Why Samsung’s reply to the MacBook Pro can’t fairly compete

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra open on a wooden surface.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the king of the creator laptops, and it’s been that method for a number of years.

But there have been a wave of recent Windows laptops trying to problem the MacBook Pro by itself phrases. The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra is actually a contender, packing some spectacular specs in a conveyable chassis. When you examine the 2 straight up, the MacBook Pro 16-inch clearly comes away with the higher hand, even when contemplating its greater value.

Specs and pricing

  Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra (2024) MacBook Pro 16-inch
Dimensions 13.99 x 9.86 x 0.65 inches 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches
Weight 4.1 kilos 4.8 kilos
Processor Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
Intel Core Ultra 9 185H
M3 Pro (12-core)
M3 Max (14-core)
Graphics Nvidia RTX 4050
Nvidia RTX 4070
M3 Pro (18-core)
M3 Max (30-core)
M3 Max (40-core)
RAM 16GB or 32GB 18GB to 128GB
Display 16-inch, 2880 x 1800 120Hz AMOLED 16.2-inch, 3456 x 2234 XDR mini-LED 120Hz
Storage 1TB SSD 512GB to 8TB SSD
Touch Yes No
Ports 1x HDMI 2.1a, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A 3.2, 1x MicroSD 1x HDMI 2.1a, 3x Thunderbolt 4, 1x SD card slot, MagSafe 3
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Webcam 1080p with Windows Hello 1080p FaceTime
Operating system Windows 11 Home macOS Sonoma
Battery 76 watt-hours 99.9 watt-hours
Price $2,400
Where to purchase

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra and MacBook Pro 16-inch have an analogous beginning value, with simply $100 separating them. What you get for that value, nonetheless, varies wildly. For instance, the Galaxy Book4 Ultra provides you twice as a lot storage for that value, whereas the MacBook Pro comes with 2GB extra reminiscence. The method the CPU and GPU configurations scale up are arduous to measure apples-to-apples, after all, however the MacBook Pro could be goes a lot greater. That’s true in GPU efficiency, RAM, and storage.

Samsung’s configurations, however, are restricted to only two. There’s no room for personalisation, and no configurations that go above 32GB of RAM or 1TB of storage. The two configurations supplied are each stable, however I actually want there have been some larger-capacity reminiscence and storage to match the RTX 4070.

But ultimately, the MacBook Pro goes to land not less than a number of hundred {dollars} extra — and probably fairly a bit extra whenever you max out the configuration.


The back of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra on a table outside.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Neither of those laptops are terribly flashy, however the MacBook Pro is actually the better-looking system. The black backdrop of the keyboard makes it stand out a bit, as do the brand new colour choices. Both the Space Black and Space Gray colorways are improbable in my e-book. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra is a really generic grey, and there’s little right here to distinguish from different laptops. I do just like the rounded corners of the display, which is shared on the highest corners of the MacBook Pro.

The one benefit the Galaxy Book4 Ultra’s design has over the MacBook Pro, nonetheless, is the highest bezel. It’s pretty skinny, and also you don’t having that ugly notch staring you within the face.

Beyond simply aesthetics, the MacBook Pro is the extra robust-feeling laptop computer. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra isn’t made out of a machined block of aluminum, and due to this fact has some weak factors within the chassis. It’s a well-built laptop computer, nevertheless it’s not on the extent of the MacBook Pro.

The keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook Pro.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The two laptops are comparable in measurement, with the variations minor sufficient to be hardly value mentioning. They’re each comparatively skinny for this class of laptop computer, however let’s not child round: They’re massive laptops that you simply might need bother becoming on a desk or in a backpack.


The ports on the side of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Fortunately, each of those laptops have embraced a big array of ports, which is the development on newer content material creation laptops. There are some slight variations, although. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra has simply two Thunderbolt 4 ports (one among which must be used for charging) but additionally features a USB-A port. On the opposite hand, the MacBook Pro trades USB-A for a further Thunderbolt connection. The MacBook Pro additionally has MagSafe 3 for charging, which frees up yet one more one among your USB-C ports.

