I evaluated the Galaxy Book Pro 360 in May 2021. A 15-inch laptop with a S Pen and a flexible design gave Windows PCs a clean, fresh look while still providing a lot of value thanks to its multitude of Galaxy apps.
Aside from the 15-inch device, Samsung also unveiled a 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 with 4G LTE and a 5G variation coming later. That device is currently known as the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G, and it comes with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor from the 11th generation. For a few months during the holidays, I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G 13.3-inch, and I’m really impressed with what Samsung has accomplished here for a few reasons. I also have a few suggestions on how Samsung could improve it more.
The actual standout feature of this laptop, though, is one that you can’t see. With a flip of the key, you can change this laptop into a fanless ARM-like PC. Allow me to explain…
- Design that is both thin and high-quality.
- Alternative to using a fan
- Super AMOLED display is excellent.
- Battery life is excellent.
- With 4G/5G, you’ll always be connected.
- The most cost-effective 5G laptop
- The 16:9 aspect ratio is outdated.
- Intel’s 12th generation processors will be available soon.
- There is no IR camera for Windows Hello.
- There is no support for eSIM.
Price and availability for the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
Best Buy and Samsung both have the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G 13.3-inch in stock. The Core i5 version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage starts at $1,400. The Core i7 variant with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage costs $1,600, but that version is more difficult to come by.
The majority of the time, the pricing has been stable. However, for a limited time, both Samsung and Best Buy have reduced the Core i5 version to just under $1,000, which is a very attractive pricing if it is still available.
What you’ll like about the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
Except for the lack of a number pad and a slightly smaller overall design, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G 13.3-inch is similar to the 15.6-inch version. I’ve used both extensively, but the 13-inch model is my favorite because to its size and superior feature balance.
The Mystic Silver color scheme, with all black keys, is also superior than the blue of the 15-inch version, which looked wonderful but was a fingerprint magnet. The keyboard deck has no creaks or flexes, indicating excellent build quality. The travel on the keyboard is only 1mm, but the size of the keys and actuation make it a joy to type on without exerting any effort. For those keys, there is three-stage backlighting that is crisp and superb. When you change the brightness, an on-screen display appears to help you know what level you’re at.
|Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G 13||Galaxy Book Pro 360 15|
|OS||Windows 10 HomeWindows 10 Pro||Windows 10 HomeWindows 10 Pro|
|Processor||11th Gen Intel Core i511th Gen Intel Core i7||11th Gen Intel Core i511th Gen Intel Core i7|
|RAM||Up to 16GB LPDDR4x||Up to 16GB LPDDR4x|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Irs Xe|
|Storage||Up to 512GB NVMe SSD||Up to 1TB NVMe SSD|
|Display||13.3 inchesSuper AMOLED1920x1080 (FHD)S Pen for inking||15.6 inchesSuper AMOLED1920x1080 (FHD)S Pen for inking|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 4Two USB-C3.5mm audiomicroSD card reader5G SIM (optional)||Thunderbolt 4Two USB-C3.5mm audiomicroSD card reader|
|Audio||AKG speakersDolby Atmos||AKG speakersDolby Atmos|
|Connectivity||5G (optional)Wi-Fi 6E ReadyBluetooth 5.1||Wi-Fi 6E ReadyBluetooth 5.1|
|Camera||Front-facing 720p||Front-facing 720p|
|Security||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader|
|Battery||63Wh65W AC adapter||68Wh65W AC adapter|
|Dimensions||11.9 x 7.95 x 0.45 inches(302.5mm x 202mm x 11.5mm)||13.97 x 8.98 x 0.47 inches(354.85mm x 227.97mm x 11.9mm)|
|Weight||2.29 pounds (1.04kg)||3.06 pounds (1.39kg)|
|Color||Mystic NavyMystic BronzeMystic Silver||Mystic NavyMystic Bronze|
Only three Type-C ports are available, two on the left and one on the right. Thunderbolt 4 is supported by only one port (on the left), while the other two are normal USB C ports. The right side has a 3.5mm headphone connector, while the left has a microSD reader.
The combination 4G LTE and 5G modem (carrier unlocked) is certainly the primary selling feature of the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G, which, when paired with the incredibly thin and light design, makes this laptop a terrific alternative for individuals who need productivity on the go. The Intel 5G Solution 5000 M.2 module (created in collaboration with MediaTek) deviates from standard Snapdragon 5G chipsets, yet it gets the job done. When compared to Wi-Fi, 4G LTE and Sub 6GHz 5G (no mmWave) performance was quick and stable, with little impact on battery life.
