The Galaxy Book 3 Pro models are an incremental update of 2022 models sitting in a similar position, offering a highly portable option in the 14-inch and something with a little more screen space in the 16-inch.
We’ve been spending some time with the larger 16-inch model, and here’s how we got on.
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro
With an impressive OLED display, incredible speakers, top-quality hardware and a slim, lightweight chassis. the Galaxy Book 3 Pro is an appealing option. We only wished the battery life was a bit better, and that it didn’t cost quite so much.
- Slick minimal design
- Gorgeous OLED display
- Excellent connectivity
- Outstanding speakers
- Battery life isn’t too impressive
- On the pricey side
Design and build
- Dimensions: 355.4 x 250.4 x 12.5mm
- Weight: 1.56kg
- Fully aluminium frame available in Graphite/Beige
- Full numpad and expansive I/O
The Galaxy Book 3 Pro has an attractive minimal design that looks and feels premium. The 16-inch model is a big machine, but it’s still extremely slim and lightweight.
Unlike the last 16-inch model that we tested, the 2022 LG Gram, the Samsung feels dense and rigid throughout. It’s a confidence-inspiring build.
We’re testing the Graphite model, but it’s also available in a lighter Sandstone colourway if you prefer. The Graphite model has a slick and professional look, and it’s our preferred option. The only downside is that it shows fingerprints and smudges fairly easily, which detracts from the clean minimal aesthetic.
The connectivity is impressive here, offering twin USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a USB-A port, a full-sized HDMI, a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm headphone/mic port. It’s one of the most well-rounded I/O layouts that we’ve seen recently, and we’re particularly happy about the SD card slot, which is notably absent on the majority of modern laptops.
The backlit keyboard is great to type on, with minimal deck-flex, good spacing and comfortable key travel. There’s a full numpad on the 16-inch model, which spreadsheet aficionados will be delighted about, but it took some getting used to for us.
We adapted after a few hours, but until then, we often found ourselves hitting numpad keys when attempting to touch type. Our quick solution was to set the laptop down slightly to the right of where we’d normally place it, and then our typing abilities were restored. This is likely how the laptop is designed to be used, as the trackpad is offset to the left, and sits centrally when you position yourself in this area.
Speaking of the trackpad, it’s absolutely massive. Maybe a little too big, in our opinion. Its size means that you have to reach quite far to click, which isn’t the biggest issue, but then we can’t really see any advantages to it being this large either. For the most part, we found ourselves occupying the area that a normal trackpad would take up, and ignoring the rest of the acreage.
Still, in use, it works just fine, and it feels solid with no looseness or rattling to the clicks.
Display, speakers and webcam
- 2880×1800 16:10 AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate
- 400 nits brightness, 500 nits peak during HDR playback
- AKG speaker system with Dolby Atmos
- 1080p webcam
The display is a highlight, with a crisp resolution, buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate and the deep inky blacks that you’d expect from a high-end OLED panel.
The screen is glass-fronted, which made us wonder if it was a touchscreen, but alas it is not. If you want a touchscreen, you need to opt for the 360 model, which makes sense, but we’re accustomed to swiping the screen to scroll on our Surface Laptop 4, and began to miss the feature on this model.
The display is more than bright enough for indoor use, but you will likely struggle outdoors on a sunny day. This effect is amplified by the glass coating, which does look gorgeous, but means that you’ll have to contend with reflections, and are likely to find yourself craving more lumens.
That aside, in controlled lighting, you’re in for a visual treat. The colours are vibrant and there’s boatloads of detail. HDR videos look particularly superb and allow the display to eke out some additional brightness to enhance the effect.
Samsung claims 120 per cent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space, so this could be a good option for creative work, though we don’t have the equipment to test this ourselves. For what it’s worth, colour reproduction looks excellent to the eye.
There’s an AKG speaker system on the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro and it definitely packs a punch. It utilises twin 5W woofers and dual 2W tweeters to deliver what might be the best acoustic performance that we’ve heard from a Windows laptop yet. It’s full-bodied with plenty of low-end response and the highs are detailed and refined, it’s top stuff.
The webcam is 1080p, which we always like to see, and it’ll do the job nicely for Zoom calls. The quality isn’t going to blow you away, but it handles challenging lighting decently, and you won’t be getting any complaints from co-workers.
Hardware and performance
- Intel 13th Gen Core i5 1340P
- 16GB 6000MHz LPDDR5
- 256GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
- 76Wh battery, 65W USB-C charging
Our test model is configured with modest hardware, and only the memory receives a bump over the base specifications. It’s sporting a 13th Gen Core i5, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Interestingly, the Samsung website won’t let us select that exact specification, instead pushing us toward 8GB of RAM or an i7, but the cost should be in the region of £1500.
With this specification, and Intel’s integrated Iris XE graphics, our Galaxy Book 3 Pro won’t be topping any benchmarks scores, nor will it be suited to gaming on anything but the lowest of settings. However, we never found that it held us back in our day-to-day work.
The system always felt snappy and responsive, and we were able to edit photos and 2.7K videos without any noticeable slowdown. What impressed us the most, though, is how cool and quiet the system stays under load. During heavy rendering, it heats up towards the base of the screen, but the palm rests and keyboard barely get warm. It’s very impressive.
What’s a bit less impressive, is the battery life. It’ll net you about 6 to 7 hours for standard web browsing and video playback, and less if you’re doing something more CPU intensive. It’s far from the worst we’ve tested, but it doesn’t quite compete with the likes of the MacBook Air and Surface Laptop 5.
So, you’ll likely want to keep the charger handy, but thankfully, it’s a diddy little USB-C wall adapter, so it won’t inconvenience you too much. You can also use it to fast charge your phone, which is always useful.
While the Galaxy Book 3 Pro runs Windows 11 Pro, Samsung wants to add ecosystem value by giving you a range of connectivity options to help all its devices work together better. That means there’s a suite of software functions, such as instant hotspot so you can connect to your phone’s cellular connection without having to manually turn it on.
You can also send Expert RAW images from your Galaxy S23 Ultra to your Galaxy Book for instant editing, to get the most out of the photos you’re taking on your phone. Beyond that, you can control multiple devices and use your Galaxy Tab as a second screen, allowing you to expand your usable screen space, if you happen to have a Samsung tablet too.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a Samsung phone or tablet to hand during our testing, so we can’t say exactly how well these features work. But, it’s a nice bit of added functionality for those already ingrained in the Samsung ecosystem.
There’s a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro, it has a nice minimal design, top-notch fit and finish, a gorgeous display and outstanding speakers.
We were also very impressed with the thermal management, keeping things cool is no mean feat in such a slim chassis, but Samsung has done an admirable job here.
The battery life is a bit of a letdown on this model, possibly owing to the massive high-resolution OLED display, but if you don’t mind carrying a (thankfully petite) charger with you, it’s still serviceable.
It’s undeniably a pricey machine, finding itself deep in MacBook territory, but its performance and built quality go a long way towards justifying this. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind spending a little extra to get a premium look and feel, we think you’ll be very pleased with the Galaxy Book 3 Pro.