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Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 Review: Living Up to Its Pro Name

A new processor, a brighter display and an excellent S Pen add up to a terrific Galaxy experience.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360
Josh Goldman/CNET

It would be easy to mistake the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 for the first-gen model: They're nearly identical, at least on the outside. Samsung did swap out some key components, though. The processor, for instance, jumps from an 11th- to 12th-gen Intel. That's the biggest change and it pays off with a sizable multicore performance bump. However, the other, smaller updates Samsung made to the Pro 360 improves the overall user experience (mostly), making it one of the best two-in-ones available right now.

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 pricing starts at $1,350 in the US with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of memory and a 512GB SSD. The configuration I tested has the same CPU but double the memory and storage for $1,550. In the UK, it's £1,499 and in Australia, AU$3,000. While 8GB of memory might be enough for general use, it's low for a premium model now. Especially since the RAM is soldered on and can't be added to later. HP's Spectre x360 16 -- another excellent premium two-in-one -- starts with 16GB. For future performance headroom, get the 16GB configuration if you can. 

8.8

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 (15-inch)

Like

  • Slim and lightweight for its size
  • Good performance, battery life
  • Useful features for Galaxy device owners
  • Excellent S Pen included

Don't Like

  • Ordinary appearance
  • 16:9 display
  • No discrete graphics option

Regardless, performance is strong for everyday productivity, entertainment and basic photo and video editing. I was surprised at how smoothly it performed for raw photo edits and cutting together a few 1080p video clips. The cooling system does its job well, and there's no high-pitch whine to the fans. t's not a gaming laptop, but playing games on it at low settings is fine and cloud gaming on it worked well, too, over its Wi-Fi 6E connection. Unfortunately, if you want better than integrated graphics, Samsung is only offering a discrete Intel Arc GPU on the 15-inch Galaxy Book 2 Pro clamshell laptop.

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Battery life is good also. The Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 lasted 12 hours, 15 minutes on our streaming video test with brightness and volume set at 50%. With some power management, I reached about 8 hours of wireless web use, streaming audio and video and editing photos. Samsung claims a 21-hour battery life but it reached that by playing local 1080p video in airplane mode, the keyboard backlight off and screen brightness at 150 nits, basically reproducing the conditions for watching movie after movie on a long-distance flight. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 (15-inch)

Price as reviewed $1,550
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 AMOLED touch display
CPU 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1260P
Memory 16GB DIMM LP-DDR5 5,200MHz
Graphics 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Storage 1TB Samsung PCIe NVMe Gen 3 SSD
Connections Thunderbolt 4, USB-C (x2), 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot
Networking 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6E), Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 11 Home 21H2

Slim, light and vanilla

Again, the outside of the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 doesn't stray from the original. It's a nice-looking laptop, although it's still sort of nondescript. However, it's also still remarkably thin and light for a two-in-one this size. Even folded back into a tablet, the Pro 360 stays thin. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360

Samsung includes an excellent S Pen with the Pro 360.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The backlit keyboard is comfortable with a fair amount of travel given how thin the laptop is. The touchpad is smooth and precise with improved palm rejection. Samsung also fixed an issue with the original's design that caused accidental clicks to register when you used it on your lap or when gripped around the touchpad.

Samsung stuck with a 16:9 display, even while other PC makers are switching to taller 16:10 displays. The widescreen combined with the size makes two-in-one slightly awkward to use as a tablet. It does have a beautiful 1080p Super AMOLED panel and the brightness can be bumped up to 500 nits, which is 33% brighter than the first-gen models. It's pen-enabled, too, and a Samsung S Pen is included.    

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360

The S Pen doesn't have a holder but does magnetically attach to the lid. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

Above the display, Samsung put in a 1080p webcam with a wider-angle lens for an 87-degree field of view. The Studio Mode camera software now includes an auto-framing feature so you stay in the frame if you move around some as well as background effects including blur. The auto-framing works pretty well, digitally panning and zooming to keep the shot on you and others on camera. 

Another great two-in-one for Galaxy fans

Like the first-gen Galaxy Book Pro 360, Samsung worked with Intel and Microsoft to improve the overall mobile experience but also have them work seamlessly with other Galaxy devices and software. For example, the laptop can automatically connect to your Galaxy Buds, run mobile apps from a Galaxy phone and use a Galaxy Tab S7 or S8 as a wireless secondary display, which helps make the cost of a premium tablet easier to swallow. Also, a single sign-on with a Samung Galaxy account syncs access to apps, settings and content across your devices. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360

The power button in the upper right corner of the keyboard is also a match-on-chip fingerprint reader.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Microsoft Your Phone app will now show the last apps used on a Galaxy phone, so you can easily switch from working on your phone to the laptop. My two favorite additions, though, are Private Share, which creates timed links for sharing files and the ability to revoke access to files, and Samsung Multi Control, so you can use the laptop's keyboard and touchpad to type and navigate on a Galaxy Tab S8 tablet. While I find many of the preinstalled Samsung tools helpful, not everyone will. And that will mean a lot of uninstalling right out of the box. 

One thing that is nice to have out of the box that won't get in the way is the laptop's security features. The Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 is one of the first consumer PCs to meet Microsoft's secured-core PC requirements. The hardware, firmware and software all work together so that when it starts up, everything is protected and stays that way while you use it. It's a similar level of protection as an enterprise business laptop. Plus, Samsung also used a match-on-chip fingerprint reader built into the power button for stronger biometric security. (It would still be nice for Samsung to add an IR camera for face recognition to unlock it in tablet mode, though.)

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360

There are three USB-C ports on the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 but only one is a Thunderbolt 4 port.  

Josh Goldman/CNET

If you bought the first-gen model, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 isn't such a leap forward that there's an immediate need to upgrade. The processor is the biggest improvement and it does give the laptop a performance boost. But the brighter display, the increased security and 1080p webcam sweeten the deal. And if you've got a home full of Galaxy devices, the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 is a no-brainer.

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15
9067
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)
9016
HP Envy x360 15
7178
Dell Inspiron 7415 2-in-1
6484
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15
5051

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R23 CPU (multicore)

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15
8526
HP Envy x360 15
8513
Dell Inspiron 7415 2-in-1
7843
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)
7716
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15
4767

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

PCMark 10 Pro

Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)
5800
HP Envy x360 15
5462
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15
5422
Dell Inspiron 7415 2-in-1
5061
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15
5027

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

HP Envy x360 15
5462
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15
3941
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)
3903
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15
3725

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test (streaming minutes)

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15
784
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15
735
Dell Inspiron 7415 2-in-1
723
HP Envy x360 15
665
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7)
631

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

System Configurations

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 15 Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1260P; 16GB LP-DDR5 5,200MHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 1TB SSD
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 15 Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-116G7; 16GB LP-DDR4 4,267MHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 1TB SSD
HP Envy x360 15 Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 1.8GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5700U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 512MB AMD Radeon Graphics; 512GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch, Gen 7) Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-1260P; 16GBLP-DDR5 5,200MHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD
Dell Inspiron 7415 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 1.8GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5700U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 512MB AMD Radeon Graphics; 512GB SSD