Samsung Chromebook 2
Samsung Chromebook 2. Image via

I’ve had the OG Samsung Chromebook for probably around a year now. I have to say I like it a lot. It’s very compact and lightweight making it easy to carry around, but the keyboard is still big enough not to feel like I’m scrunching my shoulders while typing. It never feels hot on my lap like my previous “real” laptops. And that price… oh, my, that price of $249 is hard to pass up. The only downside? Performance. Anything more than a few tabs open or any tab with a lot of javascript running and the dual-core ARM CPU really starts to bog down.

Samsung is bringing in the replacement next month and there’s a lot to like there too. The biggest drawback to its predecessor is addressed with one of Samsung’s own 8-core ARM CPUs. Some are lamenting the fact that it’s not an Intel Haswell CPU and there is some merit there. Would a Haswell be faster or more power efficient? I honestly don’t know. It would offer more compatibility with linux for those of us who install linux on our Chromebooks. However, it would also likely increase the price (more on that later) so at the end of the day I’m OK with the ARM CPU.

In addition to the nice small 11.6″ (1366×768)¬†screen like the OG Chromebook there is also a very welcome full HD 1080p 13″ screen. Awesome! RAM is increased to 4GB and internal storage is 16GB. With most of my stuff in one cloud or another, I never put much on the internal storage so whatever is included is fine by me. I’m not sure if I like or dis-like the faux-leather cover.

If only they could have kept the original price tag… The new Chromebooks are launching at $320 for 11.6″ screens and $400 for 13″ screens. While that is still far, far less than any normal Windows or Mac laptop it’s also significantly more expensive than the OG Chromebook. I’m tempted to hop on for the 11.6″ model just for the faster CPU and more RAM. I’m a little torn however since HTC and Samsung are launching new phones this Spring and I’m still waiting on the next Nexus 10 and they are all competing for my hard earned dollars.

Decisions, decisions.

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