The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra will soon be here. This is the most powerful Samsung laptop yet and seems to be a direct rival to the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023). But is the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra a good fit for you?
With the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra available to order starting on February 14, now is the right time to consider whether or not to get Samsung’s new laptop. There’s a lot to like, as detailed in our Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra hands-on review — namely a gorgeous 16-inch 3K AMOLED 120Hz display, the latest components from Intel and Nvidia and a sleek lightweight design.
Here's a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra: Reasons to buy
The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra isn’t directly being marketed as a gaming laptop. But considering how it packs an RTX 40-series mobile GPU under its hood — not to mention a Core i7 or Core i9 CPU — it has similar specs to most of the 7 best gaming laptops of CES 2023. Toss in 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for the high-end configuration, and it’s easy to see where the Ultra derives its name.
According to Nvidia, the RTX 4050 and RTX 4070 GPUs that come in either the entry-level or high-end models of the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra “deliver up to RTX 3080 flagship-class performance at one-third of the power.” We’ll need to run the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra through our benchmark tests to see what it's capable of. But we can reasonably assume it will outperform a notebook packing a last-gen GPU and CPU.
Based on testing performed by sibling site, Tom’s Hardware, the mobile versions of Intel’s “Raptor Lake” CPUs and Nvidia’s RTX 40-series GPUs offer faster performance over their respective last-gen iterations. Because of that, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra could be an incredible gaming laptop.
Gaming laptops have historically been big and bulky. Sure, notebooks like the Alienware x14 and Razer Blade 15 are svelte, but when I think of gaming laptops, machines like the monstrous Maingear Vector Pro or Acer Nitro 5 come to mind. The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is decidedly on the lightweight end of the spectrum.
Like I said in my hands-on review, I almost mistook the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra for the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 due to its light weight. It’s hard to believe such a thin machine packs such powerful components, but Samsung has somehow managed it. It’s also a nice alternative to the big-ass laptops coming out this year.
Gorgeous 16-inch display
The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra isn’t doing anything revolutionary with its 16-inch display. But that doesn’t mean its screen isn’t a selling point.
It has the same AMOLED display technology found in the company’s line of Galaxy S20 phones like the new Samsung Galaxy S23. Utilizing that same tech on such a large screen is, pardon the pun, a big deal.
I watched the Mandalorian season 3 trailer during my hands-on time with the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra and thought it looked amazing. Samsung claims the laptop’s display can reach 400 nits of brightness and 120% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. We won’t know the accuracy of these claims until we’ve run the laptop through our benchmark tests, but I don’t believe our numbers will be too far off — at least based on my subjective experience.
Samsung Multi Control
All of the new Samsung Galaxy Book 3 laptops have a feature called Samsung Multi Control. This feature is effectively Samsung’s way of mimicking the interconnectivity of the Apple ecosystem — and it’s rather impressive.
Multi Control lets you control your Galaxy smartphone with the laptop’s keyboard and touchpad. This enables you to copy, paste or drag and drop files between devices. The Second Screen feature also turns Galaxy tablets into an additional monitor.
If you own one of the best Samsung phones or the best Samsung tablets, you could make great use of Multi Control. I tried this feature during my hands-on preview and it works pretty seamlessly. This feature could improve a Samsung user's productivity.
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra: Reasons to skip
With the entry-level laptop coming in at $2,399 and the high-end version topping out at $2,999, this isn’t exactly an affordable machine for most people. Yes, you could argue that the comparable MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) costs more overall, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Samsung’s machine is decidedly out of reach for all but the most avid gamers or professional video editors.
I try not to hold a device’s price against it, especially if it’s justified as I believe it is here. Still, given the world’s current economic state, some folks may want to go with a cheaper alternative like the Dell XPS 15 OLED (2022). The MacBook Air M2 is also a solid choice for those who like Apple.
You don't own other Samsung devices
As I said above, Multi Control is a great feature for those who use Samsung smartphones and tablets. It’s very similar to the way Apple’s products all play nice with each other. But if you’re not already in the Samsung ecosystem, Multi Control isn’t something you’ll make use of.
The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is still a solid laptop even without Multi Control. But since it’s arguably one of the big reasons to get the notebook, those who won’t utilize it might be better off looking at some of the best Windows laptops or the best MacBooks instead.
There are plenty of reasons to get the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. It packs powerful components into a thin and lightweight chassis, which is ideal for gamers and creatives who are always on the go. And based on our hands-on experience, the notebook’s large and vibrant screen should make it ideal for both work and play. The Samsung Multi Control feature is also another selling point for those in the company’s ecosystem.
Despite its virtues, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra might not be for everyone. Price is the main ding against it, even if its beefy specs justifiably command a higher cost. And while Samsung Multi Control seems to work as advertised, it doesn’t benefit folks without a Samsung phone or tablet.
Stay tuned for our full Galaxy Book 3 Ultra review once we get a unit in our hands.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.