Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: 360 degrees of portability
The South Korean giant’s new super slim 2-in-1 has enterprise-grade security for wherever you go
Since the onset of COVID-19, and the mass shift to remote working, people have got on with their day jobs in all manner of places - and this newfound freedom has started to influence the way technology is being built.
This is certainly the thinking behind Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, a new 2-in-1 convertible laptop unveiled at MWC 2022. It’s been designed specifically for the anywhere worker and includes protections against the emerging security threats that we’re now susceptible to as we set up shop here, there and everywhere.
The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is available for pre-order from 18 April, with a starting price of £1,199 including VAT. It comes in both 13.5in or 15.5in versions, but we’re focusing on the latter here.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Design
As its name suggests, the 360’s screen rotates, allowing it to be used in a variety of configurations. Last year’s Galaxy Book Pro 360 was very svelte and light, and little has changed in terms of its dimensions. It’s still 11.9mm thick, although it’s now slightly heavier at 1.41kg - around 200g more than its predecessor.
It’s still easy enough to slide into a rucksack, though, and the design itself remains as pleasing to the eye as before. It also comes in more shades - Silver, Graphite and Burgundy, as opposed to the ‘Mystic Navy’ option, which was the only choice for the original. Those are the only real aesthetic changes, though, as it keeps many of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s fine stylistic touches, such as the squared corners and matte finish to the lid and keyboard surround.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Display
Samsung has stuck with a 1080p resolution for its 15.6in Super AMOLED panel, again opting not to use a 4K screen. This is a good thing, though; Samsung’s track record with display technology is outstanding, and the Galaxy Book Pro released last year still managed to score high for sRGB colour coverage with the same resolution, so we expect a similar result (at the very least) with the Book2 Pro 360.
The only issue with last year’s Galaxy Book Pro was the screen lacked a little bit of punch in terms of brightness, peaking at just 308cd/m2 in our tests. The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360’s HDR capabilities should help boost the peak brightness of its touchscreen panel, with Samsung suggesting it can hit around 500cd/m2. Sadly, our hands-on session was at a lovely sun-soaked beach house, and we had a little difficulty making the screen visible in the direct sunlight, which isn’t as encouraging as we’d like.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Keyboard and trackpad
The 15.6in Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 benefits from a full-size keyboard, including a numberpad, although the half-height arrow and return keys may be a little off-putting for those used to more spacious layouts. That aside, actually typing on the backlit chiclet keys felt like a smooth experience, with decent travel, crisp feedback and minimal noise when typing.
However, the buttons on the trackpad felt slightly stiff during our hands-on, requiring a firm degree of pressure to activate. It’s wide and expansive, with a pleasant glass finish, but there’s room for improvement, too.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Specs and hardware
Under the hood, the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is housing a 12th Gen Intel Core Evo processor with RAM options from 8GB to 32GB, and storage ranging from 256GB to 1TB. At face value, this doesn’t seem like a huge improvement over the Core i7-1165G7 chip used in the previous version, but further testing should reveal whether or not Samsung has managed to significantly increase the performance.
The device also comes with a 68W battery and super-fast 65W USB Type-C charging adaptor, which means you can use the same cable to charge your Galaxy Book2, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy smartphone - though charging times will vary slightly between devices.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Ports and features
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Book2 Pro range has been built with security in mind. The company has worked with Microsoft to build a ‘secured-core’ PC that has hardware and software protections at the firmware level. The idea is that the machine continually checks the integrity of its own firmware and also scans for potential threats. As such, this is the first PC range to meet Microsoft’s secured-core PC requirements, which delivers an enhanced level of protection for Windows 11 - which is preinstalled on the machine.
The power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader, with all biometric data stored on the machine in a separate drive. The device also comes with Samsung’s fifth-generation S Pen included in the box for note-taking and drawing, as well as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 - although there’s no option for 5G connectivity, so anyone wanting to do some off-grid working will need to pack a portable hotspot.
For physical connections, there’s a Thunderbolt 4 port, two regular USB type-C ports, a headphone and mic connection, and a micro SD slot. Finally, videoconferencing duties are covered by a 1080p webcam, dual array mics and a pair of 5W AKG Dolby Atmos speakers.
Much like Huawei and its ‘Super Device’ software, Samsung is also showcasing multi-device collaboration features at MWC. Users can wirelessly add additional screen space with a Galaxy Tab and even use the keyboard and touch pad of the Galaxy Book to control the tablet. The aim here is to offer up more flexibility for those working remotely or on the go, and adding the extra devices is presented as a seamless process of simply pairing it over Bluetooth. Whether this is as convenient and straightforward in practice, however, remains to be seen.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 hands-on review: Early verdict
There’s much to love here, though it will need to be put through some rigorous testing before it gets the full IT Pro recommendation. However, our first impression of the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is a good one; it has a vivid screen, decent keyboard and a pleasing design.
Our sole gripe at the moment is that stiff touchpad, but it's a very minor issue, and one that’s unlikely to ruin the experience. As such, we’re looking forward to a full review where we can take the Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 out and about, and see just how portable it really is.
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