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Samsung announced four new laptops on April 28, 2021, at its Samsung Galaxy Unpacked April 2021 event! Augusto Pinaud, Art Gelwicks and I discussed the features that will help Samsung users be most productive in this special commentary episode of Anything But Idle.
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In this Cast | Commentary on Special Event Samsung Unpacked 2021
Art Gelwicks, a productivity and collaboration consultant, blogger at theideapump.com, and host of the Being Productive podcast as well as ProductivityCast Podcast.
Headlines & Show Notes | Commentary on Special Event Samsung Unpacked 2021
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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:00
Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community Welcome to Anything But Idle the productivity news podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by co working space by personal productivity club. And I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:12
And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:13
And we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is Episode 57. And it’s our commentary on the special event hosted by Samsung, the Samsung unpacked galaxy unpacked April 2021 event, and we’re recording this on April 21 2021. And to talk about this show that they put on and the laptops that they announced, we have Art Gelwicks our Samsung afficionado joining us today, Art Gelwicks is a productivity and collaboration consultant. He’s also a blogger at the idea pump calm. And he’s the host of the being productive podcast. And of course, he joins us on ProductivityCast regularly. And so welcome to the show art.
Art Gelwicks 0:57
Hey guys, how you doing today?
Augusto Pinaud 0:58
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:59
doing well doing
Art Gelwicks 1:00
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:02
Art Gelwicks 1:04
This is good as a cup of coffee. Almost.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:06
All right, let us jump into and unpack the unpacked. And what did you think about the production value of the event now that we’ve had nearly a year of pandemic focused entertainment virtually? And what was the most interesting thing you thought about the show, and then we’ll get into the particulars about the announcements.
Art Gelwicks 1:31
I like the fact that this is the third unpacked event they’ve done this year. They’ve been consistent in the design, consistent in the narrative and the pacing, it was an hour they stuck to an hour, you kind of knew what you were getting, you know, it’s like watching an episode of TV, you knew what 45 minutes in you were through the big stuff. And they were starting to wrap up the story. So they I believe they got their messaging across very clearly, they were very good at getting the core message across. And we’ll talk about that quite a bit. There was one underlying message, which I think is going to become the bigger narrative as we finish out 2021 and move into the next couple of years, they’ve really doubled down on one core concept. I think it’s going to make a big difference. Visually, it was fine. I mean, it had the normal, same normal displays and interactions, which I thought were pretty cool. The system breakdowns because this was a hardware focused event, showing how the components were put together. That was all interesting. And it was like an episode of how’s it made. But it’s, it was still fun to watch. And it was engaging. It was one of those things that often you watch these types of things and about 20 minutes in, you’re like, Okay, guys, come on, get to the good stuff. But this was something that you just you could keep it running and you could go through, it’s like, Okay, this is this is interesting. So I think they did a good job I give them probably an A minus.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:59
I give them an eight out of 10 on this event. And the the reasons I give them, what I think is a pretty high score in being able to do a virtual event is that they really kept a clean, consistent narrative throughout the entire event. They kept saying the same things, the brand messaging was on target here, it was a clear message that they wanted to be able to turn this, you know, experience on the smartphone into the experience of a PC and giving you all of the benefits of having a thin, lightweight all day running device. And I just felt like all of the things they were doing throughout the event really helped me understand better what they were trying to sell. And in terms of value, not in terms of product. And it’s so important for them to be able to do that any business to be able to do that. But they were just really this is a masterclass in just a you know, what is in essence a boring company, right? Samsung is an OEM, you know, they are just building products that are usually supposed to fade into the background. We use them every day. And so they become somewhat of a commodity, and they’re really trying to spice it up. Allah apple. And so I really enjoyed that part of it.
Art Gelwicks 4:10
Yeah, it’s definitely Samsung’s been along the ecosystem mindset for a long time. I mean, Samsung is a much more diverse company than an apple or pretty much anybody else in the tech sector because they make pretty much everything.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:24
Yeah, can Apple say? Yeah, apple, could Apple say they make toilets?
Art Gelwicks 4:28
Washing mission? Yeah, I got Samsung washing machines downstairs. So that, that type of thing thinking about that ecosystem play. They had one question they asked throughout this entire thing. Why can’t a PC be more like a smartphone? And it sounds almost like a trite marketing type of question. But I think there’s a deeper, deeper concept to that. And it’s a recognition that the smartphone devices that we have now not just for Samsung, but across the board. We have reached, equaled, and in many cases surpassed, the laptop capabilities, the power, the processors, the screens, the memory. I mean, I think about the phone that I have, it’s more powerful than my laptop, flat out spec to spec comparison, it is more powerful device. So I think it’s an extremely valid question that they ask. And as we look at the different these three products that they will, for technical products that they pushed out during this event, you can see that thinking going all the way through everything they’ve done in these devices, they’ve really started to say, Can we blur that line? Can we make this the, quote, Samsung experience, rather than just, here’s a bunch of hardware that we sell, we’d like you to buy all of it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:53
And I also have to say that they in the lead up their trailer to the show was that box traveling from place to place to place to bring the galaxy book to the residence of the new owner. And it’s just a really great time that they brought the box in as the first image, you see, to like, open up the event and bring the galaxy book to like, they just, they thought of all of the details. And these are the kinds of things that I think every every product business should be thinking about. And especially in the productivity space where most often than not, we’re much more function than form. And they have really brought a lot of that form to the function here. And I really, really appreciated that component about it.
