Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 review

(CNN) –

The original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook was one of the show stealers at CES last year. It combined impressive performance and a vibrant display in a stunning design that displayed the pop and polish of a sports car. There was only one problem: at $ 999, the original Galaxy Chromebook was a bit pricey, even for someone looking for a quality Chrome OS laptop.

Step inside the Galaxy Chromebook 2. Samsung’s second entry into the premium Chromebook arena starts at a well-attainable $ 549. It retains some of the main features of the predecessor – including the beautiful cherry red finish – and even introduces some new benefits such as a QLED display. We’ve got to spend some early hands-on time with Samsung’s latest Chromebook (which is now available for pre-order), and it’s emerging as one of the most impressive laptops of the year for those who want to take advantage of the simplicity of Chrome OS in an instant design.

The first thing I noticed about the Chromebook 2 is the 13.3-inch (920 x 1080) QLED display. This is the first Chromebook to use QLED technology, usually found on Samsung TVs, that uses quantum dots to achieve much better color and brightness than a standard LCD screen.

While watching a Samsung demo video recorded in 8K, we enjoyed vivid colors and extremely fine levels of detail. The lush green of a forest and the orange and yellow of falling autumn leaves appeared on the Chromebook 2’s display, and I could see every single strand of hair on a white wolf’s face during a close-up. That’s pretty impressive for a 1080p display.

PHOTO: Natasha Hatendi / CNN

Apart from the QLED display, the Chromebook 2 looks very similar to its predecessor – and that’s a good thing. The demo unit we saw has the same Fiesta Red livery as last year’s model and looks just as stylish and refreshing as ever compared to the sea of ​​black and gray laptops we usually see (it will be a Mercury, too Give gray option if you want something more modest).

The plastic design of the Galaxy Chromebook 2 isn’t quite as high quality as its aluminum predecessor, but it still felt massive and sturdy while being light enough to be picked up easily at just 2.7 pounds. The laptop’s 2-in-1 design made it easy to use as a standalone display in tent mode or fold in half for use as a tablet. The touchscreen felt fluid and responsive as we had no problems navigating apps or pinching to zoom in on web pages. The Chromebook 2 is compatible with most popular pens, although you won’t have one ready to use out of the box.

The keyboard on the latest Samsung laptop also impressed, offering a good amount of travel and clicking opportunities as we typed gibberish into a Google Doc. The Chromebook 2’s smart amp speakers (which Samsung says are up to 178% louder than the average amp) made for a decent volume when we kicked off the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. However, we are curious to see how they hold up over the longer term for music and TV binges.

The lower price tag for the Galaxy Chromebook 2 comes at the expense of modest specifications. However, for those who use Google’s lightweight Chrome OS software for sending emails, writing documents, and browsing the web, this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

The starting configuration of the laptop for $ 549 includes an Intel Celeron 5205U processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, while a high-end version for $ 699 includes a more powerful Intel Core i3 alongside 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage -10110U-CPU offers. CENTRAL PROCESSOR. For comparison, the original $ 999 Galaxy Chromebook was launched with an Intel Core i5 processor.

With two USB-C ports, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack, you get the essentials of connections. There’s also support for Wi-Fi 6 and a 720p webcam for zoom calls.

While the cost of the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is pretty reasonable, you can get one for just $ 279 if you buy a suitable tablet or phone with Samsung.

PHOTO: Natasha Hatendi / CNN

At a much cheaper price point than its predecessor and the world’s first QLED display on a Chromebook, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 could become the new Chromebook to beat. The screen has some really beautiful colors and an impressive level of detail. The bright red design is one of the best we’ve seen on a Chromebook.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of this year. We’re excited to go through our tests to see how it rivals the best laptops and Chromebooks out there. We hope we get our hands on it soon so stay tuned for our final verdict.

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