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Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360's gorgeous AMOLED touchscreen, great battery life, and comfy S Pen stylus make it a great 2-in-1 for creatives, students, and professionals.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

With its beautiful AMOLED touchscreen, great battery life, and comfortable S Pen stylus packed in, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a great laptop for creatives, students, and professionals who like to take notes or doodle.

For

  • Beautiful 1080p AMOLED display with thin bezels
  • Great battery life
  • Remarkably thin and light
  • S Pen stylus makes doodling on your laptop feel fun

Against

  • Bad webcam
  • Screen could be brighter
  • Samsung apps feel like bloatware if you don't own Galaxy devices

Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a remarkably thin and light convertible laptop with a gorgeous AMOLED touchscreen and a speedy Intel 11th Gen CPU under the hood. While the webcam leaves something to be desired, the Galaxy Book Pro 360's good performance, great battery life, and beautiful display make it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market. In fact, it's so good that it won recommendations for best laptop overall and best laptop display in our Tom's Guide Awards 2021.

15-inch Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 specs

Price: $1,299 - $1,499
Display:
15.6-inch 1080p Super AMOLED
CPU:
Intel Core i7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics
RAM:
8-16 GB
Storage:
512 GB - 1 TB SSD
Ports: 1 Thunderbolt 4, 1 USB-C, 1 USB 3.2, MicroSD reader, headphone/mic jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 802.11 ax
Battery: 16 hours (Samsung claims), 13.5 hours (tested)
Dimensions:
14 x 8.9 x 0.5 inches
Weight:
3 pounds

That's a big deal for Samsung because the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is one of the flagship products in its new line of Galaxy notebooks, which was unveiled in a special laptop-centric 2021 Galaxy Unpacked event. Despite being a market leader in smartphones, tablets, and displays, Samsung has never earned a reputation for building amazing laptops. That may be about to change, as the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 we reviewed is thin, light, and powerful enough to compete with some of the best laptops on the market.

Read on for an in-depth review of the Galaxy Book Pro 360, which unites some of the latest and greatest Windows ultraportable components with the Super AMOLED display tech and Galaxy device ecosystem Samsung is known for — though that last part may be more hassle than help if you're not already a Galaxy device owner. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Price and availability 

  • Two sizes available: 13-inch ($1,199) and 15-inch ($1,299)
  • Intel Core i7 CPUs come standard, can pay $200 to double RAM and storage

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 is currently available for purchase via Samsung’s website with a starting price of $1,199, though you may be able to get a better deal if you trade an eligible device in or catch a good sale.

You can buy it in two different sizes, a 13.3-inch or a 15.6-inch, and the larger one costs $100 more, making for a starting price of $1,299. Both sizes ship with 11th Gen Intel i7 CPUs, and you can also choose to double the RAM and storage — from 8 to 16 GB and from 512 GB to 1 TB, respectively — for an additional $200.

The 15.6-inch unit we reviewed came with the beefier storage loadout of a 1 TB NVMe SSD and 16 GB of RAM, meaning it retails for about $1,499.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Design

  • Remarkably thin and light: just half an inch thick and 3 lbs heavy
  • Sturdy chassis, but hinges and keyboard deck feel vulnerable to wear
  • Nice thin bezels around the AMOLED display

The 15.6-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 feels thin and sturdy, with a sleek aluminum chassis available in either Mystic Navy or Mystic Bronze. Our review unit is bronze, and in person it’s quite a pretty hue, though you’d be forgiven for calling it rose gold. 

The hinges on this convertible 2-in-1 laptop feel smooth and strong, at least fresh out of the box. They’re weak enough that if you close the laptop about 80 percent of the way gravity will do the rest of the work, but strong enough that while it was open I had no trouble or wobble while tapping on the screen. Open it all the way up to turn the Galaxy Book Pro 360 into a serviceable (if tall) tablet, with a touchscreen that feels accurate and responsive.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

The display itself is surrounded by wonderfully thin bezels on every side save the bottom, where a small ( about 15 mm) black bezel sports a subtle Samsung logo. The bezels aren’t quite as thin as those on the s’s beautiful InfinityEdge display, but they’re close, and they’re small enough to disappear when you’re looking at the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s vibrant AMOLED screen.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