Art Gelwicks 6:36
Yeah, it’s it’s neat seeing, we’ll have all the comparisons between Apple and Samsung forever. But it’s neat seeing these two companies playing against each other, and it’s forcing both of them to up their game. And to me, that’s always a good thing, because you always get better stuff when you have competition. This, I believe, I can’t think of another company aside from Samsung that plays in the same space that Apple does, though. I mean, at least not with hardware or software and things like I just, I can’t think of anybody.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:09
No, no, I believe that your next contenders would have been Microsoft and Google. And they both have floundered really, you know, other than the Surface Book along the surface line. You know, Microsoft really has not been able to do mobile and desktop, well, in the hardware space. And Google has locked down really the home, you know, assistant space, you know, IoT in the home? You know, obviously, Amazon has, you know, competition there as well. And, you know, I mean, I guess Amazon with their fire tablets has done some stuff, but nothing near the breadth of what we’re talking about in terms of Samsung and Apple. So
Augusto Pinaud 7:48
no, and I think it was, it was interesting, I was expecting for some moments, and then we are going to listen to john Ive coming out it was really a
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:59
maybe he was freelancing.
Augusto Pinaud 8:01
Maybe he was freelancing, I don’t know. But But out of out of the seriousness, they really put out a really good event. They the graphics were good. I mean, it It felt out of the playbook of of apple in a good way. I mean that in a good way, you know, they they really are trying to make an ecosystem that no I don’t think anybody have right now. Even Microsoft with with their phone or their foldable, thin, and the surface and all this they don’t have it is really right now Samsung, and Apple, the only two companies who are trying to offer this integrate really good real integration for everything on. So it’s really, really interesting.
Art Gelwicks 8:58
And you can see just as soon as the presentation started the double down into the idea that nothing should be locked to a desktop. Which is a little ironic when you look at the last Apple event, which released the new whatever they were the IMAX or whatever, ie Macs or PCs, whatever they were in trouble with the Apple users, but that’s okay. So it’s not locked down. They didn’t promote monitors, they didn’t promote physical devices that you know, big keyboards that were stuck. Everything was around being able to work anywhere, which to me again is a really smart thing for them to be focusing on because that’s the world we’re dealing with right now. Is that work anywhere environment and this stuff is designed to fit into that hand in glove.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:53
So I want to touch on really the primary message that tm ro and the team We’re really talking about here. Which is these three components of mobility, connectivity and continuity. And you brought up one of those main points are around the idea of having an experience that doesn’t really matter where you are right, I should be able to work anywhere. And that continuity perspective really did make its way into it. And so the first part was mobility, which is bringing the smartphone to the PC form factor. And I think they effectively conveyed that in the message, and we’ll talk about the the three, four products as we go forward. connectivity is that they brought Wi Fi six, the custom Bluetooth enablement, still don’t know what that is. And I’ve done a bit of research on that, I still don’t know what Intel did there. And then the capability for 5g LTE, on these devices. Basically, it’s a really big smartphone. And so putting a sim inside the device is obviously a natural extension, we’ve had this over the past 10 years, it’s not like we haven’t had other laptops with, you know, with with some kind of data connection to it. But the idea that they’re just baked in was pretty, I think, an important perspective here.
Art Gelwicks 11:11
It was interesting, as they were talking through the build planning, and they discussing things like the motherboard design, they flat out said, we took concepts from the smartphone and put them in the laptops, you know that the configuration to 5g chip, the board layer design, all of that they they’re taking those learnings from those mobile devices and saying, Okay, can we put them in something bigger? Can we take advantage of all that skill set that we’ve got now, and I think this is one of the few times I’ve seen a company, start from the phone side and work back into the laptops. I mean, we’ve seen you know, places like Microsoft that go the other direction. We’ve seen, you know, places like Google who kind of come at it sideways, Microsoft, or Samsung, or others, the first one to really say, look, we’ve got these crazy smartphones, can we use that intelligence and design to educate the builders of our laptops. And I think we’re seeing a lot of that benefit. Talking about thicknesses of one millimeter. It changes in manufacturing methods to rec to reflect learnings from the space, I think it’s a good thing. Time will tell is if it’s going to be reliable, and if it’s going to work, and we’re going to see the performance that they’re claiming. But in a core concept, I think it’s a good thing. Yeah, so
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:35
they announced the galaxy book, The Galaxy book pro 360, the I’m sorry, the galaxy Pro, the galaxy book pro 360, and the galaxy book Odyssey. And so, we’re gonna we’re going to talk about each of these individually. But in essence, the first is the galaxy galaxy book. What did you like about the galaxy book? What were your thoughts regarding the galaxy book.
Art Gelwicks 13:00
I like the fact of how they introduced it actually, because they introduce the the book pro and the pro 3/61. And then they came back to the book. And the galaxy book actually seems to be targeted as I don’t want to say their entry level device but it’s it’s their, you know, base level device cost of entry. And even that from a design and capability standpoint, it carried over all of those key functionality. The Galaxy book out the door has LTE connectivity available. Which to me is like Okay guys, I mean if you’re bottom of the line device can support wireless connectivity like that. You’re obviously all in on this concept. The design aesthetic with solid colors I’m not even gonna worry about the colors anymore because unless they do mystic bronze and everything I don’t want to know about it. But yeah, I want everything the same color and I’m not getting it and I’m not happy. That’s a whole different thing. But that device at its price point. The I would say that’s I wouldn’t say it’s a game changer. But I think that it has interjected itself into every conversation about buying a PC now.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:18
Yeah, so this is a I’m reading off of specs here. So the screen is 15.6 inches 920 by 810 80. It starts at 549 for the base model and then you go up to the 649 with LTE.
Art Gelwicks 14:34
And you start with that price though, starting at a 549 price that it takes on every tablet. It takes on every PC out there because there’s there’s very few that have that same set of power specs. At that level. I mean we’re still talking about an EVO I seven processor in it,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:55
Art Gelwicks 14:58
I mean aritz is still in 11th Gen processor, it’s running a 65 watt charger error No This one has is this one a 65 or 135 watt. I got a little confused with that when they were showing their screens.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:10
I thought they were all the same.
