Samsung’s Galaxy Book series offers something for everyone. From the powerful Galaxy Book Pro and the stunning Ultra to the flexible 360, the range has almost every eventuality covered – for a price.
But if you are looking for something a bit easier on your wallet, you could do worse than the Galaxy Book3. The entry-level Book is probably a bit more palatable if you have a strict budget, but don’t want to sacrifice too much. It looks good and offers enough power to get you through some daily tasks, without breaking the bank.
First impressions of the Galaxy Book3 are good. It is thin without feeling insubstantial. The keyboard is a decent size, which makes typing comfortable. And It doesn’t have a plastic case to scratch and scuff through everyday use, opting for metal instead.
On one side you have a pair of USB C ports that can be used for power or data transfer, a USB A port and a HDMI connection. On the other, you get a second USB A port, headphone jack and microSD slot. It covers all the standard requirements for external monitors and keyboards should you want to turn your laptop into a desk-based machine.
The version reviewed here is the 1.20 GHz Core i3, with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive, which is all fine for most tasks as long as you don’t need too much power. It wouldn’t run a high-res mixed-reality headset, for example, or cope too well with high-end graphics work. For more intensive tasks, you’ll need to upgrade to the i5 or i7, or look at the more high-powered Ultra and Pro Galaxy Books.
There is the standard Windows set-up to get through – although the Galaxy Book integrates with Android devices, you still have Windows as the main operating system – with the Book3 coming with Windows 11 Home as standard.
The device seems compact for a 15.6-inch screen, but the Book3 packs a lot into that frame. It is full HD rather than Amoled, but the screen is detailed and vibrant, and works well even in glaring sunlight.
The webcam quality, a stumbling block for many a laptop these days, was not outstanding. There was a bit too much grain in the image, although it did okay in lower light – better than other laptops in this class. With so many laptop makers falling down on the case, though, anything that looks half decent stands out from the pack. We may mostly be returning to office at least on a part-time basis, but more work is being done than ever before on video conferences, so a good webcam is vital.
Overall, the Galaxy Book3 put in a decent performance. Stepping in as my work device, it tackled everything I threw at it with ease. Where things hit the skids for me was battery life. When fully charged and initially set up, it offered me just over five hours in the standard battery configuration. Putting it into battery saver mode promised an additional hour or so, but that cut out some key features.
That was only performing some basic work tasks; anything more intensive, including video streaming, would hit battery life more quickly.
The speakers also weren’t great. While they gave a decent volume, the sound seemed a bit flat.
The Galaxy Book3 looks great and feels a bit more premium than its price tag suggests. The keyboard is big enough to be comfortable for most hands, but not so big that the device is unwieldy. And the inclusion of the number pad rather than cutting it to save space makes it easier to use a work machine.
The Core i3 version, while not the highest-powered in the range, will tackle most day-to-day tasks.
Plenty of ports mean you don’t have to add a hub to stretch your connections. And while the microSD card isn’t useful for everyone, it’s nice to see it just in case.
Battery life is not that impressive. Although official estimates have battery life at a higher rate, I got just over five hours on a full charge with normal use. It would fail to last a long-haul flight without needing a top-up – not always possible – and certainly falls behind other manufacturers in this respect.
If you are looking for something with more power behind it, the Pro may be the best option.
Although the battery life is sub optimal, the inclusion of fast charging mitigates this a little. Plus the plug can be used with other Samsung Galaxy devices, and is extremely compact – think the size of your phone charger rather than the traditional laptop brick.
Also, if you are in the Samsung ecosystem, your Book3 will integrate with your other devices – a handy feature that will make life easier for Samsung users.
The Galaxy Book3 looks good and works well for everyday tasks, with a price tag that matches – but it is let down by the battery life.