For all Samsung's expertise and global outreach, much of the company's hardware success is limited to two key product areas. A wide-ranging smartphone portfolio and booming TV division are major drivers of revenue, but it's clear Samsung wants to expand into other form factors.
The company has dabbled in laptops at various points over the past couple of decades, but the last couple of years have seen them become a major focus, starting with the launch of the Galaxy Book S in 2020, a Qualcomm-powered lightweight machine with outstanding battery life.
Then there was the Galaxy Book Flex, a premium convertible that sat top of our best 2-in-1 chart until its successor replaced it. Throw in the more affordable Galaxy Book Ion and a separate Intel version of the Book S, and it becomes clear that laptops are a priority for Samsung.
What's more, it looks like 2021 could be an even bigger year for the Galaxy Book range. According to a recent tweet from reliable leaker Max Jambor, a total of six new devices are in the works:
Update: There is Mars, Venus, Hermes, Saturn, Titan, Terra (not sure if Terra is actually a Notebook) https://t.co/W6NN6FjYDy— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb) April 5, 2021
The device's codenames give little away, but rumours from February suggest at least two of these will be branded as 'Galaxy Book Pro' devices. That paves the way for price tags in excess of £1,000/US$1,000.
Therein lies the problem with the Galaxy Book range to date. Aside from Chromebooks, the cheapest laptop you can buy on the Samsung website is the £949 Galaxy Book S. Many of the other options cost much more, including the £1,649 Galaxy Book Flex 2. It's an excellent device, but so few people can justify spending that sort of money on a laptop.
Recent research backs this up. Gartner's Q4 2020 market share overview bundles Samsung with a host of other companies in the 'Others' category (combined 16.1%), while Lenovo (27.1%), HP (19.8%) and Dell (16.6%) lead the way. All three manufacturers have hero products akin to the Galaxy Book Flex, but also a range of more affordable devices for consumers to choose from. Many have made it into our budget laptop chart over the years - no Galaxy Book to date has been eligible.
The news that Samsung is working on up to six new Galaxy Book devices is exciting, but in order for it to be truly competitive, at least one of them will need to be significantly more affordable.