Samsung Chromebook 2 review: A $400 laptop never looked so good
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.
- Stylish design, relatively thin and light
- Sharp display, especially for this price
- Comfortable keyboard and trackpad
- Long battery life
- Pricier than other Chromebooks
- Performance likely weaker than soon-to-be-released Core i3 Chromebooks
- Lack of a full-sized SD card reader will be a disappointment to some shoppers
- Viewing angles aren't very good
Chromebooks seem to be having a moment. Which is odd, because for a while there, nobody seemed to be giving them a chance. Since the first Chromebook came out, about three years ago, Chrome OS devices have gotten flak for not being able to do as much as Windows machines. And to be fair, they couldn't, especially in the beginning. Manufacturers responded by slashing prices, but that led to a whole other problem: endless netbook comparisons. Indeed, many Chromebooks until now have been small, dirt-cheap and woefully low-end. To be avoided, mostly.
Lately, though, the tides have been changing. Nearly every PC maker is making a Chromebook, if not several, and many will soon be upgrading their models with heavier-duty Intel Core i3 CPUs -- processors so powerful you might actually consider a Chromebook for your next laptop. Samsung, meanwhile, is taking a different approach: It's decked out its new 11- and 13-inch Chromebook 2 laptops with a stylish faux-leather lid, similar to what it did on the high-end Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note Pro. Samsung also went with a full HD screen on the 13-inch model, making it the only notebook I know that's this cheap with this nice a display. With a starting price of $320 ($400 for the 13-incher), the Chromebook 2 is on the pricey side, but then again, you're paying for better quality. So is it worth it?