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Samsung launches a lower-powered, cheaper Galaxy Chromebook 2-in-1

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360
Enlarge / Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360.

Samsung released its latest Chrome OS device today: the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360. While some Samsung Chromebooks occupy the upper echelon of Chromebooks in terms of prices and specs, its newest offering is a step down.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 360’s nomenclature may be a bit confusing. The Galaxy Chromebook 2, which is available with a starting MSRP of $550, also has a 360-degree hinge, despite lacking “360” in its name. But the Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 starts at the lower price of $430, making it a more attainable option for students or for those looking for a secondary device.

The new Chromebook only comes in silver.
Enlarge / The new Chromebook only comes in silver.

The most obvious difference is the display size. The new Chromebook has a smaller 12.4-inch LED panel, while the older Galaxy Chromebook 2 uses a 13.3-inch QLED panel, which applies quantum dots to bring a large color coverage claim of 100 percent DCI-P3. Samsung hasn’t made any specific color claims for its latest Chromebook.

However, the Chromebook 2 360 has a sharper, taller screen than any of the other Galaxy Chromebooks, with 2560×1600 resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio, rather than a 16:9, 1920×1080 display. The touchscreen also claims to hit 340 nits of brightness.

But compared to the pricier, bigger model, you’re looking at shorter battery life (a supposed 10 hours on the Chromebook 2 360 versus 13 hours with the Chromebook), no option to upgrade from 4GB to 8GB of RAM, and a slower CPU. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 360’s Intel Celeron N4500 has a base clock speed of 1.1 GHz that can boost to up to 2.8 GHz, while the Galaxy Chromebook 2’s Intel Celeron 5205U (you could also get it with a 10th-Gen Intel Core i3), runs at 2.1-4.1 GHz.

Other specs include 64 or 128GB of storage, (which ups the price to $450), a 720p webcam, two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a 3.5 mm jack, and a microSD card reader. Perhaps the saddest downgrade is that the new Chromebook only comes in silver, not “Fiesta Red” like its predecessor.

Samsung's pricier Galaxy Chromebook and Galaxy Chromebook 2 come in Fiesta Red (pictured) or Mercury Gray.
Enlarge / Samsung’s pricier Galaxy Chromebook and Galaxy Chromebook 2 come in Fiesta Red (pictured) or Mercury Gray.

Considering its younger audience, Samsung claimed to make the new Chromebook “sturdy, durable and shock resistant,” with a spill-resistant keyboard. However, Samsung didn’t provide details on these claims, which differs from rival Chromebook makers like Acer, which this year announced student-focused Chromebooks that are said to be able to withstand up to 11 fluid ounces and have keys that are supposed to be hard to rip out.

Samsung's new Chromebook goes up to $450.
Enlarge / Samsung’s new Chromebook goes up to $450.

Naturally, Samsung couldn’t resist a push for its smaller Galaxy devices with its new Galaxy Chromebook. The company’s announcement pointed to Phone Hub, which lets you control text messages and Do Not Disturb mode on an Android phone through the new two-in-one. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 also supports Nearby Share for sending files to Android devices over Wi-Fi.

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