CES 2021 is next week, and announcements are starting to hit the wire. Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Chromebook, a premium $ 1000 Chrome OS laptop that felt like a successor to the Google Pixelbook. Just like Google, after experiencing sales of a premium $ 1000 Chromebook, Samsung has decided to tone down premium ness in subsequent versions, and today’s “Galaxy Chromebook 2” is a cheaper follow-up.
Last year’s Galaxy Chromebook featured a headline-grabbing 13.3-inch 4K OLED screen, but this year Samsung has hacked and cut the spec sheet to come down to a lower price. Instead of a 4K OLED, we have a 1080p LCD. The laptop is slower, thicker and heavier than last year, with less storage space, fewer cameras and less RAM. All of this cost reduction has almost cut the price in two, though: it now starts at $ 549.
For the first $ 549, you get a 13.3-inch 1920 × 1080 (16: 9) LCD touch screen; and 1.9 GHz, 14 nm, dual-core Intel Celeron 5205U; 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM; 64 GB eMMC storage; and a 45.5Wh battery. For $ 699, it’s an upgraded model with an Intel Core i3-10110U, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The laptop still has an aluminum part and still comes in either an extremely red color or gray. The laptop is now 13.9 mm thick instead of last year’s 9.9 mm. The weight goes up from 2.29 pounds to 2.71 pounds. The keyboard is still backlit, there are still stereo speakers, and you still get a 360 ° hinge, Wi-Fi 6, 2 USB-C ports and expandable MicroSD storage. Unfortunately, Samsung removed the fingerprint sensor.
You put a camera where?
Gimmicks for the Galaxy Chromebook 1 have also been cut. Last year, the laptop had a strange camera on the keyboard deck, not as a very placed nostril comb, but as a rear-facing camera in tablet mode, so you can take pictures of the world with a giant 13.3-inch viewfinder. The laptop also no longer has a storage pen. Last year, Samsung initially raided the Galaxy Note assembly line and added an identical, storable S-Pen to the Chromebook 1. This year, only separate, unsupported USI pen support has been sold.
The old Chromebook 1 was notorious for poor battery life, probably thanks to the 4K OLED screen, so this year’s cost savings are hopefully also a return to a reasonable battery life. There were also problems during last year with overheating, and this model is not only thicker, but has some buffing valves on the back. So hopefully it’s solved too. The laptop will be released sometime in Q1 2021.
Listing image of Samsung