The greater deal to me, nonetheless, is that the Galaxy Book4 Ultra opts for a microSD card slot as an alternative of a full-size one. For this laptop computer’s audience, requiring a dongle to get recordsdata straight out of your digicam is fairly bothersome. The MacBook Pro has an almost good array of ports in my thoughts, as long as you don’t want the USB-A for older equipment or peripherals.


The screen of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra and the MacBook Pro each have improbable, high-end show, although they take totally different approaches to the know-how. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra makes use of an AMOLED panel, whereas the MacBook Pro has a mini-LED display with 576 native dimming zones. The typical benefits of every panel play out as you may predict. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra has much better distinction and colour saturation, whereas the MacBook Pro is over twice as brilliant in SDR. That means each shows are good in several methods — it simply relies on what you need.

Both have a 120Hz refresh charge and nice colour accuracy, although, so that you’re getting a very good working panel for each content material creation and consumption. It also needs to be talked about that there’s a distinction in pixel density. The MacBook Pro is 254 pixels per inch, whereas the Galaxy Book4 Ultra is 212. That’s 17% extra pixels in the identical quantity of house. While the MacBook Pro is sharper, on this comparability, I can’t say it’s going to make an enormous distinction in your day-to-day.

Lastly, it goes with out saying that the Galaxy Book4 Ultra has a touchscreen inbuilt, whereas the MacBook Pro doesn’t.


There aren’t many non-gaming laptops that embrace a GPU as highly effective as an RTX 4070. The Galaxy Book4 Ultra, alongside the Dell XPS 16 and some others, are the few laptops that may actually problem the M3 Max by itself phrases. Unfortunately, it nonetheless doesn’t fairly maintain as much as the uncooked GPU energy of the M3 Max.

Beyond that, Samsung hampers the RTX 4070 in two methods. First off, the laptop computer is simply capable of push 60 watts of energy towards the GPU. That means in some instances, an RTX 4060 laptop computer just like the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i 16 outperforms it in lots of situations. In addition, the laptop computer’s default “Optimized” efficiency mode retains the followers moderately low, making it underperform in comparison with the Dell XPS 16. You can all the time set it to High Performance mode, after all, although many individuals received’t know that exists — or may neglect to show it on.

Regardless, the M3 Max will outperform the Galaxy Book4 Ultra in virtually each scenario. The M3 Pro is perhaps a extra acceptable comparability to make, particularly because it’s nearer in value, however we don’t have testing information accessible for it.

Not everybody wants the total efficiency of the M3 Max, although.

Battery life

The Galaxy Book4 Ultra has pretty good battery life for a laptop computer of its kind. It’s a number of hours forward of the competitors, whether or not that’s the XPS 16 or the Lenovo Yoga Pro. If it’s worthwhile to journey with this system or spend important time away from an outlet, you is perhaps stunned by how lengthy it lasts. If you’re simply shopping the net, you may get upward of 11-and-a-half hours — that’s a full day of labor.

Of course, any kind of heavier purposes will scale back that by fairly a bit, however I used to be positively impressed.

The MacBook Pro, nonetheless, continues to be on a very greater degree. It’s a full eight hours forward of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra, displaying simply how environment friendly Apple’s silicon actually is.

The MacBook Pro continues to be undefeated

I’ll admit that I used to be cheering for the Galaxy Book4 Ultra in my time with it. I really like the concept of a strong Windows competitor to the MacBook Pro that has a GPU as quick because the RTX 4070. Unfortunately, it didn’t reside as much as my expectations, particularly since there are some cheaper choices on the market that add extra worth.

The MacBook Pro M3 Max nonetheless very a lot retains the crown for this class of laptop computer. You’ll pay further for it, however on this case, it’s value each penny.

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