Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 review with pros and cons | 91mobiles.com
Everything from your fridge to your phone carries Samsung branding, so why not your laptop? With its recent foray into the Indian laptop segment, the brand is certainly vying for that. This isn’t the brand’s first rodeo in the Indian laptop industry though, and the new range of laptops marks Samsung’s comeback into an arena which has already seen a bit of a rollercoaster ride in the last couple of years. The rollercoaster analogy is apt because while the work-from-home / learn-from-home scenario bumped up the demand quite a bit, the supply chain challenges and chipset shortages kept things on tenterhooks. Meanwhile, new-age brands like Xiaomi and Realme also marked / ramped up their presence in the segment, challenging incumbents like HP, Dell, Apple, Acer, ASUS etc who’ve been around for years. Samsung’s re-entry into the laptop sector will see it compete against all these brands. The new laptops from Samsung use the company’s popular Galaxy branding, hitherto seen on Samsung’s phones, tablets, and wearables, and barring one model, mostly seem positioned in the premium space. I have with me the top-end model in the lineup, which is a 2-in-1 that comes in the form of the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360. It’s Evo certified, so it conforms to the stringent norms set by Intel, covering various factors like battery life, charging speeds and wake-up times.
I must admit that the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 (which is a mouthful of a name really), is among the sleekest, lightest laptops I’ve had the pleasure of trying out. Thin as a sliver (11.4mm) and featherweight at 1.04 kg, this machine can disappear into a sleeve or a backpack, and be carried around without the slightest discomfort. If you tend to move your laptop around at home or office while working, or find yourself hopping from one conference room to the next, the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is an ideal machine to have too.
The laptop looks elegant in silver, with the lid bearing Samsung branding and the hinges visible prominently on top. These hinges spill over to the back till they meet the base, with the underside of the machine having holes for the speakers and the cooling vents.
Of course, this is a 2-in-1, so the screen flips around all the way to the back, allowing you to use the device as a tablet or prop it up in tent mode for viewing content. The light weight of the machine helps quite a bit when holding it and using it as a tablet too. Samsung even bundles an S Pen along with the Book2 Pro 360, so you can draw, scribble notes, and doodle to your heart’s content. The S Pen is quite smooth and works well too, but there’s no place to store it or attach it to the laptop… so you’d need to be careful and make sure you don’t misplace it. Also, I think the hinges on the laptop are a bit soft, and should be stiffer. This is because the screen tends to tilt back on its own when one holds the base and lifts the laptop up quickly – something you’d do while moving it from, say, one room to the other.
The left edge has a couple of USB Type-C ports (with one of them supporting Thunderbolt 4), while the right is home to another Type-C port, a 3.5 audio port and a microSD card slot. Safe to say that wired connectivity isn’t its strongest suit and you’d need suitable adapters or dongles (ideally a Type-C hub with multiple ports) for connecting peripherals, flash drives and accessories. For wireless connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.
The lid opens up to reveal the 13.3-inch touchscreen display. Offering FHD resolution, this screen is surrounded by slim bezels on three sides, with a wider chin below. This display utilises an AMOLED panel, and we all know how strong Samsung is in this department. The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360’s display is gorgeous, offering bright, crisp visuals with vivid colours and deep blacks. Needless to add, everything you do on the laptop gets a boost because of this – the text in documents is razor-sharp, your presentations pop, and images and videos look great.
The full-sized keyboard and the generously-proportioned trackpad lie below. The keys are spacious, and offer ample travel too. Combined with the highly responsive touchpad, the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 offers a superb input experience and one that should definitely add to your productivity. There’s hardly any learning curve involved, so you can start thumping out those long emails pretty much right away. Worth mentioning that there’s a three-step backlight available, allowing you to work easily in dim environs. In fact, the backlight can come on automatically when ambient lighting gets low. The settings for this feature and the brightness etc can be controlled via the preloaded Samsung Settings app. Oh, lest I forget, the power button on the top right of the keyboard integrates a fingerprint scanner, which works quickly and accurately to give you access to the device in a jiffy.
In terms of software, you get Windows 11 Home preloaded. As a brand, Samsung is quite big on its ecosystem of devices and related services, so it has grabbed the chance and preloaded a few utilities and apps on the laptop that should be useful for you if you own a Samsung tablet or smartphone already or are otherwise invested into the brand’s ecosystem. The preloaded Samsung Notes, for example, can sync your notes across your other Samsung devices, while Second Screen allows you to use a Samsung tablet as a secondary display for your laptop. Then there’s Samsung Settings, which gives you more control over various aspects of the laptop, including sound, display, battery, keyboard etc. In fact, this app has a Multi control feature that allows your cursor and keyboard to move to other Galaxy tablets and notebooks on the same Wi-Fi network, letting you control them from one place and enabling you to drag and drop items between them too.
I won’t get into the details of all the preloaded apps, but they include Samsung Account, Samsung Device Care, Samsung File Tracker, Samsung Flow, Samsung Gallery, Samsung Recovery, Samsung Security, Samsung Studio Plus, Samsung Update, SmartThings, and the brand’s smart assistant Bixby. Now that’s a whole lot of Samsung-branded software, but thankfully, it looks like most of it can be uninstalled if you don’t have use for it.
Next up, performance. Number crunching on the device is handled by the 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1260P processor, mated to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Also on board is 512GB storage, which is an NVMe SSD. The combination offers great performance, handling not just the usual day-to-to day, but intensive tasks with ease. Intel’s’ Iris Xe graphics handle the GPU side of things, so this is not really a device meant for gaming, but otherwise, it can take on almost anything with relative ease. The underside of the laptop gets a bit warm when stressed, especially when there isn’t proper ventilation, so you should keep that in mind. A 63Wh battery provides the juice and the device can easily last a day’s worth of usage. Videos and video calls do take their toll on the battery, but unless you spend hours on those, you should be able to eke out a day with medium usage. The bundled 65W Type-C charger, which is quite compact itself and just a tad bigger than a smartphone charger, juices up the laptop in about 2 hours. The AKG-tuned Dolby Atmos speakers are decent in terms of output, while the 1080p webcam serves its purpose for video calls.
Priced at Rs 1,20,990 (for the Core i7 model), Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 certainly doesn’t come cheap, but that’s not too surprising given everything it brings to the table in terms of design, build, performance and features. The Core i5 version can be had for Rs 1,15,990. I do wish the hinges were a tad stiffer and the laptop had more ports, but barring these, the complaints I have with it are tiny niggles compared to the positives it brings. And there are lots, including a svelte, highly portable design, strong performance, a gorgeous screen, and more. Suffice it to say that Samsung’s re-entry into the laptop segment in India is a strong one, and while time will tell how things go for the brand as far as this particular arena is concerned, it could be time for others to worry.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Super-slim and lightweight
- Lovely screen
- Smooth performance
- Ergonomic keyboard
- Needs stiffer hinges
- Could do with more ports
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