Samsung has announced two updates to its premium Galaxy Book line: the Galaxy Book 2 Pro and Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360. The devices start at $1,049.99 and $1,249.99 respectively; they hit shelves on April 1, and pre-orders begin on March 18. A budget-oriented Galaxy Book 2 360, a convertible version of the regular Galaxy Book, will also ship on April 1 with a starting price of $899.99.
Both Pro models are available in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch sizes, while the regular Book 2 360 is just a 13.3-inch. As you can probably guess from the names, the Galaxy Book 2 Pro is a clamshell, while the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 is a 2-in-1 convertible with a touchscreen and S Pen support.
These devices look and feel like the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 models we reviewed last year. Like its predecessor, the smallest Galaxy Book 2 Pro is just 1.92 pounds and 0.44 inches thick. It’s still one of the absolute lightest clamshell laptops you can buy, and picking it up will blow your mind. But it also makes remarkably few compromises for that portability. The 15-incher in particular manages to squeeze an HDMI port into that small chassis. Many laptops of this size today do not include USB-C. (The 360 model is, as you might expect, a bit heavier.)
The primary chassis update is that all new models will have 1080p webcams. There are also some new software features meant to enhance the video calling experience, including some new background and face effect features, as well as an Auto Framing tool that keeps you centered as you move. This is a fairly predictable investment as more and more workers continue to embrace remote and hybrid setups.
The screens (all FHD AMOLED) are also brighter than on last year’s models. I wasn’t floored by the brightness of any of the 2021 Galaxy Book Pros, so I’m happy to see this change. I did catch some glare from the bright lights in Samsung’s demo room, though I had no trouble seeing anything on the screens. Unfortunately, all of these devices still have the damned 16:9 aspect ratio that many other premium lines have abandoned this year.
In addition to graphite and silver, the Pro convertible is also available in a new color burgundy red. It’s very pretty in person and smooth to the touch, although the graphite offering is still my favorite.
These devices can be configured with a 12th-generation Core i7, 32 GB of RAM (the Book 2 360 is up to 16 GB), and 1 TB of storage (the Book 2 360 goes up to 512 GB). Samsung says they will be certified through Intel’s Evo program (meaning Intel guarantees a device’s performance, battery life, and other key features are in order).
The Pro models meet Microsoft’s “secured-core PC” requirements, meaning they include several hardware-based security components, such as TPM 2.0 and virtualization-based security, as well as features that consumers may find more important, such as biometric authentication. (Both devices have fingerprint sensors in their power buttons.)
And both Pro models support a few Samsung-specific connectivity features, which have always been a big draw for Galaxy Books among Samsung enthusiasts. These include Single Sign-on, Smart Switch (making it easier to transfer data, photos, settings, etc. between PCs), and support for the SmartThings smart home dashboard.
An interesting addition is Multi Control, which allows you to use a Galaxy Tab S8 as a secondary screen in addition to a Galaxy Book 2 Pro. I got to try this out with a 15-inch Book 2 Pro 360, and it was functional; I was able to successfully move the cursor back and forth between the two Galaxy devices, dragging windows and the like. I experienced a significant lag when navigating the Tab S8 – the cursor seemed to struggle to keep up with my gestures, although it did eventually follow them. This is something I hope Samsung irons out as the release date approaches.
Stay tuned for our full reviews of these devices, where we’ll get more impressions of the new webcams and software features.
Photography by Monica Chin