At 3 pounds heavy and about half an inch thick, the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s chassis is light enough that you should be able to tote it around all day in a backpack or side bag without much trouble. While it feels sturdy enough to work on all day, I wouldn’t put it through too much rough stuff: I noticed some disconcerting creaks coming from the keyboard deck when I put more than two hands’ worth of weight on it, as well as a bit of flexion when I gripped it at each end and tried to bend it. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Display

  • 1080p AMOLED display delivers vibrant colors and beautiful contrasts
  • Screen can't get very bright

Let’s talk about the display for a minute. Sure, it can’t do 4K, but the 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy Book Pro 360 helps movies and games look gorgeous. The "Super" part is just a marketing term Samsung uses for its AMOLED displays with a built-in touchscreen digitizer, but in my experience the screen looks good enough to merit a few superlatives. 

For starters, colors look vibrant and fine details stand out while watching videos and movies on the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s HDR-capable AMOLED display. Bright, colorful scenes like those found in nature documentaries and Marvel movies look gorgeous, and even in darker films like Knives Out the screen does a great job of showcasing fine detail in light and shadow, especially if you’re watching HDR content.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, you’ll have to make sure HDR support is turned on to get the best picture quality while watching HDR content — Windows 10 switches it off by default when the laptop’s not plugged in, to save battery.

Bright, colorful games like Fortnite also look great on the display, as do the fine details and richer hues of a game like Crusader Kings 3. However, if HDR is important to you keep in mind that you’ll have a hard time finding a lot of HDR-capable PC games that run well on the Galaxy Book Pro 360 — HDR support is still rare in the PC game market, and the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s lack of a discrete GPU keeps it from being able to run graphically-demanding PC games well.

In terms of hard numbers, our testing revealed the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s screen is able to achieve 120.2% of the sRGB color spectrum. That’s quite good, and a bit better than the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 (109.8%) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (101.1%). However, it’s still a bit behind the Dell XPS 15 (132.2%) with its gorgeous 4K InfinityEdge display.

One potential drawback of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s display: it doesn’t get terribly bright. I didn’t find this to be a problem very often since details and colors look so sharp on the screen, but it did occasionally make it hard to eliminate glare in bright rooms. Our testing backs this up: when we pointed a light gun at the laptop’s display we measured an average brightness of 264.4 nits, which is less than the average brightness of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 (334.4 nits), the Dell XPS 15 (434.2 nits), or the M1-equipped MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (439 nits and 365.8 nits, respectively).

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Ports

  • Thunderbolt 4 port and microSD card reader are nice to have
  • No USB-A port for older accessories

I hope you like USB-C, because that’s mostly what you get on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifically, you get a vanilla USB-C port, a USB 3.2 port, and a Thunderbolt 4 port, along with a headphone jack and a microSD card reader on the right side.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

 The laptop charger is USB-C as well, so you can plug it into any of the ports to charge up. That part feels slick and simple; just be aware you’re going to have to give up your old USB-A accessories or invest in adapters to use them with the Galaxy Book Pro 360. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Performance

  • Great performance in everyday use, though tests show room for improvement
  • NVMe SSD delivers speedy file transfers

The Intel Core i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM in our review unit ensured it had no trouble handling whatever multi-tasking tests I could think to throw at it. I went so far as to open 30+ tabs across Chrome and Edge while watching 3 different video streams (Twitch, YouTube, and Amazon Prime) and playing Crusader Kings III in windowed fullscreen mode, and I could swap between them all without the Galaxy Book Pro 360 missing a beat.

When we put it to the test using Geekbench 5 our Galaxy Book Pro 360 review unit earned 5,575 in the multi-core CPU benchmark, which is a good score. Still, it can’t quite match the  6,174 earned by a similarly-priced Dell XPS 15 (2020) with a 10th Gen Intel CPU. The AMD-powered 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 did better as well, earning a score of 6,748. The MacBook Pro with M1 (5,945) and the MacBook Air with M1 (5,962) also outperformed the Galaxy Book Pro 360, thanks to Apple’s custom silicon.

In contrast the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s SSD proved quite speedy in our file transfer tests, copying 25 GB of multimedia files at a rate of 869.5 MBps. That’s faster than the Dell XPS 15 (708.9 MBps), the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 (372.49 MBps), and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (424.8 MBps). 

