Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra hands-on
Samsung unveiled the much-anticipated Galaxy S23 series smartphones earlier this month at the Galaxy Unpacked event, along with Galaxy Book3 series laptops, including the Galaxy Book3 360, Galaxy Book3 Pro, Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 and Galaxy Book3 Ultra. The Galaxy Book3 Ultra is the flagship of the range and we had the chance to spend some quality time with it at the Samsung Opera House in Bengaluru, India, so here are some impressions of Samsung’s most ambitious laptop yet.
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is 16.5 mm thick and weighs 1.79 kg. It has a slim design and comes in a full aluminum frame. The overall build is nice, as is the finish on the laptop’s lid, which extends to the keyboard area. However, the lid gets smudged quickly, so it requires regular wiping to keep it in its pristine shape.
The Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s lid has the Samsung logo placed in an off-center position, which is not uncommon these days, but some may prefer the centered placement.
Samsung didn’t let us check out the underside of the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, but you can expect some vents there to facilitate airflow and rubber pads to provide grip for the laptop.
That said, on the left side of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra, the HDMI 2.0 port is joined by two USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0 ports and a charging indicator, and on the right, the USB-3.2 Type-A port is flanked by a microSD card slot and a 3.5 mm audio combistick.
Two USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0 ports and an HDMI 2.0 port on the left, with the USB-3.2 Type-A port, a microSD card port and a 3.5mm audio jack on the right
Open the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s lid and you’ll see the 16″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 2,880×1,800 pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. It has a brightness of 500 nits for HDR content (typically 400 nits) and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48-120Hz) which will change depending on the content on the screen, although you have the option to keep it limited to 60 FPS.
The screen also has 120% DCI-P3 color volume and is surrounded by slim, non-plastic bezels with a 1080p webcam mounted on top, accompanied by a blue indicator that lights up when the camera is in use.
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s 16″ screen is surrounded by slim bezels with a 1080p webcam on the top
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s hinge felt sturdy, but how it maintains its stability in the long run is something only time can tell.
We also have the Island Type keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra with 3-level backlighting and a power button in its top right corner with the fingerprint scanner embedded. We wrote a few lines at the event and found the keyboard good to type on. However, detailed tests are required to determine the quality of the keyboard in daily use.
The Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s keyboard also has a dedicated numeric keypad, which is nice to see on slim laptops. We asked Samsung if it plans to introduce an integrated LED-backlit numeric keypad, which we saw on the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition, and the Korean conglomerate’s product team told us that the brand believes that an actual, physical numeric keypad still provides the best experience, so don’t expect an integrated solution like Asus’s on Samsung’s laptops right away.
That said, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s non-glossy trackpad was nicely responsive, and its massive size ensures you have enough room to perform gestures for various purposes.
Talking about the hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra comes with Intel’s 13th generation Core i7-13700H or Core i9-13900H CPU and NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4050 or 4070 GPU depending on the region. For example, Samsung in India only offers the Galaxy Book3 Ultra with Core i9 CPU and RTX 4070 GPU. It has 32 GB LPDDR5 RAM and 1 TB SSD (PCIe) onboard, but some regions also have the option of 16 GB RAM and 512 SSD storage.
The laptop runs Windows 11 out of the box and has a 76Wh battery (73.8Wh/4,757mAh rated), which can be charged via the included 100W USB-C power adapter.
The rest of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s highlights include a quad speaker system (Woofer Max 5Wx2, Tweeter 2Wx2) tuned with AKG and Dolby Atmos, “studio quality” dual mics, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra comes in a single Core i9/32GB/1TB/RTX4070 configuration in India priced at INR281,990 ($3,415/€3,190), which in Europe is priced at €3,699 ($3,960/INR326,890), while the Core i7 model with 16GB RAM, 512GB storage and RTX4050 costs €2,799 ($2,995/INR247,360). No matter where you buy the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, you only get one color option – Graphite.
You can read our Galaxy Book3 series announcement coverage here to learn more about the other laptops in the lineup.