Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 (15-inch) review: a light and light convertible

Light chassis, nice screen. That’s all you’re signing up for when you buy a Samsung Galaxy Book. They are not the most powerful laptops out there and they are not what I would recommend people to be issued to, e.g. occupation. But for those looking for a great multimedia laptop that is a breeze to carry around, this is it.

This is certainly the case with the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, the latest 15-inch convertible addition to the Galaxy Book line. It weighs 3.11 pounds, is less than half an inch thick, has an OLED screen, and costs only $ 1,549.99 as reviewed. It’s a great option for anyone shopping in the ultraportable space, but has some extra features that will especially appeal to Samsung superfans. If I was already hooked up to the Galaxy ecosystem, I would probably order this laptop right now because there really is not much to dislike about it as long as you know what you’re getting.

Samsung is famous for its screens and this Galaxy Book does not disappoint on that front. It’s an OLED panel with vibrant colors – videos and photos looked great. It is quite accurate and covers 100 percent of the sRGB scale, 96 percent of AdobeRGB and 99 percent of P3 in our tests. Last year’s 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 was a bit weak and reached only 276 nits, but Samsung has solved the problem with this screen, which reached much brighter 391 nits. The touch panel also supports the Samsung S Pen (included in the box), which you can use to take notes, sketches, and other styling items.

One thing to keep in mind is that the screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, so the image is noticeably more pixel-like than what you would see on a higher-resolution screen, such as the 3546 x 2160 OLED on the Dell XPS 15. They begin however, to get pretty expensive and this is probably one of the nicest panels you will find for this price point. (It’s also 16: 9, which is not my preference, but it does not feel as cramped on a 15-inch as it is on smaller machines.)

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 in tablet mode seen from above, shows The Verge website.

Maybe one day Samsung will make my 16:10 wish come true.

Rear hinge on Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360

Love the lack of screen swings on this thing.

Next, on the scales. Weighing in at 3.11 pounds, this laptop is a breeze to carry around. It’s pretty much the same weight as last year’s model (which otherwise looks a lot like this year’s, though Book2 comes in a new Burgundy color). Conversely, it’s over a pound lighter than the OLED Dell XPS 15 or Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro (and it’s even lighter than the 14-inch MacBook Pro). I have trouble thinking of many 15-inch convertibles that are lighter than this – there are certainly lighter clamshells, like the 2.44-pound LG Gram 15, but it’s hard to find them with OLED at this price.

Before I go any further: If you are not impressed with the two features I just discussed, this is probably not the laptop for you. They are the two striking qualities of the Galaxy Book series and the two places where it is solid at the top of its category. These are the ones you pay for if you buy this.

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 half open in front of a dotted wallpaper.

The pen is magnetically attached to the lid, but there is no garage.

The ports on the left side of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360.

Two USB-C on the left.

The ports on the right side of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360.

Here you have more USB-C (and a headphone jack and a microSD slot).

Okay, for anyone still with me, let’s talk about the software. While this computer should have wide appeal, Samsung fans will get a little more out of it than anyone else. You can charge it with Samsung’s 65W Universal Charger, which can also charge Galaxy phones and tablets. It also comes with Samsung’s One UI interface adjustments, which means it has many apps (with icons identical to their mobile counterparts) that Samsung users will be familiar with. There is a laundry list of Samsung apps that you can sync across devices. (I personally found the large number of Samsung apps here scary – I counted 28 in total – but those with Galaxy phones probably already know which ones to use for what.)

The feature I found most useful was the Second Screen, which allows you, as the name suggests, to use a Samsung tablet as a second screen, similar to Apple’s Sidecar feature or third-party Duet Display. I gave this a shot with a Tab S8 Ultra and it probably took five seconds to get up to run. It worked quite well – I could easily drag and drop windows between the two devices, and even though I experienced a bit of cursor delay while navigating on the S8, it was very usable. If I were to buy a Galaxy Book, I would probably also consider buying a Galaxy Tab, because the ability to easily whip up an extra screen in an airport or cafe seems very convenient (especially if you only need to bring one charger), and that the fact that it is all first-class is a good sign of consistent integration.