Despite the fact that this Intel modem can handle e-SIM, Samsung only uses a physical nano-SIM (on the right side) for the 4G/5G connection.
The 13.3-inch Super AMOLED display has a poor resolution of “only” Full HD (1920×1080) and a maximum brightness of only 283 nits (well below the typical 400 these days). But don’t be fooled by it. Super AMOLED outperforms any regular LCD with comparable specifications. For overcast days or in the rear of a taxicab, the screen brightness (combined with an excellent anti-reflective coating) is sufficient.
The color gamut of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is outstanding, with 100 percent sRGB, 96 percent AdobeRGB, and 100 percent DCI-P3 coverage, making it one of the most color-accurate laptop screens we’ve tested.
This display allows touch and inking through the Samsung S Pen, in addition to outstanding color representation. In this case, I found the S Pen to be superior and more enjoyable to use than Microsoft’s Surface Pen. This is a wonderful 2-in-1 laptop for taking notes, thanks to Samsung’s amazing selection of Galaxy apps and its unequaled thin-and-light design. Samsung’s Galaxy apps are, in my opinion, among the best PC and smartphone ecosystems available, especially if you have a Galaxy phone to match (besides Apple).
The 720P webcam is only passable. Because this laptop was released before Intel’s 12th Generation was announced, OEMs didn’t have to rush to include a Full HD camera. While there is no facial recognition to instantly log you into Windows 11 Home, the power button on the keyboard deck has a highly reliable fingerprint reader built in.
The bottom-firing AKG Speakers with Dolby Atmos manage the audio. Despite the lack of bass and resonance, they function well with outstanding clarity and fidelity, despite not being in my preferred location for speakers.
Apart from the 5G modem, one of my favorite features is one that isn’t visible or audible. Silent, Balanced, and Performance are some of Samsung’s specific performance profiles for this laptop. Each of them changes the fan speed to better suit your surroundings. Fan profiles aren’t exactly new, but Samsung has a fourth option here that I haven’t seen before: Fanless. Fanless fully disables the fan, whilst Silent simply utilizes it little.
Turning off the fan, as expected, causes the CPU to slow in order to prevent overheating, which is evident in benchmarks. Nonetheless, the end product is remarkable. The Galaxy Book Pro 5G’s single-core performance is around 500 points greater than the Surface Pro X (SQ2), which has a fanless ARM CPU. However, the Galaxy Book Pro 5G’s multi-core performance is roughly 1,000 points lower. On PCMark 10, the Pro X comes out on top with a score of 5,088 versus 3,555 for the Galaxy Book Pro.
But the best part is that everything is up to the consumer. The ability to convert an x86 laptop into a fanless ARM PC with a single click is quite impressive, as it maximizes battery life and keeps things quiet.
Performance mode, on the other hand, isn’t much better than Optimized, which is what most users should use most of the time.
Depending on how you use it, the battery life on this laptop is excellent. It’s Intel Evo approved, so when paired with a Full HD display, it’ll easily last 10 hours in fanless mode at 75 percent brightness (150 nits). Indeed, with those settings and no fan, the laptop lasted 11 hours and 29 minutes, which is rather impressive considering its size. The battery life reduced by almost an hour in Optimized mode, to 10 hours and 38 minutes.
With display auto-brightness set, my real-world battery results from the Windows Battery Report averaged 8 hours and 35 minutes.
With the bundled 65-watt Fast Charger, recharging is simple and quick. Only if the prongs could be folded for travel would that charger be better.
What you won’t like about the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
The Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G’s major flaw is its out-of-date 16:9 display. It’s too small, and while the top and side bezels are slim, the bottom bezel has the typical chonky chin. As a result, you tend to scroll a lot more on online pages and documents than you would on a new laptop since you see less information vertically. A 16:10 or 3:2 display on the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G would be fantastic.
While not a deal breaker, the lack of eSIM functionality is strange. When traveling, a non-physical SIM is perfect because you can now simply purchase data-only 4G plans via websites rather than having to purchase a physical SIM. It’s surprising that the physical and eSIM solutions aren’t available on many 4G and 5G Windows laptops.
