What you need to know
- Samsung has opened preorders for the Galaxy Chromebook 2, starting at $550.
- Available in two colors, this more affordable version of last year's ultrabook comes with either a Celeron or an Intel Core i3.
- The Galaxy Chromebook 2 will go on sale March 1, and if you buy it from Samsung or Best Buy from March 1-14, you get a $30 credit to spend on your next purchase.
- If you preorder in February, you get a $50 credit instead of $30.
Announced at CES 2021, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 took the original striking (and stunningly expensive) Galaxy Chromebook and reined in the over-the-top features in order to provide a premium Chromebook without quite as much of a premium price tag, giving us one of the Best Chromebooks without breaking our wallets in half. Rather than a 4K AMOLED display, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 has a 1080p QLED display. Rather than having the Active Pen garaged in the laptop, the stylus will now be sold separately. Rather than sporting Project Athena internals, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 features either a Celeron or an Intel Core i3 processor powering your experience.
|Category||Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 ($549)||Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 ($699)|
|Processor||Intel Celeron 5205U||Intel Core i3-10110U|
|Storage||64GB eMMC||128GB eMMC|
|Display||13.3" QLED 1920 x 1080px||13.3" QLED 1920 x 1080px|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5|
microSD card slot
microSD card slot
Active Pen support
Active Pen support
|Weight||2.71 lbs||2.71 lbs|
|Dimensions||12" x 8" x 0.55"||12" x 8" x 0.55"|
As I said during the Galaxy Chromebook 2's announcement, that $549 starter model seems a bit steep for a Celeron-powered Chromebook, even if the screen is gorgeous and the battery life is better than last year's model. This isn't to say that $700 for the beefier i3 model isn't expensive for its processor — the Lenovo Flex 5 has an i3 for $400 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has an i5 for $630 — but there are few Chromebooks in 2021 that can match the Galaxy Chromebook for style and panache.
I'd pay a little more for a great screen on my Chromebook, and no one knows how to do a great screen better than Samsung. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 will be the first Chromebook with a QLED touchscreen, and honestly, at 13.3-inches, I'm perfectly happy to see 1080p quality here rather than 4K.
If you're wanting to get your hands on a Galaxy Chromebook 2, you can pre-order it right now from Samsung.com and get a $50 promotional credit to use on a subsequent purchase. On the other hand, if you wait until March 1 when it's available for immediate purchase, you can get a $30 promotional credit when buying the Galaxy Chromebook 2 from Samsung or from Best Buy so long as you purchase it before March 14.
Premium look for less
Samsung's latest Chromebook offers up performance while keeping costs down by ditching the built-in pen and the 4K screen. While the Celeron version might be a hair underpowered, the Core i3 model could be quite nice for those seeking a flashy Chromebook without a 4-figure price tag.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.