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Samsung Galaxy Book Pro unveiled at Unpacked — this could be the first true XPS 13 killer

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung showed us at its April Unpacked event today that it's ready to take on the best portable laptops (like the XPS 13, Spectre x360 14 and MacBook Air) with the newly unveiled Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360. Harnessing the success of its Galaxy smartphones, Samsung created these new laptops with unique features that let you seamlessly connect your other Galaxy devices to create a tighter ecosystem. 

But the hardware itself is just as compelling as those software tricks. Available in 13.3 and 15.6-inch models, the Galaxy Book Pro and its 2-in-1 twin, the Galaxy Book Pro 360, have some of the most impressive specs sheets we've seen in recent years. That's especially true of the 13-inch model, which comes in at 0.4 inches thick, has military-grade durability, and supports 5G.

You can expect a gorgeous display no matter which model you choose as they all come with 1080p AMOLED screens. They also have the latest 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs with Iris Xe Graphics, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage (or 512GB on the 13-inch version). 

On paper, the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 sound almost too good to be true. We'll find out if they can live up to our expectations once we get units in for a full review. Until then, here is everything we know about Samsung's newest flagship laptops.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro price and availability 

The Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 are available for pre-order today (April 28) and will be available for purchase starting on May 4. 

The Galaxy Book Pro 13-inch will start at $999 while the 15-inch model will cost $1,099. If you prefer a 2-in-1, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 13 starts at $1,199 and the 15-inch model starts at $1,299. 

The clamshell model will be available in Mystic Blue and Mystic Silver while the Galaxy Book Pro 360 will come in Mystic Navy and Mystic Bronze.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro design 

Thin is in. Razor-thin, really. Taking after the Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 are ridiculously portable.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

The 13-inch clamshell version is jaw-dropping, coming in at 0.44 inches thick and weighing only 2.2 pounds. Not to dismiss the 15-inch model, which is only 0.46 inches thick and weighs 2.3 pounds (3.1 pounds for the Galaxy Book Pro 360). Keeping the laptops a reasonable size are the thin bezels around the displays which also help your eyes focus on what's on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

We should also give Samsung props for injecting some color into its laptops. Finally, your options aren't restricted to gray and a darker tone of gray. I'm not sold on the non-matching lid and deck but the Mystic Blue on the clamshell model looks nice while Mystic Silver is a more traditional hue with a white deck. Mystic Bronze, available on the 2-in-1 model, looks like a metallic blush, and Mystic Navy is a beautiful dark blue.

Despite the thin chassis and pops of color, each of these laptops is crafted from 6000-series aluminum and certified for military-grade durability. As a 2-in-1 laptop, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 has a rotating hinge, allowing you to use the device in laptop, tablet or tent mode.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro ports 

You shouldn't expect so many ports from these laptops after reading about how thin they are. The Galaxy Book Pro 360 models come with one Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB 3.2 Type-C inputs, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Galaxy Book Pro models go a step further by dropping one USB Type-C port in favor of a USB 3.2 Type-A input, and the 15-inch version has an HDMI port for good measure.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro display 

The Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 come in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch models, all of which have 1080p SUPER AMOLED displays. These are the first-ever Windows 10 PCs with AMOLED displays, arriving after the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook with the same screen technology.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

They may not be the sharpest screens but AMOLED suggests they will be more vivid and brighter than your average laptop panel. Moreover, they are Eye Care-certified meaning they emit less blue light, the frequency of color that causes eye strain, than a standard LCD panel. 

Using what Samsung calls an Intelligent Color Engine, the screen will automatically change color space based on what you are doing. So if you're editing a photo, it will give you the most accurate colors possible, or the screen will ramp up the saturation as you watch an action film or play video games. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro performance, graphics and 5G 

All four of these models come with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors with Iris Xe graphics. 

We're seeing speedy performance and impressive benchmark scores from these latest chips, and the Iris Xe graphics are good enough for running most programs and older games. Those who want to play the latest AAA titles will need to look elsewhere or invest in an eGPU.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

There are a few differences in how you can configure each of these models. The 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 gets up to 16GB of RAM, matching both 15-inch versions. However, the 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro tops out at only 8GB of RAM. 

When it comes to storage, only the Galaxy Book Pro 360 15 gets up to a 1TB SSD while the other three models max out at a 512GB SSD. 

Unique to the 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is 5G support; we're waiting on more details from Samsung to see which bands and carriers are supported. All Galaxy Book Pro models come with the latest Wi-Fi 6e for the fastest wireless speeds and lowest latency (if you own the right equipment).

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro keyboard, touchpad and S Pen 

We will put the keyboard to the test once we get a review unit into our home offices. For now, we know the Galaxy Book Pro uses a scissor mechanism that Samsung promises will "increase your speed and comfort." Those keys have rubber domes and get 1mm of travel which is decent considering how thin these machines are. Samsung also says the keys are "near" silent.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

As for the touchpad, it looks rather large and Samsung says it's 23% bigger than the ones on the Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion.

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 models come with an S Pen in the box; the stylus, which is 2.5x thicker than the previous version, is only available for the 2-in-1 models.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro battery life 

Samsung hasn't shared any battery life rating, only vaguely promising long runtimes and claiming the Galaxy Book Pro laptops are "built to keep you going through the day." They are Intel Evo certified so expect a minimum of 9 hours on a charge. 

What we do know is that they support 65W Fast Charging via the USB-C port so you can quickly top them up instead of being tethered to a power cord.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro features 

With the Galaxy Book Pro, Samsung extends the Galaxy ecosystem consisting of smartphones, tablets, headphones and other devices.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

Taking advantage of the control it has over those systems, Samsung says the Galaxy Book Pro will instantly connect via Bluetooth to your Galaxy Buds earbuds. With Quick Share, you can quickly move content like photos and files from one of your Galaxy devices to another by simply clicking and dragging between the Galaxy Book and a Galaxy smartphone. There is also a Google Doc-style app called Samsung Notes that lets you jot down ideas and view them on any device. 

Perhaps most notable is the SmartThings app pre-installed on a Windows 10 PC for the first time. With SmartThings, you can control all of your smart appliances, so the Galaxy Book Pro can serve as a hub for changing the temperature, controlling your lights, or even starting kitchen appliances. You can also use it to find lost Galaxy devices via Bluetooth.

Outlook

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

Few laptops have impressed us from the get-go as much as the Galaxy Book Pro. We need to hold our excitement until we get these notebooks in for review, but until then, well, color us impressed. 

There seems to be something for everyone between the 13-inch and 15-inch versions of the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360. For the thinnest and lightest option, the 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro is only 0.4 inches thin and weighs 2.2 pounds. Its 2-in-1 counterpart supports 5G, and the 15-inch convertible comes with an HDMI input and a USB Type-A port. Each of these laptops has a 1080p AMOLED display, 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs and a handful of Samsung-specific apps for seamless integration with other devices in the Galaxy ecosystem. 

This could very much mark a return of form for Samsung in the laptop industry. We'll find out soon once we get them in for a full review.