If you’re looking to do some video editing work on the Galaxy Book Pro 360, you should know that it took 16 minutes and 24 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p using Handbrake. That’s a bit slow compared to similarly-priced laptops like the Dell XPS 15 (10:06), the 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 (8:21), and the M1-powered MacBook Pro (7:46). 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Games

  • No discrete GPU means middling performance at best in most 3D games
  • But you can still play Fortnite, as well as plenty of less demanding PC games

Without a discrete GPU the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 will have a hard time running the most demanding games, but you can still have some fun with it. I was able to play a less demanding 3D game like Fortnite at 15-30 frames per second on high graphics settings, or 30-60 if I dialed the graphics down to low. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

Less demanding games like Civilization 6, Crusader Kings 3, and Into the Breach also all run quite well on the laptop. We put it to the test running the 1080p graphics benchmark test for Civilization 6: Gathering Storm, and the Galaxy Book Pro 360 was able to deliver 26.9 frames per second, which is better than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (23.3 fps) but not quite as good as the M1-equipped MacBook Pro (38 fps). 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Keyboard and touchpad

  • Full keyboard can take some getting used to
  • Large trackpad is easy to use and as responsive as you want

The 15.6-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 has a full keyboard, complete with number pad. It took a while to get comfortable typing on it, because the keys feel a bit small and the home row is a bit off-center to accommodate the number pad. 

Once I got used to it the words started flowing easily, and I was able to hit a reasonable 99 words per minute in a 10fastfingers.com typing test. The keys feel a bit shallow but satisfying to type on, with 1 mm of travel and backlighting that can be configured to adapt to ambient light conditions. Also, there's a fingerprint reader  built into the power button on the keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

Below the keyboard is a generously-sized trackpad that feels smooth and responsive. If you’re the type to swipe your way through the day using Windows’ touchpad gestures, you won’t have any trouble on this laptop. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Audio

  • Speakers deliver great high- and mid-range tones, could use better bass
  • Sound quality seems best when you're using it as a laptop

Music, dialogue, and sound effects all sound quite good coming out of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s AKG stereo speakers. High- and mid-range stuff sounds great: vocals on tracks like Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and Norah Jones’ Don’t Know Why sound crisp and warm, and the guitar work on something like Rush’s Working Man was clear and vibrant enough to fill my whole apartment. Bass is a little more underwhelming: I enjoyed the drumwork of something like Massive Attack’s Angel coming out of the Galaxy Book 360’s speakers, but I didn’t feel it the way you might hope. 

The speakers themselves sound best to my ears when you have the laptop open on a desk or in your lap, as the sound seems to reflect off the surface and punch up through the keyboard deck. They still sound pretty good when you flip the laptop around and leave it open like a tent, or fold it all the way over into tablet mode, but there’s a bit less bass and everything sounds a bit more muted.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Webcam

  • 720p webcam is a disappointment in the age of remote work
  • Delivers grainy, washed-out images

If there’s one unequivocally disappointing part of Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Pro 360, it’s the webcam. The 720p camera built into the top edge of the display seems to have a hard time capturing fine detail, and during video calls it made me look grainy and washed-out. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

Living under global quarantine conditions for a year and change has done plenty to make me look pale and tired; the last thing I need my webcam to do is enhance the effect. At a time when video calls are more important than ever, it’s a shame to see Samsung skimp on the quality of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s webcam.  

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: S Pen

  • S Pen stylus is great for doodling or making annotations
  • Slightly magnetized edge is too weak to reliably hold the stylus to the laptop

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 ships with an S Pen stylus that Samsung claims is 2.5x thicker than the S Pen it packed in with the Galaxy Book Flex. I never had a chance to try the old S Pen, but this new one is just barely thick enough to feel comfortable in my (admittedly too-large) hands. It feels good to use in drawing and painting apps, but where the S Pen really shines is scribbling notes via the smorgasbord of built-in apps. 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review

(Image credit: Future)

When you depress the button near the tip of the S Pen while the stylus is within an inch or so of the screen a customizable menu pops out of the side of the screen listing shortcuts for apps to do things like take notes, take screenshots and then doodle notes on top of them, or create digital art. It’s a fun touch, especially if you spend a lot of time working with documents, projects, or images that you need to send to others with specific areas highlighted — it’s easy to imagine someone marking up a slide deck with doodled annotations on screenshots, and in my own D&D game I was able to pull up digital .pdfs and doodle all over them, then send the results around to other players.

