Spread the love

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Lemon Squeezer

At first glance, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra is reminiscent of Apple's 16'' MacBook Pro. Like him, it is made of impeccably machined aluminum, has a magnificent 16″ screen and a comfortable trackpad. With a very high price, these are the only points it shares with the top of the range from Apple.

It differs by the presence of a numeric keypad, the use of a Dynamic AMOLED 2X touchscreen panel and above all by a lower weight (1.86 kg compared to 2.16 kg for the MacBook Pro) which makes it more easily transportable. If it does not yet belong to the ultraportable category, it is starting to get closer.

The touchscreen has an effective anti-reflective coating and displays 2880 x 1800 pixels. We have long known that Samsung has mastered the design of quality screens and that of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra is no exception to the rule since it produces an image of exceptional quality.

The colors are boosted a little to be more flattering to the retina, the contrasts perfect and the afterglow completely absent. The image remains readable in direct sunlight provided that automatic brightness adaptation is activated. Finally, the refresh rate varies between 60 Hz and 120 Hz to produce a smooth image in all circumstances.

At first glance, the tactile aspect may seem secondary… and it is for most common uses, especially in the absence of a stylus. By allowing objects to be manipulated with the finger, it will be of great benefit to users of 3D modeling software as well as architects.

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Presse-citron

It is precisely them that Samsung thought of by integrating a high-performance graphics chip into the Galaxy Book4 Ultra. Our test model thus included a GeForce RTX 4070 concocted by NVIDIA, accompanied by 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. It came with Intel's Core Ultra 9 185H processor and 32 GB of RAM.

Let us point out in passing that a slightly less powerful configuration – and therefore less expensive – is also offered. It has a Core Ultra 7 155H and a GeForce 4050 equipped which lowers the price by 400 euros.

The internal storage is made up of a 1 TB NVMe SSD. Its capacity can be expanded if necessary using the second available connector. It will then be necessary to remove the underside, as no quick access hatch is provided. However, it is impossible to extend the capacity of the RAM, as it is soldered directly to the motherboard.

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB 3.2 as well as an HDMI 2.1 connector supporting a screen of up to 8K/60 Hz (or 5K/120 Hz). There is also a 3.5mm audio jack input/output as well as a micro SD card reader and… that’s it!

Knowing that the power supply uses one of the Thunderbolt 4 ports, there are only two connectors left to connect other peripherals. If you plan to use this machine as a video post-production station, you will need to invest in a Thunderbolt 4 hub. If at least Samsung had preferred an SD format reader, much more widespread in video and photography than micro SD…< /p>

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Presse-citron

We have difficulty understanding why the manufacturer opted for such poor connectivity, especially for a machine of this size. Even Apple, which we regularly criticize for the low number of ports integrated into its MacBook Pros, does better… That’s saying!

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Presse-citron

For the rest, no big surprise. The camera housed in the thin black borders surrounding the screen produces a perfectly good image for videoconferencing. Too bad it's not recognized by Hello, Windows 11's biometric identification system. This task is reserved for the fingerprint reader housed in the power key.

The keyboard is a little confusing at first glance, its keys being smaller than those of a notebook without a numeric keypad. You get used to it quickly and you enjoy using it, even if the key travel is a bit short. The trackpad, covered with a thin plate of glass, is immense and pleasant to use. If necessary, we can adjust our behavior using the OS settings.

The sound quality produced by the four AKG speakers is quite decent, even if the bass lacks a little depth. Dolby Atmos certification allows you to watch compatible films or series in good conditions.

Wireless communications are provided by a Bluetooth 5.3 chip as well as a Wifi 6E connection, which we would have liked to see replaced by Wifi 7 in order to ensure better durability of the machine.

The performance of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra is simply excellent with software requiring a lot of computing power. It is true that the graphics chip, widely used, provides solid support for the Core Ultra 9.

The speed of its RAM actively contributes to the good results, as does the ultra-fast SSD concocted by the Korean. No problem either with the most recent video games provided you use the ad hoc operating mode.

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Presse-citron

A performance management utility, accessible via a shortcut key, allows you to adjust the operation of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra according to your needs. Thus, “discreet” reduces performance to avoid fan activation while “performance” sends all the gum to the detriment of energy expenditure. Finally, the “optimized” mode is used by default. It offers the best compromise between performance and power consumption.

It is not easy to evaluate the autonomy on such a machine, which varies greatly depending on the uses made. During our four weeks of testing, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra had a good day. To do this, you must essentially entrust it with tasks that do not require much computing power&nbsp ;: internet, office, instant messaging, 2 to 3 hours of video viewing, audio streaming and a little gaming.

Inevitably, gamers or certain professional users (video editor, architect, photographer, etc.) will not last that long without going through the recharge box. By carrying out photo and video editing in addition to the uses mentioned above, you can get through a short working day provided you do not activate performance mode. If this is not the case, it is best not to count on more than 4 to 5 hours of continuous use.

Even if we remain far from the autonomy of a 16'' MacBook Pro equipped with an M2 chip, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra still offers relatively comfortable autonomy. Fortunately, the Samsung-supplied power brick remains compact enough to easily carry on the go.

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra is equipped with Windows 11 Home, in the personal version. Given the positioning of the machine, we expected to find the Pro version. It's not dramatic, but on a product of this price, it's a bit petty.

Microsoft's OS is accompanied by a software suite that is as complete as it is varied. There we find a jumble of the excellent Samsung Notes that Galaxy smartphone owners know well, Gallery and its advanced editing possibilities or even Studio, the video editor with basic but useful functions.

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra review: the PC that thought it was a Macbook Pro

© Marc Mitrani for Presse-citron

More specific, SmartThings allows the control of connected objects, Pass manages passwords securely while Flow ensures continuity between the manufacturer's tablets, smartphones and notebooks.

For example, you can control a phone and a tablet from the notebook and perform file transfer by drag and drop. Without forgetting of course sharing the clipboard between different devices, or using a Galaxy tablet as a second screen.

We tested all of this and really liked these possibilities. Everything works well, even if the initial startup is not as smooth as hoped. An important detail, activating these functions requires the use of a Samsung account, a necessary step in order to allow synchronization between all its products.

Is this a problem? No, unless you are not keen on the idea of ​​sharing your personal data with an additional service provider, as you already do with Google, Microsoft or Apple. Regardless, we can only salute Samsung's desire to create a relevant and useful ecosystem for its customers.

In fact our main regret comes from the absence of a Windows equivalent of Galaxy AI which we now find on a growing number of smartphones and tablets from the brand.

Questioned on this subject, Samsung explains that AI is indeed present in its Galaxy Books, but in a more discreet way than on its smartphones. It is impossible to know more about his future intentions for his computers. You will therefore have to deal with what Microsoft offers under Windows, which is already not so bad.

Without a doubt, Samsung's Galaxy Book4 Ultra is a success in many aspects. We appreciate its magnificent screen, a keyboard with numeric keypad, its overall processing power as well as its comfortable trackpad.

Samsung's software suite offers many functions already seen on its smartphones. Special mention to the photo gallery and especially to Notes, the very successful cross-platform document manager.

Even if it is exciting, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra falls short on a few points. The most unfortunate thing is the low number of connectors offered, quite surprising on such a machine. The manufacturer is even fancier than Apple, which doesn't really shine in this aspect. It’s a real shame for a machine sold for 3900 euros in the tested configuration.

📍 To not miss any news from Presse-citron, follow us on Google News and WhatsApp.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116