Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro vs Galaxy Book3 Pro: is Samsung's latest laptop the best yet?

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro and Book2 Pro on a color-split background.
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung is a household name when it comes to great phones, but its laptops haven't made quite the same market impression - despite some of them being pretty excellent!

The two most recent laptop releases from Samsung - which come under the same 'Galaxy' brand as the manufacturer's phones and tablets - were the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Book2 360, both of which we awarded four and a half stars in their respective reviews. We'd love to see Samsung's new generation of laptops take the world by storm, even if they'll likely never reach the dizzying heights of the MacBook Air.

But the new-for-2023 third generation of Galaxy Books (which isn't really the third generation since Samsung also has an old, abandoned series of Galaxy Book laptops) could be another opportunity for Samsung to strike gold in the laptop market. So let's break down how they compare to the previous generation.

Note that we're specifically going to be comparing the new Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro to its direct predecessor, the Book2 Pro, but there are other laptops in the new range; namely the 2-in-1 Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 and the new, supercharged Galaxy Book3 Ultra.

We won't be discussing those two here, since the standard Pro models are arguably the most mainstream of the bunch - that Book3 Ultra is expensive. With that in mind, let's get down to brass tacks.

Galaxy Book2 Pro vs Galaxy Book3 Pro: Price

A lifestyle shot of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro slots into the Galaxy ecosystem (and so did its predecessor). (Image credit: Samsung)

Straight out of the gate, the new Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro stumbles and breaks an ankle. The entry-level configuration of the older Galaxy Book2 Pro started at $1,050/£999 at launch, while the cheapest Book3 Pro you can buy costs $1,150/£1,249.

We can explain away the disparity in the UK pricing by looking at the current economic situation there, but that's still a price hike we're not happy to see. However, you are actually getting more for your money with the Galaxy Book3 Pro; it's packing an Intel Core i7 CPU compared to the Book2 Pro's i5, and double the base RAM and storage.

You're also getting physically more laptop here. The Book3 Pro comes in 14- and 16-inch configurations while its predecessor only offered screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches.

Some users might prefer the compact nature of the 13-inch Galaxy Book2 Pro, so it does somewhat come down to personal preference. Given the superior internal hardware of the Book3 Pro, there's certainly a case to be made for the newer model being a better value despite the overall generational price increase. We'll call this one a tie.

  • Winner: Tie

Galaxy Book2 Pro vs Galaxy Book3 Pro: Design

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro with the screen open on Windows 11 desktop.

(Image credit: Future)

Although the photos in the respective reviews might make these two Samsung laptops look wildly different at first glance, that's just due to the opposing color schemes. If you opt for the default Graphite color for the Galaxy Book3 Pro, it looks more or less identical to the Book2 Pro.

The larger overall size of the Book3 Pro makes the touchpad feel a bit smaller, but both laptops have very satisfying keyboards, a wide central screen hinge, and vanishingly small bezels around their lovely OLED displays. They even retain almost exactly the same ports - though the newer Book3 Pro does have two Thunderbolt 4 ports compared to the Book2 Pro's one.

With such minor differences between the two models, it's difficult to determine a winner here. Ostensibly, the Galaxy Book3 Pro is slightly better here, but it's such a small generational change that we feel comfortable saying that both laptops simply have excellent designs.

  • Winner: Tie

Galaxy Book2 Pro vs Galaxy Book3 Pro: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro and Book3 Pro configurations
ComponentGalaxy Book2 ProGalaxy Book3 Pro
CPUUp to 12th-gen Intel Core i5Up to 13th-gen Intel Core i7
GPUIntel Iris Xe GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
MemoryUp to 16GB DDR4Up to 16GB DDR5
StorageUp to 1TBUp to 1TB

While we haven't had the opportunity to put the new Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro through our full suite of benchmark tests just yet - we've only had a short hands-on test so far - we feel very comfortable saying that the newer model will perform better.

Even just looking at the 13th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU in the Book3 Pro, which should easily beat the 12th-gen i5 chip found in the standard Book2 Pro, it's an easy win for the new laptop. There's more to it than that, though; the Galaxy Book3 Pro benefits from DDR5 memory as opposed to its predecessor's DDR4, which will obviously provide faster performance in RAM-intensive tasks.

There's not even an 8GB RAM option available for the Book3 Pro, so the entry-level Book2 Pro would theoretically fall very far behind its next-gen replacement in certain workloads. And while both laptops use the same Iris Xe integrated graphics, the superior processor in the Book3 Pro means that it'll perform better in graphical tasks.

  • Winner: Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro

Which one should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro is just the superior piece of hardware, largely by dint of it being newer and packing better internal components. Physically, it's not a huge change from the previous model, so there's not a huge amount to write home about here. However, the improved processor and RAM make it indisputably more powerful.

The good news for cash-strapped laptop buyers is that we can expect the Galaxy Book2 Pro to see some discounts now that the new model has arrived. Samsung's best phones tend to sit at the higher end of the scale when it comes to price, and the Galaxy Book series isn't an exception to the rule; when we reviewed the Galaxy Book2 Pro, we noted that the higher-spec configurations were rather costly.

If you've got your sights set on the Galaxy Book3 Pro, though, you can get your pre-order in now - and Samsung actually has some pre-order deals in place right now, including an upgrade to the 1TB SSD for no extra cost. The full selection of new Galaxy laptops is launching on February 17, so don't delay!

Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.