Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra Review: High Power, High Price

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

Ultra Specs

The Ultra received’t shock you in case you’re aware of 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 gadget contains a 16-inch 3K Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, a brilliant and wealthy show that brings the additional advantage of a 120-Hz refresh charge.

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

Pleasingly, portability hasn’t led to a scarcity of energy—the mix 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 most cost-effective 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 of choose up a 32-GB RAM mannequin within the UK, limiting you to simply 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 nicely, with Assassin’s Creed comfortably hitting 60 frames per second on Ultra settings on this 3K show. The similar 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 should drop right down to QHD Low settings to hit the utmost this 120-Hz panel can provide. 

A shocking result’s this machine being outmatched by one of many few huge 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 gadget can actually 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 instrument for creators doing demanding enhancing work, nevertheless it falls wanting the M2 Max’s capabilities, and crucially, not like 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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