Google’s Chrome OS started out as a platform for super-inexpensive laptops, which is why the original Chromebook Pixel was such a surprise. That premium Chromebook set the stage for better hardware like the Pixelbook and Samsung’s latest laptop, the Galaxy Chromebook. It has a super-thin chassis, plenty of power, and a 13.3-inch 4K OLED screen. It won’t come cheap, though. The Galaxy Chromebook will start at $1,000.
The Galaxy Chromebook looks a lot like the Pixelbook — it’s fully convertible with bold but simple lines and a big trackpad. For all intents and purposes, this might as well be the Pixelbook 2. Perhaps the most notable difference between the two devices is that Samsung’s laptop comes in a striking red color. There’s also a slot with a stylus and a microSD card slot, neither of which were included in the Pixelbook.
The 13.3-inch display has narrow 3.9mm bezels most of the way around, but the bottom edge is a bit larger. This is one of the very few OLED laptops Samsung has ever made, and the first one running Chrome OS. It should offer excellent colors and brightness compared with LCD laptops. Samsung also says there will be a version later in 2020 with HDR 400 compatibility. The impressive display means the rated battery life is a bit lower than other Chromebooks at about 10 hours.
On the inside, the Galaxy Chromebook will have a 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The microSD card slot can add more storage, and you’ve also got a pair of USB-C ports and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Google clearly wants Chrome OS to move beyond the bulk-buy SKUs suitable for schools and offices, and devices like the Galaxy Chromebook could get it there. Google and Samsung have worked closely on the Galaxy Chromebook, and Google is even on hand at CES this week talking up the device. However, this is still running the same Chrome OS you can get on a $200 laptop. That means you’re limited to Chrome, web apps, Android apps, and (beta) Linux support.
While Chrome OS has advanced considerably, A $1,000 Chromebook is still a tough sell. With maxed-out specs (up to 16GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage), the Galaxy Chromebook will cost much more. The device will launch in the first quarter of the year.
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