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Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge 16 review: this Copilot+ PC needs some polish

The Galaxy Book4 Edge on a table.
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge
MSRP $1,449.00
“Despite its good qualities, the Galaxy Book4 Edge is just a bit too clumsy to use.”
Pros
  • Very thin
  • Standout OLED display
  • Impressive performance
  • Lots of ports
  • Solid battery life
Cons
  • Finicky touchpad
  • Frustrating keyboard
  • Mediocre speakers and webcam
  • Lacking Windows Hello IR camera

Copilot+ PCs claim to offer advances in two areas: performance and battery life. That does not, however, mean every one of these laptops is necessarily on an equal playing field.

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge’s claim to fame is its size. Despite offering a large 16-inch screen, it’s among the thinnest laptops you can buy in its category. That was enough to get me interested, but after spending some time with the device, its lackluster quality-of-life elements make it a clunky laptop to use in practice.

Specs and configurations

  Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge 16
Dimensions 13.99 x 9.86 x 0.48 inches
Weight 3.4 pounds
Processor Snapdragon X Elite X1E-84-100
Snapdragon X Elite X1E-80-100
Graphics Adreno graphics
RAM 16GB
Display 16.0-inch 16:10 3K (2880 x 1800) OLED, 120Hz
Storage 512GB
1TB
Touch Yes
Ports 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x HDMI
1 x micro-SD card slot
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3
Webcam 1080p 2MP
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 61.8 watt-hours
Price
$1,500+

There are three versions of the Galaxy Book4 Edge — one 14-inch and two 16-inch configurations. The large version, which I reviewed, comes with 16GB of RAM, a terabyte of storage, and the Snapdragon X1E-84-100 chip. That’s the highest-end Qualcomm chip with a 3.8GHz frequency, and it’s slightly faster than the Snapdragon X1E-80-100 offered in the other configurations. This maxed-out configuration costs $1,750.

The other 16-inch version has the X1E-80-100 and half the storage at $1,450. Lastly, there’s the 14-inch model, which starts at $1,350 and 512GB of storage. The Galaxy Book4 Edge is among the more expensive devices in the Copilot+ PC lineup right now. Part of the reason is that Samsung isn’t offering the Snapdragon X Plus chip at a cheaper starting configuration like Microsoft does. Once similarly configured, the Surface Laptop and Galaxy Book4 Edge are similar in price — except that the Samsung has an OLED display.

Design

The Galaxy Book4 Edge open, showing the lid on a table.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Companies have taken one of two approaches to adopting the Copilot+ PC brand. HP started from scratch, taking the opportunity to throw out their entire laptop brands in favor of something new. Dell, meanwhile, has identical Intel and Qualcomm versions of its XPS 13, with no changes other than the chip inside.

Samsung lands somewhere in between. The Galaxy Book4 Edge is technically a new member in the Galaxy Book4 lineup, but it shares many of the same features and design attributes of its siblings. Let’s be real — the Galaxy Book4 Edge is almost identical to the Galaxy Book4 Pro. It’s slightly thinner at 0.48 inches versus 0.49 and weighs the same at 3.4 pounds. For what its worth, the 14-inch model is a bit more impressive with its 0.43-inch thickness, which slightly outdoes the 0.44-inch MacBook Air. That thickness comparison is important, especially since efficiency is the name of the game.

The only significant aesthetic difference is the colorway. The keycaps are a light gray and the chassis is Sapphire Blue, which is a subtle tone. It’s certainly a bit more interesting than the bland silver options that come on the other models.

For me, the parity with the rest of the Galaxy Book4 series is problematic. It’s a rather boring-looking laptop, and the large bottom bezel is an eyesore. More importantly, though, this is a laptop that just feels clumsy to use. The keyboard features a very shallow, almost wooden typing experience.

I don’t know if Samsung is actually using butterfly switches here, but it feels (and sounds) a lot like those old, ill-fated MacBook keyboards. There was definitely a learning curve to feeling comfortable typing here. It doesn’t help that with the 16-inch model, the Galaxy Book4 Edge features a number pad, which makes the touchpad and keyboard feel off-center. There are those that will like having a number pad, but count me out.

The touchpad is worse, though. It’s extra large, which I typically like. But here, the palm rejection just isn’t up to snuff. Misclicks or swipes happened more than I’d wished. The surface of the touchpad is smooth, but the click mechanism is loud and stiff. I’ve really come to prefer the haptic feedback trackpads that are found in other laptops, such as the Surface Laptop, MacBook Pro, or Dell XPS 13. If Samsung wants to compete at this price point, it needs to use the highest-end components.

These are a lot of the problems I noticed while reviewing the Galaxy Book4 Ultra, for example. That was a laptop I wanted to like thanks to the display and performance, but the quality-of-life issues were too rampant.

