Samsung has proved to be an established manufacturer in the Chrome OS space. It has subsequently delivered the Galaxy Chromebook and the Galaxy Chromebook 2, and both are mid-range and high-end, respectively. So it would’ve been obvious to foresee a Galaxy Chromebook 3 being released by the South Korean tech giant. Still, it appears that the company decided to take a different route instead with the latest iteration in the Galaxy lineup of Chromebooks.
Enter the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go — an entry-level device that doesn’t comprise top-tier specifications like its well-grounded counterparts. Naturally, many people would deem this unappealing affair right from the get-go by reading its on-paper specifications, but there’s more to it than what meets the eye when Chrome OS is in the question.
We’ll be getting down to business with this device and reviewing its major strengths and weaknesses in this article. We’ll also leave our two cents on the Chromebook by the end of the write-up, so interested individuals can know whether it’s worth buying or not. So without any further delay then, let’s jump right in, starting with the technical specifications.
Galaxy Chromebook Go specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4500
- Display: 14″ TFT HD (1366 x 768) display
- Graphics: Intel UHD graphics
- Hard Drive Size: 4 GB
- RAM: 32 GB
- Camera: 720p HD webcam
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card reader slot
- Battery Type: 42.3Wh, 9 hours battery runtime
- Charging Speed: 50% in 40 minutes
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Price: $299
Galaxy Chromebook Go in-depth review
The Galaxy Chromebook Go has a solid build quality that isn’t prone to flexing or pressing. It’s pretty firm with its military-grade durability and can easily survive a few occasional drops with no worries. As for the weight, the device weighs about 3.2 pounds which is a tad bit heavy than its other siblings. But that, too, isn’t exceedingly over the top and is still relatively manageable.
It adopts a sandwich-style design, and we have to admit that this is a good-looking Chromebook. The plastic silver-colored top and bottom lid strike a perfect contrast with the black keyboard deck and the screen’s bezels. You’ll also find a small-scale notch built right into the lower end of the top lid.
This is to make sure that lifting the hinge is painless, quick, and convenient. In addition, this isn’t a convertible Chromebook, which is another facet that’s unlike its counterparts. The best it can do is lay flat on a surface at 180° so others can join in and collaborate. This is a nonetheless helpful feature that’s more than welcome on this device. In addition, there are minimalistic rubber edges slapped onto the corners of the bottom lid to make sure stability is optimized.
Samsung says this is their lightest, slimmest, and most compact Chromebook yet, so this device has a lot going for it in terms of all those traits. It measures 12.8 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches dimensionally
What’s majorly disappointing in the case of the Galaxy Chromebook Go is the screen. The prospect hurts even more while considering how top-tier its predecessors are in terms of the display. We have at our disposal a 14-inch TFT HD (1366 x 768) screen that performs averagely with reasonably bright colors and moderate viewing angles. It’s a pretty much hum-drum experience with the quality of the display, not to mention the inadequate brightness standard, especially when using the device in outdoor settings.
On the flip side, the keyboard and the trackpad are somewhat appreciable. The keyboard feels nice and comfortable to type on and has a good amount of snap that makes the whole affair keenly enjoyable. The same goes for the trackpad. It’s wide and clicky and feels smooth to slide your fingers on. The keyboard and the trackpad combination is something that Samsung has appeared to put effort into on this Chromebook, and by using those components, one can feel that.
I/O-wise, we get to see two USB-C ports for fast charging and quick data transfer speeds, a single 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot – all of which aren’t too impressive but still get the job done at the end of the day. Of course, there’s also a single USB-A port on the Chromebook Go, but you can always choose a USB-C hub to keep using more of your legacy devices.
The performance of the Galaxy Chromebook Go is regulated by an Intel Celeron N4050 processor for everyday working, which is quite adequate for basic computing tasks and running a couple of Play Store applications at once. That said, don’t expect anything extra out of this CPU’s league, such as trying to run other operating systems with unrivaled stability and overpowering the system with many launched programs at once.
Attempting to do any of that will result in you scratching your head in frustration. It’s best suited for lightweight tasks, web browsing, and using Play Store and Linux applications. You will get by just fine with this device if you do one thing at a time. Launching several applications with a dozen different opened Chrome tabs will lead you to gas yourself out.
Moreover, the RAM and hard drive storage are nothing out of the ordinary. On paper, it’s a 4 GB and 32 GB eMMC flash storage setup. That said, Chrome OS is a strong proponent of utilizing cloud-based storage solutions, so if you were to find those specs falling short of your needs, you could always look towards Google Drive, which has managed to become one of the world’s best cloud-ready storage platform.
Samsung has also announced that an LTE-equipped model of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go will be making landfall sometime shortly, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the upgraded edition if that is something that piques your interest and you’ve always got your mobile hotspot on the ready.
3. Battery life
Samsung had claimed that the Galaxy Chromebook Go lasts for about 12 hours on a single charge. That would’ve been a sight to behold if it were true, but the actual battery runtime of the device is somewhere around 8-9 hours, which is nothing but average for Chrome OS. When pitted against the likes of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet or the Lenovo Flex 3, the Galaxy Chromebook Go will be left in the dust.
Samsung has managed to fit a 5920 mAh 2-cell Li-ion battery inside this device, so it takes about 90-120 minutes to charge up fully.
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go is this top-tier manufacturer’s latest addition to the Galaxy Chromebook series. It isn’t the specced-out beast that most people were expecting it to be and is instead a more sized-down version of a device that could’ve been much more in terms of features and value. It retails for about $299 and packs an entry-level Chrome OS experience at best.
We believe that the Galaxy Chromebook Go isn’t the most attractive choice out there, even at its low price of sub $300. Its lackluster of some truly necessary components makes it hard to recommend. For instance, its TFT display isn’t anything to vouch for, nor is the performance in the grand scheme of things. The keyboard and trackpad are somewhat workable along with the modern-day design of the device, but that still does not justify opting for the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go. Sorry Samsung, but you have to up your game for next time.