Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro review: Samsung's MacBook killer gets Intel's latest CPU

Samsung has upgraded its MacBook fighting premium laptop with Intel's new Meteor Lake CPU

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro with screen open
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Physically, the new Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro looks like a dead ringer for the outgoing Galaxy Book3 Pro. Inside, however, it's running Intel's very latest Meteor Lake Core Ultra 7 CPU. That means more performance than ever and even better battery life. You also get the same stunning 14-inch OLED screen as before and great build quality that almost matches Apple, but some features including the speakers still disappoint.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent build quality

  • +

    Fabulous screen

  • +

    Brilliant battery life

Cons

  • -

    Design is derivative

  • -

    Speakers are disappointing

  • -

    It's an incremental upgrade

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Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Two-minute review

If you like the look of Apple's MacBooks but prefer or simply require the Windows ecosystem, well, you can do a lot worse than the new Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro. Like its predecessor, the very similar Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro, it owes its overall look and feel to the MacBook.

Thanks to its sleek wedge-shaped chassis, it's most similar to Apple's now defunct MacBook M1 Air in terms of design. But for features and performance it probably falls somewhere in between the newer and boxier MacBook Air 13-inch (M3) and the base model MacBook Pro 14-inch.

Available in both 14-inch and 16-inch formats, this 14-inch model has both advantages and weaknesses compared to Apple's alternatives. The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro's OLED screen is a definite highlight with incredible image quality plus 120Hz refresh. It also supports touch input. Apple simply can't compete.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro's speakers disappoint and its trackpad is merely OK. Apple definitely does those things better. As for performance, it's a close-run thing compared to the Apple M2 chip, though the latest M3 is arguably a step above. You get Intel's hot new Meteor Lake CPU in Intel Core Ultra 7 155H configuration with six performance cores and eight efficiency cores.

Samsung says the new Intel chip improves the Galaxy Book4 Pro's already impressive battery life by about 10% and we found you can get nearly 14 hours of video playback and over 11 hours of more intensive use. Put simply, this laptop offers genuine all-day longevity.

On the downside, the design is definitely derivative, the speakers are very disappointing and the trackpad is merely OK. But overall, this isn't just one of the best Windows alternatives for MacBook fans. It can take the fight to any competing laptop in our best laptop 2024 guide.

 

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro in use on a desk showing the screen

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $1,449 / £1,599
  • Where is it available? Available in the US and UK

Priced at $1,449 in the US and £1,559 in the UK for the entry-level model with 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD, the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro is definitely premium priced but it's not outrageously expensive. It's a little pricier than a comparably specced MacBook Air, but cheaper than the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro.

On the other hand, Dell's XPS 13 can be had with the same Meteor Lake CPU with matching memory and storage specs for a little less money, and the XPS 14 for about the same money. 

However, the XPS 13 can't be had with an OLED display and with the XPS 14 an OLED panel can be configured, but adds $300 / £200 to the price. All of which means the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro isn't cheap, but it does still offer a strong value proposition.

  • Price score:  4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro comes in two configurations, 14-inch and 16-inch versions.

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These are the specs for the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro
ComponentSamsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 14-inchSamsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 16-inch
Price$1,449 / £1,599$1,749 / £1,699
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155HIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPUIntel Arc integrated graphicsIntel Arc integrated graphics
Screen14-inch, 2880 x 1800 AMOLED16-inch, 2880 x 1800 AMOLED
RAM16GB DDR516GB DDR5
Storage512GB SSD512GB SSD (1TB in US)
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI 2.1, USB-A 3.2, MicroSD, 3.5mm headphone jack2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI 2.1, USB-A 3.2, MicroSD, 3.5mm headphone jack
WirelessWi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
Camera1080p webcam1080p webcam
Weight1.23kg / 2.71lb1.56kg / 3.44lb
Dimensions312.3 x 223.8 x 11.6 mm (12.30 x 8.81 x 0.46 inches)355.4 x 250.4 x 12.5 mm (13.99 x 9.86 x 0.49 inches)
  • Specs score: 4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro next to a MacBook Air

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Design

  • Good build quality
  • Apple-derivative design
  • Very portable

There's no denying it. The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro wouldn't look like it does were it not for the Apple MacBook and more specifically, the MacBook Air and its wedge-shaped chassis. The Galaxy Book4 Pro is awfully, awfully similar, from the tapering chassis thickness to the keyboard design, the look of the trackpad, and the way the screen lid hinges and closes.

