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FeibusTech: market insight & analysis. Influencer, analyst in IoT, digital health/fitness, wearables, connected car, smart home, privacy/security. Columnist for Tech section of USA TODAY and Fortune.

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FeibusTech Blog

Galaxy Note: Cure for the Aches and Pains of Packrat-itis

Mike Feibus

What a difference a day makes.

I went into the “Road Warrior Challenge” that Samsung Business  sponsored with a few pre-set expectations. I knew at the outset, for example, that I’d lightened my load with the new Galaxy Book. By swapping out my old tablet, laptop and their respective power supplies – the latter an old-style “brick” – for Samsung’s brand-new 2-in-1 notebook, I shed more than two pounds from my overstuffed, chiropractor-friendly backpack.

I also knew that I’d be pulling out the sleek, stylish Galaxy Book with pride, because I’d used it enough back in AZ to know it’s an attention getter. And that’s even before I would wow folks by unlocking the notebook with the fingerprint scanner on my Galaxy S8+ smartphone (more on that later)!

And I knew that the Galaxy Book had plenty of giddyap from the built-in 7th-generation Core i5 from Intel. I knew I had all the storage I needed. (I don’t just carry the world on my shoulders courtesy my backpack. I’m also a digital packrat. So I added a 256GB SD card to double the on-board 256GB SD storage capacity. Plenty of room – even for me!)

I got hooked on the accompanying pen before I arrived in NYC for the Challenge. A quick click and my notepad is open and ready for me to write. Very convenient!

Finally, I knew that battery life on the Galaxy Book was good, and charging was quick. So I felt confident I could coast through the daylong Road Warrior Challenge without worrying about whether the Galaxy Book would also make it through.

Indeed, after using the Galaxy Book for a couple weeks at home, I didn’t think there was anything left the Road Warrior Challenge could teach me. But I was wrong. Thanks to the Challenge, I found the Galaxy Book liberating in ways I didn’t expect.

For example, Samsung Flow – the app that enables the cool unlocking-the-notebook-with-your-phone trick – has more than that to offer road warriors like me. Once you use Flow to sign into the Galaxy Book, it automatically checks to see if the notebook has a Wi-Fi connection. If it doesn’t, then it offers up the Galaxy S8 as a mobile hotspot.

I didn’t fully appreciate this feature before the Road Warrior Challenge. Because up until yesterday, I was just roving between my home broadband network and public hot spots at my local haunts. So I was never pining for connectivity. Like I was on the Staten Island Ferry. And in Battery Park. And on the High Line. And even at Samsung 837.

If you’ve never used a notebook with built-in cellular connectivity, then I guarantee you don’t appreciate how liberating it is to hit the internet running every time you open your laptop. Because you don’t appreciate what a hassle it is to open your laptop and enable your smartphone’s hotspot before you can start surfing until you no longer have to do that.

It’s a real game-changer. And Flow’s one-click connectivity is near-cellular quality. Like, really near. It will spoil you. Unless, of course, you’ve already had built-in cellular in a laptop.

new-IMG_8217.jpg

Here’s a second, more subtle benefit I’m now hip to, courtesy the Road Warrior Challenge. The power supply is not a brick. It’s a modified USB charger that’s only slightly larger than the one you’re probably using right now to replenish your smartphone. I knew it was going to lighten my load.

But I didn’t know it would fast-charge my Samsung smartphone as well as my Galaxy Book. Which means I can quick-charge both devices, keeping them powered all day, by carrying with me just one USB charger and one cable.

Think about that for a second. That should really enable me to just leave behind my backbreaking pack in the hotel room. Right?

I don’t know. I mean, what if I lost an earbud fitting on the road, and needed a spare? Or if I got something caught in my teeth and needed floss? Or if I tore something and needed duct tape to hold it together?

Yes, I’m serious!

So OK, maybe I’m not ready just yet to ditch my scale-tipping pack. But after the Road Warrior Challenge, at least I’m now able to leave it behind. Sometimes.

That might sound like a baby step. But it's a big step for me. Thanks, Samsung!

Find out more about the Samsung Road Warrior Challenge. Check out #AskMikeF and @SamsungBizUSA on Twitter.

 

 

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