Trade in Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro review
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro: Two-Minute Review
Following up from the successful Galaxy Book Pro, Samsung has released a pair of new productivity laptops; the hybrid laptop-tablet Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, and the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro. We’ve got our grubby mitts on the latter for a review, and here’s a shocking revelation for you: it’s just like the first one, only better.
The Galaxy Book2 Pro starts at $1,050 in the States (£999, around AU$1,525), though that’s for the 13-inch model; the 15-inch version we’re reviewing here will run your $100 more for the base model. The 5G variant we were sent appears to be currently only available in the UK for £1,249 and up.
5G or not, this is clearly an impressive product. The original Samsung Galaxy Book Pro was a sleek and powerful laptop targeting the busy professional, with an undeniably premium price tag but performance and design quality to match. This sequel is no different, and it actually feels like Samsung wanted to change as little as possible here – but that’s not a bad thing.
From the full-scale keyboard and huge trackpad to the super-skinny chassis, the Galaxy Book2 Pro presents itself as a premium choice for a refined work environment, just like it’s predecessor. But improved thermal performance, upgraded speakers, and a speedy new CPU make this an even more attractive package than before.
Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro comes equipped with the latest 12th-gen Intel laptop processor, which offers solid multitasking performance with less heat generation than previous models, which means that this laptop is able to run cooler than the original Book Pro.
Despite the improved performance, this is still a phenomenally thin and light Ultrabook that stands among the best of the best. At just over a centimeter thick and weighing 1.16kg, the Galaxy Book2 Pro 5G looks and feels incredible despite a starting price that puts it below base models of the excellent Dell XPS 15.
Oh, and the screen – oh, that screen! It might only be 1080p, but this isn’t a gaming laptop, and the AMOLED panel found here offers beautifully vibrant color reproduction along with a great level of brightness and a special ‘eye care’ certification that reduces blue-light output to reduce eye strain and headaches.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro is an absolutely top-notch laptop, well deserving of a space on our ranking of the best 15-inch laptops. If you’re still not convinced, read on to find out exactly why we love it so much.
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro: Price and Availability
- Starting price of $1,050
- UK SKU tested costs £1,249
- Two different screens and processors available
Here is the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P Processor (1.7 GHz, up to 4.4 GHz)
Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Screen: 15.6-inch 1080p AMOLED
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Ports: 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, MicroSD card reader, combi audio jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G
Camera: 1080p webcam
Weight: 1.16 kg
Size: 1.17 x 35.5 x 22.6 cm
The lowest price you can pay for a Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro right now is $1,050 (£999, around AU$1,525), but if you want the 15-inch screen seen on our review model, you’ll instead be starting at $1,150 (£1,099, around AU$1,670).
That gets you a Galaxy Book2 Pro with an Intel Core i5-1240P processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, but you can also upgrade to an i7-1260P, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. These two processors have the same amount of cores, but the i7 chip is faster and benefits from the additional memory. These high-spec models cost $1,350 (£1,399, around AU$1,950).
In the UK, the upgraded internal hardware is only available on the 15-inch model, while US consumers can get a third SKU that combines the 13-inch screen with the i7 processor and a reduced 8GB of RAM. The 5G model we’ve reviewed only comes in one configuration, which is displayed on our spec sheet.
Overall, it’s a surprisingly reasonable price for the base model, even if the i7 versions do push this laptop into premium territory. The starting price is actually lower than the original Galaxy Book Pro was at launch, which we think Samsung deserves a pat on the back for.
- Price and availability: 4/5
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro: Design
- Absolutely gorgeous AMOLED display
- Keyboard and trackpad are excellent
- Great selection of ports
The general aesthetic here hasn’t changed much since the first iteration of the Galaxy Book Pro, retaining a certain level of sophisticated minimalism. This isn’t a particularly showy laptop, but the matte chassis in dark ‘graphite’ gray with the reflective Samsung logo atop the lid is a refined design that we’ve come to appreciate.
Opening up the lid, the first thing we notice is the incredibly vibrant and colorful screen. This 15.6-inch AMOLED panel offers a stellar 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 120% color volume, which makes for deep, dark blacks and colors that pop. The maximum brightness is more than sufficient for outdoor use provided there’s not too much glare, and the thin bezel around the screen keeps the laptop’s overall footprint small. Above the screen sits a solid full HD webcam.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro wields a full-size keyboard complete with numpad, a useful inclusion for professionals. It’s gently backlit with white LEDs, a non-intrusive feature that makes using the Book2 Pro in darkened environments a bit easier. The power button – which doubles as a fingerprint sensor for quicker logins – is located in the top-right corner of the keyboard.
