Samsung Chromebook Pro review
It was just a matter of time until we'd see a laptop finally use the convergence of Chrome OS and Android to its full potential. It goes without mentioning that the Samsung Chromebook Pro is that notebook, and its allure is only partially the result of its own multifaceted collection of features.
That's right. Here's a laptop that scores points not just for its intriguing emulation of Android apps found on the Google Play store but also because of its unequivocally simple to comprehend design that knocks the huge majority of 2-in-1 laptops out of the sport. There is little doubt in our minds the Samsung Chromebook Pro affected the Google Pixelbook also, what with its own touch-heavy inputs and business casual presentation.
Having said that, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is not without its flaws (what laptop is?) . We have decided this mainly about the principle that, in an effort to appease both appease laptop owners and lure fans of tablets, Samsung has achieved neither without foibles. Minding its pros in addition to its disadvantages relative to price, let us first research your options.
Price and availability
Our review arrangement comes packed at $549 (about £440, AU$720), that will be a smidgen more costly than the $499 or £599 (about AU$650) Asus Chromebook C302 that earned our Editor's Choice award. But that extra 50 bucks frees you a much better QHD 2,400 x 1,600 display, in addition to the built-in stylus, but half as much storage as inside the Asus Chromebook.
Granted, that nonetheless makes it much more readable than the above Pixelbook, that starts at $999 (£999, about AU$1,295), albeit with apparently upsized specs. Meanwhile, the HP Chromebook 13, the preceding frontrunner in regards to price, could be found for $599 or £729 (about AU$800). That you have a 3,200 x 1,800 QHD+ screen, but no touch support.
For the ones that don't require the most of the processing power of an Intel Core m3 processor, the OB1 ARM chip-powered Samsung Chromebook Plus can be available for $449 (about £360, AU$590). Regardless of being a lower-tier model, the Plus keeps its QHD display and other specs. Again, the Asus Chromebook 302 is the nearest competition, meeting it in the same $449 or £499 (about AU$590) cost with an Pentium processor and 32GB of storage.
For today it appears the Samsung Chromebook Pro has just been declared in the usa, however we can not envision that it will not be coming to UK and Australia in the not too distant future.
It is apparent Samsung's design for the Chromebook Pro facilities around portability.
Weighing in at a scant 2.38 lbs (1.08kg), this all-metal Chromebook is the lightest device in its category and a featherweight compared to the majority of laptops we have ever used. As soon as it's lighter than the HP Chromebook 13, it can not acquire the thinnest award using an 0.55-inch high frame that's only five-hundredths of an inch thinner.
Regardless of the excess fractions of an inch, the Chromebook Pro is just one incredibly thin and light device that feels as though it is almost full of air. But do not confuse its lightweight nature to get a flimsy laptop.
The all-aluminum build of the Chromebook makes it sturdy and bend free. Samsung also went with rounded edges and a softer metal that feels more inviting to endure for extended stretches than many hybrid notebooks.
1 key difference of the pre-production review unit, is the retail-ready model's exterior must really be jet black. We love the look of our silver device and it just looks more professional (if you will) with a darker paint project.
Don't be a square
Unlike a lot of Samsung's other laptops, the Pro features a 3:2 display that you'd more frequently see on tablets. You get more vertical pixels that makes it much easier to see photos in fullscreen and read web pages in a glance, particularly while holding it at a portrait orientation.
Regrettably, this squarer aspect ratio does not jive with wide-screen video in 16:9 and 21:9 aspect ratios. TV shows and films letterbox greatly, leaving you with thick black bars above and below the picture.
1 other unfortunate side effect of the boxy proportions it ends up creating for a cramped keyboard. Without the broad form-factor of a 16:9 screen, the keyboard has practically no space to stretch out, resulting in smaller keys, snipped shift keys, and -- worst of all -- a delete key that's one-fourth of its regular size.
It is an embarrassing typing surroundings, but you can get used to following a few days together with the Chromebook. Nevertheless, during those first couple of days using the device, we needed to backspace many casual characters when we supposed to strike that exact backspace key.
Key journey is disappointingly thin at about one millimeter in the best, but they offer a little bit of immunity and spring up immediately. Using a device as slim as this, however, we could not ask for more key traveling compared to that.
Sadly, this is also the sole superior Chromebook that lacks keyboard backlighting.
The trackpad is as serviceable as they come, using a plastic texture and true monitoring. Without the many multi-touch gestures seen on macOS Sierra and Windows 10, you will simply be moving round the cursor and clicking things anyway.
