Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra Review: High Power, High Price

The Galaxy Book3 Ultra is Samsung’s reply to its archrival, the MacBook Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends). Like Apple’s strongest laptops, this new Ultra machine is luxe, packs an entire lot of energy, and comes with a excessive value.

This machine isn’t a house run for Samsung; its limitations are predictable. But in the event you’re searching for a MacBook Pro–like machine that opens up the world of gaming to you, it’s properly price your consideration.

Ultra Specs

The Ultra received’t shock you in the event you’re acquainted with the Galaxy Book vary. Samsung hasn’t been adventurous—it’s the identical, however greater, with the identical steel physique and understated look. The thicker machine contains a 16-inch 3K Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, a brilliant and wealthy show that brings the additional benefit of a 120-Hz refresh fee.

Don’t let the massive display screen idiot you—it’s an immensely transportable machine, comfortably extra so than its 16-inch MacBook Pro rival. They are equally sized, however the Ultra weighs nearly a pound lower than the M2 Max model of Apple’s machine, at 3.9 kilos (1.8 kilograms). Beyond needing a bag sufficiently big to stow it, that is positively a laptop computer that may be ferried between work and residential.

Pleasingly, portability hasn’t led to an absence of energy—the mixture of an Intel Core i9-13900H chip and Nvidia RTX card make for a potent team-up. My $3,000 overview mannequin options the RTX 4070, 32-GB RAM, and 1-TB SSD. The least expensive model is available in at $2,200 (£2,449), with an RTX 4050, i7-13700H, 16-GB RAM, and 512-GB SSD. Strangely, you received’t be capable to decide up a 32-GB RAM mannequin within the UK, limiting you to only 16 GB.

Those are some excessive costs, however the top-spec mannequin I’m testing is $500 lower than the comparative 32-GB unified reminiscence and 1-TB SSD M2 Max 16-Inch MacBook Pro, and $200 lower than an equal Razer Blade 16 configuration—although the latter comes with a greater processor. 

Gaming and Creative Chops

Photograph: Samsung

The efficiency of the Galaxy Book3 Ultra is strong, if underwhelming. For avid gamers, titles with a give attention to high quality and element fare properly, with Assassin’s Creed comfortably hitting 60 frames per second on Ultra settings on this 3K show. The identical goes for Borderlands 3, with 3K Low settings or QHD Medium hitting 60 frames per second. In Apex Legends, the place frames per second are king, you’ll must drop all the way down to QHD Low settings to hit the utmost this 120-Hz panel can supply. 

A stunning result’s this machine being outmatched by one of many few massive titles that run on macOS: Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The 16-inch M2 Max MacBook Pro managed 120 frames per second on QHD Ultra settings in comparison with 74 frames per second on the Samsung. Those taking a look at this as a gaming machine can definitely get extra worth elsewhere if luxe design and portability aren’t a precedence.

For creatives, the image is rosier. Samsung’s highest-spec Ultra is simply pipped by the MacBook Pro when evaluating their efficiency in Adobe Premiere Pro. This laptop computer is greater than succesful as a device for creators doing demanding enhancing work, however it falls in need of the M2 Max’s capabilities, and crucially, in contrast to Apple’s machine, must be on energy for its full capabilities. Using this laptop computer unplugged sees an enormous dip in efficiency.

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