Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro series
Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy Book 2 series, not to be confused with the Snapdragon 850-powered Galaxy Book 2 from a few years ago. Consisting of the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, Galaxy Book 2 360, and Galaxy Book 2 Business, Samsung kept the best of last year’s models (mostly), and elevated them with Intel 12th-gen processors and FHD webcams.
Last year, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G was one of my favorite laptops, and I even said in the title of my review that it’s the perfect on-the-go laptop. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not use words like ‘perfect’ lightly. Sadly, this year’s 5G model isn’t coming to the U.S., but the Galaxy Book 2 series is still pretty sweet, and I got to check them out ahead of the announcement.
Nothing big has changed, and that’s good
The biggest thing I love about the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 series is the FHD AMOLED display, and those are still here. OLED screens on laptops aren’t new, or even uncommon. However, just about every OLED laptop that offers the display technology does it at a premium. The standard is always a regular LCD, and then there’s a 4K OLED option.
That makes two things that Samsung really has going for it. For one thing, every single Galaxy Book 2 360, Galaxy Book 2 Pro, and Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 comes with an AMOLED display. Also, that’s actually new to the non-Pro model, so that’s a big plus. The other reason it’s great is that it’s 1080p instead of 4K, so it doesn’t suck down battery life as much.
The other key thing that hasn’t changed is that these laptops seem impossibly light. The 13-inch Galaxy Book 2 Pro weighs in at just 1.92 pounds, whereas if you want a convertible, it’s 2.29 pounds. The 15.6-inch variant comes in at 2.45 pounds and 3.06 pounds for the clamshell and the convertible, respectively.
Like I said, it feels impossible for a laptop to be that light without making significant compromises. Those compromises might be on the performance side, or materials could be used that feel cheap. That’s not the case here. These laptops absolutely feel premium.
One thing I really have to give Samsung props for is its giant touchpads, especially on the 15-inch models. Samsung really made use of the available real estate, something I really only see otherwise from Dell and Apple.
They’re even more powerful, with better webcams
The original Galaxy Book Pro series was incredible because it seemingly made no compromises to hit that weight. This year, the Galaxy Book 2 Pro and Pro 360 are even more powerful, using Intel’s 28W processors. The P-series is new to 12th-gen, and along with the higher TDP, it also has more cores and hybrid architecture.
Intel’s hybrid CPUs have big and little cores, or P-cores and E-cores, respectively. P-cores are there to perform powerful tasks, while E-cores are there to do the things that just don’t take as much effort. Now, when your computer is doing something like syncing background notifications, it doesn’t have to use as much power to do it.
Along with the new processors come new webcams, which are now FHD. The reason that they come along with the new processors is, well, because FHD webcams are part of Intel’s new Evo spec. Indeed, 28W CPUs and FHD webcams are a big improvement for the product, but they’re not differentiating from the rest of the market. You’re going to see a lot of that this year. It’s still the AMOLED displays and the ultra-light designs that make the Galaxy Book 2 Pro series come out on top.
To be clear, this entire section applies to only the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro and Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360. The Galaxy Book 2 360 still uses a U-series processor and has an HD webcam, so the big upgrade on the mainstream model is going to be that it now has the same Super AMOLED display as the Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro comes in beautiful colors
I really love the design of these new laptops. The Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 comes in Silver, Graphite, and Burgundy, while the regular Pro comes in Silver and Graphite. And yes, I have a favorite color of both.
For the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, it’s definitely Burgundy. So many laptops these days are just gray or silver, so it’s nice to see something a little bit different, a little more bold. I quite like it.
And yes, that image is extending the screen to the Tab S8, using the Second Screen functionality. I played around with it a bit, and as you’d expect, there’s some lag. It’s something that can definitely come in handy when you’re on the go, but there’s better equipment you can use when you’re at home.
For the clamshell model, it’s definitely Silver for me. Here’s the thing though. This Silver is actually different from the Silver on the convertible. As you can see in the image, as well as the image in the section above, this is more of a two-tone design. It’s white on the bottom and silver on the lid.
This different color extends to the inside of the device too. You can see from the image above that the Silver clamshell even has white keys, whereas the convertible has black keys on a silver deck.
Of course, there’s also Graphite, which is still pretty sexy. I’m a big fan of the design here in general. Samsung did good.
Ultimately, these are fantastic laptops, and they’ll stand out as the best laptops Samsung has. They’re great for those that have Samsung phones, but personally, I think Samsung’s laptops are great for everyone. If you read my laptop reviews, you’ll notice that I mostly break them up into sections that cover the design, the display, the keyboard, and performance / battery life. After all, you’ll want a sexy design that feels good to use and makes you proud to show your friends. The display and keyboard are the two things you interact with the most, and performance and battery life are key for obvious reasons.
These are what I consider to be the key value indicators for laptops, and I feel like Samsung nails every aspect of them. They’re beautiful, with stunning AMOLED displays. They pack powerful new P-series processors, and the keyboard and touchpad doesn’t make compromises.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro series will be available for pre-order on March 17th. The clamshell starts at $1,049.99, while the convertible starts at $1,249.99.