Art Gelwicks 15:13
Well, they all use a USBC connection. Yep. But the nice thing is it is a gallium nitride charger, which means lightest,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:21
Art Gelwicks 15:23
And again, this goes back to that whole core concept. All of this is designed to be put into a bag lightly. Minimum footprint, I think the total was one kilogram, with the charge everything with a charger with the cable with the laptop. That’s, that’s not bad. Like, and like I said, that price point, I’m really hard pressed to beat that price point as a as a basic way to get into getting one of these devices in hand. The key? What was interesting, too, is they spent a little time talking about the keypad. The fact that the keyboard has a modified key travel, it’s a one millimeter key travel, but it’s designed to be a high touch high responsive keyboard. And yeah, well, it’s gotta be but again, let’s let’s think about this messaging. We’re in where you have completed almost an entire year of video conferencing. And half of the time on a video conference, you see your keys clacking. Matter of fact, so many of them. So many companies like zoom, and Microsoft had gone through an embedded noise canceling functionality into their software. When Samsung was talking about it, they’re talking about how they built it into their machines as part of the broadcasting or the recording capability. So definitely interesting. Battery life sounds great.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:42
Yeah, it was great, how they talked about the dual microphone situation and the noise canceling technology to be able to, you know, really make these, you know, better calls and video meetings. And so I love that. Um, yeah, so it does have the 11th generation Intel. And so it depends on which market you’re in, whether it’s the i three, five, or I seven, but they noted the isetan on screen here, and there is up to a terabyte of storage SSD. And you can get them in, you know, varying versions of memory up to 16 gigabytes, and then the LP DDR x DDR. 4x. And so yeah, it comes with a bunch of ports. I mean, I was really impressed with the number of ports that it provides. Let me just bring this up here. So here we have microSD, for being able to put in a microSD card in, you’ve got USB 3.2.
Art Gelwicks 17:37
That’s the book pro you’re showing. Because Yes,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:41
that’s correct. That’s correct. So So think about this being the galaxy book, minus that that Thunderbolt four port, then your mic, HDMI, and USB type C. So you get quite a lot of
Art Gelwicks 17:55
Yeah, I gotta say I mean, they’ve, again, we think about the portability and the mobility aspect of it, you never have enough ports, you always got to be able to plug into something. And the fact that those are built in that you’re not schlepping around a hub, to be able to provide that connectivity is a big step. The fact that they’ve standardized their power on USBC not only just for these devices, but it’s now across their entire line. So I was I was doing the math yesterday, you could have a galaxy note or galaxy book, s seven tablet, you could have your note 20 phone, you could have your Galaxy buds, earbuds, you could have your Samsung Galaxy watch and carry one charger. When we have one to full width and one cable, I mean that as a guy who has spent time living out of his backpack, that’s huge. That makes life so much easier.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 18:49
Yeah, that’s amazing. I’m really I’m really pleased with with their ability to get all this stuff going on. There’s a fingerprint reader on the power button. So from a security perspective, you can biometric end, and Dolby Atmos for audio, which was which is pretty great because they they kind of showed it I don’t know what the actual audio is gonna sound like but
Art Gelwicks 19:12
I’m good on the Samsung phones, Dolby Atmos is available and it really makes an impact with headphones. So again, if they’re carrying over the things that they have learned on the smartphone platform into the laptop, I have high expectations for that audio quality if I’m going to be watching a video on there, I want to hear the pew pew of the of the Thai fighters so
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:37
all right, anything else about the galaxy book? I will I will say the HDMI component. We talked about this before we started recording but its ability to be able to connect up to is that was that only on the pro or was that oh my god
Art Gelwicks 19:49
that’s only on the pro okay. On the regular galaxy book. I think it’s just normal monitor connections but
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:55
but let’s let’s move on to the pro then. So we go from we go from 49 up to a 99 999 price point a 13 inch galaxy Book Pro. And then the 15 inch galaxy Book Pro is 1099. And the while we were talking about it, I guess is the next thing is the HDMI gives you up to three monitors to be able to connect to that Pro Series. And that’s just phenomenal. Being able to have that little light device connected within its, you know, thin device, be able to connect to three monitors, that’s just going to be a powerful feature,
Art Gelwicks 20:31
that that’s a workstation, there’s no question in my mind, that’s a full workstation, I imagine trying to set this up on your desk, and you wind up buying a new desk, because you can’t hold all the monitors the laptops, great, but you can support so much traffic capability through that HDMI port. And if it’s going to be that responsive? That’s kind of crazy.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:52
Yeah, I’m actually really curious to hear about this in the wild. Once it goes goes live and people are getting them in their hands.
Art Gelwicks 20:58
I don’t know how many people will actually work off of three monitors. I mean, I know some who would. That’s all that’s a lot of stuff to look at. I’ll be honest. Now the pro stuff. Yeah, it’s it’s although, you know, if you’re gonna run, you know, your, your spreadsheet on one, your, your collaboration on the other, and Netflix on the third, I guess you’re okay.
Augusto Pinaud 21:19
Hey, dude, I’m good that way. But But no, I wanted to pinpoint that. You know, I agree that galaxy book price points is incredible. But the pro wasn’t bad price at either. No, I mean, none of them are you can go with that price. And really, there is not a lot of thing with at least what I understood where the specs and the speed and all that at that price point in the market. And you know, that look high end, because that was one of the things at least on what I saw, they look really high end, they don’t look cheap, you know, plasticky, they they are but they don’t look, they look come in comparison to a surface. They side to side. So that was really interesting for the price point.
Art Gelwicks 22:04
Yeah, I think one of the things that we’re going to see is, again, that price point is his point of entry. But it really places itself in an excellent point of contention against anything else on the market. I mean, I was going to go and do a quick search on Amazon. But I can guarantee at that price point, we’re looking at two or three year old laptops, not the newest and latest and greatest out there in the space. So now they did say that the galaxy Book Pro machines come in either a 15.6 inch, or a 13.3 inch screen layout, which I liked the idea. I like the idea of the smaller screen layout, if you’re going to if you need an ultra portable style machine, I think that’s a good one. I did not see if the 13 three comes in a three by two format. So I’m, I’m curious about that, because I’ve become a bit of a fan of the three by to format, I do enjoy it. But that’s that’s minor, it’s all aluminum. Which is, to me, that’s a big thing. Again, at this price point, we’re talking about a device that isn’t made out of plastic casings to save weight. They’ve done some specific milling to actually reduce weight and increased strength. They talked about that specifically in the presentation, which was kind of nice.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 23:23
Yeah, they can make of it. Yeah.
