.3cm x 11.8 mm and weighs just 2.1 pounds. It will be available in Mercury Gray and Earthy Gold color options.

The MacBook Air comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold colors. Its dimensions are similar to Galaxy Book S at 30.41cm x 21.24cm x 15.6mm, tapering to just 4.1mm at its thinnest point. However, it’s a little heavier at 2.75 pounds.

Samsung’s device is equipped with a fingerprint sensor and supports Microsoft’s Windows Hello facial recognition feature. The MacBook Air gets Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor for authentication and security. Samsung has used AKG-tuned stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. Audio quality on the MacBook is also impressive.

The MacBook uses Apple’s Butterfly keyboard, which has drawn a lot of criticism in the last few years. According to Apple, the new Butterfly keyboards used in MacBook Air have fixed the issues users had encountered with older versions.

Apple’s Force Touch trackpad is the gold standard in the industry. Samsung’s device hasn’t been tested yet, but it will be incredibly difficult for Samsung to match the MacBook’s trackpad. The keyboard on the Galaxy Book S is easy and comfortable to type on. Both laptops  have two USB-C ports. But Apple uses Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, which are relatively faster.

Display

The Galaxy Book S has a 13.3-inch Full HD TFT display with 1080 x 1920 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. It gets a touchscreen panel with 10-point multi-touch support. The MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display with a superior 1600 x 2560 resolution. However, the MacBook lacks touchscreen functionality.

The MacBook Air’s Retina display delivers richer colors. It also supports Apple’s True Tone technology that automatically optimizes the display brightness and colors to ensure that the content is visible at all times. It also helps reduce the strain on your eyes.

Internal specs

The Galaxy Book S runs Qualcomm’s 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 8cx processor built using 7nm technology. The processor is capable enough to challenge Intel’s eighth-gen Core i5 chips. The Snapdragon 8cx is paired with Adreno 680 GPU for faster graphics performance. Samsung and Qualcomm claim the new Snapdragon 8cx delivers 40% higher CPU performance and 80% higher graphics performance than Galaxy Book 2.

Samsung’s laptop packs 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and two different SSD storage options of 256GB and 512GB. The Galaxy Book S also includes a microSD card slot with support for up to 1TB of external storage. The laptop also has a Nano SIM card slot for Gigabit LTE connectivity. It gives you the freedom to work on the go. Other features include the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology and WiFi 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac.

Samsung has partnered with Microsoft to offer OneDrive cloud storage for photos and videos. It also has Microsoft’s Your Phone companion app that allows the laptop to seamlessly connect with your phone to let you access files, videos, photos, texts, and more.

The MacBook Air runs Intel’s eighth-gen dual-core Core i5 processor. The device gets Intel UHD Graphics 617 GPU, which is good enough for casual users but can’t handle video editing or gaming. Apple doesn’t offer a Core i7 configuration for MacBook Air. It features 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and 128GB SSD storage for the base model. Users can configure RAM to 16GB and storage to 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.

Battery life

The Galaxy Book S packs a 42Wh battery with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 2.0 charging technology. Samsung claims the laptop offers up to 23 hours of battery life on a single charge. That’s impressive, but you’ll get 23 hours of battery life only if you disable both LTE and WiFi connectivity. Most users can’t disable these features in real-life just to get more battery life. They need LTE and WiFi. But you can still expect the laptop to get you through a full workday.

The MacBook Air packs a larger 49.9Wh battery. Apple promises up to 13 hours of video playback and up to 12 hours of web surfing. In real-world conditions, the MacBook Air offers between 8-10 hours of battery life depending on the apps you are running.

Pricing

The Galaxy Book S has a starting price of $999. It will hit the US store shelves later this fall. The laptop will launch only in select countries. Now that the MacBook Air price has been slashed, it starts at $1,099 for the base model with 128GB storage. The 256GB variant sets you back by $1,299. Students can avail a $100 discount on the MacBook Air.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Book S could be a strong challenger to the MacBook Air. It has a higher base storage, a touchscreen display, a microSD card slot for external memory, and Gigabit LTE connectivity. And it costs $100 less than the MacBook. On the other hand, the MacBook Air has the advantage of Apple’s software, a superior build quality, and a wonderful trackpad.