Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is worth the splurge for Samsung fans, despite one big drawback


Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Pros and Cons


  • The OLED display (16-inch, 120Hz, 16:10) is visually stunning
  • An RTX 4050 or 4070 GPU is for graphics-intensive applications
  • Lots of Galaxy sync features
  • Sleek design, even with the full number pad

  • The flickering, flashy display isn’t ideal for travelers
  • Allowed battery life requires powerful cooling
  • Large touchpad leads to inaccurate inputs
  • Where is the full size SD card slot?

Other options to buy

the 16-inch MacBook Pro It is the ultrabook that I have personally used for work and play. (And by “play,” I mean playing with visual effects and graphics in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Playing games on a Mac is still “not recommended.”)

But as Apple continues to improve its premium laptop in incremental but meaningful ways, it’s always interesting to look beyond the walled garden and into the realms of competing laptops.

New from Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra represents the best company ever; One could say it’s the pinnacle of the Galaxy laptop experience, with a series of ecosystem-rich features to underscore Samsung’s commitment.

also: Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra vs. Apple MacBook Pro

I have tested the base Variant $2200 From last week’s Galaxy Book 3 Ultra, and it’s clear to me that Samsung wants it to be at the top of their list of laptop purchases, ideally, higher than the Apple MacBook Pro. Do you succeed? Sure, but only if its gains matter more to you than its losses.

to set

an offer

16-inch 3K AMOLED (2880 x 1800, 16:10) with 120Hz


Intel Core i7-13700H or i9-13900H


Nvidia RTX GeForce 4050 or 4070


16/32 GB RAM with 512 GB / 1 TB storage


76 Wh (up to 17 hours)


13.99 x 9.86 x 0.65 in


3.95 lbs


1x HDMI 2.0, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2, 1x microSD, 1x 3.5mm audio jack


Starting at $2,200

Textbook design, period.

The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra’s design doesn’t move the needle; Hide the Samsung logo on the cover and it could easily pass as just another big-screen laptop stacked up during Black Friday. Fortunately, the Galaxy Book’s sturdy aluminum chassis feels more premium than any discount laptop, and with subtle wedges and smooth curves throughout the chassis, the 16-inch makes a better impression of portability than the MacBook Pro’s predecessor. similar size. If I had to carry a laptop around the whole working day, I would choose Samsung without hesitation.

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It’s not just the elegant design language that gives the Galaxy Book the edge here. It weighs just shy of four pounds and is significantly lighter than other large laptops I’ve owned. And with the lid being close to paper-thin, lifting it up with one hand is very possible.

Download Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra.

The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is surprisingly thin for a 16-inch laptop.


Doing so also exposes two flaws in the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra: flickering and the glossy finish of the screen. While the screen is absolutely gorgeous to look at (more on that later), it tends to vibrate when I’m typing from my lap or any surface with the slightest tilt. Vibration is only emphasized when the glossy screen begins to reflect every ray of light in the room, or worse, outdoors.

Will you notice the vibration when you focus the laser on what is being projected? Mostly not. Did the matte screen do a better job of viewing comfort? definitely.

Live on screen…

Believe it or not, I still consider the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra’s screen one of its main selling points. You’re looking at a 16-inch, 120Hz, 3K AMOLED display, with most of its technology carried over from the sharp, crisp panels from Samsung’s high-end smartphones. Colors on the laptop are, to say the least, strong, visually distinct, and plenty bright for most environments. Gaming and multimedia consumption is an absolute pleasure on the Galaxy Book.

Review: The Samsung 2-in-1 Galaxy Book is a great laptop, but it’s frustrating

For content creation and multitasking, the wider 16:10 dimension here is ideal. And while the Ultra model doesn’t have a flashy 360-degree hinge or touchscreen like its standard Pro and 360 brethren, its more traditional, ergonomic design suggests the laptop is all about getting the job done. Plus, a slick, glossy touch screen is a recipe for visual disaster.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra on a table.

Thin bezels make the 16-inch screen a little more manageable.


Best use of space?

The bottom half of the laptop features what I can only describe as generous but questionable extras. Things I love include the full-size number pad (even if the keys are narrower than a desktop keyboard), the tactile, raised keycaps, and the abundance of ports flanking the left and right sides, including a USB-A port!

Also: The 7 Best Portable Laptop Stations

While I love that Samsung includes a wealth of inputs/outputs, I wish one of the two USB-C ports was located on the right side of the laptop. This way, I have more flexibility when charging and don’t have to switch cables. Also, the company decided to put away a microSD card slot in favor of one for a full-size SD card which doesn’t make sense to me if its target audience consists of creatives and people who are likely to store camera photos and videos on, you guessed it, an SD card.

Close up of keyboard and trackpad on Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra.

The keys have a reasonable amount of travel and are distributed evenly throughout the chassis.


Another thing I don’t like is the trackpad. Despite its bulk, the new trackpad is not only off center but doesn’t register pressure on its top half. As a result, there have been plenty of times that a laptop would register a double click as a single click and vice versa. Mind you, I was coming from a MacBook Pro and was completely spoiled by the Force Touch trackpad.