Art Gelwicks 23:27
And I, again, I think that may come from those learnings from the smartphone space. If you’re gonna make it thin, you got to make it strong, or else it’s going to break. I mean, with a smartphone, you’re talking about something maybe four inches six inches long, this you’re talking about something 15 inches wide. That’s a you know, just a thin slab of aluminum doesn’t take much to bend or break that or snap some of the internal components. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 23:54
so what we’re gonna see now is a whole bunch of YouTube videos doing drop test.
Art Gelwicks 24:00
Does it blend and how does it how do they support it, which not not to jump ahead. The fact that Samsung is again, offering something that Microsoft or Apple already does their Samsung care plus, they’re recognizing that these things are going to be out in the real world. They’re going to get beaten, abused and need to be maintained. So I thought that was interesting. As we said, the Thunderbolt four, which I think is a great thing. They’re running em OLED displays, and on the 360, they’re running a super m OLED display, which, again, those learnings from the mobile space. And the 360, which we’ll talk about a little bit more comes with an S Pen. So again, they’re they’re doubling down into that capability, but it’s also have a position to the device. They were very clear about how the devices are being targeted. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:53
yeah, so So the interesting thing here is that the the two pros are, as you said, they’re Amazon Led 13.3 1920 by 1080. And then 15.6 inch 19 by 1920 by 1080. Also. So they keep the same aspect ratios on both sizes. And again, they’re really pushing the 11th Gen Intel even had Intel in the presentation to talk about their partnership, this I think was a huge win for Intel, they have been battered by the apple silikon, you know, kind of taking away their pride and joy of being able to build for Apple, this is a way for them to be able to get a win this year by doing this partnership with Samsung, I think yeah,
Art Gelwicks 25:36
it was definitely Intel going Hey, guys, we’re still relevant. So we’ll see how well this processor works. I mean, there’s always going to be the benchmarks comparisons, and this runs faster than that. But we all know what this level of device, the differences between them in what we actually recognize as performance is almost negligible. I mean, it’s literally just the ruler sizing.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:00
Yeah, so I think I think we’ll we’ll talk a little bit more about the Samsung Intel Microsoft partnership, this co marketing program they’ve they’ve developed, but I think this is a really good component of it. Okay. Anything else about the book pro,
Art Gelwicks 26:15
the Book Pro is a standard clamshell design. But it does lay back to 180 degrees, which I have never found a purpose for. But okay. It can it can lean back, it is that high visibility display. And this is something I thought was actually kind of funny. Well, cute, funny that they did in the presentation, they took you through the Museum of old laptops. And they showed you you know, old laptops where you couldn’t see him in the daylight and ones that had the massive weight, no touchscreen and things like that, and where it had come from. So I thought it was all cheeky on their part. But it was it was still I think a nice filler for them to show that. Yeah, this is not your grandfather’s laptop.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:57
Now on balance, I think the book pro in either 13.3 or 15.6 is really the best of breed in this lineup of products they put out today, you know, balances value price, you know, really, really well. And so if I were going to get one of them, this would probably be it. I love the fact that it’s touchscreen, I love the fact that it has the clamshell design that is just a clean fit everything about it really feels like Well, looks like it will feel right in, in a work environment.
Art Gelwicks 27:31
Yeah, the Book Pro is definitely targeted as your targeted to your spreadsheet crowd. I mean, this is this is the business device, the business class device, they clearly targeted that to that audience and the 360 to your creative audience. So and another thing though, I think there’s one more thing, they did mention briefly, if you watched that you could take a s seven tablet, or one of their Tab S seven pluses, whatever, and use it as a second screen and use the S Pen capability on to control both devices. I thought that was really intriguing, because I have yet to see anybody really play that space. But man, does that open up some opportunities to have a multi level device creative and business focus. I like that idea. And to me, that would be a reason why I would go buy an S seven plus tablet. Because I would have that capability plus this workhorse. And I wouldn’t be locked into just a two in one design. I love my two other ones. Don’t get me wrong, but I’m going to have two devices. This opens up a real neat opportunity.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:42
Yeah, I didn’t catch that the S seven the S Pen being able to extend on to
Art Gelwicks 28:47
Yeah, you could use that as the control feature. I think that was the case if nothing else, you were using it as a dual screen and the touch capability on the tablet. I don’t know if it crossed back over to the other machine but whatever app you were running on that second, on that s seven tab from the main this machine, the S Pen acted as your mouse control. So if you were doing video design or editing or something like that, that’s pretty pretty solid in my book,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:15
okay, but the reason I took this event down by 10 points is that those stupid stickers are back they put those Intel stickers on
Art Gelwicks 29:25
Yeah, I saw that and they showed it twice. I’m like guys come on. Women why bloody things off for years.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:32
I was like, I was like demerit I was immediately like come on. I cannot have this not
Art Gelwicks 29:36
Samsung’s fault. That’s the Intel’s You know, they’re not gonna get rid of those because Hey, guys, we’re still relevant. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:44
Geez, yeah. All right. So let’s let’s run along then from the galaxy book pros along to the galaxy book Odyssey. So now we I’m sorry, pros. 360 pro 360. Let’s talk about the pro 360.