Typing on the Galaxy Book2 Pro is a very pleasant experience, as the keys have a surprising amount of travel and good responsiveness despite the laptop’s ultra-thin form factor. The 15-inch scale means that the keyboard isn’t too badly truncated, with nice large keys that keep erroneous keystrokes to a minimum.
Beneath the keyboard rests a sizeable trackpad, which we found very responsive and easy to use, with a good firm click. We’ve seen too many 15-inch laptops that fail to take advantage of the larger form factor and stick with a relatively dinky trackpad, so this is a welcome sight.
Although it might have a super-thin design, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro doesn’t compromise on physical connectivity. We’ve got USB-A, two USB-Cs (one of which is Thunderbolt 4-enabled and doubles as the charger port), a microSD card slot, headphone jack, and even HDMI video output. It’s an extremely solid selection for this sort of laptop, and at this price point. The 5G version is perfect for working on the go, too.
We honestly struggled to find anything to criticize about this laptop’s design, beyond the fact that the screen hinge is a little wobbly (not an unusual issue with thin-and-light laptops) and the dark matte exterior has a tendency to pick up fingerprint smudges – as you can see from some of our images.
- Design: 5/5
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro: Performance
- 12th-gen Intel CPU is great
- Thermal performance has been improved this time around
- Bloatware remains an issue
Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R20 Multi-core: 3,482
GeekBench 5: 1,490 (single-core); 7,511 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home test): 5,101
PCMark 10 (Battery Life test): 14 hrs 16 mins
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 16 hrs 38 mins
Intel’s 12th-generation ‘Alder Lake’ processors benefit from a new type of core architecture: a mixture of powerful ‘performance cores’ and energy-saving ‘efficiency cores’ that allows the processor to more efficiently manage different workloads. The i5-1240P in this Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro has four P-cores and eight E-cores for a total of twelve, which should be plenty for general productivity use.
Performance here is almost on par with previous-gen i7 CPUs, which is seriously impressive for an i5 chip. The new core architecture means that the processor particularly excels in multi-core tasks, like photo and video editing.
General use feels great, with the laptop booting near-instantly and experiencing no lag or delays when using multiple apps at once. Windows 11 feels smooth, and opening a dozen-plus tabs in Chrome didn’t result in any noticeable slowdown. It’s generally a pleasure to use thanks to the responsive keyboard and trackpad and excellent screen. One benefit of the 12th-gen Intel processor is reduced waste heat, which means that this Galaxy Book never got too warm during our testing.
Playing the latest triple-A games isn’t really an option here, since the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro lacks a dedicated graphics card, but the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics still perform reasonably well. Indie games, older titles, and games with 2D graphics are very much on the table, though, which is great.
The wimpy speakers of the original Book Pro have been updated too, with dual AKG stereo speakers powered by Dolby Atmos. They’re still unexciting compared to the speakers you’d find on a bigger or more expensive laptop, but there’s definite improvement here in the bass and higher pitches.
One small bit of beef we do have with Samsung here is the amount of bloatware that comes pre-loaded on the Galaxy Book2 Pro. We called out Samsung for it last time around, and it’s still a problem here; we don’t want an antivirus trial, dammit! There’s also a tonne of tools designed to work in the ‘Galaxy Ecosystem’, which are moderately useful for owners of a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet but otherwise just take up real estate on your drive.
- Performance: 4/5
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro: Battery Life
- Absolutely stellar battery life
- 14+ hours of mixed use
- Fast charge via Thunderbolt 4
The original Galaxy Book Pro was a powerhouse when it came to battery life, and the Book2 Pro is no slouch either. It smashes the Intel Evo laptop target of nine hours, lasting for a whopping 16 and a half hours in our looped movie battery life test, very similar to the performance of its predecessor.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro actually outstrips its progenitor in battery life when it comes to productivity workloads, managing 14 hours and 16 minutes in the PCMark 10 battery test. This is a frankly staggering result for such a thin-and-light laptop, outstripping many of its competitors in the same price range and beyond.
Obviously if you’re going to max the brightness, turn on the keyboard backlighting, and set the Windows 11 battery profile to ‘Performance’, you won’t hit these figures. Still, the Galaxy Book2 Pro should be comfortably able to last for a full work day and a lengthy commute without needing to be charged once – oh, and it charges to full in an hour thanks to the Thunderbolt 4 power delivery, too.
- Battery Life: 5/5