Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G review: an ultra-lightweight laptop that's hard to top

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G packs a lot into a thin and light form factor

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Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G
(Image credit: Samsung)
T3 Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G is perfect if you need a sleek, lightweight laptop that can go anywhere with you and last the day – it's particularly impressive when it comes to its superb display and the always-on 5G connectivity you get if you slot in a SIM card.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Stunning 15.6-inch AMOLED display

  • +

    5G cellular connectivity to stay online

  • +

    Lightweight and polished chassis

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the most powerful of laptops

  • -

    Slightly cramped keyboard

  • -

    Chassis case attracts fingerprints

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The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G is designed to be one of the best lightweight laptops around. Not only is it super-thin and super-light, it also has a SIM card slot in it, which means you can stay connected to the web wherever you go, Wi-Fi network or not.

As you can probably gather from the name, it's the successor to the original Samsung Galaxy Book Pro that launched in 2021. Samsung is looking to follow Apple's lead and build an ecosystem of devices (phones, laptops and more) that work together seamlessly.

This comprehensive Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G review will tell you everything you need to know about this particular laptop, from its battery life to its specs. You might also want to check out our guides to the best laptops around and the best student laptops.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G review: price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G is available to buy now: check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest prices. 

If you're buying it with the same spec as our review unit, you can expect to pay around £1,250 in the UK, where it's available from online outlets including Amazon (opens in new tab) and Samsung (opens in new tab)

The 5G-enabled version isn't on sale in the US, but the Wi-Fi-only model starts at $949 at the time of writing.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G review: design and screen

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung has been making laptops and display panels for many years now, and that shows through in the polish and precision of the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G. It's a really well put together laptop – while it's thin and light, it never comes across as flimsy or in any way cheap. Pick it up (which you can do in one hand), and you can immediately tell that this is a premium portable computer, and that extends across the typing and touchpad experience as well.

The matte plastic chassis feels great to the touch and will thrill fans of minimalism: note the subtle and small Samsung logo on the laptop lid. We also like the simple but crisp backlighting behind the keys of the keyboard. And the overall wedge shape of the laptop, which is thinner at the front than at the back. There's no arguing that this is a classy device that oozes style and sophistication.

We've got a very respectable selection of ports here for a laptop that's so lightweight: one Thunderbolt 4, one USB Type-C, one USB Type-A, even an HDMI port, plus a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo port. When it comes to the actual specific dimensions, you're looking at a laptop that measures 355.4 x 225.8 x 11.7mm and weighs in at 1.16kg – so you're not barely going to be able to tell whether this is in your backpack or not.

The screen is an absolute joy as well: sharp, bright and vivid. Remember this is Samsung we're dealing with, a manufacturer known for its stunning displays across phones, TV sets and more, so it's no surprise that the 15.6-inch screen here is so impressive. The 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution isn't best-in-class, but it's certainly crisp enough, and means you save on battery life. With AMOLED technology, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a 120% colour volume, both bright colours and deep blacks look fantastic.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G review: performance and features

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G in a number of variations, but our review unit came with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. If you've got a bit more to spend, then you can upgrade every spec in that list and go for a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage instead. That's quite a significant upgrade, but for most people and most computing tasks, the lower-spec option will do just fine. You also get integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

This isn't a laptop built for demanding tasks like gaming and video editing. It's primarily for writing essays, browsing the web, working on spreadsheets, watching movies, editing photos and other everyday computing tasks. That's reflected in a PCMark score of 4669, which means the basics are well covered but you're going to start struggling if you have a 4K movie to edit together. You won't be able to play high-end games on this either, so serious gamers will need to look elsewhere.

We spent several days testing out the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G, and didn't come across any problems with lag or stuttering – even with dozens of applications open, and plenty of browser tabs too. The fans do spin up quite often, but they're never a problem in terms of their volume, and the laptop never got overly warm to the touch. In other words, this is a laptop that you can actually use on your lap, making it even more appealing if you're looking for something you can use on the go.

The ability to connect to 5G networks could revolutionise your working life too. It depends on how many 5G-enabled phone masts there are in your area, of course, but we can tell you that getting online is very straightforward as long as you've got a compatible SIM card to slot in (and a suitable data plan attached to it). Even with Wi-Fi as ubiquitous as it now is, being able to get online anytime, anywhere definitely has its appeal.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

We've already mentioned how fantastic the screen is, and this is a great laptop for watching movies, shows, or any videos that you might come across on the internet. The 16:9 aspect ratio of the display lends itself well to video content – it's not quite as good for fitting documents and websites on – and the laptop's suitability as an entertainment hub is enhanced even further by the two 4W AKG stereo speakers that provide plenty of punch and depth for such a slimline laptop.

When it's time to get some work done, the typing experience is a pleasure as well. Keys are soft to the touch with just the right amount of travel for some speedy text input, and Samsung has even managed to squeeze in a number pad here – that does mean some of the other keys (especially the cursor keys) are a little cramped for room, but it's not a huge issue. After a few hours of using the laptop, your fingers and muscle memory will soon work out the layout, and the large trackpad is suitably sensitive and intuitive in operation as well.

Windows 11 is Windows 11 of course, and if you're interested in the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G then we're assuming you've already chosen Windows over macOS (and alternatives like the MacBook Air). Two additional touches that we do like are the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor on the keyboard and a 1080p webcam built into the display frame, either of which can be used to quickly log into the operating system (via fingerprint or facial recognition respectively).

We're pleased to report that battery life is pretty good as well: an hour of video streaming knocks the battery level down by 9%, so you're looking at around 11-12 hours of movie watching in total (that's with the screen at maximum brightness too, so you'll be able to get more out of it than that). In a more general use scenario, without any battery-saving measures, you're looking at up to 9 hours – so you can easily get a working day's use from this laptop, and perhaps even more, when away from a power socket.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G: verdict

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

It's impossible for a laptop to pack in desktop-like specs and still be thin and light – when it comes to laptop shopping, you need to decide where on the line between power and portability to want to look. If your priority is a laptop that can be carried around with ease while still providing a decent-sized screen, then we think the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G is absolutely worth a place on your shortlist of potential purchases.

Besides the thinness and the lightness, there's lots more to recommend this portable computer too: the 5G connectivity, the stunning colour quality of the screen, the luxury and high-end feel you get from using the laptop, the impressive thermal management, the decent speakers, and more besides. We used the laptop to write the bulk of this review, and we have to say it was difficult to go back to our normal computing device when the loan period was over.

When it comes to downsides, there's not much to say beyond the obvious: this isn't a super-powerful laptop that's going to blitz through demanding tasks or going to be able to run the best games for Windows. It's also fair to point out that you can get decent everyday computing laptops for a lot less, and you are paying something of a premium for not only how thin and light this device is but, of course, for the on-the-go 5G connectivity option. 

It's hard to find much better out there – and we don't think that anyone who puts down money for the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G is going to be at all disappointed.

Also consider

If you're after an alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 5G then the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 is an obvious contender: as you can probably tell from the name, you lose the 5G connectivity but you do get a screen that you can fold all the way over. You also get a stylus and a touchscreen display – so there are advantages there, whether you're doing some creative doodling or propping up the laptop and its display in tent mode to sit back and watch some films.

When it comes to the best 15-inch laptops on the market at the moment, we also have to mention the Dell XPS 15, which is something of a stunner. It costs a bit more than the Samsung reviewed here, and it's not quite as thin and light, but you do get a 4K screen and there is the option of a discrete Nvidia GPU as well.

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.