When I tried Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro At the beginning of this year, I became interested in almost everything. However, there was one major complaint I had with the laptop – it’s just a touch expensive.
Now, Samsung has introduced a non-Pro version with a much lower price tag. So, of course, I had to try. Could this be Windows laptop what we have been waiting for? or are too many corners cut to arrive at a competitive price? I set off to investigate.
I’ve been testing the Core i7 1355U model, which comes in at £899 in the UK or $999 in the US (though with 16GB of RAM rather than 8GB). However, it is also available with a Core i3 or i5 processor, starting at just £599.
Samsung Galaxy Book 3
The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 is a well-built, slim and light notebook that works very well. Some corners were cut to reach this price, however, the display, webcam and battery life leave something to be desired.
- A small decorative pattern
- Solid construction
- Lightweight and portable
- Great performance
- There is no backlight for the keyboard
- The central display is a webcam
- 16:9 ratio sounds small
Design and construction
- Dimensions: 356.6 x 229.1 x 15.4mm
- Weight: 1.57kg
- Full aluminum frame, Graphite only
- The integer is the maximum I/O
The Galaxy Book 3 makes a good first impression, on the outside, it’s very similar to the Galaxy Book 3 Pro, with an all-aluminum build and the same Graphite finish we’ve come to love on the more expensive model. This time, it’s the only finish available in the UK, but I think it looks great. The only thing that annoys me is how it attracts fingerprints and smudges. It’s far from the worst offender, but it’s the least.
Where the Galaxy Book 3 differs slightly is in its dimensions. This model uses a 16:9 display, and this means that it is about 2cm smaller. When unfolded, the keyboard appears to be the same size, but the palm rest and trackpad are reduced. This is fine for me, the trackpad on the Pro version is too big in my opinion.
For this reason, I like this model’s trackpad, you don’t have to reach far, and it performed very well in my testing. Nothing to write home about, but I can’t imagine anyone complaining about their performance, either.
The keyboard is a little more convincing, with a full numpad, which some people may like, but this makes the layout a bit cramped and I found myself hitting the wrong keys at times when touch typing. This is the kind of thing you’ll get used to after a while, but as someone who doesn’t use numbers, it’s just a little frustrating.
It is also not backlit, which is unusual for a laptop in this price category, and one of the first signs of a lower price compared to the Pro line. Otherwise, it’s a good keyboard, it’s a little undersized and the keys feel good on the board.
I/O is good, and on par with more expensive models. You get two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, a headphone/mic socket, an HDMI output and a MicroSD card reader. The difference here is that there is none Thunder supportyou only get a USB 3.2 Gen 1 connection. It’s fine for my needs, but anyone who relies on Thunder peripherals will want to ditch this version.
Display, speakers and webcam
- 15.6-inch 1920×1080 16:9 IPS (matte)
- 60Hz refresh rate, 300 nits brightness
- Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
- 720p webcam
The display is a highlight of the Pro version, but sadly, that’s not the case here. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great, there’s a lot of contrast and the matte finish helps it stand out in different lighting, but everywhere else it’s pretty good.
It has 1080p resolution and 60Hz revival costespecially the least you can expect from a high-end laptop in 2023. With a 300-nit output, it’s not very bright, but it’s better in bright rooms because of the matte finish, I wouldn’t like its problems to be directly connected. sunshine, though.
The 16:9 aspect ratio is a bit difficult as most laptops have switched to 16:10. You get used to it quickly, but I really like the 16:10 display, just so you can see more on a page or document without having to scroll. Of course, you can reduce the zoom to fit more on the screen, but with the FHD panel, that’s as far as you can go.
The speakers are very impressive, especially considering the slim chassis and the absence of visible grilles. There are many sounds, and it is a very interesting sound. Bass response is a little lacking, but it’s fine by laptop standards. The main volume is at the bottom, but usually there is no distortion, which would be worth the exchange.
The webcom has also seen a drop in the Galaxy Book 3. This time it’s a 720p unit, and it’s not terrible, but it’s not surprising, especially in limited situations. However, it will get the job done on the odd Zoom call, and you won’t have any complaints from those on the other end. It also helps Windows Helloso you can log into Windows without typing your password, which is a feature I’m glad to see.
Hardware and functionality
- Intel 13th Gen Core i7 1355U
- 8GB LPDDR4X
- 512GB NVMe SSD
- 54Wh battery, 65W USB-C charging
So, there have been a few disappointments so far, but the good news is that what they are doing is not one of them. As I said, I am testing the i7 1355U version, which is the most powerful of the group, and even with 8GB of RAM, it has very good performance.
My daily tasks usually consist of a lot of Photoshop work, endless Chrome tabs and high quality video downloads. I’m always plugged into the second screen to multitask, too. The Galaxy Book 3 didn’t break a sweat with my regular laptop, so I thought I’d better try something more serious.
Galaxy Book 3 is not designed as a game machine and every mental space. However, I was surprised to find that it would work GTA:V in 1080p at a very tight 30fps and it doesn’t sound too loud, either. If you’re looking to run low-end games, you’ll find that the Galaxy Book handles them well, perhaps with the i7 model.
At the most practical level, it handles video editing very well. I was able to capture 4K images The price of GH6 without issue, and gameplay remained incredibly smooth throughout. Of course, there are limitations to using a small and light notebook for video editing, but as long as you’re not working with a lot of components, the Galaxy Book 3 will get the job done.
Included NVMe SSD it’s good, and in my testing, it was up to about 2200 MB/s for reading and 1250 MB/s for writing. The result is a faster and more responsive system and a faster start-up time. It’s not up there with the latest PCIe Gen 4 drives, but it’s plenty fast for casual users.
The Galaxy Book 3 has a 54Wh battery, which is significantly smaller than the 76Wh pack found in the Pro model. However, with this model having a large FHD IPS display without power, I was interested to see if it would be enough. In practice, the results are the same, you can manage about 7 hours of web browsing and video playback, so it is not enough for a full working day, but useful for the needs of many people.
It charges with the same 65W USB-C wall adapter, which is the same as your phone charger, and is easy to take with you. You can also add with a power bankas long as it can output 65W.
The Galaxy Book 3 comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed, and it’s a bloat-free installation. There are a bunch of Samsung’s own apps that let you connect to other Samsung products, like your phone, tablet and SmartThings devices – and you might find them useful if you’re a Samsung fan. I personally do not have many Samsung devices to test these things, so they are not very useful for me. Otherwise, there’s McAfee’s anti-virus test installed, and that’s about it – a refreshing change from other mid-range options.
All in all, the Galaxy Book 3 is a mixed bag. There are things I like about this, the build and styling are top notch, the speakers are great and the performance is great. The port selection is also above average and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity is nice to have.
However, many corners have been cut to sell it at a very affordable price. The display is good, but at 1080p resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate, it’s not great. The keyboard does not have a backlight, and at this price, it is unacceptable. The webcam is also mid-range, as is the battery life.
Overall, it’s a great laptop. It performs very well, is thin and light, and feels like a quality instrument. But the model I tested, with a retail price approaching £900, doesn’t do much to set itself apart from the competition. Laptops like Acer’s Swift Go 14 it’s not perfect either, but the overall performance is improved here – even the design is a little rough.
There is a better way to make Samsung’s £600 Core i3 model, but you lose the ability I experienced with this method, so it’s hard to say how good the model will be.
If you see the Galaxy Book 3 for sale at a good price, it’s a solid laptop that won’t disappoint with its performance and build quality, but for a full sale, I think you can find a better price elsewhere.