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Samsung’s Galaxy Book 3 Makes the MacBook Pro Look Old and Heavy

Beautiful on the inside ... and the outside, too!

The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 in tent mode at Unpacked
Justin Duino / Review Geek

We’re deeply impressed by Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 3-series laptops, which debuted during the Unpacked event on February 1st. These machines weigh just a few pounds, but they offer 13th Gen Intel Core performance and introduce a new generation of OLED display technology.

Update, 2/14/23: Pre-orders for the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra are now available.
Note: Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Book 3-series laptops during its Unpacked event on February 1st, 2023. The new laptops were accompanied by Samsung’s Galaxy S23 and S23+ smartphones, plus the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone.

Before we get into the details, I should note that all Galaxy Book 3-series devices run Windows 11 and use a 3K 120Hz OLED display. They also feature enhanced compatibility with Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S mobile devices, thanks to updates to Samsung’s Multi Control software (which lets you use your Galaxy Tab as a second computer display, among other things). Interestingly, you can wirelessly transfer RAW photos to a Galaxy Book 3 laptop—a feature that Samsung is promoting with a two-month Adobe Lightroom trial (we’re waiting on the details for this trial).

The Flagship: Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

As you might expect, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is Samsung’s flagship laptop for 2023. In its most expensive configuration, it features a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, an RTX 4070 GPU, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 1TB of solid-state storage (with an optional expansion slot).

These high-end specs are accompanied by Samsung’s new Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display. This is an advanced display panel with integrated touch sensors, as opposed to the typical “touch layer” used in most laptops. As a result, it’s quite thin, and it sports a 3K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate, plus a maximum 400 nits brightness when viewing HDR content. (The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra only comes with a 16-inch screen, though the cheaper Pro model is available in 14- and 16-inch configurations.)

To my surprise, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra weighs just 3.9 pounds. That’s about one pound less than the 16-inch MacBook Pro. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but high-end Windows laptops rarely beat Apple at its own game. Combined with the advanced display panel, this laptop makes the MacBook Pro look a little outdated. (That said, the MacBook Pro offers similar performance with a much longer battery life. Samsung hasn’t told us the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra’s battery life, but I can guarantee that it isn’t 22 hours.)

The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra also has a strong port selection, featuring two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a single USB-A port, an HDMI 2.0 jack, a microSD slot, and a headphone/microphone jack. The USB-C charging is rated for 100-watt speeds, which is what you’d expect from a modern high-end Windows laptop.

Other specs include a very Mac-esque backlit keyboard, a fingerprint sensor on the power key, a 1080p webcam with dual noise-canceling microphones, and a quad speaker array with support for Dolby Atmos. Plus, this puppy packs a Wi-Fi 6E modem and supports Bluetooth 5.1.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra open today. The laptop starts at an eye-popping $2,199. Predictably, the upgraded configurations creep around the $3,000 mark.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Samsung's flagship laptop packs a 13th Gen Intel Core CPU, RTX 40-series graphics, a shockingly lightweight design, and a fancy 3K 120Hz OLED display. It's an impressive Windows laptop---that's for sure.

The Standard: Galaxy Book 3 Pro (14- and 16-inch)

The Galaxy Book 3 Pro is Samsung’s attempt at a more modest Windows laptop. That said, aside from a few downgrades (and an optional 14-inch screen size), the Galaxy Book 3 Pro is nearly identical to its Ultra sibling. It uses the same Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, supports Wi-Fi 6E, and matches many of the Ultra laptop’s specs.

In its maximum configuration, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro packs a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. That said, this laptop does not offer a discreet RTX GPU and instead uses Intel Iris X graphics. It also lacks a storage expansion slot.

Additionally, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro uses a 1080p webcam, dual noise-canceling microphones, and a quad speaker array with Dolby Atmos. It also has a backlit keyboard, fingerprint-sensing power key, and the same port selection as the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. That said, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro’s charging speed caps out at 65 watts, and its HDMI port is downgraded to the HDMI 1.4 standard.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Book 3 open today starting at $1,249. Note that the base model has a 14-inch screen, though this smaller display uses a 3K 120Hz OLED panel, just like the 16-inch option. (Funny enough, this could make the 14-inch Galaxy Book 3 Pro a very compelling item, as it has a higher pixel density than the 16-inch devices in this series.)

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro

Available in 14- and 16-inch form factors, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro offers flagship-like specs at a more reasonable price than its Ultra sibling. This is the model you buy if you don't need discreet RTX graphics.

The Convertible: Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360

If you’re feeling a bit creative, you may want to spring for the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360. It’s identical to the 16-inch Galaxy Book 3 Pro, but it features a 2-in-1 form factor that can fold back into a tablet. Plus, it supports the S Pen stylus, and it’s the only device in this series with an optional 5G upgrade.

What else is there to say about this device? Its specs are identical to that of the 16-inch Galaxy Book 3 Pro, though it’s a bit more expensive, starting at $1,549. That said, thanks to its Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is much thinner than competing convertible laptops.

I should also note that the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 comes with an S Pen. A slot on the right underside of the laptop holds the S Pen, and from what we’ve seen, you should be able to retrieve this stylus while the laptop is sitting on a desk.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360

The Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is a convertible version of Samsung's Galaxy Book 3 Pro. It features the same specs and 16-inch screen, but it can fold into a tablet form factor and comes with an S Pen stylus.

Pricing and Availability

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Book 3 Galaxy Book 3 Pro and 3 Pro 360 are available today, and shipping begins February 17th. Samsung also opened an Early Access program for the Galaxy Book 3, but official pre-orders for the Ultra device begin on February 14th, with products shipping on February 22nd.

The Galaxy Book 3 Pro starts at $1,249 and comes in 14- and 16-inch sizes, while the convertible Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 starts at $1,549 and is only available with a 16-inch screen. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is obviously the most expensive of the bunch, carrying a $2,199 price tag at its base-level configuration.

Note that Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display is utilized in all Galaxy Book 3 Ultra and Pro models. So, regardless of which Galaxy Book 3 you buy, it will have a 3K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »