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Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Samsung’s new laptop is more exciting than the MacBook Pro

OPINION: We haven’t finished reviewing Apple’s latest MacBook Pro just yet, but there’s no denying it’s an excellent laptop. 

Apple’s most powerful laptop was already class leading in its high-performance category, but now it’s jumped up another level with the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. 

With Apple doing an excellent job of maintaining a best-in-class design and performance, it’s difficult to find any Windows laptop that can truly compete with the MacBook Pro. But for all the fanfare around the Pro, I can’t help but think the new 2023 iteration was an underwhelming upgrade. 

I will admit that it’s difficult to think of ways that the MacBook Pro can be improved upon at this point. But that still doesn’t change the fact I felt a little underwhelmed when Apple stealthily launched the new MacBook Pro on its official website. 

Credit: Apple

It was a different case with Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 3 Ultra laptop. This is the first time that Samsung has ever entered the high-performance laptop category, and a bold new expansion is always going to be more exciting than an iterative upgrade. 

The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra also has the specs – at least on paper – to merit the hype. It features a 3K Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with 120Hz refresh rate and has an even slender and lighter design than a 16-inch MacBook Pro. 

It’s the internal specs that impressed me the most though, packing a cutting-edge 13th Gen Intel Core chip (choice of i7 and i9 flavours) as well the latest generation of Nvidia GPUs: options of Nvidia RTX 4050 or RTX 4070. 

The Nvidia RTX chips are the main reason why I’m more excited about the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. As we’re yet to fully review either of these laptops, I’m unable to make any performance claims right now. But there’s no doubt that Samsung’s option offers a more versatile performance. 

galaxy book 3 ultra keyboard
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The MacBook Pro is optimised for content creation, allowing you to use a wide range of apps for photo editing, video editing, 3D modelling, animation and plenty more. But thanks to the Nvidia Studio drivers, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra will be capable of similar workloads. 

Importantly, the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 will also be a far better option for gaming. I am admittedly making this claim without testing the new MacBook Pro, but Apple’s laptops have been historically poorly optimised for gaming and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. That’s not the fault of Apple Silicon (the architecture Apple uses for its chips), but macOS instead – it simply wasn’t built for such use cases, with Apple rarely dipping its toe into the gaming market beyond Apple Arcade

Meanwhile, Windows has long been the most popular operating system for PC gamers, while the Nvidia RTX family of GPUs have long been heralded as the leading option for gaming performance. 

Exciting features such as ray tracing and DLSS 3.0 ensure your games don’t only look fantastic, but also run at a high performance to ensure buttery smooth visuals. 

galaxy book 3 ultra front
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

True, the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra isn’t strictly a gaming laptop, and its cooling system likely isn’t sufficient enough to maximise the power of the optional RTX 4070 GPU – you’ll be better off buying a proper gaming laptop if PC games are your priority. 

But thanks to the Nvidia GPUs, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra will still be very much capable of running any PC game in your library. I appreciate this versatility, as there are likely a lot of people out there who need a laptop for content creation, but also like to play a game during their downtime. 

I’m also excited to see how the new Ultra range evolves over time. I’d love to see Samsung release a 14-inch model, just like Apple has done with the MacBook Pro. And I’m fascinated by how Samsung is trying to create an ecosystem by offering seamless connectivity between its Galaxy phones and Galaxy Book laptops. 

It will likely take time for Samsung to reach the same lofty heights as Apple’s MacBook series – few can compete with the Pro’s battery life and software, after all. But it’s still fantastic to see a major company like Samsung willing to take on Apple’s flagship laptop. 

Ctrl+Alt+Delete is our weekly computing-focussed opinion column where we delve deeper into the world of computers, laptops, components, peripherals and more. Find it on Trusted Reviews every Saturday afternoon.

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