Instead of a 4K OLED panel, the new Chromebook features a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 QLED display, which was vibrant and bright during the preview event. HDR videos of wildlife and scenery appeared, and details looked crisp. The aspect ratio is still a bit dated at 16: 9 (16:10 would be so much nicer, Samsung) but overall the screen feels like a more than fixable canvas for Chrome OS. Better yet, because it uses QLED, the Chromebook 2 should offer longer battery life than its predecessor. This is something that we will have to test for ourselves to find out for sure.
Unlike the original, which was only available in one setup with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, the Chromebook 2 offers some options. You can get the base model with an Intel Celeron 5205U chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, or spend an additional $ 150 to get a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and twice the memory and storage.
Some other differences between this year’s Galaxy Chromebook and the last one include a new Smart Amp feature to boost the volume, and according to Samsung it’s up to 178% louder than the average amplifier. The new model also supports WiFi 6. The company has also removed the secondary camera from the keyboard, and the Chromebook 2’s solo webcam above the screen has the same 720p resolution as before. While its display supports stylus input, the new Chromebook doesn’t have a built-in S Pen like the original.
Despite its slim profile, the Chromebook 2’s keyboard was surprisingly comfortable to type. The keys are evenly spaced, and while there was less travel than I’m used to, the knobs still had a nice depth. The trackpad, while roomy, seemed a bit slow, but since it’s a preview unit, I’ll reserve judgment on that for now.
Until we can test the Chromebook 2, we can’t say more about the laptop. It’ll be available in the first quarter of the year, so if you’re looking for a nice Chrome OS machine for under $ 700, it might be worth a look. I recommend, however, that you wait until we can fully review it before spending your money.