It’s not all bad, of course. The build quality is great on the whole Galaxy Book4 series, and that’s true of the Galaxy Book4 Edge too. I really enjoy the rounded corners of the screen too. It feels like a premium laptop to hold and look at — just not once you start using it.

Port selection

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

The Galaxy Book4 Edge has great port selection, especially for a laptop of this type. Like the Galaxy Book4 Pro, the Edge features HDMI, USB-A, a headphone jack, and two USB-C ports — one of which you’ll use for charging. That means very rarely will you run into a situation where you might need a dongle.

It does have a microSD card slot, but photographers and videographers will miss the full-size slot that more creator-focused laptops have.

All in all, though, you’re getting more ports here than on a Surface Laptop or Dell XPS 16.

Display

The screen showing on the Galaxy Book4 Edge.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Samsung is known for its displays, and the company has put an excellent one in the Galaxy Book4 Edge. It’s AMOLED, of course, and comes in at a resolution of 2880 x 1800. That’s stretched out a bit more on the 16-inch, giving you a pixel density of around 212 pixels per inch (ppi), but it’s a close match to the MacBook Air 15-inch.

The AMOLED screen give sit an upper-hand in this comparison, though, providing the deep blacks, high contrast, and improved color coverage we all love. The color accuracy, however, isn’t the best. I tested a Delta-E of 1.74, which isn’t horrible, but falls behind some of the other Copilot+ PCs we’ve tested, such as the HP OmniBook X and Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x. My colorimeter measured a max brightness of 379 nits, which isn’t bad for an OLED panel, but shy of the 500 nits claimed by Samsung.

Overall, though, it’s a very enjoyable screen. Everything pops, and even though it’s glossy, Samsung has a nice anti-glare finish that deflects glare well without reducing clarity.

I should mention it also comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and is touch-enabled. The fast, high-quality display definitely offers the Galaxy Book4 Edge an advantage over the MacBook Air 15-inch and Surface Laptop 7th Edition 15-inch.

Webcam and speakers

The Galaxy Book4 Edge has a 1080p webcam and quad speaker setup, which includes two woofers and two tweeters. That sounds like a proper setup for multimedia and video calls, but unfortunately, the experience falls short. I found the image quality of the camera to be grainy and overly dark — even in fairly well-lit situations. I found myself flipping on every light or lamp in the room to brighten my face. If being in video calls everyday is part of your job, you’re going to be a bit disappointed.

On top of that, the Galaxy Book4 Edge doesn’t include an IR camera for Windows Hello login. The fingerprint reader built into the power button works just fine, but it feels like a weird place to cut corners on a laptop of this price.

The same is true of the speakers. These aren’t the worst laptop speakers I’ve ever heard, but they aren’t exactly pleasant either. They made me be more diligent about always using headphones while listening to music, watching videos, and even taking video calls.

Performance

A top-down view of the keyboard of the Galaxy Book4 Edge.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

As part of the Copilot+ PC line, the Galaxy Book4 Edge uses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chips. There are many different configurations of these chips, however, and the Galaxy Book4 Edge is one of the few laptops that use the fastest of the bunch, the Snapdragon X1E-84-100. It has 12 cores like the other X Elite chips, but this configuration comes with a faster clock speed of 3.8GHz. I’m used to that difference in frequency not being huge, but with the Galaxy Book4 Edge, you can definitely see the boost in performance testing across both the CPU and GPU.

Across the board, the Galaxy Book4 Edge outperforms both the Surface Laptop 7th Edition 15-inch and Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x by a surprising margin. I’ll start with the most impressive feat. This configuration of the Galaxy Book4 Edge scores 15% better in the single-core Cinebench R24 test than the Surface Laptop 15-inch. It’s actually the highest score in this test we’ve ever seen on a Windows laptop, just barely nudging out huge gaming laptops with chips like the Core i9-14900HX under the hood. That’s kind of mind-blowing when you think about it.

Even more surprisingly, the Galaxy Book4 Edge outperforms the MacBook Air M3 in multi-core performance by 22%. That lead is widened when you turn the Galaxy Book4 Edge to the Performance mode within Samsung Settings, which boosts it by another 23%. There’s clearly a bit more oomph in this chip if the system is allowed to push the fans harder, which can come in handy if you’re wanting to speed up a particular task.

It plays out in graphics too, where the Galaxy Book4 Edge beat the Surface Laptop by 18% in 3DMark Wildlife Extreme and 16% in 3DMark Steel Nomad Light. Apple’s M3 chip is still a healthy 33% faster in these same tests, but it’s still nice to see the difference in performance across Qualcomm’s different versions.

