When someone considers a 2-in-1 as the best ultrabook for them, it's clear that person wants a certain degree of flexibility. And not just the screen. The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G ($1,399.99 as tested) is a lightweight, portable notebook that allows for multiple forms of connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5G) and inputs (touch, keyboard and mouse, included stylus).
In its base configuration, with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, it isn't for heavy workloads, and with just 256GB of storage, you'll want to have some good cloud options. But for those who want to take a notebook anywhere and use celluar networks as well as Wi-Fi, Samsung has something solid here.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G lasts long on a charge and has strong build quality, and is light enough to slip in a bag and not really notice. If Samsung could cut down on the software and add a slightly brighter display, it would be more enticing.
Design of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is, from the first glance, utilitarian. There are no fringes here. This is designed to be something you can take anywhere to focus on your work.
Which is to say it's pleasantly forgettable. It's a silver, aluminum block with rounded corners. On the lid, Samsung's logo is in small print, left-adjusted and reflective. The rest? Just metal.
It's the same case with the laptop open. Black keys, a silver bezel, and nothing extra. Perhaps the biggest downer is the thick bottom bezel forcing a 16:9 aspect ratio. There's a fingerprint on the power button for logging in with Windows Hello.
As promised in the name, the hinges on the Galaxy Book Pro rotate 360 degrees, letting you use this laptop as a tablet with the included S Pen (more on that below).
Despite its slim frame, Samsung still put a solid selection of ports for the worker on the-go. On the left side there is a Thunderbolt 4 port and a USB Type-C port, as well as a microSD card slot. On the right side, there's another USB Type-C port, the SIM card slot and headphone jack.
The Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is 11.91 x 7.95 x 0.45 inches and weighs just over 3 pounds. That's thinner than the Dell XPS 13 clamshell, which is 0.6 inches thick, but lighter at 2.8 pounds. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is even smaller at 11.71 x 9.16 x 0.45 inches and 2.54 pounds. The HP Spectre x360 14, also a convertible, is 2.96 pounds and thicker at 0.67 inches.
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G Specifications
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1130G7|
|Graphics||Intel Xe Graphics|
|Display||13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED touchscreen|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, Verizon 5G|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-C|
|Power Adapter||65 watts|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||11.91 x 7.95 x 0.45 inches / 302.51 x 201.93 x 11.43 mm|
|Weight||3.06 pounds / 1.39 kg|
|Price (as configured)||$1,399.99|
Productivity Performance on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The Intel Core i5-1130G7 in the Galaxy Book Pro 360 isn't the most powerful out there, but paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, it's suitable for on-the-go use, doing light work like checking email, browsing the web, streaming music and video and working in spreadsheets.
On Geekbench 5, an overall productivity test, Samsung's laptop notched a single-core score of 1,341 and a multi-core score of 4,692. That puts it in line with Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, also utilizing an i5. But the Dell XPS 13 (9310) and HP Spectre x360 14, each tested with a Core i7-1165G7, scored a bit higher. The XPS 13 had the highest scores at 1,521/5,319.
The Galaxy Book stumbled hard on our file transfer test, in which we have laptops transfer 25GB of files. The Samsung reached 360.02 MBps, which is slower than both the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga (409.26 MBps) and the Spectre x360 14 (533.61 MBps). The XPS 13 was tested with an older version of the test and is left out here.
Samsung made a comeback on Handbrake, in which we have laptops transcode a 4K video to 1080p. It completed the test the fastest of the group, in 18 minutes and 4 seconds. That's just one second faster than the Spectre took, but winning is winning. The other i5 machine in the group, the X1 Titanium Yoga, took almost 21 minutes.
We also ran our Cinebench R23 stress test to put the laptop under a punishing load and measure performance over an extended period. We ran that benchmark in a loop 20 times, during which the Galaxy Book Pro showed one major instance of throttling. In the first few runs, scores were in the high 3,100's and low 3,200's, At run 6, the score plummeted to 2.360.91 before only a slight uptick in the seventh trial. After that, the laptop returned to normal and was largely consistent throughout.
