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Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra vs MacBook Pro: What’s the difference?

The Galaxy Book4 series is now on sale. The advertised creator-friendly capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra put it on a collision course with the MacBook Pro. Here’s how they compare.

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra looks set to be the most interesting device in this year’s range, with few upgrades coming to the other models. By comparison, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra has tweaked its cooling system, potentially making it an even stronger rival to key Windows competitors as well as the fierce Apple MacBook Pro.

We’ve had time to go hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360, so do check out our first impressions there.

Apple revealed its latest M3-series MacBook Pro range towards the end of last year, bringing largely iterative boosts to the devices along with the introducing of a new entry-level option that sports the standard M3. Here’s how the MacBook Pro compares with the new Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra.

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra comes with an OLED display

It’s been long rumoured that the MacBook Pro will receive an OLED display at some point over the next few years but, with the M3 series, it remains yet to happen. Apple stuck with its Mini LED-based Liquid Retina XDR display, which remains an impressively bright and luxurious option. You’ll find it on both the 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch models, with the resolutions at 3024×1964 and 3456×2234 respectively. You also get ProMotion which brings an up to 120Hz refresh rate.

Galaxy Book4 series
Galaxy Book4 series – Image Credit (Samsung)

On the Samsung side, there’s just one size and, as such, one display option. That’s 16-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, with a 2880×1800 touchscreen panel. The refresh rate can go up to 120Hz too. Compared with the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, the new version also adds that touch display and an anti-reflective coating too.

So, what’s the difference here? Well, along with giving you more choice over size, the Apple displays offer extra pixels. Then, it’s a choice between the brighter Mini LED technology or the deeper contrast of an OLED.

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The MacBook Pro M3 series has more configurations to choose from

Other than just size, the Apple MacBook Pro M3 offers a wider set of customisation options across the board. For the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra, you get a choice between 16GB/32GB RAM, 1TB/2TB SSD storage, Intel Core Ultra 7 155H/9 185H and either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 or an RTX 4070. These options are also quite restricted and not completely interchangeable, with a requirement to pick 32GB RAM to unclock the higher storage, processor and GPU options.

Angled MacBook Pro 2023

On the MacBook Pro side, you can choose between 14-inch and 16-inch, as well as whether you get an Apple M3, M3 Pro or M3 Max chip – though the M3 is restricted to just the 14-inch form factor.

For M3 models, you can configure up to 24GB unified memory and 2TB SSD storage, with two other options on your way up. For the M3 Pro, it’s 18GB/36GB unified memory and up to 4TB SSD storage, with three other options on the storage front too. Then, for the M3 Max, it’s up to 128GB unified memory and up to 8TB SSD storage.

Samsung gets the latest Intel Core Ultra and RTX 40-series chips

The M3 series has a lot going for it and we were mightily impressed with what the MacBook Pro M3 Max could offer during our review. But, the upgrade is largely iterative.

That may well be the case with the latest Galaxy Book4 Ultra model, we’ll have to find out come our full review, but it does get the jump forward that is Intel’s new Core Ultra chips.

Intel Core Ultra
Intel Core Ultra – Image Credit (Intel)

Core Ultra introduces a new style of chip for Intel, in which it is promising improved graphical capabilities along with the inclusion of an AI-focused NPU.

Further, this being a Windows laptop, it enables wider access to gaming and that’ll be powered by the RTX 4050/4070 onboard. Samsung is keen to stress the Ultra is aimed at creators and the specs suggest it will be strong in that department, along with being backed by a top-notch display, but it will be a capable gaming device as well.

For the 16-inch models, Samsung is thinner and lighter

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra is restricted in its singular size option, meaning that if you want compact and are decided between these two devices then the MacBook Pro 14-inch, with its smaller overall footprint, 15.5mm thickness and 1.55kg weight will be the one for you.

But, if you want a larger 16-inch display, the Samsung comes in at 16.5mm thin and 1.86kg in weight. By comparison, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a bit thicker at 16.8mm but quite a bit heavier at 2.14kg for the M3 Pro version or 2.16kg for the M3 Max model.

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