Art Gelwicks 29:57
So is our two in one And, you know, I thought it was interesting because the two, the two in one design again, that’s that full rotation. You can use it in tent mode, you can use it in Leanback mode, you can use it in any number of different modes. But their messaging really targeted that around the creatives. And the creative mindset. It includes an S Pen, like I mentioned earlier, that’s standard, and it’s a big S Pen, it’s not a little one, it’s a full size. So it’s neat to see that they’ve got the thinking around this device, targeted for that audience. But, and this is what I like, supports 5g. This isn’t an LTE device. Now, I think that was the same on the pro as well. But supporting Wi Fi, 60, custom Bluetooth, which we still have no idea what that is, and 5g support, guess what folks, were working out of the house, or getting to other locations, and not noticing the difference. Now, it’s all dependent on 5g infrastructure and things like that, but still a device itself a laptop supporting 5g capability natively. That’s the true merger of mobile, and PC.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:16
Yeah, so the galaxy book pro 360 comes in at 1199 to start, and then the 15 inch, the 15.5 inch 15.6 inch one comes in at 1299 starting. And the it’s the 13.3 inch that has 5g. And I don’t believe that 5.6 has 5g built into it. But presumably if you’ve got a five to 15.6 inch device, you’re not necessarily taking that out.
Art Gelwicks 31:42
And it kind of makes sense. If you have to pick one of the two to put it in, you put it in a more portable one. That’s, I totally get that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:49
Yeah, so otherwise, all the other specs are pretty similar to the other ones in terms of, you know, processor, graphics, parity, and so on and so forth. The same number of ports, if I’m reading correctly, which is amazing, right, having a portable device, throw it into tablet mode, and you still have the same ports to be able to utilize, I think about myself being on the road and having to plug into lots and lots of projectors. Some of them are ancient. And so being able to have a portable device where you can plug HDMI in with no problem, man, that just sounds like a dream. And so the number of dongles, you know, it’s it
Art Gelwicks 32:29
will be fun to build an everyday carry bag around this device to see how much stuff you could actually get rid of. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:39
Alright, well, what else about? Go for it? Okay, sorry.
Augusto Pinaud 32:43
That’s exactly what they what they did they. So there are two things that are really interesting. One of them we already mentioned, but I want to mention it again. This is the first time I hear a non Apple company. Okay, talking about we took the cell phone and from the cell phone, we went unbuild it and I think that’s a really important shift that one can hope that others are going to follow. Because cell phone for good or for bad. That’s the main device for 90% of the world. When you build it the other way, that’s a big thing. But second, it showing how much power goes cell phones half now that we aren’t going to follow? No.
Art Gelwicks 33:32
Has has Apple even done that because Apple to my knowledge has never outright said that our PCs, I’ll just use the generic term are being influenced, influenced and designed by our phones. They always had those two, it’s the iPads that have been influenced by the phone devices, but they’ve never taken an all the way up the channel. And I think this is truly the first company who said across the board. These little things in our pockets are the most powerful things we have out there. It would be foolish of us to not allow them to influence everything we’re doing.
Augusto Pinaud 34:08
So no, I think that was incredibly powerful and incredibly exciting to see. Coming from there, how we are really getting, you know, to the laptop, and Samsung has the decks you know, as a platform that was playing with some of the things so it’s really interesting I, I was I am not going to put a Windows machine on my desk, but that’s if I need to put one this will be a good option. This will be something that I was excited looking at it. I was excited about what they were building until they put the Windows operating system. But the hardware per se was incredibly exciting on what they are building
Art Gelwicks 34:48
it. It. You mentioned Dexter and I thought that was one of the things that jumped out at me is they never mentioned it. And I think that was by design because they didn’t want to cloud the conversation. But what they did Talk about we’ll dig into this more a little later, I’m sure is a lot of the Microsoft integrations and one of the things they did spend quite a bit of time talking about was your phone. And I use your phone on a daily basis, I use it all the time connected to to my Samsung phone. And it’s a wonderful application, it just opens up capabilities that I can’t get through other mechanisms. So, again, this was a good example of Samsung staying on message, and not confusing and not crowding these things. If we go all the way back to the beginning, I would love to see more announcements like this, where companies get the message, the virtual messaging, I think, works for companies because it gives them an opportunity to get this stuff straight, and nobody go off script. And, and really hone what they’re going to provide. And what they’re going to talk to this, I think is a good example.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:53
And the future is collaboration, you know, and we cannot collaborate if the companies that are providing us with the hardware and the software to collaborate are not collaborating themselves. So I hope they’re hearing the message, and certainly Samsung, Microsoft, Intel are and intent, apple, we need to be able to, we need to be able to integrate our technology across the board. And wherever we’re working. We’re working, you know, one of the reasons why I chose Google for good or for ill as my infrastructure for most of my work, and my home world was because of that fact, no matter what hardware I’m on, I’m capable of using my Google workspace and Google accounts to be able to be productive. And if Samsung or Android, Microsoft and Apple were to play nice together, the hardware would kind of melt away, right, I would still buy the hardware, we’re still going to enjoy using all the various preferential marginal components as the mechanism for talking between them. But their interoperability would really bring forward everybody’s productivity. And I feel like them locking themselves into the ecosystem. Yes, it gives them a greater edge in terms of security and privacy, you know, in terms of branding, but the real component here is that the more we can we can work together across no matter what device we’re on, the better off we are. I just want to close out any specs on let’s you know, close out specs on the next product, which is the galaxy book Odyssey and then I want to go back to this conversation around the Microsoft collaboration This was
Art Gelwicks 37:27
there one more thing moment. Oh, yeah, this is when they threw this one up there. I’m like, Oh, that’s just not fair.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:35
Absolutely. So So this one is basically akin to the galaxy Book Pro, except that they have upgraded the processor and really gave you a gaming PC. So the the components that are are really interesting here, so it starts at 1399. As its starting price point USD, you got a 15.6 inch screen, really nice TFT LCD screen at 1920 by 1080 and 11th generation Intel I five or II seven depending upon your market, they put in the graphics card, it’s an NVIDIA GeForce r tx 3050. And just like really, really nice graphics card, you’ve got up to a terabyte of storage as well. And you can go all the way up to 32 gigabytes of DDR 4x Ram in that. So that’s amazing.