The S Pen is also slightly magnetized along its one flat edge, presumably so you can lay it against metal objects like the laptop’s chassis and trust that it will stay put. It’s a nice thought, though in practice I could only get it to stick to the back of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s display, and even there it would start to slide off pretty easily. I’d have much preferred a little cubby along the side of the laptop where you can stash the stylus when you aren’t using it, but you won’t find anything like that on the Galaxy Book Pro 360.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Software

  • Built-in Samsung apps might be helpful if you own other Galaxy devices
  • But if you don't, they can feel like a lot of useless cruft

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 comes kitted out with a bunch of Samsung software, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on whether you already use Samsung devices. I don’t, unfortunately, but if you do you might appreciate all the extra functionality the company has built into its Galaxy devices. 

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 comes with a suite of options for connecting to other Galaxy hardware (or presumably any device running Android 7.0+ or later) and sharing information, displays, and phone calls across devices. Link it up with your Galaxy smartphone, for example, and you should be able to view your phone’s notifications and take calls right on the laptop. It also arrives with Samsung’s SmartThings app installed, which lets you control SmartThings-compatible smarthome devices like lights, appliances and thermostats.

If you don’t have any other Samsung gear and just want to use the Galaxy Book Pro 360 as a Windows laptop, you may find the layer of Samsung apps built atop Windows to be a bit frustrating. Samsung has built in a lot of extra options for tuning the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s battery and display performance, for example, so you can look forward to 

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Battery life

  • Great battery life: 13 and a half hours on a single charge
  • Quick-charging adapter took battery from 3% to 45% in an hour

The battery on our Galaxy Book Pro 360 review unit is so good I never had to worry about running dry during the day, which is exactly what you want from your laptop. 

In our battery test, which puts the laptop to work continuously browsing the web over Wi-Fi, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 lasted 13 and a half hours on a single charge. That’s impressive for an Intel-driven laptop, and it trounces similarly-priced Windows notebooks like the Dell XPS 13 (11:07), Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano (12:00), and Microsoft’s 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 (12:03). 

As good as the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is at sipping battery, it still can’t match the efficiency of laptops packing Apple silicon: the MacBook Pro with M1 lasted an incredible 16 hours and 25 minutes, while the MacBook Air with M1 lasted 14 hours and 41 minutes in the same test. 

Still, while I doubt you’ll ever get the maximum 21 hours of battery life Samsung claims the Galaxy Book Pro 360 can achieve, you should have enough juice to get through your day without needing a charger. The battery pretty quickly, too — I plugged the laptop in at 3% power and 30 minutes later, it was at 26%; 30 minutes after that it hit 45%, meaning you can get nearly a full battery on two hours’ charge.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Heat

  • Heat is almost never noticeable
  • Hottest temp during lab testing was 85.5 degrees on the underside

I doubt heat will be a concern for you with this laptop, as I had a hard time pushing the Galaxy Book Pro 360 hard enough to make it heat up. Even at the height of my testing, when I was trying to play games with all sorts of apps open in the background, the bottom of the chassis never got more than comfortably warm in my lap. 

When we pointed a temperature gun at the Galaxy Book Pro 360 we found the hottest point to be on the underside, where it warmed up to 85.5 degrees during testing.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: Verdict

With its beautiful AMOLED touchscreen, great battery life, and comfortable S Pen stylus packed in, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a great laptop for creatives, students, and professionals who like to take notes or doodle on their work.

It's also a great choice for anyone seeking a general-purpose Windows laptop that can transform into a big tablet, though if performance is a priority and you don't care about the tablet functionality you might be happier with the Dell XPS 13 or its larger sibling, the Dell XPS 15. If you're amenable to Apple products, you could also get better performance and battery life out of the M1-equipped MacBook Pro for roughly the same price, though you wouldn't get a touchscreen.

However, the fact that the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is good enough to compete with the best laptops from market leaders like Dell and Apple is a big win for Samsung. If you're looking for a new Windows 2-in-1, rest assured that the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is an excellent choice — especially if you're already invested in the Galaxy device ecosystem.

Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. Got a hot tip? Get in touch via alex.wawro@futurenet.com.