Lightweight body, great screen. That’s all you sign up for when you buy a Samsung Galaxy Book. They’re not the most powerful laptops out there, and they’re not what I would recommend people use, for example for work. But for those looking for a great multimedia laptop that’s easy to carry around, this is it.
That’s certainly the case with the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, the latest 15-inch convertible addition to the Galaxy Book range. It weighs 3.11 pounds, is less than half an inch thick, has an OLED display, and is basic $1,549.99 as reviewed. It’s a good option for all people shopping in the ultraportable space, but it has some extra features that will particularly appeal to Samsung superfans. If I were already hooked into the Galaxy ecosystem I would probably order this laptop now because there really isn’t much wrong with it as long as you know what you’re getting.
Samsung is famous for its screens and this Galaxy Book doesn’t disappoint on that front. It’s an OLED panel with vibrant colors – videos and photos look great. It’s fairly accurate, covering 100 percent of the sRGB color space, 96 percent of AdobeRGB, and 99 percent of P3 in our tests. Last year’s 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 was a bit dim, only scoring 276 nits, but Samsung has addressed that issue with this screen, which scored a much brighter 391 nits. The touch panel also supports Samsung’s S Pen (included), which you can use for note-taking, sketching, and other styluses.
Note that the screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, so the image is significantly more pixelated than what you would see on a higher resolution screen such as B. the 3546 x 2160 OLED on the Dell XPS 15. These get pretty pricey though, and this is probably one of the best looking panels you’ll find at this price point. (It’s also 16:9, which isn’t my preference, but doesn’t look as narrow on a 15-incher as it does on smaller machines.)
Next on the weight. At 3.11 pounds, this laptop is a breeze to carry around. It’s basically the same weight as last year’s model (which otherwise looks very similar to this year’s, although the Book2 comes in a new burgundy color). For context, it’s over a pound lighter than the OLED Dell XPS 15 or Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro (and it’s even lighter than the 14-inch MacBook Pro). I have trouble thinking of many 15-inch convertibles that are lighter than this – there are certainly lighter clamshells out there, like the 2.44-pound LG Gram 15, but it’s hard to match them with OLED at this price point Find.
Before I continue, if you’re not impressed with the two features I just reviewed, this probably isn’t the laptop for you. They’re the two standout attributes of the Galaxy Book range and the two places where it sits firmly at the top of its category. You are what you pay for when you buy this.
Okay, for those still with me, let’s talk software. While this computer should have broad appeal, Samsung fans will appreciate it a little more than anyone else. You can charge it with Samsung’s 65W universal charger, which can also charge Galaxy phones and tablets. It also comes with Samsung’s One UI interface tweaks, meaning it has many apps (with icons identical to their mobile counterparts) that Samsung users will be familiar with. There’s a laundry list of Samsung apps that you can sync across devices. (I personally found the sheer number of Samsung programs here intimidating — I counted 28 in all — but those with Galaxy phones probably already know which ones to use for what.)
The feature I found most useful was Second Screen, which, as the name suggests, lets you use a Samsung tablet as a second screen, similar to Apple’s Sidecar feature or third-party Duet Display. I tried it with a Tab S8 Ultra and it took probably five seconds to get up and running. It worked pretty well – I was able to drag and drop windows between the two devices with ease, and while I experienced a slight cursor lag when navigating on the S8, it was very usable. If I were to buy a Galaxy Book I would probably also consider buying a Galaxy Tab as the ability to just pull out a second screen in an airport or coffee shop seems very handy (especially if you only need to bring a charger) and The fact that everything is first-hand bodes well for consistent integration across the board.
I was also able to easily share photos between the Galaxy Book and Tab S8 using Quick Share, Samsung’s AirDrop competitor. This was a bit slower than AirDrop between a Mac and an iPhone, but it still worked.
And there’s also Studio Mode, which includes a bunch of tools to help you look better on video calls. Some of these worked fine. Auto framing did a good job of keeping me in frame as I moved, and blur adequately blurred the busy background behind me. Others are still a bit goofy; Color replacing your background with a solid color of your choice had a bit of trouble figuring out where the edges of my hair were. Some of the face effects designed to shrink your nose, enlarge your eyes, and generally make you look more attractive in real-time made me look like an alien. Overall, though, these are all there if you want to use them with the Galaxy Book2’s 1080p webcam (a welcome upgrade over last year’s camera).
The only downside to the Book2 360 is probably the port selection. There are only three USB-C ports (one of which is Thunderbolt 4), a microSD and a headphone jack. That’ll be fine for some people, but I’d like to see an HDMI or a USB-A there.
Inside, my $1,549.99 review unit comes with 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, plus Intel’s Core i7-1206P, one of Intel’s new P-series chips for ultraportables. All three colors have the same price; You can also get a 512GB storage/8GB RAM configuration for $1,349.99. 13.3-inch models start at $1,249.99. This is certainly not a cheap laptop, but in the context of how cheap the deal is, a Dell XPS 15 with a Core i7 and an OLED screen does cost nearly $1,000 more. (That gets you a beefier chip and higher-resolution screen, but still).
Despite the “Pro” moniker, the Galaxy Book isn’t ideal for intense professional workloads or gaming as it doesn’t have a discrete GPU or an H-series processor. But it could certainly keep up with all the tasks I needed it for, including all manner of streaming, Zoom calls, and photo editing, on both battery and AC power. It even beat the 11th Gen Dell XPS 15 on Cinebench R23 Single (reflecting Alder Lake’s advances in single-core performance) and wasn’t too far behind on the multi-core benchmark. This is a solid CPU.
The deck was often a bit warm in the keyboard area, but never uncomfortable. The only time I heard the fans was when I was doing a long Zoom call on battery power over a huge pile of Chrome tabs, and even then they weren’t loud enough to be a distraction.
Battery life was pretty good too. I worked an average of eight hours and 47 minutes continuously with the screen at a brightness of 200 nits, which is the best result I’ve seen from a 12th Gen Intel processor. It’s not quite as much as I’ve seen from last year’s Galaxy Book Pro 360, which gave me nearly 10.5 hours on a charge, but it should still get you through a full workday.
Assuming you know what you’re getting, I really don’t have many complaints about the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360. Its battery life is good, its screen is great, and it’s one of the lightest 15-inches you’ll find. The various features of the Galaxy ecosystem are the icing on the cake for Samsung phone and tablet owners. But the real highlight of this laptop is how effortless it is to take places (and how effortless it is to take a second screen with you).
I can’t really think of a model I’d choose over this model if I was looking for a lightweight 15-inch multimedia device (rather than a powerful workstation). The first that comes to mind is Microsoft’s 15-inch Surface laptop 4. But this is still quite a different device; While it’s slightly (not noticeably, in my opinion) lighter, the top-of-the-line model gives you half the storage of this Book2 for the same price, it’s non-convertible, and it has a non-OLED display. For Samsung fans, I think the Galaxy Book2 Pro is a no-brainer, and for everyone else I think it’s worth considering. The thin port selection means it wouldn’t be my laptop of choice, but it does offer an excellent package in a space where there aren’t many competitors.
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