Art Gelwicks 38:24
Couple other specs, I thought were really interesting one, it’s running 135 watt charger, so it’s pulling the power. And they spent quite a bit of time talking about how they redesign the heatsink mechanisms. Within this they literally gave an engineering breakdown, dual fans redesigned larger radius on the fans slimmed down the heatsink channels to keep that temperature down while you’re running high end process. It’s it’s absolutely the gold standard on this other line for products to play in that space. What jumped out me at me the most is two times very subtly. They mentioned Xbox game pass, and their integration with Microsoft and their their recognition that Microsoft contains all the other pieces that they need to be that massive ecosystem. The game pass piece of this, I think is huge. Because Microsoft is making that push into being able to run off of cloud based games, I run game pass all the time, I run it off of my phone where I can play games, I run it off my PC. And it just the fact that they’re saying, okay, we want to build a machine that’s going to run these optimally optimally. I think that’s I think that’s just the way they need to package this stuff together. So good on them.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:48
Yeah, I thought the it was really interesting. They mentioned a number of different components when it came to this. You mentioned the game pass. I think the other component about this particular model is that it actually has an RJ 45. So you can connect Ethernet to it. So you can physically plug into the device. I thought that was really powerful. And this one comes in at around four pounds, you said it had the larger power brick 83 watt hour battery. So really, really, you know good size battery. And yeah, so it’s a it’s a pretty powerful device that this one has Wi Fi six Bluetooth, and the and, and Gigabit Ethernet port, as I said. So you get a lot of capability in you know, what is supposed to be your your your gaming rig, right, you’re supposed to be able to do all the gaming on that device. So I’m, I was really pleased with the galaxy book Odyssey. And I almost thought that’s probably the best laptop I have, of the devices they mentioned. But price for value, I ended up falling on the pro 13 or 15 615 13 or 15 inch models because of just price and value. What what intriguing Ethernet port.
Art Gelwicks 41:02
what intrigues me a little bit, though, is when you look at the price points of the across the range, the high end price point of the Odyssey running for basically 14 $100 you can get two and a half galaxy books for that. And it’s not a reduction in two and a half times the quality and the machine and the power and the capabilities. Yeah, it’s not that level, but you’re not cutting your capabilities in half, or less than half. So that broad price range still means that you’re working within a very nice range of specs for performance and capability. So they have made it pleasantly difficult to make a decision. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 41:48
let’s talk about the galaxy book experience portion of the show, because I think there’s so many important pieces here about how they have integrated Microsoft into the environment. You talked about your phone and those components as well, and the lack of naming decks in this process. But really, in essence, they’ve used a lot of what they’ve learned, indexed and built this collaboration partnership with Microsoft. What did you think about the idea of being able to say synchronize tasks between Microsoft to do and your Samsung tasks, your notes with OneNote? I mean, they really thought this through
Art Gelwicks 42:25
there. People have been asking quite a bit while around the Samsung Mobile devices, specifically the phones. Why is there such such a Microsoft footprint. And I think what we’re seeing is the Microsoft footprint plan. starting to come to fruition, you have the built in integrations of things like Samsung notes, perfect example, which really supports the S Pen, it’s a nice design for capturing notes. It’s synced, it is targeted to synchronize with things like OneNote, you’ve got synchronizing across every device in the ecosystem. Now all of those things where you would expect I need to work with this application or this service, regardless of the device I’m working on. And they’ve started to really carry that forward. Things like the reminders synchronizing to Microsoft to do that’s nice. The gallery synchronizing to OneDrive, every one of these things, was a little shot over the bow at Google saying, Hey, we can do it. We got it. We do this stuff all the time. What I thought was really interesting is some of the things they’ve started to pull over, though, that can make things significantly improved, like the smart things integration. He talked a lot about smart things integration and its capabilities. It was previously only supported on the mobile devices to be able to control things like your lights and things like that. Well now the smart things application has been ported over to the PC environment. So I could be sitting at my computer, pop up the SmartThings app and turn the lights down or change the air conditioner. And you think that’s a little thing. I mean, it’s like okay, fine, big deal. That’s a huge convenience. And that’s where these things start to pick up use. It becomes that secondary. I’m just going to do that. And because I can just do that I can do that. Time and time again. Things like quick share, which have been available within the ecosystem for a little while where it’s it’s kind of like airdrop on Apple quick shares one of those things that I think is nice. It just means that everybody’s got to be running Samsung Gear to be able to utilize quick share. I don’t know if I can load quick share on it on a different Android device. I don’t think I can yet but I would not be surprised if that comes and
Augusto Pinaud 44:39
that is fine. I mean you can only run airdrop on the Mac but when you are across Apple people, it is ridiculously powerful. So what that is making is making Samson a we are going to be the cool players of the PC World. We are going to be the cool kids Have the blog now? And oh, if you don’t have a sense and is good, but you’re not as cool as we are these the gaming in Apple has been playing for a while, you know why wonder drop a get an iPhone device as a
Art Gelwicks 45:13
lifelong green bubble?
Art Gelwicks 45:15
mean, I completely get it. And that’s, it’ll be interesting to see where I think the difference comes in. And this is because Apple has that locked ebook ecosystem, it’s above, there are no competitors to Apple with Apple operating systems or equivalents. Samsung doesn’t have that there are lots of Android companies out there, there are tons of Windows hardware manufacturers out there. So the question they get into is, if we’re going to draw you into our ecosystem, we got to provide a crazy level of either integration value or desire for you to really commit to using our stuff across the board. And I think we’re starting to see that some of the things, Quick Search nice feature searches across the device content, again, not critical, when we see it being a game changer. Probably not. But it’s one of those things that’s like, yeah, if you use it, it’s useful.
