Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Almost as good as a MacBook

An expensive Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra with a stunning display and a powerful processor

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra on a desk
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Superb display

  • +

    Powerful chipset options

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    Large trackpad


  • -

    Overly glossy screen

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    Memory baked into the motherboard

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is a thin ultrabook in the style of a MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS. It's sleek, it's powerful, and it's expensive. Before we even get into its capabilities, the display technology will be the main attraction point here, particularly given Samsung's expertise in that field. 

It's also worth pointing out that this is the first Galaxy Book to feature an Nvidia GeForce GPU (the RTX 4070 no less). So our expectation of its screen is very high. Can the Galaxy Book3 Ultra live up to the billing? 

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Design

Our Galaxy Book3 Ultra review unit is in the classic style of (seemingly) all high-end laptops; it's a standard looking graphite body with a logo that is cool and reflective. The keys are black chitlet ones. There's no great risks here, nothing remotely flamboyant, it's all very subtle and normal. If you want uniformity across the office, a group of employees with smart and professional looking machines, this fits that bill nicely. 

It is also reasonably light at 1.79Kg, but it isn't the most portable thing we've tested as it does need a larger-than-average rucksack to get around its 355.4 length and 250.4mm width. Worth investing in a ludicrously capacious bag here, as the screen is large and you get a number pad too. 

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Display

It's an understatement to say that Samsung specialises in display technology; its TVs are great, its smartphone screens are the envy of that industry and its laptop screens, more often than not, produce stellar results in our color tests. And the display on the Galaxy Book3 Ultra is Samsung at its absolute best. 

This photo-real 3K screen has a 2,880 x 1,800 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate and is smoother than the Barry White back catalogue. With our calibrator it recorded a peak brightness of 428cd/m2 and 100% for sRGB gamut color coverage. Its colour volume score was a whopping 172.5%. The Dell XPS 15 can only match the Ultra for color coverage, for everything else it is a distant second. 

If we were to talk about what the Galaxy Book3 Ultra might be best used for, its Adobe sRGB scores might suggest graphic or photographic design – so perhaps marketing teams or businesses that have creative or artistic operations. With our colorimeter, the Ultra showcased 96.8% for Adobe colour coverage and 118.8% for volume. These are higher scores than we usually find for business laptops, which is both another nod towards Samsung's ability to knock up fantastic displays, but also perhaps the more depressing trend of another laptop built for the 'curators'. It's almost like we are starting to forget businesses do more than just content creation. 

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Keyboard and trackpad

For more traditional work purposes, the Galaxy Book3 Ultra is an office champion with a very large keyboard and trackpad. The keys, despite being very low, have decent travel and make a nice muffled clack – enough to feel satisfied, but still suitable quiet for a silent office. There's also comfortable space for the palms and wrists, thanks to the larger surface area. 

The Galaxy Book3 Ultra on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

The size of the device has also allowed it to have a ridiculously large trackpad, which is fantastic for editing photos, videos and all – you can take the cursor, slowly, from the bottom to top of the screen without having to hold and change your finger.  

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Specs and performance

Under the hood of our Galaxy Book3 Ultra lies an Intel Core i9-13900H chip matched with 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD of storage. You can choose an option with an i7 chip and or 32GB of RAM, but only if you're based in the US – UK customers are bizarrely stuck with the 16GB if they opt for the top line model. This is a problem in that the i9 processor and the RTX 4070 GPU will be slightly slower with that RAM limit, which makes the top line model less appealing to UK customers. 

However, the i9 features six P-cores that can take it all the way up to 5.4GHz, with eight more powerful E-cores on hand for even more juice. Its GeekBench 5 multi-core scores of 12,788 put it far above the Dell XPs 15, but very short of the latest M2 MacBook Pro, which reportedly hits over 15,000. 

For those in the US that get the 32GB DDR5 model, there is heaps of potential for memory-intensive applications, such as virtual machines. This turns negative, though, as you can't upgrade or replace the memory as it's embedded straight into the motherboard – there is also an empty M.2 bay inside, for reasons only Samsung must know.  

There is, however, a typical 76Wh power source inside the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, which did fairly well in our looped video test. The Ultra lasted 9hrs and 53mins, which is as good as the M1 MacBook Pro, the Dell XPS 15, and the Honor MagicBook 16

In real-terms, this has staying power; it doesn't sweat the working day, retaining enough juice to surf the web or stream something after hours and there was very little we threw at it that really put its battery to the test (aside from our actual battery test). What's more, the USB type-C charger takes around 90 minutes for a full charge and works with your smartphone (provided it isn't an iPhone).

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Features

Phones loom large when it comes to the Ultra's features; this is mainly because Samsung wants you to buy into its device ecosystem and have one of its Galaxy phones or its TVs or any of its other high-end products. This sadly makes it a more consumer centric affair with very little business appeal, unless said business supplies phones to their employees as well (highly unlikely). What you will find, if you have a laptop and phone, is the kind of smart sharing features that allow content to be dragged and dropped from one device to another – similar to Huawei and Apple device collaboration software. 

Elsewhere the Galaxy Book3 Ultra has the standard laptop capabilities of Bluetooth v5.1, and Wi-Fi 6E. It is also very generous with its port selection, featuring a HDMI2.0 slot, two Thunderbolt 4s, a USB3.2, a MicroSD multimedia card reader, and a headphoneMic combo hole. The power button also doubles as a snappy fingerprint reader and consumer models come with Windows 11 Home while businesses will receive Windows 11 Pro.

The Galaxy Book3 Ultra on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review: Pricing

The Galaxy Book3 Ultra can be purchased from the Samsung website where it is priced at £2,541 in the UK and $2,400 in the US (both exc VAT). Regardless of quality, that is a hefty price tag and even with any extra services offered, might be too much for IT teams and employees at small businesses and startups.

Those that register for Samsung's business support services can save $442 on the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, though that still leaves a $2,000 bill for the laptop. Here, however, is a range of other discounts, around 10% on monitors and other Samsung peripherals, and various repair and aftercare services – including dedicated tech support. 

Samsung's Galaxy Book3 Ultra is undoubtedly a great laptop, though it appears to have a clear appeal to creative workloads and graphic design teams, in our opinion. For all other types of business, it might just be too much of a luxury.   

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra specifications 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProcessorIntel Core i9-13900H
Display size16in
Display typeWQXGA+ AMOLED
Resolution2880 x 1800
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU 8 GB GDDR6
RAM16GB LPDDR5 Memory (On Board 16GB)
ConnectivityBluetooth v5.1, Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+), 802.11 ax 2x2
Ports1 x HDMI2.0, 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB3.2, MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader and 1 x Headphone out/Mic-in Combo
SecurityTPM, FingerPrint Reader
Battery76Wh, 100Wh USB Type-C Adapter
Dimensions355.4 x 250.4 x 16.5 mm
Weight1.79 kg (3.95 lbs)
Operating systemWindows 11 Home (Windows 11 Pro for business)
Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.