During that gauntlet, the CPU measured an average clock speed of 2.13 GHz and had an average temperature of 80.26 degrees Celsius (176.47 degrees Fahrenheit).
Display on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
While the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G's 13.3-inch, AMOLED display is colorful, it's far from perfect. For one, unlike some OLED displays, it didn't totally wow me. It looks good, but it lacks the brightness I expect. At times I thought it was a really good panel screen, until I turned the brightness up all the way.
When I used it to stream the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, The many blues in the Matrix really stood out, as well as actor Jessica Henwick's dyed hair. The thematic green Matrix colors and red machine pods also looked great. The only issue was that I wished I could turn the brightness up just a smidge in darker scenes (though one scene, where Morpheus speaks to Neo, was intensely bright with a white background).
Samsung's display covered 134.4% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 190% of the sRGB color gamut, which are stellar, though the HP Spectre x360 14's panel had even slightly higher scores. Both were far more vivid than the XPS 13 and ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, which use standard LCD displays and came in at 98% and 100% of the sRGB color gamut, respectively.
But the Galaxy Book was the dimmest of the bunch at just 289 nits. The XPS 13 hit 469 nits, with the ThinkPad at 425 nits and the Spectre x360 at 339 nits.
Samsung is continuing to use a 16:9 display here. I think it's about time Samsung switches its Pro line to 16:10 or even better, 3:2. Taller displays are more natural, and especially when in tablet mode, show more of your work at once.
Keyboard, Touchpad and S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
With a touch screen, a keyboard and the S Pen included in the box, you have plenty of input options with the Galaxy Book Pro 360.
The keyboard is shallow, but I don't mind it (then again, I didn't hate the butterfly keyboards on older MacBook Pros, either. This is better than that). The keys have a tactile feel and make a nice clicky sound, which might annoy office mates, but I like the feedback. On the 10ffastfingers.com typing test, I hit 113 words per minute, which is pretty good for me, with a lower error rate than usual.
The touchpad is another story. It's stiff and feels cheap. I think that, in keeping with other premium brands, Samsung might do well to switch to haptics. All of that being said, it succeeded in Windows 11 gestures, including the most complicated four-finger commands.
Samsung includes the S Pen in the box, which is a nice touch. Some laptop vendors sell styli separately.
On the one hand, it's a full-sized stylus. It's light in the hand and feels like a pen: not an expensive pen, but a pen. It's flat on one side, which has some magnets that only seem to attach to one specific spot on the lid, so be careful about dropping it, while the curved end has a single barrel button.
But when using the S Pen to take notes in Samsung Notes or using it to browse the web and use Windows, I felt the tip had a bit of drag that didn't feel great to use.
Some previous Samsung laptops have used garaged pens, which I preferred. They don't feel as good in the hand, but they typically offer more functionality, like showing a menu of pen-friendly apps when you undock it. I think that's more in line with Samsung's phones as well.
Audio on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The dual speakers on the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G are serviceable, but they won't wow anyone. I streamed a fair amount of music to the laptop with Spotify, and found I tended to need to jack up the volume to the upper levels for comfortable listening. It didn't totally fill my apartment, but it did the job.
For instance, when I listened to Lights' "Prodigal Daughter," the song's thumping synths didn't pack up a bunch, though the vocals were clear. Drums were OK, but I've heard better percussion. Notably, they had a bit more thump with the laptop in display mode. That may be because in the traditional clamshell, the speakers point downward.
Upgradeability on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is sealed shut. There's not a visible screw on it to access. It's likely that they're under the feet, but those may tear when you take them off.
The short answer here is to make sure you get what you need if you buy one of these. For instance, our model has 8GB of RAM and just 256GB of storage. For those who primarily do work in the cloud, that's enough. If you store lots of photos, music, video or documents locally, you won't be able to stick in another SSD later.
Battery Life on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G showed off a bit on our battery test. Typically, the inclusion of an OLED screen means a laptop's longevity takes a hit. But that wasn't the case here. On our test, in which laptops browse the web, stream video and run OpenGL tests in the browser while connected to Wi-Fi with the screens set to 150 nits, the Galaxy Book lasted for 13 hours and 16 minutes.
