Making large laptops is a certain art. In recent years, they have been eclipsed by smartphones. But they have a long history of design, often have longer lifecycles than smartphones, and have very strong followers. And after years of low demand, laptops are experiencing a revival thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this context, Samsung, better known for its smartphones than its laptops, has launched a refresh of its notebook series, the Galaxy Book Pro and the Galaxy Book Pro 360 2-in-1.
After using the 15.6-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 for a month, I think it’s Samsung’s best laptop by far. With the Pro 360, the South Korean tech giant has managed to give laptops its own design look, taking inspiration from its latest smartphones and tablets.
This laptop is also incredibly light and compact. The integration of its own apps, along with the AMOLED display and S Pen support, is well done. Everything is offered at a starting price of around € 1,600.
That being said, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is far from perfect. It has flaws, some of which are minor and others in need of improvement for future editions of the laptop series.
Portability and design of the Galaxy Book Pro 360
Portability is hands down the best thing about the Pro 360. The 15.6-inch model weighs 1.4 kilograms, but it feels lighter when used on a daily basis. The overall design of the laptop really accentuates this feeling and makes the device appear more compact than it actually is. The Pro 360 seems light and sturdy. It fits smoothly in my bags and has never been a burden to carry. The laptop positioned itself comfortably on almost any surface I placed it on, whether it was on a restaurant table or on a table at home cluttered with other devices.
Image: Cho Mu-Hyun /
The overall aesthetic of the Pro 360 is also excellent. Much of its appearance has been taken from the latest Galaxy S smartphones, especially its borders. The Pro 360’s finish matches that of Samsung’s latest smartphones and gives the laptop a premium look without being gaudy. The hinge is also relatively strong considering the thinness and weight of the device.
As a long-time user of LG’s Gram 16 series and having tried Lenovo and HP laptops in the past with similar or even smaller screens, in terms of portability only, I think Samsung equals them, or even better.
On the flip side, I think Samsung made portability its top priority when designing the Pro 360. And in doing so, some of the characteristics of the laptop have been affected elsewhere.
Galaxy Book Pro 360 keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard and touchpad are excellent and are some of Samsung’s best. The touchpad under the keyboard is larger than usual, as are the adjacent spaces where your palm rests. I didn’t like it at first but after a month I felt less joint pain in my wrist and fingers. In comparison, I think it’s a better option than other laptops that offer little space under the keyboard, which requires you to type with your hands up for a long time.
The keyboard also has a fingerprint button located at the very top right, which doubles as an on / off button. The input and travel keys are narrow, but the overall experience is great and the keys are wide and register well. However, the keyboard does not offer the typing satisfaction of an analog keyboard or a gaming keyboard due to the thinness of the keys. This is probably a compromise to make the device thinner and lighter, but it wouldn’t hurt to improve it for later iterations.
Galaxy Book Pro 360 hardware and battery
In terms of processor and RAM, the unit I tested for the Pro 360 was the most equipped version, with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 and 16 GB. In practice, there was not a only time I felt the laptop was slow. The Pro 360 turns on and off extremely quickly and the boot time is one of the best I’ve seen.
The Pro 360’s battery is also solid. A session per charge lasts an average of eight to ten hours, even when some of the settings were set to maximum.
For ports, the Pro 360 offers a Thunderbolt 4 port, two USB-C connectors, a headphone jack, and a microSD slot.
Due to the portability of the laptop, it causes the laptop to overheat at times. When this happens, it’s very noticeable as the Pro 360 gets loud. PC fans and cooling systems generally perform best when they have room to breathe. So I think the noticeable overheating is not due to the design of the fan but to the thinness of the device.
Surprisingly, the sound is the best I have experienced with a Samsung device. The sound is clear, well-tuned, and has good bass, which seems like a jump in quality from that of the company’s smartphones.
Galaxy Book Pro 360 Amoled Screen
The AMOLED touchscreen is beautiful to look at and pleasant to use. The colors are crisp, and the contrast ratio combined with a 16: 9 screen ratio was very good when watching movies.
That said, the screen is dim, even when the brightness is set to maximum. This has become a problem in bright, outdoor environments where there is sunlight. Even in indoor environments, I would have liked the screen to be generally brighter, which would have been a huge plus to showcase the screen’s other strengths.