Samsung has also come pretty close to matching Apple's signature build quality and engineering. The keyboard bed is super rigid and the chassis feels strong even if the way the various parts fit together doesn't quite match Apple's peerless precision.

There are other details where Samsung can't match Apple. The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro's speakers don't even come close to those of the MacBook Air, let alone the MacBook Pro. That's a real pity and it's hard to understand why Samsung can't give this laptop high sound quality to match the stunning OLED screen. That display, of course, is a touchscreen, which adds an extra string to this Windows laptop's bow that no MacBook offers.

The trackpad, meanwhile, is fine by Windows laptop standards, but isn't quite as precise and satisfying to use as Apple's haptic trackpad. On the other hand, Samsung has managed to offer better port selection than the MacBook Air. Along with a pair of Thunderbolt USB-C ports, you get a legacy USB-A, a full HDMI socket, microSD, and a headphone jack.

That's impressive given the compact form factor which comes in at just 11.6mm thick and 1.23kg. This is an extremely portable laptop, a fact that's only helped by the teeny-tiny 35W USB-C power adapter.

So, this is a very nicely designed and engineered machine on pretty much every level. Among Windows laptops, few if any are better built. But it is, ultimately, a pretty derivative machine in aesthetic terms. Dell's XPS portables are much more distinctive, while Apple's MacBooks are ultimately the real deal.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro in use on a desk showing the screen

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Performance

  • Intel Meteor Lake CPU is punchy
  • OLED screen is stunning
  • Good storage performance
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Benchmarks

Here's how the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 22,295; Fire Strike: N/A; Time Spy: 3,343
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 7,016 points; Single-core: 1,579
CrystalDiskMark 8 SSD sequential: 5.047MB/s (read); 3,993MB/s (write)
CrystalDiskMark 8 SSD 4K: 72MB/s (read); 175MB/s (write)
CrossMark: Overall: 1,601 Productivity: 1,466 Creativity: 1,803 Responsiveness: 1463
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm: 38fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 11 hours and 48 minutes
1080p video playback battery life: 13 hours and 54 minutes

Intel's new Meteor Lake CPU isn't a radical step forward for performance. But it does deliver all the performance you could reasonably ask for in a thin and light laptop like this.

The Intel Core Ultra 7 155H gives you six meaty Performance cores running at up to 4.8GHz, plus eight Efficient cores capable of 3.8GHz. For day-to-day tasks like web browsing and content consumption, the combination of the Intel chip plus 16GB of fast DDR5 memory and a really quick Samsung SSD makes for an ultra-speedy and responsive experience.

But you also have plenty of performance in hand for some pretty serious workflows like image and video editing. Really, the only limitation involves graphics performance. The new Intel Meteor Lake CPU has a good integrated graphics processor. But it can't quite match that of the integrated GPU in AMD's competing Ryzen laptops APUs and it isn't up to the job of playing modern PC games.

Of course, you can get similar performance from a whole slew of Windows laptops that offer Intel's new Meteor Lake chips. But it's still impressive to experience this level of performance in such a compact and portable laptop.

Another highlight is the AMOLED screen. It's just so vibrant and offers perfect per-pixel lighting control, so the HDR experience is truly spectacular. No LCD screen, even one with local dimming, comes close. It's also much brighter than comparable desktop OLED monitors. What's more, it runs at 120Hz for extreme smoothness and responsiveness and has touchscreen functionality.

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro in use on a desk showing the screen

(Image credit: Future)

The only slight flaw involves the screen's dynamic refresh mode. It can switch between 60Hz and 120Hz on the fly and according to application demand. The idea is that running at 120Hz increases battery load, so the screen only steps up to 120Hz when significant on-screen motion is detected. We noticed very occasional stutters that may be related to this feature. It's not a major flaw and, in any case, you have the option of running in conventional 60Hz and 120Hz modes.

Overall, our only significant reservation regarding the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro's performance is those aforementioned speakers. By Windows laptop standards, they're OK. But if you are familiar with Apple's MacBooks and thinking of making the switch, you'll be very disappointed. 

Where watching movies and video content on MacBooks, perhaps while on holiday, is a really enjoyable experience, thanks to some great speakers, on the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro you'd have to bring an additional Bluetooth speaker to get a similar experience. That's a pity.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro in use on a desk showing the screen

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Battery life

  • Even better than before
  • Genuine all-day battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro already had great battery life. With the upgrade to Intel's latest CPUs, it just got better. For movie and video playback, you're looking at the thick end of 14 hours, more than enough for pretty much any plane flight.

