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Samsung’s new laptops have one feature that’ll make MacBook users jealous

Published Apr 28th, 2021 3:39PM EDT
Galaxy Book Pro 360
Image: Samsung

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Samsung on Wednesday announced the four new laptops that we’ve been expecting from the company. They’re all lightweight machines that offer similar specs including 11th-gen Intel chips, Intel Iris Xe GPUs, fast Wi-Fi 6E and optional 4G and 5G connectivity, fast-charging batteries, fingerprint sensors, and a variety of ports. On top of that, Samsung announced an expansion of its partnership with Microsoft that will allow users to leverage Windows 10 to use several features available on Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Many of those features are quite reminiscent of Apple’s continuity functionality on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

All that indicates these new Galaxy Book Pro laptops are positioned to compete against MacBooks. But they do pack an exciting feature that’s not available on any of Apple’s notebooks: AMOLED displays. That’s on top of the touchscreen support that comes with the new 2-in-1 laptop models. Apple has never supported touchscreen displays on its laptops, even though it’s a feature that Windows embraced years ago.

Samsung unveiled new OLED display technology back in early January, prompting speculation that its future notebooks might feature OLED displays. That’s a rarity in the industry, but Samsung’s move indicates that more players will adopt OLED technology. Apple is rumored to launch MacBooks with mini-LED and OLED screens in the future, but all the current models have LCD screens.

The four new notebooks Samsung just unveiled feature impressive screen-to-body ratios thanks to thin side and top bezels. The 720p webcam is placed in the upper bezel, not under the display, which is a technology that Samsung teased in its OLED panel promos.

Galaxy Book Pro 360 13
Galaxy Book Pro 360 13 2-in-1 laptop on a desk. Image source: Samsung

Samsung’s naming scheme might seem confusing so we’ll simplify it for you. Samsung launched two types of Galaxy Book Pro devices and each one comes in two sizes. The Galaxy Book Pro models are traditional notebooks. Then, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 models are 2-in-1 convertibles that work like Windows 10 tablets and laptops. Each version comes with either a 13-inch or 15-inch screen.

The four devices weigh between 0.87kg (Galaxy Book Pro 13) and 1.39kg (Galaxy Book Pro 360 15), and they’re 11.2mm thin. They’re made of 6000- and 5000-series aluminum and some versions even passed Mil-STD-810G durability tests.

They come with various Intel processor choices, Iris Xe graphics, 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, up to 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6/6E, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G (Book Pro 360), AKG sound, fingerprint sensor on power key, and 63Wh or 68Wh batteries with 65W USB-C charging. Ports include one Thunderbolt 4 port, at least one USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and microSD card support. The Book Pro 15 model also has an HDMI port. All the new laptops are Intel Evo-certified, meaning they’re supposed to deliver fast performance, instant wake, always-on connectivity, and long battery life. The Book Pro 360 2-in-1 models feature touchscreen displays with S Pen stylus support.

Galaxy Book Pro 15
Galaxy Book Pro 15 laptop on a desk. Image source: Samsung

The laptops will offer users who own other Galaxy-branded devices, including smartphones and tablets, various Windows 10 features that Samsung developed together with Microsoft. That includes a Second Screen feature that lets users extend the display to a Galaxy tablet, as well as Microsoft Your and Link to Windows apps that lets users control the phone from the notebook.

Prices will vary depending on the final configurations, with the cheapest model starting at $1,000: Galaxy Book Pro 13 ($999.99), Galaxy Book Pro 15 ($1,099.99), Galaxy Book Pro 360 13 ($1,199.99), and Galaxy Book Pro 360 15 ($1,299.99). Preorders start on Wednesday in the US.

Galaxy Book Pro 15
Galaxy Book Pro 15 next to a Galaxy tablet and Galaxy Buds earphones. Image source: Samsung

Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 preorders come with $150 in credit at Amazon, a $150 gift certificate at Best Buy, or a $150 gift certificate or free Galaxy Buds Pro at Samsung. Buyers who purchase a laptop between May 14th and May 30th are eligible for $100 in credit at Amazon, Best Buy, or Samsung.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.