The last 12 months have been particularly fruitful for the notebook industry, with the best Chromebooks seeing a massive 300% year-on-year increase in North America. One of the reasons for the meteoric rise in Chromebook sales is the affordability; with most models retailing for under $500, they lower the barrier to entry for computing.
Windows device manufacturers have clearly noticed, because we’re now seeing a lot of budget-focused Windows notebooks slotting in at the same price points that were previously dominated by Chromebooks. Samsung’s latest announcement illustrates just that: the company has launched two new models in the Galaxy Book series — the Galaxy Book Go and Galaxy Book Go 5G, and both feature Qualcomm chipsets and run Windows on Arm.
The Galaxy Book Go is particularly interesting, because it is one of the first notebooks to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 platform. Qualcomm didn’t change the hardware itself over the first-gen Snapdragon 7c, but the increased clocks should deliver marginally better performance, and the company is touting a lot of new audio and video enhancements, allowing for better video calls.
The Galaxy Book Go features a 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) TFT panel and is available in 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4X RAM variants along with 64GB/128GB eUFS storage configurations, and you also get Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1, 720p camera, and a 42.3WHr that should be more than adequate. You’ll also find plenty of ports: two USB-C, one USB 3.0, 3.5mm jack, and a MicroSD card slot. The Galaxy Book Go charges at 25W over USB-C, so if you have a recent Samsung phone, you can use your phone charger with the notebook.
While the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 has LTE connectivity, the Galaxy Book Go misses out on the feature. That said, there are a lot of areas where it stands out from budget notebooks; the design feels premium thanks to the silver finish and the relatively thin bezels, the Mil-STD-810G rating ensures it can hold up to the rigors of daily use without any issues, and the 180-degree hinge means you can turn it around and stream videos easily. It has Dolby Atmos-tuned sound, so the onboard audio by itself should be decent enough for the occasional Netflix binge session.
Windows on Arm as a platform has matured over the last 12 months, and it is slated to get a host of native clients over the coming months: Adobe is bringing its editing tools to the platform, and Zoom is working on a client that better leverages the AI-based audio and video changes that Qualcomm baked into the 7c Gen 2.
The Galaxy Book Go will go on sale starting June 10 for $349, with the Galaxy Book Go 5G slated to launch sometime later in the year. That particular model will likely retain a similar design but launch at a higher price because of 5G and additional upgrades on the hardware side. We’ll have to wait to see what’s in store for the Galaxy Book Go 5G, but for now, the Galaxy Book Go at $349 feels like a great bargain if you’re in the market for an affordable notebook.