March 3rd 2014 1:34 pm


A $400 laptop never looked so good


Chromebooks still aren't for everyone: There will always be people who need stronger performance. Who need full offline access. Who need to install Skype. If that's you, no Chromebook will do, even if it is wrapped in fake leather. For a certain kind of customer, though -- schools, students on a budget, a traveler in need of a lighter laptop -- Chrome OS could be compelling. Those people need a sturdy keyboard for typing, but can get by doing almost everything online. If that's you, we recommend the Samsung Chromebook 2 over everything else in its class. Yes, it's pricier than its rivals, but for the money you get a sharp screen, a premium-looking design, long battery life and a keyboard-trackpad combo so good even "regular" PC makers should take note. At $400, it doesn't feel like a netbook; it feels like a proper laptop. And we dare say, it's nicer than any Windows notebook you'll find at this price. Keep that in mind the next time you're perusing the budget shelf at Best Buy.

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Critic reviews

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User reviews

1 review
Engadget May 30, 2014

Chromebooks will never be for everyone, but assuming you're game, the 13-inch Samsung Chromebook 2 is the one we recommend. Its sharp display, stylish design, long battery life and comfortable keyboard make it worth the premium over competing models.

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Computerworld May 15, 2014

If you like the idea of a larger laptop and want a display that's a step above most others -- specifically, the mass of entry-level Chromebooks that also utilize TN panels but lack this model's higher resolution -- it'll give you a good overall experience you can't get anywhere else.

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Time Jun 20, 2014

If Samsung had only shipped a higher-quality display with the Chromebook 2, I could have fallen in love with this laptop.

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First Looks

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Laptop Magazine Mar 3, 2014

Available in April for $319 and $399, the 11.6-inch and 13-inch Chromebook 2 might be just the laptop for students and mobile professionals alike.

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CNET Mar 3, 2014

In our hands-on time with the two new systems, they're actually nicer than they sound, and certainly better than a flat plastic lids most Chromebooks have now, although the stitching does seem superfluous. The 11-inch model comes in black or white, while the 13-inch is a muted grey.

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TechRadar Mar 12, 2014

The new 13in model adds a bigger screen and a much higher resolution but that's it. The good news though is that these new Chromebooks will almost certainly bring down the price of the existing Series 3 model.

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fatlip fatlip

I really like this 13" laptop, replaced an old XP machine with it that just would not die (thanks HP). I am using a bluetooth mouse and it works great. I am in a video edit suite so I am surrounded by content creation machines, PC and Mac. We generally keep those machines off the internet except...

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How it stacks up

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