The screen’s FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution is not bad, but together with the 16: 9 aspect ratio and the extra thick black empty space at the bottom of the screen, it gives an uneven screen experience according to Tasks. Sometimes, for data and graphics-intensive tasks, the screen seemed almost pixelated. Browsing the web sometimes felt a bit cramped when I was using the Pro 360 in laptop mode due to the 16: 9 ratio, although I quickly got used to it. Even a slight change to the 16:10 ratio would, in my opinion, have given a greater impression of openness.
The screen can handle video games. But the latest Triple A games, such as Resident Evil Village or Doom Eternal, are really to be avoided. In fact, Samsung never wanted the Pro 360 to handle them. For future iterations of the Pro series, Samsung should certainly offer spec options for a 2K or QHD resolution display, or even offer a Pro Ultra model for those willing to pay more for the better hardware. After all, while the Pro 360 isn’t a gaming laptop per se, it’s a “Pro” model, which raises expectations of the best.
Using the AMOLED display as a tablet held vertically provides a very good experience. The problems I mentioned earlier, like visibility, no longer exist since the device is held closer to the eyes.
Overall, while the AMOLED display looks great, it falls short of Samsung’s high standards in the smartphone and tablet segments, especially when it comes to brightness. The low light could be due to cost reasons or battery issues, but I think it has more to do with the fear of image retention, also known as burn-in, which Larger OLED screens are more sensitive due to the presence of more icons on the screen.
The S Pen experience with the Galaxy Book Pro 360
The S Pen which comes with the laptop really brings out the best of this 2 in 1 laptop. In terms of size and weight, it really looks like a real pen and is very convenient to use. The screen response time to the stylus seems a bit slower than that of the Galaxy S21 Ultra or newer Note series phones. But the overall accuracy of the S Pen is close to that of a real pen. The laptop’s larger screen, which can be folded up entirely, also invites more use of the S Pen when used as a tablet or in calendar mode.
The S Pen can also be attached to the magnet located under the front cover of the screen. This type of magnet is placed in all laptops so that they can be folded up properly, so I’m not sure if Samsung intended to attach the stylus this way or if it was just a fluke.
The S Pen can be attached to where the magnet is while you use the Pro 360 for other things, which can be really handy. But the magnetism is not strong enough for you to mindlessly stick the pen to the cover and carry the laptop around willy-nilly. You will therefore need to place the pen in a separate compartment in the bags or in your jacket pocket when traveling. When using the device, I would have liked there to have been a dedicated port for the pen, in the vein of Galaxy Note smartphones, so that this would not be a problem.
Image: Cho Mu-Hyun /
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 apps
It’s a good thing that Samsung apps are now included in Samsung’s laptop lineup. Especially if you already have a bunch of company devices and need a Windows laptop. As a long-time Galaxy Note series user, I appreciated that apps like Samsung Notes were offered on a larger screen.
But the important question here is: Does the Pro 360, with its inclusion of Samsung apps and what the company calls expanding its ecosystem, manage to deliver something more than your usual PC experience to attract customers? other than Samsung fans?
Samsung obviously wants its ecosystem to be closer to that of Microsoft, and applications such as Links to Windows and Your Phone are there for that. The Pro 360 manages to bring them together, yes, but I didn’t feel that their convergence brought more than what each company already offers on their side. In other words, the whole did not seem to me to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Conclusion: should you buy the Galaxy Book Pro 360?
Overall, I loved using the Pro 360. It’s great multitasking, and in any case, it shows that Samsung is great at designing quality hardware for mobile devices. Laptops haven’t been Samsung’s strong suit, but with the Pro 360 the company has really upped its game and managed to bring its smartphone expertise into the laptop space.
The best time I had with the Pro 360 was with the Zoom calls, which included a three-hour Bar Mitzvah for a friend’s daughter. The Pro 360’s strengths, such as its portability, AMOLED display, hardware and audio, have been put to good use for video calls. If you are looking for a versatile laptop suitable for leisure, work, and light creative work, and offered at an attractive price, the Pro 360 is a great option for you. But if you’re looking for the ultimate laptop experience, the Pro 360 doesn’t quite meet your expectations.