The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 (or Galaxy Chromebook2, as Samsung likes to put it) aims to prove that less is more. First launched at CES 2021, it's now available for pre-order. While it looks as pretty as its predecessor, it's traded the original's 4K AMOLED panel for a Full HD QLED screen.
And while that may sound like a big downgrade, Samsung is rating this laptop for exceptional battery life. If these ratings proves true, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 will have solved the fatal flaw of its predecessor, while also lowering its price by hundreds. That could make it one of the best laptops, or at least one of the best Chromebooks.
So, should you be excited about the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2? Let's find out.
Samsung opened pre-orders for the Galaxy Chromebook 2 on February 16 on Samsung.com and Best Buy. The former notes that you can "get it by March 1," if you pre-order now.
The entry-level Galaxy Chromebook 2 costs $549 and packs an Intel Celeron processor, while the Core i3 version is $699. That's a whole lot less, either way, than the $999 Galaxy Chromebook — but that model had a Core i5 CPU (and the 4K OLED panel).
The first thing I noticed about the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is that its slick red paint job — one of the best traits of the original — now covers its edges, which were silver before. On top of that, there's also a silver option, for people who don't want to stand out in a crowd. Your desire to not draw attention is understandable.
Measuring 12 x 8 x 0.6 inches and weighing 2.7 pounds, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a bit thicker than the original (11.9 x 8 x 0.4 inches, 2.4 pounds), but who among us hasn't gotten a little thicker and heavier as we work from home? And if that's helping it achieve the battery life (we'll get to that soon) that Samsung promises, then we're not complaining.
And just like the original, this is a 2-in-1 that makes for a slick-looking tablet when bent back fully. It's also still got dual USB-C ports and a microSD memory reader.
One positive about the new Galaxy Chromebook 2 is that Samsung says it's adjusted the keyboard for more comfortable typing. As we have the original on hand, we'll be the judge of that (although keyboards are always a bit subjective).
We wish we were at CES 2021 in person, to drink in the Galaxy Chromebook 2's 1080p QLED screen for ourselves. The original sported a beautiful 4K AMOLED display, and this is probably the biggest change in the entire product.
Samsung's QLED technology has led to great screens, but only time will tell how great the Galaxy Chromebook 2's picture quality is. At this moment, though, it's hard to see anyone being too upset about the loss of 4K, as there is still a significant lack of 4K content outside of Disney Plus and Netflix's pricey Premium tier.
We're optimistically curious how the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 will perform. The original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook felt so high-end, in part because a Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM makes Chrome OS sing like Adele belting out a chart-topping ballad.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2 isn't as well armed — even if you max it out. The entry-level model has a Celeron 5205U processor and 4GB of RAM, while the pricier model has a Core i3 processor with 8GB of RAM. The latter will probably be enough for a speedy experience. We'll see.
Samsung rates the Galaxy Chromebook 2 for up to 14 hours of battery life, though your mileage may vary. We cannot wait to put it through its paces with the Tom's Guide battery test (web browsing at 150 nits).
The original Galaxy Chromebook 2 lasted only 5 hours and 55 minutes, which was a real shame, and something we attributed to its 4K display.
If the Galaxy Chromebook 2 lasts as long as Samsung says it should — and its processors don't make us yearn for last year's model (nobody should ever say "it was better in 2020") — then this experiment will likely be a success.
That being said, it does feel a smidge peculiar for Samsung to reveal a device that's less powerful than the one that inspired it. So, stay tuned, dear reader — we look forward to seeing if Samsung made the right tweaks.