A dedicated graphics card is important

The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra’s day-to-day performance was impressive. My typical workflow revolves around three desktops – one with Slack, Microsoft Outlook and some form of media playback, one that consists of a content management system and all the tabs I need for searching, and the last one with either Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro for editing. Then there is a video call every now and then.

While my review unit in the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra was the base model (13th-generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050), and it handled all of that without any noticeable stutter, it’s safe to credit the integration of A dedicated graphics card and fairly intense fans keep the laptop running smoothly.

Keyboard and trackpad comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra and the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A closer look at the difference in keyboard layouts between the Galaxy Book (left) and MacBook (right).


Thanks to the discrete GPU, the Galaxy Book flows perfectly through the usual photo and video editing processes, consisting of raw, high-resolution photos and footage. My usual stress test involves applying multiple layers of Gaussian blur to a schedule and seeing if the laptop struggles at all to boot. The Galaxy Book only showed signs of weakness after its battery dropped below the 40 percent range and started choking itself. Of course, the cooling fans are loud enough to serve as a constant reminder when I’m pushing the laptop’s internals around and inevitably draining its battery life.

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On a normal workday, it averaged six and a half hours of use per charge, which isn’t bad but not great either. On days that involved more video editing, file downloading, and a bit of gaming (because that’s what you do when you have a dedicated GPU in a laptop), I’ve seen the battery percentage drop by 20% every hour.

Normative results in…

For those who live by the standards, here’s how the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra fared in the Geekbench 6 and Cinebench R23 tests compared to the 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro and M2 Max).

Bar chart comparing GeekBench 6 and Cinebench scores on Galaxy Book 3 Ultra and Apple MacBook Pros.


In numbers, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is neck and neck with Apple’s oldest The MacBook is equipped with the M1 Probut the M2 Max The variant is still way above the competition when it comes to multi-core performance.

While your Twitter feed won’t load faster because one laptop scored higher than the other, we’re looking forward to seconds (or even minutes) of faster speeds when it comes to graphics-intensive applications like exporting 4K videos and loading AAA games.

own ecosystem

Just like Apple’s deep integration across devices, Samsung has been building its own ecosystem. This, in my opinion, is the biggest reason anyone should consider a Galaxy Book, let alone an Ultra. With the latest laptops, Galaxy users can sync their smartphones and tablets to take advantage of features like Multi Control, which lets you navigate and control multiple devices with the Galaxy Book keyboard and trackpad, Quick Share for wireless data transfer, and more.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra runs Adobe Photoshop.

The integration of the smartphone with the laptop meant that the usual camera could be put aside.


In fact, all of the product photos in this review were taken by the Galaxy S23 I’ve been testing, transferred to the Galaxy Book Ultra via Quick Share, and edited from my laptop. The process was pleasantly smooth and took less than a minute for the two devices to get to know each other first. It’s almost unbelievable to be able to transfer 4K videos from phone to laptop in less than a minute.


Finally, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra Starting at $2,200 For Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage configuration. That’s a steep price for a large laptop, but if we compare it to Apple’s closest alternative, Samsung undercuts 16-inch MacBook Pro (M2) About $300. And in Samsung’s defense, this gives you a lot for the money, including a dedicated graphics card, one of the best-looking laptop screens on the market, and an uncompromising keyboard experience. The only noticeable drawbacks are the glossy screen, obnoxiously large trackpad, and moderate battery life.

Should I buy one?

For content creators and power users, especially if you already own a Samsung smartphone or tablet, I would consider the Ultra Laptop to be worth the splurge. It’s also one of the few non-gaming laptops I’d really recommend to those who game.

But with a starting price of $2,200, there are plenty of other affordable but just as powerful laptops you should consider, including Last generation MacBook Pro (M1 Pro). I’d also look elsewhere if you rely heavily on an SD card to transfer files. In my case, I almost always shoot photos and videos with a mirrorless camera, and being able to transfer my files locally, without fear of having broken wireless connections, is a must.

Alternatives to consider

Besides the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra, here are the alternatives I recommend:

Like the Ultra, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 has a 16-inch display, up to 1TB of storage, and the same arrangement of ports. While it runs on an Intel Iris Xe instead of an Nvidia GPU, the laptop is still reliable for everyday tasks and most professional software and costs $500 less.

The 2021 MacBook Pro remains one of the most capable laptops available today, as evidenced by our previous benchmark results, and it’s now more affordable thanks to Apple’s new M2 models. This makes both the 14-inch and 16-inch variants great choices if you’re in the market for new hardware.

While the two options above are more refined in terms of design, the Asus ZenBook 14 is clearly an innovative laptop, with two screens — a 14.5-inch screen on top and a 12.7-inch ScreenPad Plus on the bottom — that let you multitask with ease. There’s also a discrete RTX 3050 GPU and 1TB of storage.

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