Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2: Everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2: Everything you need to know

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is one of the sleekest Chromebooks you can buy today. With up to an Intel Core i3 processor, plenty of RAM, and the first ever QLED display on a Chromebook, Samsung created the perfect device for media consumption. If you’re thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Chromebook 2, we’re here to help. You’ll need some key details like pricing, availability, and specs to get you started.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Samsung’s latest flagship Chromebook.

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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2: Specifications

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Dimensions & Weight
  • 12.0″ x 8.0″ x 0.55″
  • 2.7 lbs
Display
  • 13.3″ FHD QLED Display (1920*1080)
  • MAX 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
  • 390nits
  • Touchscreen
Processor
  • Intel Celeron 5205U (base model)
  • Intel Core i3 10110U ($149 upgrade)
  • Intel UHD graphics
RAM & Storage
  • 4GB or 8GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 64 or 128GB eMMc storage
Battery & Charging
  • Up to 10 hours
  • 45.5 Wh (5920 mAh)
Security
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Front camera
  • 1 MP camera
World-facing camera
  • None
Port(s)
  • micro SD slot
  • Audio Jack
  • 2 USB-C ports
Audio
  • 2 speakers x5 Watt Peak Power with enclosure each
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax)+BT5.0 (Dual band) 2*2
  • Bluetooth 4.0
SoftwareChrome OS
Other Features
  • Comes in Fiesta Red and Mercury Gray
  • USI pen support
  • 2-in-1 design

Build and design

Samsung is well known for their design prowess and the Galaxy Chromebook 2 doesn’t disappoint. With an incredibly thin, light chassis and stylish lines, this is a good looking Chromebook. The Fiesta Red color is particularly beautiful, one of the most eye-catching hues you’ll find on any Chrome OS hardware.

Galaxy Chromebook 2 closed on table

The keyboard is very nice as well — solid key travel makes this an easy keyboard to type on for hours. You’ll notice the keyboard can be a little mushy in places, owing to the plastic surrounding the keyboard’s border. This was a strange decision from Samsung, as it seems like metal throughout the device would feel better and make more sense. You also get a sizable touchpad for a 13.3″ device, one you can easily use for productivity tasks or playing games.

Display

Despite downgrading the display from 4K on the original Galaxy Chromebook, Samsung still managed another Chrome OS first. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the first Chromebook with a QLED display. Samsung’s QLED panels are becoming very popular on their televisions, with many users preferring QLED over LG’s OLED, due to their high peak brightness. If you’re looking for a beautiful display that’s bright and crisp, this is the one.

Galaxy Chromebook 2 with XDA page open

For media consumption, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is absolutely perfect. The 1920 x 1080 resolution makes for the perfect 16:9 Netflix viewing experience. Combine this display with a solid pair of headphones or external speaker, and you’ve got the perfect machine for movies on the go. In addition to the beautiful panel, you also get a touchscreen for easy navigation and games that makes use of touch controls.

Performance

Performance on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 varies a bit depending on which configuration you choose. I personally own the Core i3 model and it flies through mostly every task I throw at it. You can easily open lots of Chrome tabs, multiple Android apps, and multitask with ease on this Chromebook.

If Android gaming is your thing, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 can also handle high-end mobile games. I’ve played both PUBg and Asphalt 9 with no hiccups or lag at all. The only limits I’ve reached on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is with Linux apps. Running incredibly intense apps like MATLB can be a bit difficult for the Core i3 — it handles the workload but a bit slower than you’d like.

Galaxy Chromebook 2 with stadia on

The fans on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 also kick in when using the laptop for demanding tasks. This isn’t a bad thing, since the original Galaxy Chromebook suffered from severe performance and battery life issues due to poor thermals. While the fans aren’t that loud, it’s worth noting as some users prefer a fan-less experience. Honestly, if you’re doing serious computing, some fan noise should be expected.

Battery and charging

One of the most disappointing aspects of the original Galaxy Chromebook was battery life. Chromebooks in general are known for great battery life, but the 4K display and fan-less design was a huge problem. Samsung remedied this issue on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 and thankfully battery life is much better this time around. Although Samsung claims up to 10 hours on a single charge, seven to eight hours in more realistic with true brightness settings and a reasonable workload.

Samsung could definitely improve charging speeds on their Chromebooks. Unfortunately, Samsung has a slow charging problem throughout their phone lineup as well, so this isn’t a huge surprise to those who follow the company.

Advanced features

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 features USI pen support and a 2-in-1 design. This is a great Chromebook for taking notes in school or at work. Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t include a bundled S pen or USI stylus with this device. This is a bit disappointing, especially since the stowed S pen was a huge selling point for the original Galaxy Chromebook.

Galaxy Chromebook 2 in tablet mode

Still, you can make use of Google’s new Cursive PWA with the Galaxy Chromebook 2, giving you an easy way to organize notebooks and sync across devices. The 2-in-1 design on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is easy to use and writing on the device is fairly comfortable. You might consider a screen protector and case if you plan to use this machine primarily as a note-taking device.

Configurations and pricing

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook comes in two configurations. There’s the entry-level Intel Celeron model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at $549.99, and the full-powered Intel Core i3 model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which is priced at $699.99. You get eMMC with both models instead of SSD drives, which is a bit of a bummer for such a high priced device. Either configuration is available in Fiesta Red or Mercury Gray.

Galaxy Chromebook 2 in tent mode

There’s no doubt the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a great device, but it’s still a bit overpriced for what you get. Luckily, Samsung often runs sales on both configurations, in addition to their trade-in program. You should be able to find the Celeron model for around $350 or the Core i3 model for $450 if you wait for a good sale. If you have a device to trade in, or education email address, you can save even more on Samsung’s website.

Accessories

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the type of device you want to show off at the coffee shop. To do that, you’ll definitely need a few accessories for your travels. This machine is light and portable, so a case or sleeve is a necessity for carrying it around day to day. When you get to the office or back home, you can transform the Galaxy Chromebook 2 into a full workstation with an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

Chromebook accessories for students

That’s not all. You can also add a backup USI pen for note taking, a dock for improved connectivity and more. The good news is we’ve already created a full selection of the best Galaxy Chromebook 2 accessories. With all those accessories in hand, you can travel in style and get plenty of work done at the office with your new Chrome tablet.

    Galaxy Chromebook 2
    With the Galaxy Chromebook 2, Samsung removed a few premium features but also drastically reduced the price. As the first Chromebook with a QLED display, this machine still packs plenty of power and style for most users.

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About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.