Even under heavier loads browsing the web and undertaking more demanding workflows, well over 10 hours is possible. That means with light and occasional use, you'll get multiple days out of this laptop. And when you're getting important work done, you can rely on it lasting all day away from the mains.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro?

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Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro
AttributesNotesRating
PriceThere are certainly cheaper laptops. But as an overall value proposition given the build quality, performance and feature set, this the Galaxy Book4 Pro is very appealing.4 / 5
DesignThe aesthetic is definitely derivative of Apple's MacBooks. But this is a beautifully built, eminently portable machine. It also squeezes good connectivity into its modest footprint.4 / 5
PerformanceIntel's new Meteor Lake CPU is used to very good effect here. There's more performance than the vast majority of users will ever need with the exception of gaming.4 / 5
BatteryThe Galaxy Book4 Pro's predecessor had good battery life. This new model is even better thanks to Intel's latest CPU. All-day operation away from the mains is no problem at all.4.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a MacBook-style Windows experience
The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro looks and feels a lot like Apple's MacBook machines and that's mostly a good thing.

You want great battery life
With around 14 hours of video playback and well over 10 hours with more demanding use, all-day battery life is genuinely achievable.

Don't buy it if...

You want to play games
The Intel Meteor Lake CPU is great for just about everything. But despite an improved integrated GPU, that doesn't include games.

You want to watch movies and video
The OLED screen is fabulous. But the built-in speakers are very disappointing and spoil the content consumption experience.

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro: Also consider

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ComponentSamsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 14-inchDell XPS 13 PlusMacBook Air 15-inch M3 (2024)
Price$1,449 / £1,599$1,299 / £1,399 / AU$2,339$1,299 / £1,399 / AU$2,199
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155HIntel Core i7-1280P (14-core)Apple M3 (8-core)
GPUIntel Arc integrated graphicsIntel Iris XeIntegrated 10-core GPU
Screen14-inch, 2880 x 1800 AMOLED13.4-inch, 3,456 x 2,160, 60Hz, OLED, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 400 nit15.3-inch, 2880 x 1864 Liquid Retina display, 500 nits brightness, wide color P3 gamut
RAM16GB DDR516GB LPDDR58GB unified memory
Storage512GB SSD512GB256GB SSD
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI 2.1, USB-A 3.2, MicroSD, 3.5mm headphone jack2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe 3
WirelessWi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
Camera1080p webcam720p, 30 FPS HD1080p FaceTime HD webcam
Weight2.71 pounds (1.23kg)2.77 pounds (1.26kg)3.3 pounds (1.51kg)
Dimensions312.3 x 223.8 x 11.6 mm (12.30 x 8.81 x 0.46 inches)11.63 x 7.84 x 0.60 inches (29.54 x 19.91 x 1.52 cm13.40 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches (340 x 212 x 15.6mm)

If our Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro review has you considering other options, here are two laptops to consider...

Image

Dell XPS 13 Plus
Ultra thin and light design, an optional OLED screen, fab sound quality and a great keyboard makes Dell's XPS a very compelling proposition. On the downside, it is prone to thermal throttling and the touch bar isn't to everyone's taste.

Check out our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/dell-xps-13-plus" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Dell XPS 13 Plus review

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MacBook Air 15-inch (M3)
Apple doesn't do a 14-inch Air, but the 15-inch model is still super light and portable and offers a very similar experience with a fab 15-inch display. Configured similarly, it's competitive on price with the Galaxy Book4 Pro.

Check out our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/computing/macbooks/apple-macbook-air-15-inch-m3" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">MacBook Air 15-inch (M3) review

How I tested the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro

  • I tested the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro for a week
  • I used it both on a desk and while travelling

I used the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro as my main workhorse for a week, including as a desktop machine plugged into monitors, when on the move, lounging on the sofa, the works.

That gave me a good idea of how it coped with all kinds of tasks, how portable it is and how well the battery lasts in the real world (spoiler, it lasts really well). I have a MacBook Air of my own, so it made for an intriguing comparison. And I have, of course, been testing and reviewing laptops since the early Mesozoic period, so I have plenty of context to draw on.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Contributor

Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.