April 21, 2021

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Review: Flying High

Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook is everything you would anticipate from the maker of some of the nicest Android phones on the market place: premium components, personalized adapted to the desires of this product. The fanless structure is 1-of-a-kind, with the chipset inside of, and the shut integration with the software tends to make for a smoother consumer practical experience than most Chromebooks.

Regrettably, this good piece of hardware suffers from quite a few of the exact limits all Chromebooks put up with from: ChromeOS. It really is also the opposite of virtually all other Chromebooks in that it can be significantly extra pricey.

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The Galaxy Chromebook feels like a quality machine, and it is, particularly in the Chromebook earth. Awareness to detail is obvious from the minute you pull it out of the box. The smooth aluminum entire body, large-resolution 4K AMOLED screen, and 10th-technology Intel Core i5 processor have significantly extra in prevalent in significant-close Home windows devices than other Chromebooks. It also comes in either a sedate grey or an aptly named “fiesta purple.”

Photograph: Samsung

A constructed-in stylus, fingerprint reader, aid for Wi-Fi 6, up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to one terabyte of storage room (furthermore a MicroSD card slot) round out the higher-close specs. You will find also a electronic twin-array microphone that makes operating with Google Assistant voice commands much easier than a lot of other devices I have tried using. Which is right—you can management this Chromebook by yelling at it from across the space just as properly as you can control Google’s numerous smart residence speakers.

Did I point out this is the thinnest and lightest Chromebook you may obtain? It can be only 9.9 mm thick (that’s just a minimal much more than the 8.1-mm Apple iphone 11 Pro). And it unquestionably has the sharpest, brightest display screen I’ve at any time applied with ChromeOS (it really is the very first Chromebook with an AMOLED screen). That AMOLED sharpness arrives at a charge in battery life though—the Galaxy Chromebook managed six and half several hours in our typical battery drain examination (taking part in a looped 1080p online video at 75 p.c brightness). Microsoft’s Area Notebook 3 lasted around 8 hours and the Dell XPS 13 hit 12 several hours in identical tests.

But if you change down the brightness—and you can afford to, given that the screen is so sharp—you can coax a comprehensive day of use out of the battery. Normally this is the portion exactly where I would say something like, “assuming you might be accomplishing standard tasks like browsing the net, examining electronic mail, messaging on Slack,” but this is a Chromebook so that’s all you might be likely to be doing.

This is unquestionably a wonderful notebook. You are spending for what you get although. At $999 the Galaxy Chromebook is an high-priced piece of kit, and 1 that is under no circumstances likely to run, for instance, Adobe Photoshop, videogames like Overwatch, or other common desktop apps.

If that’s not a prerequisite for you, you will find considerably here to appreciate. An instance of the refinement and integration in this laptop is when you press in on the spring-launch pen to pull it out the Galaxy Chromebook will immediately open up Google Preserve, and be prepared for your handwritten notes or sketches (which are less difficult to make when you just take gain of the 360-degree convertible design and style). It’s a modest matter, but a ton of these terrific, modest factors are what add up to make this the smoothest, nicest ChromeOS expertise I’ve at any time experienced.


My key difficulty with the Galaxy Chromebook is not the components. It’s the computer software. Don’t get me completely wrong, there are elements of ChromeOS that are excellent. The instant-on knowledge of opening the lid of your laptop and obtaining it all set to type is addictive. Every single other equipment seems terribly slow to me. Furthermore, the fluid indicates of setting up and updating application is definitely great compared even to the software outlets on Home windows and macOS.

Photograph: Samsung 

Even utilizing Linux is virtually flawless. If you are a developer constructing applications for Google platforms, the Galaxy Chromebook is 1 of the couple that’s up to the undertaking. The Linux-based application tools you want are straightforward to install, and the Core i5 chip has the electrical power to basically compile computer software. It is nowhere near to desktop electrical power, but if you want a development machine for Google-centric computer software jobs, this is it.

But Google likes to tout support for Android apps as well when chatting about ChromeOS, and it can be in this article I have had considerably less luck. If by apps you signify the prime 50 apps in the Google Enjoy Store, then of course, aid is pretty excellent. After you stray outdoors the large names, your odds of finding one thing that is effective fall significantly. There’s also the point that the OS mandates an expiration date. The WIRED Equipment crew currently has a 2015 Chromebook Pixel that are unable to get updates (and thus can not load Netflix, amid other things).

To be fair, this Samsung will acquire updates until finally 2028, which does sense like hundreds of years absent. And probably that’s very good sufficient for you. In which situation, there is a lot below to enjoy. It would make the most feeling for hardcore Google product users. If you reside in Chrome, sync every little thing by means of Google Travel, submit your images to Google Images, and electronic mail from Gmail, then get this laptop computer. From a components standpoint, I have never ever applied a nicer Chromebook.

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