Samsung has unveiled the Chromebook Plus V2, an update to the 2017 convertible that will be available this month for $499.
The Chromebook Plus V2 doesn't stray too far from the original Plus model, including a built-in pen and a screen that can flip over to tablet mode, while inside it has the same 4GB RAM and 32GB built-in storage.
However, there are a few key changes that have, according to CNET's hands on preview, led to improvements. The 2018 model runs on an Intel CPU instead of the ARM processor, bringing it in line with the Samsung Chromebook Pro which launched alongside the first Plus but with a high-end Intel Core m3 processor.
The Intel chip on Plus V2 is a lower-end Celeron CPU. Specifically, a 1.5GHz dual-core Celeron 3965Y Kaby Lake CPU that Intel released in 2017. Last year's model had a 2.0 GHz Hexa-core CPU.
Despite this, CNET found the system handled both Android and and web apps from the Chrome Store well, and delivered a better battery life, lasting over nine hours in a streaming video test.
However, the new model has a slightly smaller 12.2 inch display with a lower resolution than the original Chromebook Plus of 2400 x 1600 pixels. This time Samsung went with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.
The other notable addition is a new one megapixel front-facing camera that joins the 13 megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Chromebook Plus V2 also features two USB-C ports for power, data or an external display, a USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Unfortunately, the Chromebook V2 still doesn't have a backlit keyboard, a feature that was also missing from the Chromebook Pro but which Samsung quietly fixed in an unannounced upgrade in April.
At $499, the Chromebook Plus V2 is considered a premium Chromebook albeit a tier below Samsung's $600 Chromebook Pro and HP's new $600 detachable 2-in-1 Chromebook x2, which has an Intel Core m3 processor and a more impressive 8GB of RAM.
The Chromebook Plus V2 will go on sale through Best Buy on June 24. Samsung hasn't announced pricing or availability for other markets. Here's the Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2) specs:
- Processor: Intel Celeron 3965Y
- Memory 4GB
- Storage 32GB
- Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615
- Weight 2.93 lbs
- Dimensions 11.34 x 8.19 x 0.63-7.0 inches
- Ports 2 x USB-C™ [4K display out with optional adapter, Charging], 1 x USB3.0, MicroSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Display aspect ratio: 16:10, brightness: 300nit
- Camera: 1M (front); 13M (on keyboard deck)Stereo Speakers (1.5W x 2), Built-in-pen
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- Samsung's Chromebook Plus V2 is a speedier premium pen-enabled 2-in-1 for $500 (CNET)
- Is Google finally killing Android tablets in favor of Chrome devices? (TechRepublic)