The XPS 13 was next up at 11:07, and the Yoga fell just under 10 hours. The Spectre x360 14, which also has an OLED display, lasted 7 hours and 14 minutes.
Heat on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
While we ran our Cinebench stress test, we measured to see how hot the surface of the Galaxy Book gets to the touch in particularly difficult situations.
At the center of the keyboard, between the G and H keys, the laptop measured 34.5 degrees Celsius (94.1 degrees Fahrenheit), while the trackpad was a cooler 27.4 degrees Celsius (81.3 degrees Fahrenheit). The keyboard might be warm enough to make your fingers sweat a bit, but it's far from being uncomfortable to type on.
The hottest point on the bottom of the laptop was 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), by the vents, though the rest was cooler.
It's also worth mentioning that the fan spins often and audibly. Even when you aren't doing much. Clearly, this chassis needs a lot of airflow to keep the processor cool.
Webcam on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The 720p webcam on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is grainy. It's good enough to use for a video call, though if you're using this laptop for work with a monitor, I'd strongly consider trying one of the best external webcams.
For meetings on the go. It's good enough. Colors are good, and it caught my blue eyes and red sweater well. The real issue is that images and video tend to be filled with visual noise.
Samsung has built-in software called "Studio mode" that pops up whenever you turn the camera on. It has a few filters, including a "Beautiful" option that lightens and smooths your skin and makes your eyes bigger, as well as thinning the bottom of your face. I'm not a fan of these types of filters, which can give people unrealistic expectations of what is "beautiful" and could potentially make people feel badly about how they looking.
You can customize the settings or close the app altogether each time you open the app. I tended to do the latter. If I want to open it, I'll do it myself, thank you.
There's no infrared camera for Windows Hello to log in with your face, which is a shame because you may unlock your 2-in-1 in tablet mode.Still, the fingerprint reader on the keyboard proved reliable in my use.
Software and Warranty on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
It seems that Samsung's mission is to make the Windows 11 experience as close as possible to the one on its Galaxy smartphones. To that end, it has loaded up this laptop with software.
There are 12 apps with the name "Samsung" in them, including a dedicated settings app (separate from the one in Windows), a Notes app, software to pair your laptop with an Android phone, and some, like Samsung TV Plus, that bring you to services in the web browser.
Those are all alongside more apps, including Bixby, Galaxy Book Smart Switch to transfer data from old computers, Live Message to create shareable drawings and PENUP (yes, all capitalized) to draw and see others' drawings. Amazon's Alexa comes pre-pinned to the taskbar, though you have to log in to use it.
It's a lot. Some are duplicitous (there's another app for sharing links and for pairing with a phone) and others reproduce Windows features. I think Samsung could pare this down for a better experience.
That's all on top of bloatware. There's a "Samsung Edition" of Booking.com, for instance. In Edge, there are bookmarks to three different Adobe promotions and McAfee LiveSafe. There's a lot of cleaning out to do. That's on top of the extras included in Windows 11, like Tik Tok and Spotify.
Samsung sells the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G with a 1-year warranty.
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 5G Configurations
Our review configuration of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G utilized an Intel Core i5-1130G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. That entry level model is $1,399.99.
For $1,599.99, Samsung will bump you up to an Intel core i7-1160G7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
For those who don't require 5G connectivity, you can find the regular Samsung Galaxy Pro 360 with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 and the better SSD and storage options for the same entry level price of $1,399.99, while bumping up to 1TB of storage gets you to $1,499.99.
Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is a utilitarian workhorse that lets you take your work anywhere, including where there isn't a Wi-Fi network. It's light, lasts long on a charge and feels good in the hands.
But in this base configuration, which isn't cheap, it has very basic specs, though as of this writing, its closest competitor in size, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, is even pricier. If you're willing to go thicker, the HP Spectre x360 14 is currently $150 cheaper with a better processor and double the storage, though it's bulkier and you'll lose 5G (and, for that price, OLED).
If you want a thin, 5G notebook, you should consider the 5G Pro, especially if you're already in Samsung's ecosystem. It isn't the most powerful for the price, but it has long-lasting battery life and is very flexible in its use, as long as you don't work it too hard.