Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro 360 Is the 2-in-1 Laptop You Need

Illustration for article titled Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 Is the 2-in-1 Laptop You Need

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

For those of us who need to get work done on the go, there’s always one dilemma when it comes to choosing your mobile machine: Do you skimp on screen size and go with a lighter 13-inch laptop, or do you risk putting your back or shoulders in jeopardy by opting for a larger 15-inch system? And for those who value flexibility, do you dare tack on even more added weight with a 2-in-1?

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It’s a hard choice, and one that Samsung is looking to eliminate with the new Galaxy Book Pro 360. The new 2-in-1 combines a deliciously thin design and a gorgeous AMOLED display with excellent battery life and solid performance, putting everything you need in a single machine. 

The Epitome of Sleekness

Devices get thinner all the time, but the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s dimensions still seem impossibly sleek. Measuring 14 x 9 x 0.46 inches and weighing just three pounds, the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is significantly thinner and lighter than an XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.1 x 0.71). And the XPS 15 is a standard clamshell, while the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a 2-in-1 with a rotating hinge.

But it gets even better when you remember that the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is actually the biggest and heaviest model in the new Galaxy Book Pro lineup, with the 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 weighing just 2.3 pounds, and the clamshell 13-inch standard Galaxy Book Pro tipping the scales at a sprightly 1.9 pounds. All told, the lightness of Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pros means you can upgrade to a bigger system without breaking your back, which is a win for anyone who has ever wanted more screen to work or play with while traveling.

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The entire 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is thinner than the deck of an XPS 15. That’s seriously slim.
Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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Additionally, despite being extremely thin, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 still offers great build quality, with a sturdy anodized aluminum chassis that only features a little bit of flexing in the middle keyboard, which given its dimensions, seems pretty reasonable. And while you could nitpick the Galaxy Book Pro 360 for having a slightly enlarged chin, that feels like an incredibly minor complaint.

Technicolor Dream Screen

Next, we move onto the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s display, which is where Samsung really flexes on the competition. Sporting a gorgeous 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED panel, the Galaxy Book Pro line is one of the only laptop families that features an OLED screen as standard, while still remaining relatively affordable. Colors are deep and vivid, and with brightness being a strength of OLED displays, Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro laptops are equally at home indoors as they are outdoors, even in bright sunlight.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

This display is so good, it makes you want to find new things to view just to see how pretty they look. For more color-sensitive situations like editing photos or simply shopping online, Samsung provides multiple color profiles to make sure colors are accurate and not overly saturated. My only small gripe with the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is that I wish Samsung had an optional 4K OLED panel, because with a lower overall pixel density compared to its 13-inch siblings, a little extra sharpness would go a long way.

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More Than Enough Power to Get Work Done

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models feature Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPUs and Intel Iris Xe graphics as standard, so the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s performance is pretty much as good as you can get without tacking on a discrete GPU. As expected, in Geekbench 5 our 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 review unit pumped out similar numbers as other premium notebooks like the Razer Book 13, though systems with access to AMD CPUs like the Surface Laptop 4 do perform better when it comes to rendering videos. In Handbrake, our Galaxy Book Pro took 12 minutes and 29 seconds to convert a 4K movie to 1080p, compared to just under 9 minutes for the Surface Laptop 4.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

And even without a discrete GPU, the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s Iris Xe graphics is still good enough to play less demanding games like League of Legends or Overwatch, though you might have to play with settings depending on the specific title.

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Keyboard, Ports, and Stylus Support

For such a thin system, Samsung still provides a comfortable typing experience. The Galaxy Book Pro 360 balances out a relatively shallow 1mm of key travel with a crisp keystroke and a good bounce when you bottom out. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s touchpad is absolutely massive, with Samsung still finding room to include a numpad on the right on 15-inch models, which I think is a nice inclusion considering Samsung’s focus on mobile productivity. And in the very top right, there’s also a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor that works with Windows Hello.

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Port selection is also sufficient, with Samsung including one Thunderbolt 4 port along with two additional USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. With this system only featuring USB-C ports, I kind of wish Samsung had tossed in a USB-C to USB-A for help connecting legacy accessories, but you can’t get everything I guess. On the flip side, even though there’s no place to store a stylus in a system this thin, Samsung does include an S-Pen in the box.

