Chromebooks keep trying to graduate from being considered the cheap laptop you buy for your kid to something adults would be proud to carry. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2-in-1 may be that--or at least that’s what Samsung and Google are hoping for, with reps from both calling it “the world’s best Chromebook” in front of press here at CES 2020.
Starting at $1,000, it better be.The laptop attempts to live up to superlative by being the first Chromebook with a 13.3 inch, 4K resolution AMOLED screen. It also uses a four-core, eight-thread Intel Core i5-10210U, is supposed to be the thinnest Chromebook at 9.2mm thick and has 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and a 1TB SSD.
The chassis isn’t plastic like many Chromebooks, but a more premium aluminum. And the shimmering Fiesty Red option deserves a lot of attention too. This is a daring distance from the dark blue many vendors claims as color options, so it’s definitely be a win for those who crave extra flavor in their laptop’s design. For the rest, there’s also a Mercury Gray option, which still has a tantalizing, but subtle, shimmer to it. Attention to detail means both color designs get a touch of class with the reflective sides on the chassis, plus built-in stylus storage.
Watching 4K nature videos of reptiles was a creepy treat on the Galaxy Chromebook’s 4K AMOLED screen because it looked almost too realistic. Snakes’ slithers looked frighteningly lifelike, and I could really see the minute differences between the greens, blues and teals of their scaly skin. Sometime this year, Samsung will do a software update for DisplayHDR 400 support for at least 400 nits brightness with HDR content. But as is, the laptop was bright enough to watch my animal friends on the screen in SDR even when it was completely perpendicular from my view.
With a laptop so thin, speaker quality is always a concern. The new Chromebook uses two 2W speakers, and while it was hard to properly test them out in a chatty press room, I could faintly hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” play, and it didn’t immediately sound tinny, like we’ve experienced with other ultraportables.
The keyboard, however, is a shallow struggle with very flat keys. If you’re used to mechanical keyboards or prefer a good amount of travel, this won’t do.
Is this enough to make adults spend a premium? We’ll see when the laptop drops in Q1 2020.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Specs
|Display||13.3-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) AMOLED touchscreen|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-10210U|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), 802.11 ax 2x2|
|Camera||1MP (front), 8MP (on keyboard deck)|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C; 3.5mm headphone/mic jacl; MicroSD/UFS combo;|
|Dimensions||302.6 x 203.2 x 9.9mm|
|Extra||Stylus; fingerprint reader|
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Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.