Happy almost CES! Sure, the biggest consumer electronics show of the year has not officially started, but what will such random signposts really mean in a year like 2021? With the introduction of the Galaxy Chromebook 2, Samsung almost certainly dropped one of the biggest news for the show.
The two-in-one follows almost a year to a day after the original was announced. It seems to share some of the charm of its predecessor, but above all it has a significantly improved price. This time around, the Chrome OS powered portable device starts at a far cheaper $ 549 – down from $ 999.
Mind you, this is for those using a 10th generation Intel Celeron processor. If you want the Core i3, that starts at $ 699. It's a small jump, but a better place to start for users who view the product as an everyday machine. Plus, it's still a lot cheaper than the original. Keep in mind that last year's model started with an i5 – that is, the drop in price comes with some processor downgrade.
Battery life was an issue on the original and is still a question here. The device now has a QLED display (according to Samsung the "world's first" for a Chromebook) instead of the 4K AMOLED display of the original, which could improve the longevity.
The changes between the first and second generation product are a pretty clear indicator that companies are still trying to figure out exactly what a “premium Chromebook” is. After all, it wasn't that long ago that the sentence was a bit of an oxymoron. The company's computer GM, Shoneel Kolhatkar, sums up the general process pretty well here in the accompanying press release.
Lots of kids grew up on Chromebooks in school. As they join the workforce, their needs change and they look for high quality, high performance hardware that can enhance that intuitive Google experience. We designed the Galaxy Chromebook 2 with these users in mind, taking the Galaxy Chromebook's popular features – incredible graphics, great specs, and great design and colors – and bringing them to a wider customer base.
In a way, Samsung is taking a similar journey as Google from Pixelbook to Pixelbook Go. And since Google is pretty quiet on that front right now, there's a decent market opening for Samsung here.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2 comes with a 13.3-inch display, 4/8 GB of RAM and 64/128 GB of storage later this quarter. And yes, it's still available in "Fiesta Red" or gray if you prefer.