First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro Review
The new Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro laptop packs two screen sizes, up-to-date processors and a glorious screen.
- UKRRP: £1299
- Diaplay3K, AMOLED, 120Hz
- PerformanceIntel Xe graphics, i5 or i7 processors
- Two sizes14-inch and 16-inch models are available
Samsung’s Unpacked event didn’t just include the reveal of the Galaxy S23 series of Android phones. Alongside the Galaxy S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra, Samsung highlighted new high-end laptops, including the Galaxy Book 3 Pro I am looking at here.
The Galaxy Book 3 Pro sits beside the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 and below the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra in Samsung’s most tempting laptop line in years.
I spent just over an hour with the three Galaxy Book 3 models unveiled at Unpacked ahead of launch at an event arranged by Samsung, and here are my initial thoughts on the Pro model.
Screen and Design
- Two size options: 14 and 16-inch
- The 14-inch model feels the perfect size
- No touch option for the AMOLED display
Having spent a lot of time with the recent MacBook Pro M2 14-inch, the size has become my personal choice and I am glad to see Samsung offer it here, alongside a larger 16-inch mode.
14-inch offers enough space for creative tasks, yet it comes in a body that remains portable. For the Book 3 Pro, the 14-inch model weighs 1.17kg (notably lighter than the 14-inch MacBook Pro) and measures 11.3mm. That makes it very light and slim. For the 16-inch, the weight rises to 1.56kg, while the thickness measures 12.5mm.
Both models have fantastic displays, even if you’ll want to go for the 360 version if it’s a touchscreen and S-Pen connectivity you’re after. The Dynamic AMOLED 2x panels look like they have fantastic colour reproduction, the inky blacks you’d expect from OLED and plenty of brightness.
Both sizes have a 2880 x 1800 resolution (or 3K), 120hz refresh rate for smooth motion and a roomy 16:10 aspect ratio that adds more verticality than the more traditional 16:9 displays. Overall, the screen here looks to be fantastic.
The design is less standout, though it’s far from ugly. It just lacks many flourishes or interesting design elements to help it catch the eye. It is finished to a high standard and comes in either a white or dark grey colour.
Specs and Performance
- A choice of Intel i5 or i7 (28w) chips
- Intel Xe graphics
- Tight integration with Samsung phones
The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro lacks the dedicated Nvidia graphics or the 45w CPUs you’ll find on the Ultra model. Instead, the internals are a little more modest – a choice between Intel 13th Gen i5 or i7 28w and integrated Intel Xe graphics.
You’ll find a 1080p webcam for video calls and a good port selection, including HDMI, 3x USB-C and a USB-A port for legacy accessories. There’s a Micro SD slot too, which is welcome if not quite as welcome as a full-size SD card slot. Charging is done via the USB-C port.
During my demo of the devices, Samsung played up a lot of the integration skills these Windows laptops have with the wider Samsung ecosystem. You can quickly connect to a Samsung phone to use its data connection as a wireless hotspot, for instance, or expand the laptop’s display across a tablet.
One nice demo Samsung highlighted was Adobe integration, where a picture was shared directly from the phone’s Pro Raw app straight into Lightroom for editing.
While the Samsung Galaxy Book Ultra is the true standout tech-wise in the new Book range, I was immediately drawn to the 14-inch version of the Galaxy Book Pro. The size is just so perfect, giving you a big enough display for productive tasks and media consumption in a portable body.
It only makes this package more tempting that the OLED screen is gorgeous and the strong Samsung software suite ensures tight integration with Galaxy phones.