It’s particularly interesting because Time Spy has not been compiled for Arm, so it’s running in emulation. So, while the Adreno graphics are much faster than the Intel Arc integrated graphics while running native applications, it’s significantly slower in emulation. There, Intel’s Arc graphics beat Qualcomm’s Adreno. In native apps like the Nomad Light test, however, Qualcomm fares much better.

Cinebench R24
(single/multi)
Geekbench
(single/multi)
3DMark Steel Nomad Light
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge
(Snapdragon X1E-84-100)
126 / 766 2957 / 15358 2280
Surface Laptop 7th Edition
(Snapdragon X1E-80-100)
105 / 826 2388 / 13215 1904
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x (Snapdragon  X1E-78-100) 106 / 872 2454 / 14039 1893
HP OmniBook X (Snapdragon X1E-78-100) 101 / 749 2377 / 13490 1953
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Ultra (Core Ultra 9 185H / RTX 4070) 107 / 817 2373 / 13082 N/A
Apple MacBook Air 13
(M3)
141 / 596 3102 / 12078 3378

As has been mentioned to death already, these Copilot+ PCs are not gaming PCs, and I wouldn’t even consider evaluating it from that perspective. Not only is the GPU not powerful enough, but compatibility remains an issue, as many games still refuse to even run. That situation will likely get better, but it’s important to know about now.

Fortunately, when it comes to tasks the Galaxy Book4 Edge is intended to be used for, it’s all good news. You’ll never stop and think that you’re using anything other than an ordinary Windows laptop, and that’s a massive achievement in its own right. Everything is buttery smooth, and even apps running in emulation seem to hold up well enough. We don’t have our entire suite of benchmarks to go through since they’re not all compatible yet, but the GeekBench and Cinebench scores alone tell a compelling story.

The comparison against the Galaxy Book4 Ultra also reveals just how far Qualcomm has come. Despite the fact that the Ultra is significantly thicker, its Intel Core Ultra 9 185H chip is slower than the Snapdragon X1E-84-100 when you turn on the Performance mode on both of these laptops. And that’s comparing a creator laptop with a thin-and-light.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that these Arm laptops don’t lose a single bit of performance while on battery, unlike traditional x86 chips.

Software

I won’t spend much time talking about the software features of the Galaxy Book4 Edge, especially when it comes to AI. Yes, it comes with things like Cocreator in Paint or Live Captions that run exclusively on the chip’s NPU. And they’re neat — I’m certainly not doubting that. But they’re the same on every Copilot+ PC, so there’s not much new to say here. Furthermore, we’re still waiting on Recall to show up to get a fuller picture of Microsoft’s vision for AI PCs in this new era.

Beyond those, the laptop comes with Samsung’s typical range of built-in apps, some of which are helpful and some of which are better left ignored. One of the new features from Samsung lets you control your Samsung phone exclusively with Copilot. That’s not an NPU-exclusive feature, but it’s new on the Galaxy Book4 Edge. I wasn’t able to test it, as I didn’t have a Samsung phone on hand — but smoother interaction between your phone and laptop is never a bad thing.

Battery

Battery life was supposed to be one of the most important calling cards of the Copilot+ PCs, but the Galaxy Book4 Edge is at the back of the pack. It lasted for 12.5 hours in our light web-browsing battery test, and two more in local video playback. That’s running on a 61.8-watt-hour battery.

Let me just say this first: Those are solid numbers, and I think you’ll be satisfied with this battery life. It’s an improvement over the current crop of non-Copilot+ PCs out there in this class.

However, you might be wondering why it’s so far off the target of 22 hours claimed by Microsoft and Samsung — which is hit by laptops like the Surface Laptop 7. Well, we can only guess. Perhaps it’s the OLED screen or just the size of the panel itself. Or maybe it’s the extra heat created by this particular chip. We’ll only know once we’ve tested other laptops with this same chip inside, but it certainly seems plausible that this configuration of the Galaxy Book4 Edge is trading some battery life for extra performance.

Lacking in quality

The keyboard and side profile of the Galaxy Book4 Edge.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

I’m a fan of what Microsoft and Qualcomm have done with the Copilot+ PCs, but the Galaxy Book4 Edge 16 is not my favorite. The keyboard, touchpad, webcam, and speakers are all disappointing — and these are four things that the average laptop user should expect more from.

The display and performance are high points, though if you’re attracted to the battery life and portability of Windows on Arm, you really should be looking at a smaller laptop first. I have a feeling I’d have a slightly better impression of the Galaxy Book4 Edge 14-inch, even if the aforementioned issues weren’t improved. If you’re committed to the Samsung ecosystem, I do think the Galaxy Book4 Edge (especially the 14-inch model), is one of the better options for the price.

And the vibrant OLED screen is the primary advantage this device has over the 15-inch Surface Laptop and MacBook Air. But for most people, it’s just not going to be worth the trade-offs in overall usability that other laptops excel in.

Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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