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When Samsung recently announced a trio of Galaxy S23 phones, the company also announced a line of Galaxy Book 3 Windows laptops. For the last few weeks, I've been testing the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360. Its name is a mouthful, I agree.
This 2-in-1 laptop has a 16-inch display that rotates nearly 360 degrees (thus the name!), to pull double duty as a tablet. It even comes with Samsung's iconic S Pen stylus in the box, so you can jot down notes or sketch directly on the beautiful display.
There's a lot to like about the Book 3 Pro 360, at least when it comes to the hardware. It's the software where Samsung's laptop experience starts to fall apart. Let me explain.
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
|Display||16-inch, 3K AMOLED touchscreen, 2,880 x 1,800-pixel resolution|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-1360P|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
|Ports||1 x HDMI, 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x microSD, 1 x 3.5mm audio|
|Connectivity||802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Dimensions||13.99 x 9.93 x 0.5 inches|
|Price||Starting at $1,699.99 ($1,899.99 as tested)|
Arguably, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360's headlining feature is its 16-inch display. It's the first thing you notice when opening the lid, and for good reason. It's big, bright, and crystal-clear. Samsung used a 3K 16-inch AMOLED touchscreen display here -- that's the same kind of screen tech used in all of Samsung's high-end smartphones. AMOLED displays are known for deeper blacks and more precise color saturation, and the Book 3 Pro 360 delivers on those promises.
My lone complaint about the display is just how reflective it is. I fought bright overhead lights the entire time I was testing it.
Also: Galaxy Book 3 Ultra vs MacBook Pro: A premium laptop showdown
The bezels surrounding the Book 3 Pro 360's display are thin, leaving just enough room on the top for a 1080p webcam that looks like a typical laptop webcam. It's good enough for business and personal video calls, but you're not going to hear anyone make comments about how great your feed looks.
Similarly, the speakers are all right for video calls, but when listening to music or watching YouTube, they sound almost hollow. They just don't have any oomph to them.
Below the display, on the laptop's deck, is a full-size keyboard with chiclet-style keys, with a massive touchpad that's centered with the keyboard, not the laptop's housing. The keyboard is easy enough to type on, requiring only minor adjustments to get the lay of the land. I don't particularly care for the very small number pad on the right side, however. It's too small for any real key punching that a number cruncher would want. I prefer just using the number row at the top of the keyboard.
The touchpad is great to use, if you ever adjust to its size and off-center placement. I found it frustrating because I'd reach for where I thought the middle of it should be, but end up right-clicking almost 100% of the time.
Just above the number pad, in the top right corner of the keyboard's footprint, is the power button that also houses the fingerprint sensor that works with Windows Hello to unlock the laptop or sign you in to apps, such as a password manager. Setup and use of the fingerprint sensor was effortless; that's something Samsung has perfected on its smartphones, and now its laptops.
The Book 3 Pro 360 has a handful of ports: On the right side of the housing are a microSD card reader, a USB-A 3.2 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the left side of the deck are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports that are also used to charge the laptop, along with an HDMI port. There's also a small indicator light showing the laptop's charging status.
Also: The best laptops for every kind of person and budget
An S Pen is included in the box with the Book 3 Pro 360, though Samsung doesn't give you anywhere to store the pen when you're not using it. Well, technically, you can magnetically attach the S Pen to the lid of the laptop, but it doesn't feel very secure and is easily knocked off.
The Book 3 Pro 360 measures 13.99 x 9.93 x 0.5 inches and weighs 3.66 pounds. It's not a huge laptop, by any means, even though it has a large display. And its weight is in line with other laptops of this size -- the 16-inch MacBook Pro, for instance, weighs 3.6 pounds. It's a laptop you'll feel comfortable putting in a backpack to take across campus or on a work trip.
Overall, the design of the Book 3 Pro 360 is good, if not a little boring, with no features that really blow you away or let you down.
When it comes to picking out a Book 3 Pro 360, you can choose between two storage amounts -- there's a 512GB model for $1,699.99, and a 1TB model for $1,899.99, giving you double the storage. Either way, you get an Intel Core i7–1360P processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of memory, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.1.
Depending on your configuration, those prices are slightly higher than a Surface Pro 9, but less expensive than a 16-inch MacBook Pro, and they make sense for what you're getting with the Book 3 Pro 360.
