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Samsung unpacks its Galaxy Book Pro, Pro 360 and more

Here come the Galaxy Book Pro and Pro 360, "laptops more like smartphones," announced at the company's April Unpacked event.

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Samsung/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

It's only April and we're already up to Samsung's third Galaxy Unpacked event of 2021. This one wasn't about phones, though -- it launched the company's lesser known, at least in the US, Galaxy Book laptops. Today's new models start at $999 for the Galaxy Book Pro and $1,199 for the Pro 360, and new budget Galaxy Book and mainstream $1,399 Galaxy Book Odyssey gaming laptops.

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The Galaxy Books are Samsung's line of laptops designed for more connected operation -- thin, light and intended to work with the rest of the company's products, including its SmartThings smart home tech. This year the company highlighted seamless operation between Windows and Android, and overall it now sounds eerily like Apple's ecosystem, but with the extra perk of touchscreens that make it even more phone-like.

The Galaxy Book and Galaxy Book Pro models were designed in conjunction with Microsoft and Intel, and bear Intel's Evo branding for its current-gen, light and responsive laptops, incorporating Thunderbolt 4, up to an 11th-gen Core i7, Wi-Fi 6E and processing optimized for conferencing. Intel says it's the thinnest Evo design yet. Samsung claims they weigh only 2.2 pounds, including the charger.

The Galaxy Book Pro is a clamshell, while the Pro 360 is (as you might expect) a two-in-one. Both come in 13- and 15-inch and gold, blue or bronze. Both incorporate OLED displays with Samsung's built in low-blue-light technology. The Pro 360 supports the S-Pen stylus, which is bundled. They have Mac OS-like Live Wallpaper that changes with the time of day. The keyboard has lower travel at 1mm, but refined scissor switches for better bounce. 

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Samsung claims you'll be able to get 16 hours of work time out of the denser battery and up to eight hours on a 30-minute charge. The latter is an Evo requirement. 

While they're optimized for portability and have updated noise-canceling mics, they still have only 720p webcams. And while the Pro 360 incorporates 5G, it won't be coming to the US until later. 

The 15-inch Galaxy Book also bumps up to 11th-gen Intel Core CPUs and adds 4G LTE connectivity. A new Galaxy Book Odyssey goes with RTX 3050 Ti and 11th-gen Tiger Lake. They won't be available in the US initially, either, though the Odyssey is expected to start shipping here in August.

The last Galaxy Books were announced in October 2019, but most didn't ship until May 2020. The new models are shipping much sooner. 

There's a lot of syncing among the Galaxy devices via proprietary apps that (to me) look like Start Menu bloat -- there's an individual app for everything, just like a phone, though they are the same apps as on the phones. Photos natively integrates with One Drive. Use your Samsung tablet as a second screen and drag and drop files between devices.