Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro review: One of the best thin and light laptops featuring Intel’s Meteor Lake

Samsung has made sure that each aspect of the Galaxy Book4 Pro is top-notch. With the keyboard and touchpad being the mainstays of any laptop, Samsung has taken it upon itself to make sure the experience matches the hardware
Samsung Galaxy Book 4
Samsung Galaxy Book 4

By the time this review of the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro review is published, there will already be another laptop from the same company, to rival it. Yes, Samsung has launched the Galaxy Book4 Ultra in India. The Galaxy Book4 Edge, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite X chipset, will also launch in the coming weeks.

But, let’s turn our attention back to the Galaxy Book4 Pro. Over three weeks, I got to experience Intels Core Ultra and extra-long battery life in a 14-inch form factor. Intel’s Core Ultra processors (based on Meteor Lake) are shaping up to be some of the best the company has released in a long time. I checked out the Galaxy Book3 Ultra last year and came away impressed. With the Galaxy Book4 Pro, I’m even more of a happy camper.

 The laptop is lightweight, breezes through any task you throw at it and lasts an extremely long time on a single charge. With a best-in-class OLED touchscreen display (with 3K resolution), weighing in at just 1.2kg and coming in at under 12mm thickness, the Galaxy Book4 Pro has become my favourite laptop of the year thus far. It’s got the same MacBook-inspired all-aluminium chassis that oozes premium. It’s a clean and minimalist approach that does just enough to stand out in the crowded Windows laptop market. It comes in a single Moonstone Grey colour variant.

What I like the most is how sturdy and well-built the laptop is and the wide array of ports on offer. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a full-size HDMI 2.1 port on the left. On the right is the headphone and microphone combo jack, a USB 3.2 Type-A port and a microSD card slot. There’s a Wi-Fi 6E port (yes, India is still many months away from having Wi-Fi 7) and Bluetooth 5.3. Up top is a 1080p webcam, which is sharp, and makes you look good on video calls.

A smartphone-esque display in a 14-inch laptop

Let me explain that sub-heading for you. Samsung has the best-in-class displays for its flagship Galaxy smartphones. The same translates in the company’s Galaxy line of laptops. Samsung offers a Dynamic AMOLED 2X touchscreen panel on the Galaxy Book4 Pro. It might be the same as last year’s model, but it’s still a firecracker of a display. You get a 3K resolution (2,880x1,880) with a dynamic refresh rate of 60Hz and 120Hz. The panel has an anti-reflective coating and thin bezels on the sides. The display has a peak brightness of 500 nits (400 nits in SDR and up to 500 nits in HDR) which is sufficient if you want to use it outdoors.

With its deep blacks, sharp images, accurate colours, and excellent response times, the Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is the best of any laptop I’ve used this year.

Keyboard and trackpad

Samsung has made sure that each aspect of the Galaxy Book4 Pro is top-notch. With the keyboard and touchpad being the mainstays of any laptop, Samsung has taken it upon itself to make sure the experience matches the hardware. The flush keyboard is comfortable to type on and provides ample feedback even when typing quickly. One thing I liked is that the keys remained relatively quiet. There are three levels of backlighting, ample for any late-night work session. The power button (on the right top corner) features a built-in TPM fingerprint that is fast, accurate and works with Windows Hello.

The trackpad may be large and have support for all the Windows gestures but it does get loud. There’s an audible noise when a click is made and that marred the experience just a tad bit.

Software, performance and a hint of AI

The Galaxy Book4 Pro offers top-of-the-line performance thanks to Intel’s Core Ultra processors. The Core Ultra 7 155H CPU features six performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and two low-power (LP) efficiency cores. The H series chips from the Core Ultra series feature the newly updated Intel Arc graphics.

The two main benefits of the new Core Ultra processors are concerning battery life and AI. There’s a dedicated neural processor unit for managing AI tasks and two low-power efficiency cores for better battery life.

Samsung, like Apple, tries to tie you into the ecosystem with some features that only work with its smartphones or tablets. The one that most encapsulates this is the screen mirroring feature. If you own a Samsung smartphone or tablet then you can use it as a secondary display for the laptop. The other one that instantly comes to mind is the drag-and-drop and the cut-and-copy feature. This seamlessly lets you move files or copy files/text from one Samsung device to another.

There’s a Samsung Settings app that is very handy. With the Samsung Settings app, you can control performance modes, backlight, battery protection, display colour profiles and more.

The laptop didn’t stutter or lag for the most part during my testing. The only time it froze for a few seconds was when I used Adobe Photoshop to edit some photos. But, with my medium-to-heavy usage pattern, the laptop breezed through the tasks like a champ.

I know the Galaxy Book4 Pro isn’t a gaming laptop, but I tried some games like Forza Horizon 5, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and EA Sports FC 24. On medium settings, I was constantly pushing past 50fps. With an older game like TrackMania Nations Forever, I was playing on maximum settings and it was a good experience.

Thanks to the neural processor on the Intel Core Ultra processors, AI has gotten a big boost. AI is the big buzzword these days. Adobe’s suits of software - Photoshop, Premiere, and Lightroom - are best poised to take advantage of the neural processor. This software trio has AI features like AI-denoising, background removal, auto-captioning, auto reframing and much more.

Furthermore, one can use Audacity and the suite of AI tools from Intel. There are noise suppression and transcription tools, and one can even use Stable Diffusion to generate stunning images in mere seconds with any prompt.

 Battery life

Thanks to the Meteor Lake chips, there are large improvements in the battery department. Even on days with heavy photo editing and lots of YouTube videos, I managed to get over 8-9 hours before I had to reach for a charger. On days when I was just researching and writing articles, that number was pushed beyond 10 hours. This was with brightness at 35 percent and no keyboard backlighting. The Galaxy Book4 Pro uses a 63Wh battery and comes with a 65W charger in the box.

What I didn’t like

Trackpad: As mentioned above, the trackpad has an audible noise.

Quad-speaker: The speakers don’t get loud, and lack any bass and thump. They’re strictly average, and every time I wanted to watch a video/movie, I pulled out my headphones or an external speaker. The sound clarity is just fine. On the upside, there is no noise distortion.

Price: At Rs 1,39,990 (16GB RAM and 512GB SSD) and Rs 1,71,990 (32GB RAM and 1TB SSD), the laptop is pricey.

Verdict: A pricey affair

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro may be a pricey affair when you compare it to the competition, but it is my favourite thin and light laptop of the year. It has a large array of ports, an excellent touchscreen display, great battery life and more.

I just wish Samsung had done more to differentiate this from its predecessor. It’s an incremental update at best. Maybe Samsung could have incorporated a dedicated GPU, but then again, the price would have shot up.

On the other hand, maybe Samsung was waiting for the Snapgraon X chips to be the game-changer. I can’t wait to get my hands upon the Galaxy Book4 Edge laptop with the Snapdragon X Elite chip from Qualcomm.

With all that said, if you’re in the market for a laptop, then the Galaxy Book4 Pro needs to be near the top end of your shopping list, more so if you own a Samsung Galaxy tablet or smartphone.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money