Over the last few weeks I've used the Book 3 Pro 360 for my normal computing needs. That could mean one day I'd spend a few hours in Microsoft's Edge browser doing research for a story or shopping on Amazon, and the next day I'd be monitoring emails, writing in Google Docs, and exchanging messages in Slack, while streaming music from Apple Music. I also did some light photo editing, and trimmed a few video clips in Microsoft's Photos app. The Book 3 Pro 360 handled it all like a champ.
The Geekbench 6 benchmarking tool was recently released; it helps measure the performance of a computer or smartphone when doing daily tasks. I ran it three times on the Book 3 Pro 360 and averaged the scores. The single-core score was 2,219, with a multicore score of 8,916. I also ran the same tool on my 2020 M1 Apple MacBook Pro, and it had an average score of 2,300 for single-core and 8,025 for multicore.
Objectively, the Book 3 Pro 360 has the same single-core performance as my M1 MacBook Pro, and outperforms it on multicore tasks. Subjectively, I can't tell a difference in performance between the two.
All that is to say -- with the Book 3 Pro 360, you're getting a laptop that offers stellar performance that's on par with the first-generation Apple Silicon processor.
Using the S Pen on the Book 3 Pro 360 felt smooth and responsive, with a Samsung twist. As the pen nears the laptop's screen, you can bring up the Air Commands menu by pressing the pen's lone button. Options included in the menu include creating a new note in Samsung's Notes app, Samsung's Smart Select tool for capturing screenshots, and adding your own shortcuts. I don't often use a stylus on any computer, but if I owned a Book 3 Pro 360, I'd use this one.
The Book 3 Pro 360 runs Windows 11 Home out of the box. You'll find all of the standard Microsoft apps and services preinstalled on it, but in addition to that, Samsung adds its own software to the Book 3 Pro 360 with a very heavy hand (as it does with its Android phones).
I counted over two dozen Samsung-branded apps installed on the Book 3 Pro 360. Two dozen! Some of them you'll surely never use. That's in addition to the unnecessary McAfee LiveSafe antivirus software.
Also: Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra: Should you upgrade?
There are a couple of Samsung apps that are worth using if you already use Galaxy products. Samsung Notes is a staple on any Galaxy device, going back to the Note line, and now the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra. Samsung's SmartThings platform, too, is useful for those who use it to manage their smart home.
If you have a Samsung phone or tablet and a Galaxy Book 3, you can use the mouse and keyboard on your laptop to control and type on your phone. It took me just a few clicks of the touchpad to set it up, after which my mouse magically would appear on the Galaxy S23 whenever I moved the pointer off the right side of the screen. That's the type of software feature Samsung should focus on building and implementing in its laptops.
But do you need a Samsung version of a Live Wallpaper app? Or the Samsung Gallery app? Or what about Samsung Studio Plus? Quick Search? There are good versions of those features built into Windows already.
Over a couple weeks of use and testing, I haven't had any issues with the Book 3 Pro 360's battery life. It's powered through a full day of work, consisting of video calls, writing in Google Docs, streaming music, and keeping way too many tabs open in Edge while triaging my email and Slack messages. The battery doesn't have enough juice to get through two full days of work, so you'll want to take your charger with you on quick trips.
Also: My 5 must-have gadgets for work travel
Whenever I test a laptop, I play a 4K video file that loops over and over, with the display set to 50% brightness, all other apps closed, and any extra connectivity features (like Bluetooth) turned off. I then capture a timelapse at 1-minute intervals to track how long the battery lasts.
Running that test on the Book 3 Pro 360, the battery powered through 9 hours and 9 minutes of video playback. That's a respectable amount of use, and more than enough to watch a couple of movies on a cross-country flight.
Samsung's Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is a respectable 2-in-1 laptop that's fast, with an amazing screen and enough battery life to get through a full day of work, and a price that matches its features.
Even if you're someone who's heavily invested in Samsung's ecosystem, the abundance of Samsung apps and services on the Book 3 can be frustrating to navigate. That said, die-hard Samsung fans will appreciate the access and tight integration with Samsung's overall platform.
A smaller, less expensive version of the Book 3 Pro 360.
Microsoft's Surface Pro line is the original 2-in-1, and it's still around for good reason. It sets a high bar.
If you're not sold on a Windows laptop, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops available right now.