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A More Seamless Galaxy Experience

It’s easy to overlook this part, but Samsung has put a lot of work into a number of pre-installed apps designed to make other Galaxy devices play nice with the Galaxy Book Pro family. There’s Quick Share to help you share files between the laptop and your Galaxy phone a cinch, while Samsung’s Second Screen feature lets you turn a Galaxy tablet into a portable extended display. And of course there are all the S-Pen apps to help you quickly sketch or jot notes before syncing your scribbles across all your Galaxy devices.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

Samsung even created a new version of its Smart Switch app, so you can transfer all of your existing files and Windows Store apps from your previous system to the Galaxy Book Pro 360 with ease. (Though strangely, it seems you can’t send over traditional standalone programs that you’ve installed manually.)

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Look, it’s still not quite the experience you get from Apple’s family of devices, but it’s a big improvement compared to your typical Windows 10 fare, and for people who already own other Galaxy devices, these apps are something you’ll definitely appreciate. Annoying, there’s also a fair bit of bloatware pre-installed on here too, like apps for Amazon and Facebook Messenger, which detracts a bit from the notebook’s normal luxury vibe.

A Truly Awful Webcam

The one is a real head-scratcher, because it’s not like Samsung doesn’t already have extensive experience equipping and tuning cameras on mobile devices. But there’s no getting around it: The Galaxy Book Pro 360’s webcam is bad, or barely passable at best if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care about showing their face on video calls.

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Not only is the webcam’s 1280 x 720 resolution just ok, it captures content that looks grainier, blurrier, and just lower quality than what you get from an XPS 15. There aren’t really any excuses to have a webcam this bad on a premium laptop, and what makes things even worse is that aside from the webcam, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 doesn’t really suffer from any other major demerits, which makes the webcam feel like even more of an albatross.

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Impressive Battery Life

Posting a time of 14 hours and 46 minutes on our video rundown test, the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 churned out one of the best battery life marks we’ve seen in years, easily beating out the XPS 15 (8:28), the Surface Laptop 4 (12:21), and others. Now it’s important to note that part of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s longevity is due in large part to its OLED display, but even when playing games untethered, I was still impressed by its overall runtime.

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One other nice bonus is that because the Galaxy Book Pro 360 supports charging over USB-C, you can also use Samsung’s 65-watt power brick to power up your other USB-C devices, which is a handy bonus when trying to pack light.

Which Laptop Should You Buy?

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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If you already have a couple Galaxy devices and you’re looking for a work machine to round out your kit, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 has to be at the top of your list. Not only does its OLED screen ensure you get the same jaw-droppingly good viewing experience across all of your devices, Samsung has delivered some honest to goodness synergy to help everything play nice together.

But even if you haven’t dipped your toes into Samsung’s ecosystem before, there’s still a lot to like. Between its super sleek design, best-in-class battery life, and the flexibility you get from its 2-in-1 design, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is more than ready to handle traditional productivity tasks with aplomb. And when compared to other top competitors like Dell’s XPS 15, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is even more portable and arguably better looking. With the Galaxy Book Pro 360, Samsung has taken the pursuit of lightness to greater heights.

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League of Legends Is Getting Its Own Animated Series on Netflix

AOC’s favorite non-legislative pastime, coming to a Netflix near you.

AOC’s favorite non-legislative pastime, coming to a Netflix near you.
Screenshot: Netflix

Trailer FrenzyA special place to find the newest trailers for movies and TV shows you’re craving.

Between this and the recent, solid DOTA animated show Dragon’s Blood, it seems like Netflix is going all-in on the hyperspecific market that is “wildly popular MOBA, but make it cartoons.”

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This morning Netflix revealed that the world of the global sensation League of Legends—the fantastical multiplayer arena game/esports force pitting teams of players against each other in a push-and-pull combat game to protect their respective home bases—is being turned into an animated series for the service. Little was revealed about the plot, other than that the show will be called Arcane, and is described as an “event series.”

The show is part of League developer Riot’s ongoing attempts to broaden the game’s lore and characters outside of the MOBA space. The developer is already making multiple game spinoffs set in League’s universe, and Arcane as a project was already teased by them last year for the studio’s 10th anniversary. But it seems like Arcane will serve as a way for people intrigued by it but not enough to want to deal with having to play the games itself to get in on the fun.