Samsung did unveil new 12th Gen variants of this laptop, but they are missing the LTE and 5G capabilities. The latest Intel processors should be a winner, but we haven’t reviewed them for laptops like this yet, so it’s a bit of a mystery. Samsung will release a new 5G laptop, but it will be the 15.6-inch model rather than this one. That means there won’t be a successor for this laptop very soon if you buy it today.
Finally, while I boasted about the fanless mode, the fans on this laptop are quite loud when they turn on, which they will do frequently. This is due in part to the laptop’s thinness, although Samsung could do a better job of keeping things quiet. Those fans, thankfully, keep the laptop cool; I don’t think this laptop ever gets hot.
Competition for the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G
Because this laptop excels in two categories — extreme thinness and 5G — competition in this arena is limited. However, there are a few choices, none of which come close to matching this pricing. The majority of 5G laptops are still aimed at businesses, which drives up the price due to more stringent hardware and security requirements, such as Intel vPro, which the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G does not support.
The HP Elite Dragonfly G2 and G2 Max are great (and G3 is due in the first half of 2022). The G2 model has Complete HD as well as HDMI and a full Type-A connection. There are additional 5G alternatives available, as well as compatibility for a pen. Surprisingly, the next Elite Dragonfly G3 model does not include the “360,” making it a pen-less gadget. Prices start at roughly $2,000 and go up from there.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is a fantastic laptop. It’s a convertible with a 3:2 screen and inking support. It boasts a titanium body and a unique haptic trackpad, but the battery life isn’t as excellent as Samsung’s, and it hasn’t been updated since it was released. You can get one for $1,469 if you hurry (minus 5G).
Lenovo’s upcoming ThinkPad X13s, which will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 ARM CPU, is a more intriguing option. It should have a longer battery life and, most importantly, superior performance. With support for 5G, pricing starts at $1,100. (mmWave and Sub 6). It isn’t a convertible PC, and it doesn’t have a touchscreen; that gadget will be available in May 2022.
If you enjoy everything about this laptop but don’t need or want 4G LTE/5G, the normal Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 (without 5G) is available for $1,200 (on sale for $810).
Finally, Microsoft’s Surface Pro X (SQ2) is a fantastic convertible computer that includes support for the new Surface Slim Pen 2. Overall system performance is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 11th Gen Core i5, but only while using native ARM programs. The Surface Pro X, unlike the Galaxy Book Pro, does not enable 5G (just LTE), and it will be upgraded in the fall of 2022.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G?
If you’re looking for a unique way to express yourself, this is the book for you.
- You’re looking for a 13-inch laptop that’s both slim and light.
- For an always-connected experience, you’ll need 4G LTE/5G.
- Your smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy.
- You’re looking for a high-end laptop.
If you’re looking for a unique way to express yourself, this isn’t the product for you.
- You’d want to play video games.
- You don’t require 5G; instead, you require greater power.
I’ll keep it short and sweet: I truly appreciate the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G, despite its ridiculously long moniker. While I think the 15-inch version is unusual (there aren’t many light convertible 15-inch laptops), I prefer the 13.3-inch model. I had a difficult time putting it down (and, as Samsung will tell you, returning it!).
There’s a lot to like about this laptop. The build quality is exceptional, and the keyboard and trackpad are fantastic. Even in Full HD, the Super AMOLED display is stunning. For light duties (email, web browsing, Slack, texting, etc. ), I like operating it in fanless mode, and the 4G LTE/5G combo makes this a fantastic laptop for your backpack. Even though the lid is so thin and light, it can still be opened with one hand.
As a result, whether you’re looking for a thin-and-light convertible laptop for taking notes in class or at work, this laptop is easy to recommend because the battery life is greater than expected.
The Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is easily one of the most affordable 5G laptops on the market, despite its $1,400 price tag. Many of the others are business PCs that cost around $2,000. This is significant. It’s a deal if you can get one on sale for $1,000.
My primary concern is that Samsung continues to battle with one hand behind its back. The firm needs to include a 16:10 or even 3:2 display with Super AMOLED. This increases the amount of content that can be seen and extends the keyboard deck, making typing more comfortable. If you clean up the fans and shove an Intel 12th Gen processor into this design, you’ll have a premium yet affordable always-connected PC that’s free of the limitations of Windows on ARM.
Even if this laptop isn’t for you, Samsung is a company to keep an eye on in this arena. It’s going all-in on PCs, and it’s got the skills to compete with HP, Dell, and Lenovo. It only needs to stop utilizing designs in 2019 and start using them in 2022.