Less than half an inch thick, the new Samsung Galaxy Book Pro isn't just thin. It's shockingly thin.
At its third Galaxy Unpacked event in 2021, Samsung announced two new laptops, the aforementioned Galaxy Book Pro and its 2-in-1 sibling, the Galaxy Book Pro 360. The two devices are successors to the Galaxy Book Ion and Das However, Galaxy Book Flex has a completely redesigned case that goes well with the best laptops you can buy.
The new chassis comes in a few new colors, but the real highlight is portability. The 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro is just 0.43 inches thick and weighs 1.9 pounds. This makes it one of the thinnest and lightest laptops in its class. The 15-inch model is not far behind. Samsung found it was now as light as a great iced coffee.
Despite being so thin, the Galaxy Book Pro avoided many of the usual dangers of making a device this slim. First, the Galaxy Book Pro is surprisingly rigid. Build quality is often sacrificed to claim the crown of the thinnest or lightest laptop. However, using a Samsung 6000 series aluminum alloy made it feel more stable. The keyboard still has a hint of flex, but the lid is firm.
Poor performance is another disadvantage of ultra-thin laptops that the Galaxy Book Pro avoids. It is running the latest 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processors, which means it should be more than adequate performance. Of course, I would have liked to see AMD as an option, but Samsung will only stick with Intel for this launch.
After all, the Galaxy Book Pro somehow packs an abundance of ports into its tiny case. You get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB-A, a headphone jack, and even HDMI. This is unknown in a laptop like this. However, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 only uses the two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which is too bad.
Samsung has also made some advances in the screens used in these new laptops. Both contain AMOLED panels for the entire product range, even in the basic configuration of the 13-inch model. This makes it the cheapest OLED laptop ever sold. This bodes well for the future, when OLED is getting into the hands of more laptop buyers. All configurations of both the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 use a 1080p screen. Samsung does not currently plan to offer 4K models.
Sticking to 1080p should, however, extend battery life, which was paramount to the Galaxy Book Flex's QLED display. With a 63 watt hour battery (or 68 watt hour on the Galaxy Book Pro 360), I would expect similar results on the Galaxy Book Pro.
The other downside to these new screens? They all have an aspect ratio of 16: 9. Almost all of Samsung's competitors have switched to 16:10 or 3: 2. Both are larger displays that allow more space for vertical screens. Sticking to 16: 9 also means a large lower bezel. It's a bit of a thorn in the side of what is otherwise a state-of-the-art design.
Although the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 use the same screen technology, the Pro 360 is the only model that offers a touch screen. It no longer has a built-in case for the S Pen like some other Samsung laptops, but the Galaxy Book Pro 360 comes with the pen. The S Pen magnetizes on the side of the screen for storage.
The price is the other big difference between the Galaxy Book Pro and the Galaxy Book Pro 360. The clamshell laptop starts at $ 999 and comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid-state Drive equipped. The Galaxy Book Pro 360 starts at $ 1,199 for an identical configuration – but remember, it also includes the S Pen. The Galaxy Book Pro 360 will be offered in a 5G configuration later this year, but both laptops have Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Samsung also pointed out the Galaxy ecosystem and the new ways these Windows 10 laptops can be connected to Galaxy Android devices. The laptops support the use of a Galaxy Tab S7 as a second screen or to control lights or other SmartThings devices from your PC.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 will both hit stores on May 14th.
Galaxy Book for Great Britain
Samsung has also announced a more basic laptop for the UK, simply referred to as the Galaxy Book. In contrast to the Book Pro and Book Pro 360, it has a 15.6-inch TFT LCD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 180 pixels. You can choose between 11th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors with up to 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage.
It comes with a 54 watt hour battery and a 65 W charger. Ports include two Type C USB devices, two Type A USB devices, an HDMI port, a MicroSD slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It doesn't offer any extra features like S Pen support, cellular connectivity, or a choice of screen sizes. The Galaxy Book also doesn't have the same ultra-thin and lightweight case, 15.4mm thick and weighing 1.55kg.
The Galaxy Book starts at £ 699, or around $ 940, and will be available from May 14th. Pre-orders will start on April 28th. Then there is the Galaxy Book Pro, which starts at £ 1,099 (about $ 1,525). and the Galaxy Book Pro 360 starting at £ 1,199.