Samsung has unveiled two new productivity laptops as a follow-up to the popular Galaxy Book Pro: the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 laptop-tablet hybrid and the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro. Here’s a surprising finding from our evaluation of the latter: it’s exactly like its predecessor, only better.
The Galaxy Book2 Pro starts at $1,050 in the United States (£999, or about $1,525 Australian), but this price refers to the 13-inch variant; the base price of the 15-inch edition we are reviewing is $100 more. The 5G version we received appears to be offered only in the UK at the moment, with prices starting at £1,249.
Whether you use 5G or not, this is still a powerful product. The first Samsung Galaxy Book Pro was a powerful, sleek-looking gaming laptop aimed at professionals always on the go. It had an unquestionably premium price but performance and design to match.
From the original Galaxy Book Pro, the overall appearance has not changed much, maintaining a certain level of refined minimalism. Although it is not a very flashy laptop, we like the elegant appearance of the dark matte “graphite” gray chassis with the reflective Samsung emblem on the lid.
The screen is the first thing we notice when we open the lid, as it is so vivid and bright. With a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and a color volume of 120%, the 15.6-inch AMOLED panel produces vivid colors and deep, dark blacks. If there is not too much glare, the maximum brightness is more than sufficient for outdoor use, and the thin bezel around the screen keeps the laptop’s footprint compact. A reliable Full HD webcam is mounted above the display.
Keyboard and touchpad
Among the colors available for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is only silver. However, you may be uncertain whether it is white or silver. A full-size economy keyboard is located in the white keyboard area. The fingerprint reader is built into the power button in the upper right corner, but there are also hotkeys. When it comes to unlocking laptops, the fingerprint scanner is fast and among the fastest we have used. Anyone can do accurate work more easily because the touchpad area is large enough. It makes sense that the fan is placed near the laptop hinge.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 has positive and negative aspects. The fact that OLED is a norm and we prefer FHD, especially in the 13-inch variant, is a plus. It does not drain the battery as quickly as a 4K OLED display. Recall that the 4K OLED display is available only on high-end laptops and not as the default choice.
The lack of alternatives is more of an issue, especially on a 15.6-inch screen where 1080p can look a bit pixelated. There is not a component availability problem because Samsung also makes its own displays, which is why you cannot get, for example, a 17-inch 4K OLED laptop.
This should not be a problem, as long as real-time audio processing does not occur, which is generally not the case on a subnotebook. On the other hand, it is impressive that while playing 4K video, not a single frame was lost.
For a laptop, the AKG speakers are also quite good. The sound is not full-bodied enough for music listening, but they can reach a respectable volume without sounding too loud or tinny. At the end of the day, these are still laptop speakers; for far better sound quality, you should pair the device with Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
Two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Night Raid and Time Spy, are used to evaluate the visual performance of Windows PCs. These benchmarks always yield modest results when using integrated graphics cards, and the current series is no exception. The Dell XPS 15 and Asus Vivobook Pro both feature an entry-level discrete GPU from Nvidia called the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, which is a substantial improvement over the integrated graphics from Intel and AMD found in other laptops.
The Galaxy Book2 360 is a powerful computer that can handle just about anything thrown at it. It handles everything with grace, from professional tasks, which for me involve a lot of typing, calling and browsing, to weekend movie marathons. And when times are tough, he keeps working without a single hiccup. In retrospect, it gets hot on the edges, making it a bit difficult to use if there is no table.
The fingerprint sensor is cleverly embedded in the Galaxy Book2 360’s home screen button. The fingerprint sensor always works smoothly. As for music, the dual speakers on this laptop offer passable but not spectacular performance. Without headphones, the sound is not loud or clear enough for watching a movie.
Battery Life and Heat
With a brighter display and stronger hinges, Samsung has solved two of our complaints from the previous year while maintaining the excellent standards of the rest of the experience. With a new 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor and about 12 hours of battery life, this ultrathin 2-in-1 has more than enough power for a full day.
If portability is not an issue for you, there are more powerful 15-inch laptops, but if you must take your laptop with you, the adaptability, size, and performance of this model are unmatched. Only 20 W is available for CPU usage. The lone fan can dissipate heat only to a limited extent because the thin case hardly gets enough airflow. Longer intervals make it impossible to maintain computing power, further limiting the power supply.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 appears to be a high-end laptop at first glance. No other 15-inch laptop in this price range offers the same level of functionality, and its performance is admirable and battery life is long. However, it has several shortcomings that prevent it from getting a five-star rating.
In addition, Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air M2 is bound to take market share away from Samsung. It will be difficult for Samsung to convince customers that the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is a superior option, because the new M2-powered Air is the leading favorite for the title of best laptop for most people.
A Windows 11 laptop at a reasonable price is the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro. In terms of design and performance, it punches above its weight, but because of thermal problems, you want more. It is important to note that thin and light laptops often have thermal problems, especially those using 11th and 12th generation Intel Core CPUs, and the Galaxy Book 2 Pro is no exception.
The Galaxy Book 2 Pro performs above average in some areas and meets expectations in others. It is well built, has a splendid display, a decent backlit keyboard and touchpad, an array of I/O ports, and excellent networking.