A new class of Chromebook
Samsung calls the Chromebook Pro a brand new category of device designed using the Play Store in your mind. For this end, it comes equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers we used to fantastic effect to push through classes in Asphalt 8.
More importantly, though, this can be the first Chromebook with a built-in stylus. Much like Samsung's Galaxy Note lineup, pulling out the stylus out of the negative immediately gives you a couple of options to add a new note, have a screenshot or use the pencil to guide an on-screen laser pointer through presentations.
For drawing and writing, the stylus feels on level with what we have used on Microsoft's Surface devices -- that is to say it seems extremely natural and exact. Samsung fine-tuned the friction between the glass and pencil to make it feel just like writing . The stylus can also be pressure sensitive, so pressing it more challenging against the screen will alter the form of your breasts.
Chromebooks (and even our Pro model here) should not be as strong as Windows slates to support electronic pens in addition to this. But, Google and Samsung created software that reduces latency when using the stylus.
Employing the ability of the search company's machine and cloud learning technology, the 2 companies examined thousands of design and artistic strokes to predict where the pencil will go.
All that predictive software is baked to the Chromebook Pro, so don't be concerned about Google logging your strokes or even having an Internet connection to get a smooth drawing or writing experience.
What is more, you can save whatever you pencil to Google Maintain, which then may scan your handwriting to make a searchable index. It is an incredibly useful tool, and we are more impressed it could actually make entire words out of the semi automatic chicken scratch.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro is capable of a whole lot, such as streaming 4K media, as a result of the Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor and 4GB of onboard memory. That would usually be overkill for the majority of Chromebooks, but Samsung's most recent Chrome OS machine sets all of that power to good use for driving a QHD screen and running more demanding Android apps.
We had no problems tabbing through dozens of websites at one time, periodically popping open Android apps and playing Google Music all simultaneously.
Even though the Samsung Chromebook Pro comes outfitted with the exact same Intel Core m3 processor as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302, it lagged behind in our benchmarks. By way of example, it took almost 600 more milliseconds to finish Mozilla's web-based Kraken test. This may possibly be a result of the Chromebook Pro's sharper screen placing more stress on processing power.
Otherwise, the HP Chromebook 13 remains one of the fastest Chrome OS machines we have ever reviewed, as a result of the Intel Core m5 CPU -- although it comes at a greater price.
The higher-resolution screen, of course, makes an effect on battery life. Sure, running our normal battery evaluation for almost nine hours putting in seven and a half an hour of work will probably be OK for many -- but there are longer lasting Chromebooks out there.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302 conducted for 2 hours longer playing the exact same picture evaluation, while offering us 30 minutes more of routine use than the Samsung hybrid. However, things might be worse: the HP Chromebook 13 was able to keep on for only eight hours our typical battery test, as a result of its absurd, 3,200 x 1,800-resolution display.
Display and Screen
Regardless of which kind of media you have with this Chromebook, it will all look fantastic on this screen. Samsung has adhered to its heritage of adding gorgeous displays on its own devices, and now we've got a 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) resolution display.
On top of the display leaves colors with vibrant richness without being too saturated. Contrast this is better represented than we have seen about the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 along with other Chrome OS devices, but we see black levels drop off in the darkest end of the scale.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro does not possess the world's loudest speakers, and they can sound hollow at greater volumes, also. They're serviceable enough for broadcasting for as you browse the web and enjoy watching the odd movie, but headphones are crucial if you would like a pleasing listening experience.
Besides the $549 (about £440, AU$720) premium you will pay for this particular Chrome OS hybrid, the largest deciding factor of whether you will purchase this device is exactly what kind of Chromebook are you looking for.
In case you're looking for a Chromebook designed for the Android-fused prospective Google is compelling, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is exactly what you seek. The Asus Chromebook Flip C302 hews closer to the conventional Chromebook format, using a fantastic keyboard and longer battery life, while being able to flip to a tablet.
Alternately, if you seek an easy, affordable Chromebook of yore, then your options expand considerably with any budget option from Acer, HP along with the typical suspects.
This editor particularly sees the Samsung Chromebook Pro as the device he has been awaiting. It is the fantastic Chrome OS device for being used as a Android tablet computer for 70 to 90% of the time and flipping into a conventional laptop for composing emails and the odd article. If your use case is the same, your wait to get a capable Android-tablet-Chromebook-hybrid is finally over.