Intel 11th Gen brings with it the promises of major improvements, especially on the laptop front, and with the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 we had a chance to test the potential of what this could mean for buyers. The ultra-portable laptop brings with it a great battery, fast performance, and a design that will make even Apple fans envious. After testing it for the better part of two weeks, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 delivers one of the best business and light entertainment experiences you can find, especially in the svelte form factor, and definitely if you already are a part of the Galaxy ecosystem.
As mentioned above, the big selling point of this range is the adoption of 11th Gen Intel processors that deliver better battery life, performance and overall usability while on the go. This is also part of the new Evo lineup that looks to bring the best mobile experience possible due to a tight connection between Intel and Samsung during the development process. Samsung has also put a real effort into the design and feel of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360. This is one of the more stylish laptops I have ever used. The keyboard is good, and it also delivers one of the most comfortable trackpad experiences I have seen this side of Cupertino. But as with anything this small, you will see some sacrifices with no discrete GPU, and the overall speeds seen are a bit less than some bigger options in the category.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 starts at a hefty $1,299 USD ($1,469.99 CAD) making this a bit pricey, even on the thin and light scale. But with that you will find a machine that is staggeringly light at 1.04kg and deliver all the specs you would hope for from a machine of its size. It also features a stunning 13.3-inch Super AMOLED, FHD (1920 x 1080) display that was a joy to use while testing the unit. There is also the option to step up to the 15-inch option, that gives a bit more space should you demand more screen real estate while on the go.
It is hard to deny this is one of the best constructed laptops we have tested in a long while. It offers a solid hinge and screen system that while easy to flip into all the 2-in-1 configurations, it gives enough support, so you won’t be worrying about the screen falling while typing or on a commute. It comes with an S-Pen in the box that means it is easy for artists to pick up and use. The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360s sleek metal frame and attention to detail gives the unit a desirable look throughout. As one would expect from a laptop of this nature, Samsung has opted fewer ports to reduce the overall footprint and while it was staggering how small this unit was, I did at times miss my trusty USB-A port since I still have many legacy devices.
With the quad-core Core i7-1165G7 at the centre of the machine—the same chip that powers many of the best portable laptops currently on the market—it was easy to get most standard tasks done with ease. Loading up the usual set of work apps, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 had no issues crunching though some chrome tabs, Office 365 and Adobe Photoshop for good measure. The fans rarely needed to come on even under load, and the Iris Xe graphics managed to do what you would hope from built in graphics. Sadly, if you want to really dive into some gaming, you will need to look at other options, or pick up an external Thunderbolt GPU enclosure. For most office or light graphic work, the Pro 360 should be more than capable out of box.
For anyone that already uses Samsung products, the Pro 360 has been built to be a part of a mobile ecosystem. It is possible to extend your screen if you happen to have a Galaxy Tab S7 or S7 Plus. It is also possible to share files effortlessly thanks to Samsung's Quick Share function. It also comes with the suite of apps such as Samsung Notes to integrate with what you are already using.
Shipping with Windows 10, you will also find all the usual Microsoft series of apps pre-installed, but I found very little bloat loaded onto the Pro 360 when I first set everything up. I did not find anything that I rushed to remove upon starting the laptop for the first time. Granted, that is a personal preference, but it was refreshing to not be bombarded by countless options and extras at first boot.
On the hardware side, I enjoyed the choices Samsung went with for the Pro 360. The keyboard would be the only thing that I would have liked to see was a bit more key travel. While some people like flat keyboards, and they have their merits, I have always been someone who likes a bit more movement when typing. The 1mm of travel offered in the Pro 360, was not the ideal typing experience, at least for me.
The track pad, on the other hand, was a joy to use. It was responsive, I had no issue with the palm-rejection and the level of tactile response when clicking the pad was ideal in this reviewer's opinion. Even the size felt well engineered giving the right balance of space while keeping the overall profile as small as possible.
Samsung also includes all the features most would need on a modern laptop. It brings with it the option for 8GB or 16GB RAM, it comes with a 720p HD/Dual Array Mic, and should you need storage, it has the option for up to a 1 TB SSD. It also comes in a range of colours including Mystic Navy, Mystic Silver (the device tested) and Mystic Bronze. Samsung also included a Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), 802.11 ax 2x2 network card, and will be offering a 5G variant should you need data while on the go.
For me, the standout with the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 is the OLED screen. This 1920x1080 offering delivers a stunning and vibrant picture that offers up 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. While the brightness of 276 nits is not the best we have seen on this level of laptop, it is more than enough for most workflows and uses. But even with this minor issue, I found it hard to go back to my everyday Elitebook X360 laptop after using the Pro 360, it just did not deliver the same level of vibrance and clarity, making me quickly regret my previous purchase.
Another high point was the battery, and while not the best option for the size, Samsung has given this little unit enough to take most people though the day with ease. In testing we managed around 9-10 hours on average with medium brightness with a mix of office applications and media applications. With the 63Wh on the 13 and 68Wh on the 15 models, depending on your workflow, you should get through a workday with ease. More graphic or processor intensive workloads could see this drop a bit, but I am still extremely impressed with what Intel and Samsung have achieved.
Samsung has built this to be a part of a mobile ecosystem and if you are already a fan of the Galaxy range of devices, the Pro 360 is a no-brainer. It delivers one of the best thin and light experiences we have seen in a long while. The design is stunning, and the AMOLED screen is one of the best I have used. With the integration of Samsung apps, it easily slots into a mobile workflow that few laptops can beat. If you are not a fan of Galaxy devices, don't worry though, there is enough to love in the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 to make any mobile PC buyer happy. Samsung has hit it out of the park with this laptop, and I cannot wait to see what they do next.
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