Arcane releases on Netflix this fall.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Twitch and Facebook Gaming Are Having One Hell of a Year. YouTube Gaming? Eh, Not so Much

Illustration for article titled Twitch and Facebook Gaming Are Having One Hell of a Year. YouTube Gaming? Eh, Not so Much

Photo: Martin Bureau (Getty Images)

As the world descended into lockdown last year, people overwhelming tuned into livestreams to connect with others and stave off boredom while stuck in their homes. And that pandemic-fueled growth shows no signs of slowing down even as the world attempts to return to business as usual, with both Twitch and Facebook Gaming seeing record viewership in the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest numbers.

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The popular livestreaming software provider StreamLabs released its first streaming industry quarterly report for 2021 on Friday. Using data compiled by streaming analytics firm Stream Hatchet from the beginning of January to the end of March, it offers some interesting insights, most notably that Facebook Gaming is closing in on YouTube Gaming’s spot for the #2 most popular streaming service. In first place is long-time leader Twitch, which still easily commands the largest chunk of the market with more than 72% of the total hours of content watched this year.

If you (like me) never really got that into livestreaming, you may be surprised to learn just how massive the industry’s become in such a short time. At Amazon-owned Twitch, viewership, hours streamed, average concurrent viewership, and the number of channels have all roughly doubled since this time last year, StreamLabs said. Twitch broke its viewership record for the second quarter in a row with users watching 6.3 billion hours of content, an increase of almost 1 billion hours compared to last quarter. The platform also saw its single largest quarterly increase in hours streamed since the early days of the pandemic, jumping from roughly 230 million hours to 265 million.

While Twitch is most well known for streaming video games, its most popular category continues to be “Just Chatting”. This category—considered the successor to Twitch’s ill-defined “IRL” section, which was reconfigured into 13 distinct non-gaming categories in 2018—involves exactly what the name implies: Content where streamers simply hang out and chat with viewers or engage in real-world shenanigans.

“Just Chatting” racked up a whopping 754 million hours watched in Q1 this year. To put that figure into perspective, Grand Theft Auto V, the most-watched game on Twitch in 2021, had 536.3 million hours, with League of Legends not far behind at 534 million.

Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming, which is owned by Google, continue to lag far behind Twitch, but the gap between them is quickly narrowing. Facebook hit an impressive milestone this past quarter, surpassing one billion hours watched for the first time, almost double the total viewership the platform garnered around this time last year.

“For the first time, we are seeing Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming closely compete against each other in terms of viewership,” said StreamLabs head of product Ashray Urs in the report. “While the difference in viewership was approximately 1 billion hours last quarter, that gap has shrunk to about 300 million in Q1. There is a chance we could see Facebook Gaming overtake YouTube Gaming in viewership next quarter. ”

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StreamLabs attributes a lot of that success to PUBG Mobile, Facebook Gaming’s most-watched gaming category for at least the past two years. Users watched 254 million hours of PUBG Mobile livestreams in Q1, an impressive year-over-year increase of 76%. Facebook Gaming absorbing Microsoft’s failed livestreaming platform Mixer last summer no doubt attracted plenty of new talent and viewers that migrated over.

YouTube Gaming was the only platform of the big three that experienced a dip in viewership this quarter, down 28.6% from 1.92 billion hours to 1.37 billion hours. Both its total number of hours streamed and unique channels also fell, though not as much (6.7% and 9.9% respectively). However, taking into account its year-over-year growth, YouTube Gaming doesn’t seem to be doing half bad, as its total viewership and average concurrent viewership both increased by roughly 28%. The platform is also home to the most popular female streamer across all platforms: Valkyrae, whose content viewers watched for 12.2 million hours during Q1 this year.

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We’ve reached out to Twitch, Google, and Facebook for comment, and will be sure to update this blog when we hear back.

All told, it seems the attention livestreaming platforms attracted during the pandemic isn’t dying down anytime soon even as lockdowns lift, vaccines roll out, and people start to journey outside their homes more regularly again. But whether Facebook and YouTube’s gaming livestreaming services will ever pose any real threat to Twitch’s industry dominance remains to be seen.

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Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP’s 72-Hour Flash Sale

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Featured Deal: 72 Hour Flash Sale | HP

The best HP laptop and desktop deals of April 2021 are here.

