At the moment there are three models in the range: the convertible Galaxy Book 2 360, the clamshell Galaxy Book 2 Pro and the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, which not only has a name but is also a high-end 2-in-1. You all come with 13-inch screens, with the Pro and Pro 360 also available in 15-inch versions. A fourth “business” model is coming later this year, and it’s the only 14-inch option in the lot, which is interesting considering the laptop industry in general has been moving towards this size.
Like most computers coming out this year, the Galaxy Book 2 runs Windows 11 and is equipped with Intel’s 12th Gen Core i5 or i7 processors. But Samsung’s strength, as always, lies in its displays, and this year’s AMOLEDs can reach up to 500 nits of brightness, making it easier to view in difficult lighting conditions. On a recent evening of hands-on practice in New York, I could not take the machines out to read in direct sunlight as the sun had already set. However, in the brightly lit demo room, as well as under our spotlights, it was easy to watch videos of the Galaxy Books.
As I said in last year, the new model’s 16:9 aspect ratio feels dated at a time when most laptops have transitioned to 16:10 screens. This leaves a thumb-width frame below the display, which could otherwise display at least a few additional lines of text. Still, they all run at 1920×1080, which is likely a more power-efficient option than 4K for devices this thin and light.
I also enjoyed the vivid colors on the AMOLED panels (which support HDR) almost as much as I enjoyed scrawling “I love cake” on them. The Book 2 Pro 360 comes with an S Pen, while the 360 supports it but doesn’t ship with one. The Pro, on the other hand, isn’t touch-enabled and doesn’t work with the stylus. Not much new about the S Pen here – Samsung says it has improved latency, although it hasn’t shared any details beyond that. The stylus is still a separate accessory that you might accidentally leave behind. I miss when Samsung made a smaller version of it in .
Aside from the new chips and brighter displays, the major upgrade for this generation of the Galaxy Book is higher-resolution webcams. Specifically, all three models now offer 1080p cameras, which in my limited experience so far already . Samsung for some reason had aggressive beauty filters built into last year’s Galaxy Book Pro 360, resulting in poorly exposed images from its 720p camera. Thankfully, this time the camera app looked like the standard Windows version, with no weird filters on my face.
In fact, it seems like Samsung has cleaned up its software in general. Things from previous models like a false privacy screen and a security feature that would snap pictures of people making failed login attempts were nowhere to be seen. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone – I didn’t have time to hunt them down during the hands-on. But the demo units provided a pretty clean Windows 11 experience in my opinion.
The latest new offering in the Galaxy Book 2 is a burgundy color option (limited to the Pro 360) and I’m ashamed to admit that this might be my favorite thing about Samsung’s latest laptops. It’s the same hue as the S22 Ultra, and after years of covering boring silver, black, white, and even copper laptops, I’m just grateful for something that’s not just different, it’s that Nice. Samsung notebooks are among the more colorful, like the Samsung or the . I never thought I could crave a burgundy laptop, but here I covet a PC for it colour.
I also really liked how light and thin the Book 2 Pro is (13-inch version weighs 0.87 kg or 1.91 pounds), and despite its small size, it felt premium and sturdy. Samsung’s laptops may not look as sleek as HP’s Specter series, but they certainly offer some competition to Dell’s XPS or Microsoft’s Surface products.
But back to features that will make a bigger difference in your daily workflow. The 15-inch Book 2 Pro 360 has a comfortable, spacious keyboard and huge touchpad that was responsive during my time with it. I rarely use numpads anymore, but the larger models are here, which might come in handy for those who work with numbers a lot. I also enjoyed typing on the 13-inch versions of the Galaxy Book 2 – there’s enough travel and satisfying feedback.
My main gripe with the Galaxy Book 2 is the $50 price increase. The Book 2 Pro 360 , up from last year’s $1,200, and I’m not sure a brighter screen and sharper webcam alone is worth the difference. I would also need to test these devices longer to measure their real world performance and determine things like battery life and thermal efficiency. The good news is there’s still time – pre-orders start March 18th, availability starts April 1st. The Galaxy Book 2 360 starts at $900 and won’t be available until April 1, while the Book 2 Pro is available for $1,050.
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