It’s over a year ago that Samsung released its shiny red Galaxy Chromebook 2. Its next shot on this device can now be purchased, and it’s something, well, a bit different.
The new Galaxy Chromebook 2 is, as far as I can see, not nearly as red as its predecessor. (It’s pretty black and white.) But it has a 360-degree hinge and is more affordable with a starting price of $ 429.99, which might make it a more … convenient purchase on multiple fronts.
The most interesting thing here is the display. Not only is this Chromebook 16:10 (a good image format – thumbs up), but it also comes with a 2560 x 1600 screen. It will definitely be one of the highest resolution screens you can get for a price at $ 430.
This is still a bit of a small screen of only 12.4 inches – smaller than its predecessor, which was a 13.3 inch. But the aspect ratio and resolution mean that it should be able to display more than other screens of this size. The extra vertical space allows for more scrolling and multitasking space than you would get on a typically inexpensive Chromebook, while the resolution allows for clearer text and images. Students with visual impairments or learning disabilities in particular can benefit from larger and clearer text, so a screen like this is one way for schools to invest in accessibility.
In terms of specifications, the Chromebook 2 360 comes with 4 GB of RAM and either 64 GB or 128 GB of eMMC storage space as well as a 45.5 Wh battery. (You should definitely buy the extra storage space, which is only $ 20 more.) It’s all powered by an Intel Celeron N4500 – “Celeron” would be a very discouraging word to read in an article about a Windows laptop, but Chrome OS generally runs much better on weaker processors than Windows does.
For ports, you have two USB-C, a USB 3.2 Type-A, a microSD slot, a combo audio jack, a nano security slot and an optional nano SIM slot. The more expensive Galaxy Chromebook 2 does not even have the USB-A, so it’s a win for the 360 in my book.
This looks pretty clear to be just a “Galaxy Chromebook 2” in the name. It does not look much like its predecessor. But it looks a little nicer than the typical (ugly and old) devices that take up school carts for laptops, and it will almost certainly provide a better viewing experience (an area where schools should invest). Durability is, of course, an important part of any student’s laptop, and although we can not determine it from the pictures, previous Galaxy Chromebooks have been quite well-built.
Between the Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 and Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop SE, this is set to be a year in which PC manufacturers, better known for premium devices, take a hit in the field of education. It creates some interesting opportunities for schools as laptops become more central in the classroom. Maybe the era of the stereotypically ugly and slow school bus for laptops is coming to an end – but it will depend on how many schools actually choose to buy these smart screened devices.