Augusto Pinaud 46:13
No, but I think that the the game changer is that beginning of that ecosystem, because really, I have always said this, one of the reasons I love working on my devices is doesn’t matter which iPad, I grab the iPhone, and to certain extent the Mac, okay, and I will find the same things, especially on the iPhones and iPads. If Samsung replicate that, now it comes to the person in the in that ecosystem is why I’m going to buy a surface or an HP or anything else. When this integrate. So, so, so good. together.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 46:55
I will note that for anybody who is and wants something similar to quick share on their Windows devices or Mac devices, this is for Windows and Mac, try out Command D, it’s a fantastic program, I think it’s that get command e.com the letter E, and but like quick shares awesome. I thought that the idea here of being able to bring these cohesive experiences was not only useful, like the, like smart things, and you know, do you do you still do they still require you to have a hub in the SmartThings world now, they’ve now a couple their get their ZigBee and other
Art Gelwicks 47:34
other things devices. Matter of fact, we saw that really start to step up with the smart tags release, being able to have non supported and they they talked about that a little bit during the presentation, how they’ve expanded the SmartThings capability to have other devices recognize even devices off your neck, your network recognize that it saw something that got lost and notify accordingly. So being mobile, you lose stuff. And this this concept in, in their, again, their ecosystems, smart things, being able to support more things outside the Samsung ecosystem creates huge value, because that’s the one thing I don’t think you can really lock people into just Samsung devices, you’ve got to provide I’ve got wise lightbulbs all over the place. If I’m going to use smart things that has to be supported. Otherwise, there’s no reason for me to use smart things.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:25
So that this is one of one of my questions about it was Do you need a Samsung phone in order to be able to do a lot of these your phone capabilities like using an application on the on the internet? They didn’t quite say that affirmatively?
Art Gelwicks 48:42
Well, I don’t know if it’s available in other devices. I do know it’s built in to the higher end Samsung’s for example, if you go on the note 20 Ultra and you swipe down the top controls for this, there’s actually a control in there linked to Windows. And that toggle means that that functionality just pops up and you’re off and running. I believe you can run it on other devices, I’ll have to go back and check. That’s that would be a Microsoft push. Much less as a matter of fact, I know you can because I think I did it with a pixel. I have to go back and look and see. But that link to Windows capability for Android is definitely on the Microsoft side of the fence. The fact that Samsung has said hey, you know what, we got these Windows PCs. We’ve got linked to Windows capability. We’ve kind of bought into that. Therefore we’re going to provide it right up top for you. It’s a neat little feature. I mean people if you haven’t played with it, or you haven’t seen it, just the ability to sit here and in one application on my on my screen, respond back and forth to text messages without ever leaving windows. If you’re an apple user, you’re going yo we can do that. Like Well guess what, we can do that too now. So Yes, so yeah, so
Raymond Sidney-Smith 50:08
yes. So my my concern, of course, is like, I want to be able to use Instagram on the desktop and be able to use other applications, but only Samsung to Samsung right now on your phone. And that was
Art Gelwicks 50:19
why I was curious. No, no, well, I don’t know if it’s only Samsung to Samsung, but I run the apps, Samsung to a Lenovo desktop.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 50:28
So I’m on a pixel five connected to your phone. And I’m only seeing notifications, messages, photos and calls. So wonder,
Art Gelwicks 50:37
okay, it may be the same Well, no, because I’m looking at notifications, messages, photos, apps, and calls. And I have my entire collection of apps that are on the phone available. And just to be clear, the way it runs the apps on the desktop, is it does basically a screenshare off of the phone to the desktop. So you get kind of like a Virtual Phone, for just that app showing up on your desktop. But I have all my apps here, including the little notification bubbles as to how many notifications I have per app, I click on optimal, yeah, it’s a little slow to spin up. But as soon as it spins up, like I go through, you know, I’ll scroll through my Twitter feed. And often I’ll scroll through my Twitter feed using the mobile app for no other reason that that’s the interface I use. So often, that’s the one I’m most comfortable with. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:28
this is this is where I see most of the productivity gains and all of these devices is that the more mobile and desktop becomes similar for us. And they work no matter where we are, whether I’m looking at a big screen, I want to be able to utilize my mobile apps on the desktop. So I want to be able to just have a seamless experience between them. Apples already started to do that with with applications on the Mac OS, I want to see the windows side as well. And so I’m looking forward to really seeing that now. It was nice. I enjoyed watching them demonstrate that and show more of that. Clearly, Microsoft 365 has front billing and front seat in this particular world. But I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Google products being able to to do this same thing utilizing Android as an ecosystem already, or a flavor of Android ecosystem in that. And the hope is that, you know, I mentioned Bixby only one time, yes. And all I can think about is Bixby from Star Trek. But the the the goal, though is to is to really just like see a little bit more Google in this because it just makes sense for them to partner with Google and some of these capabilities. Not that 365 isn’t the dominant office Productivity Suite out there. But Google workspace is definitely right behind it. And we need to be able to have support for that. So I’m, I’m looking forward to seeing some of these integration with with Google. But you know, I think Samsung is doing what they’re what’s going to be best for their business, which is integrating with Microsoft for purposes of exchange and the government market as well as enterprise.