HP is holding another 72-hour Flash Sale, but the savings won’t last for much longer: the promotion is set to end Saturday night. That means you don’t have much time left to take advantage on big bargains on HP laptops, desktops, printers, monitors, and accessories.

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But even if you’re just looking for an affordable notebook or desktop PC, you’ll find some stellar bargains right now. Here are some of the top picks from HP’s website, along with HP deals from other retailers.

HP Laptop 14Z | $280

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

Here’s one of the most affordable laptops that HP has right now: an entry-level Windows 10 device that might not be a powerhouse, but should be just right for basic everyday usage and media streaming. You’ll get a 14” HD screen here with an AMD processor and GPU, along with 8GB RAM and a solid 128GB SSD for storage. It’s only $20 off, but it’s already at a killer price.

HP Laptop 17Z | $450

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Want to go big at a bargain? Amazingly, you can get a Windows laptop with a huge 17.3” screen for just $450 right now in HP’s Flash Sale. This HP Laptop 17Z has lightweight specs, as you might expect, with an AMD Athlon Gold processor and AMD Radeon Graphics, plus 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Look, a 17.3” display at 1600×900 resolution isn’t going to be super crisp, but at least you’ll have ample real estate for multitasking. It’s $50 off right now.

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HP Envy Desktop | $840

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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If you’re more keen on a desktop than a notebook, HP’s Envy desktop is a modestly-priced option that’ll give you solid power for a range of everyday tasks. Right now, the base configuration is $100 off from HP.com, with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB RAM, a speedy 256GB SSD, and loads of handy ports for plugging in peripherals and external memory. You’ll need to provide your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse for this one.

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HP Neverstop Laser Printer | $300

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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If your job requires a lot of printing—seriously, a lot—then you’ll want a printer that’s up to the task of pumping out pages without blowing through ink too quickly. Luckily, the HP Neverstop Laser Printer seems well-suited for the task. It can handle up to 21 black-and-white pages per minute with both wired and wireless printing, and includes a toner tank that’ll last for up to 5,000 printed pages. Save $30 right now.

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HP Omen Laptop 17T | $1,000

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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You don’t have to be tethered to a desk to get solid gaming performance. HP’s Omen Laptop 17T gives you a 10th-gen Intel Core i5, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 8GB memory, and a 256GB SSD. The large 17.3” screen ought to be great for both gaming and media, while that kind of power should be plenty fine for games like League of Legends and CS:GO. Save $80 right now.

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HP Slim Desktop | $450

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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This is the cheapest desktop in HP’s sale: a slim tower that should have just enough power to give you smooth sailing across everyday tasks like streaming media, browsing the web, and typing up documents.

The compact computer has an Intel Core i3 processor inside with integrated graphics, 8GB RAM, and a huge 1TB hard drive paired with a speedy 128GB SSD. You even get a DVD-RW drive in the mix. Save $50 off the list price.

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HP All-in-One 22 | $550

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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This HP All-in-One PC bundles both the brains and screen into one package, saving space while delivering a solid home desktop. With a 10th-gen Intel Core i3 chip and 8GB memory, it won’t be a beast for gaming or intense productivity. However, the 21.5” 1080p display and pairing of a 1TB hard drive and 128GB SSD will give you loads of space for media and more. It’s $100 off right now.

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HP Envy x360 Convertible Laptop | $800

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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HP is currently cutting $80 off the price of this sleek, convertible HP Envy x360 Windows 10 laptop, which easily contorts to take the shape of a tent or tablet as needed. It’s solidly-equipped with a 15.6” 1080p touch display, 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It won’t be a gaming powerhouse, but the versatile design could make it very handy as an everyday laptop.

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HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e | $170

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8025e is a fairly modest all-in-one printer/scanner/copier with a 2.7-inch touch display and wireless printing, and it can handle up to 20 pages per minute in black and white (or 10 in color). The printer is shown at list price, but right now HP is offering a bonus in the form of six months of free ink and a two-year warranty bundled in.

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HP 22er 21.5” Monitor | $115

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP's 72-Hour Flash Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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HP’s slimmest-ever LCD monitor is an affordable option right now at a $35 discount from the usual price. This 21.5” display comes at a solidly crisp 1080p resolution and has both HDMI and VGA inputs. There are larger, pricier HP monitors right there, but this is a bargain choice if you’re looking to save some cash.

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