I was also able to easily share photos between Galaxy Book and Tab S8 using Quick Share, Samsung’s AirDrop competitor. This was a little slower than AirDrop between a Mac and an iPhone, but it still worked.

And there is also Studio Mode, which includes a number of tools to help you look better on video calls. Some of these worked well. Auto Framing did a great job of keeping me in the picture as I moved around, and Blur adequately blurred the busy background behind me. Others are still a little silly; Color, which replaces your background with a solid color of your choice, had a bit of a hard time figuring out where the edges of my hair were. Some of the facial effects that are supposed to shrink your nose, enlarge your eyes and generally make you look more conventionally attractive in real time made me look a bit like an alien. But these are all there if you want to use them with Galaxy Book2’s 1080p webcam (a welcome upgrade from last year’s camera).

Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly. There are only three USB-C ports (one of which is Thunderbolt 4), a microSD and a headphone jack. This would be fine for some people, but I would like to see an HDMI or a USB-A on there.

The keyboard of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 (15-inch) seen from above.

The keyboard is a bit flat, but also very quiet, which I appreciate in an on-the-go device.

On the inside comes my $ 1,549.99 test drive with 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM as well as Intel’s Core i7-1206P, which is one of Intel’s new P-Series chips for ultraportable devices. All three colors have the same price; You can also get a 512 GB storage / 8 GB RAM configuration for $ 1,349.99. 13.3-inch models start at $ 1,249.99. This is certainly not a cheap laptop, but for the sake of reasonableness, a Dell XPS 15 with a Core i7 and an OLED screen costs close to $ 1,000 more. (It gives you a more powerful chip and screen with higher resolution, but still).

Despite the “Pro” name, the Galaxy Book is not ideal for intense professional workloads or gaming due to its lack of a discrete GPU or H-Series processor. But it could definitely keep up with the tasks I needed it to perform, including all kinds of streaming, Zoom calls, and photo editing, both on battery and power. It even beat the 11th generation Dell XPS 15 on the Cinebench R23 Single (reflecting Alder Lake’s advances in single-core performance) and was not too far behind on the multicore benchmark. This is a solid CPU.

The deck was often a little hot in the keyboard area, but never uncomfortable. The only time I heard the fans was when I ran a long Zoom call on battery over a huge pile of Chrome tabs, and they were not loud enough to be distracting even back then.

Battery life was also pretty good. I had an average of eight hours and 47 minutes of continuous work on the screen at 200 nits brightness, which is the best result I have seen so far from a 12th generation Intel processor. It’s not quite as much as I saw from last year’s Galaxy Book Pro 360, which gave me close to 10 and a half hours on a single charge, but it should still get you through a full working day.

The fingerprint reader on the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 (15 inches) seen from above.

Fingerprint sensor!

The webcam of Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360.

The webcam itself is … fine.

Assuming you know what you are getting, I really do not have many complaints about the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360. Its battery life is good, its screen is great and it is one of the lightest 15-inch you will find. The various Galaxy ecosystem features will be the icing on the cake for owners of Samsung phones and tablets. But the real highlight of this laptop is how easy it is to transport places (and how easy it is to carry another monitor).

I have a hard time thinking of a model I would buy rather than this one if I was looking for a lightweight 15-inch multimedia device (instead of a powerful workstation). The primary one that comes to mind is Microsoft’s 15-inch Surface Laptop 4. But it’s still a pretty different device; while slightly (and in my opinion not noticeably) lighter, the top model gives you half of this Book2’s storage space for the same price, it’s not a convertible and it has a non-OLED screen. For Samsung fans, I think the Galaxy Book2 Pro is a no-brainer, and for everyone else, I think it’s worth considering. The thin port selection means it would not be my favorite laptop, but it offers an excellent package in a room that does not have a host of competitors.