Art Gelwicks 53:05
Yeah, they’ve definitely gone all in on the Microsoft side of the equation. But they haven’t shut the door on anything else, which I thought was interesting. They didn’t say, use this, instead of that. They say this is where our energy is going. all that other stuff, that’s fine, you can do whatever the heck you want with it. But all of this is where you will see the biggest bang for your buck, which I think is a good commitment on their part, pick a side doesn’t necessarily mean you pick the wrong side or the right side, just pick a side and dedicate yourself to making sure that works the best. And then take the learnings from that and allow it to propagate through the other things. Samsung doesn’t write operating systems very clearly. But they have and you can see when they say this is one of the things I also thought was interesting, when they started to show the applications being migrated from the mobile platform to the PC, they remain constant, or they retain continuity of things like the icons, and the branding, and the user interface. They wanted that consistency, which I think is really key. Because the last thing people want. I’m looking at you Microsoft, different versions of the same applications on same on different platforms. It’s just it’s jarring. It’s a productivity drain, and it has to be fixed. Personally, I hope Microsoft learned some lessons from the way Samsung is doing this. And starts to expand their integration within their own platforms to say, hey, it makes sense to make things work more consistently. they’ve they’ve struggled a couple of times over the years, they’ve tried to create mobile interfaces on the desktop. We know that doesn’t work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from both.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 54:48
They’ve definitely been paying attention. I’m sure they’re taking notes from what Samsung is doing here. Yeah, and you mentioned this earlier, but Samsung did bring you know inevitably if you’re out on the road with your devices, even if you’re at home You can drop devices do all kinds of things. And so they have they made a note regarding Samsung care plus. And so this is their version of Apple care. And and, you know, Google has their own Google support, and for for their devices, so they have brought Samsung care plus to be able to help folks who are having issues with regard to their devices. I didn’t really hear any specs regarding Samsung care. Plus, did you? Did you expect any
Art Gelwicks 55:28
price anything like that, I expect that it will not be the cheapest thing out there. My concern, and this is with the Samsung ecosystem is not so much around the PC side. Samsung has a problem with success. And when you look at things like appliances, and that sort, they get a bad rap of being able to get them serviced. And it’s because there are so many of them out there. That service requests jack up the volume, and then it’s hard to get somebody to take care of them. So if you go shop for a dishwasher or something like that people play downplay the Samsung thing, because it’s hard to get them service. So you have to wonder is this going to fall in? Are they using that same ecosystem? Are they using something bigger, or an alternative channel to support these devices? I think this is kind of like a price of admission type of thing. You got to have some sort of a support plan. So here’s our support plan. With that you get free roadside assistance or something like that.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 56:27
And so in a nutshell, that ends up being the galaxy unpacked event, kind of in an in a nutshell for April 2021. Were there any other things you wanted to talk about? Gentlemen, before we wrap ourselves up for this episode?
Art Gelwicks 56:44
The only thing I would say is I’m very anxiously looking for the hands on evaluations of this hardware. And the reason why I say that is because when Samsung released the Chromebook two, or the galaxy Book Two, galaxy Chromebook two, whatever the heck it was called. Recently, it got some very lukewarm responses because it literally was not a true successor to the previous unit, it was actually slightly down stepped from the previous year. So I’ll be very curious to hear the feedback around the devices themselves. I honestly I couldn’t care less about, you know, the spec comparisons and all specs or specs, that’s fine. But things like the reliability for keyboard. I’m very curious about the screen quality. The battery life claims are pretty heavy. I want to hear that in real world
Raymond Sidney-Smith 57:35
in hours. Wow.
Art Gelwicks 57:36
Yeah, yeah. 16 hours of regular use 20 hours of video. I mean, that’s that’s a lot of bingeing. And I want to see if that’s actually legit. But durability, things like the power supplies, heat, all of those things that really can make a difference for somebody mobile. But I think this is a really good stuff for them. my curiosity will be what’s next. I mean it because now you’re starting to play into going back, if they follow their cycle, we’re going back to the mobile devices. Next thing we should start to see is the next generation of the foldable devices. And I’ve heard rumors of them starting to look at a full blown foldable tablet design. I think there was a patent battle bouncing around where they were looking at a trifold tablet design, that that capability has intrigued me quite a bit. I went and I looked at one of the galaxy folds. Just very curious are the full two i think is the current one. And I like the idea of it opened, really kinda can’t get past that little seam in the center. But that’s just me, because it’s just me. front screen little narrow. Could it be really useful? Could it be a tablet alternative? Yeah, it could. I still think we’re a little early days for it. But how they continue to tie all these together? I think that’s going to make or break this. I worry that it’s going to fragment. I worry that they’re going to lose their messaging, but based on the messaging that they provided today, if if they’re able to stay true to it, they’re going to have a very interesting product line for at least the next two to three years, I think.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 59:16
Fantastic. Thank you, Art for joining us here for the unpacked event. Where can people keep up to date with you and the work you’re doing out there in the world?
Art Gelwicks 59:25
As always, you can find me on Twitter at Art Gelwicks or the best place to come find me is over at the idea pump. Anything you want to know that I’m talking about or anything you want to ask me that’s the place to do it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 59:35
Wonderful. always glad to have you here for the Samsung Android generally windows generally events so that we can get your perspectives on the matter. Appreciate your time. Thanks for having me art. Thanks for being here art already gousto then it was us.
Augusto Pinaud 59:53
Raymond Sidney-Smith 59:54
another episode under the under the belt. Augusto Pinaud with productivity voice thanks for much for joining and helping make these things happen.
Augusto Pinaud 1:00:04
It’s my pleasure. It’s always fun.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:00:06
Alright everybody. If we miss something that you want us to be able to cover in the show regarding the galaxy unpacked event, feel free to let us know you can head over to Anything But idle.com and you can click the contact page, you can comment on the episode. This is Episode 57. So Anything But Idle comm forward slash 057. We’ll go ahead and take you to this episode, you can comment directly on the page. You can also tweet at us or DMS at Anything But Idle on Twitter. So we’re available on all the on all the places where we capture those messages. There in the show notes on the episode page are links to the show I’m going to embed the or really Agusta is going to embed the the galaxy unpacked April 2021 event directly in the page. So you can watch it there if you’d like to, we’ll have this you know, available there to listen to and there is the text transcripts so you can see the transcripts below hand below the the videos just click on the Read More link it’ll expand it so you can read the text transcript, but then there is also a PDF download for you as well there. If you enjoyed listening to this, feel free to leave a review in Apple podcasts stitcher wherever you are listening to the podcast. And that will allow us to create more productivity friends really expands our productivity listening community. And so thank you for doing that. With that. We’ll see you all next time on Anything But Idle back on our regular schedule. This isn’t a special episode in the feed, but we will be back on our regular schedule on Monday evening. And so here’s your productive life.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.