With the original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook debuting last year and costing more or less a fortune at $999, the tech giant has unveiled a successor to that dazzling beauty – the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. This device boasts a much affordable print point at $549, and the spec-sheet looks impressive in this regard. However, with the pressure of the original Galaxy Chromebook’s splendor, will this promising entry truly live up to its name and hype?
In this review, we’re going to take a good look at what the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 has to offer, right alongside mentioning its pros and cons and discussing its major selling points in general. Then, without any further ado, let’s dive straight into it while starting with the technical specifications.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 Specs
- CPU: Intel Celeron 5205U
- Display: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) QLED Touchscreen Display
- Hard Drive Size: 64 GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 720p HD Webcam
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack, microSD Multi-Media Card Reader Slot
- Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Price: $549
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 Detailed Review
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 borrows the same successful recipe from the original Galaxy Chromebook and blends it into something more budget-friendly – all while maintaining a top-quality standard bar none. You’re looking at a smooth aluminum finish that’s been perfectly aligned with the grace of the “Fiesta Red” color scheme. Above everything else, this device has got the looks of an absolute stunner, which is common ground with its predecessor. It weighs about 2.7 pounds, which is a tad bit more than the Asus C423, but still in the range of offering you great portability. Coupled with its lightweight build is its thinness – which measures 14 mm. This makes it easier to stay on the go with this Chromebook, whether you’d prefer to carry it around or use your backpack, for that matter.
Speaking of versatility, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 offers a 2-in-1 design. With a 360° rotatable hinge, the device sports multiple viewing modes. It can fold all the way around to become a tablet while deactivating the keyboard, or it can just lay flat on your table for effective screen-sharing. Either way, the experience is highly polished, and Samsung has really shown with this device that it’s more about the “feels” than the specs. The latter, however, is also remarkable with this machine, so to say. The lid and base are also made cautiously with aluminum, and we think that heavily contributes to the overall shiny finish of the design.
The screen is one interesting facet to talk about. Reflecting on the original Galaxy Chromebook, we had the pleasure to see an excellent 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED display slapped on it. With this more affordable alternative, Samsung has managed to replace OLED with a QLED panel, making the Galaxy Chromebook 2 the first Chrome OS ever made to feature that kind of a display. It’s bright, feisty, and even comprises 100% of the DCI-P3 color space. The Korean manufacturer has incorporated this technology in their smart TV lineup but attempting to deliver it on a Chromebook is something genuinely jaw-dropping. Therefore, the result is a staggering 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) QLED display that attributes clear and crisp viewing. Still, when it really comes down to it, this is a considerable downgrade from the original Galaxy Chromebook. Factoring in the price tag, on the other hand, we have before ourselves a win-win situation. Oh, and it’s also a touchscreen – a very responsive one and fluid.
The I/O screams equity, but nothing too over the top. You’ve got 2 USB-C ports, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD multi-media card reader. What lacks here is a port for USB-A, which is significantly more common than its Type-C counterpart. While adapters would allow us to make do, an absence of native support here does make a difference in situations where it matters.
The keyboard might not be as good as the Google Pixelbook Go, but it still feels super nice to type on, is LED-backlit, and doesn’t make much noise either, especially when the typing gets aggressive. Furthermore, what gives us one more reason to buy this Chromebook are the speakers. Samsung says that this device’s speakers are 178% louder than normal amplifiers and that its “Smart Amp” feature truly brings out the best audio quality you’ll ever hear on a Chromebook. Both speakers afford 1.5W of power.
To talk about a bit on the lackluster side, Samsung has taken away all forms of biometric authentication from the Galaxy Chromebook 2, which is quite contrary if we’re to focus on the original installment. Moreover, there’s no stylus included with this device’s $549 variant. However, given all the pros call us biased, we can live with these trivial downsides.
2. Performance Specs
The model that costs $549 for the Galaxy Chromebook 2 has 4 GB of RAM and 64GB of internal eMMC storage. Moreover, this device fashions an Intel Celeron processor – 5205U, to be precise. On paper, these specs look fairly reasonable for a Chromebook such as this, but in practicality, the performance is even better. The Galaxy 2 can handle several Chrome tabs, the daily rigor of Google Play Store and Linux apps, and you can even run lightweight photo editing programs on it with ease. You’re not going to see any signs of the device slowing down for ages, and since this Chromebook is a fresh release, expect it to last you more years than you think. Although performance does drop as time goes by, we can confirm that the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is off to a spectacular start.
The $699 model of the Galaxy 2 is no joke to talk about its other variant. It offers double the specs, with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB hard drive for storage. It also boasts an ultra-powerful 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor for hardware-oriented users out there. Reportedly, this edition of the Chromebook also comes with a stylus, similar to the original Galaxy Chromebook.
This device proudly features Wi-Fi 6 that’s expected to be 3 times faster than standard Wi-Fi typically supported by most devices. This is ought to add an extra boost to the already smooth performance of this Chromebook and ameliorate your experience like never before.
3. Battery Life
Yet again, this is an area where Samsung has exceptionally shown how they’re not taking it easy, whatsoever. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a mountainous step up from the original Chromebook, not only in pricing but also concerning battery life. As gorgeous and compelling as that device is, the amount of time it can last you takes a significant nosedive. Of course, this is because of the 4K resolution screen on an otherwise premium-grade machine.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2 promises to deliver 13+ hours of battery life on a full charge and to visualize this with all the specs and glamor, and Chrome OS enthusiasts are in for a toothsome treat. The predecessor is thought to last 4-5 hours, which beckons us to question whether it’s really a Chromebook or not? With this awe-inspiring sequel, Samsung has somehow progressed and combined stellar battery life with a beautiful screen and impressive performance.
Our two cents on this doozy of a Chrome OS is nothing but a sure-fire nod of approval. Day in day out, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 seems like a device that’s built to stand out from the get-go. With flexibility and breadth of functionality at its pinnacle, we find it hard to turn our heads toward any other Chromebook that could offer everything this one does at a convincing price of $549.