The Galaxy Chromebook is total overkill — and I would like one now, please. The thinnest Chromebook ever, this laptop boasts a gorgeous 4K AMOLED display, a powerful 10th gen Core i5 CPU and a flexible 2-in-1 design with a built-in pen. But is this thing worth $999?
I went hands-on with the Galaxy Chromebook at CES 2020, and it’s one of the best-looking laptops I’ve ever seen. Designed for power users who simply prefer Google’s Chrome OS, I think it could raise the bar for the entire Chromebook category. There’s just one thing that gives me pause other than the price tag.
Galaxy Chromebook price and release date
The Galaxy Chrombook is priced at $999 and will ship sometime during Q1 of 2020. The standard configuration has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but there will be other options available with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
Galaxy Chromebook design
If you want to stand out in the crowd, get the Fiesta Red version of the Galaxy Chromebook. This color is amazing vibrant and makes the Mercury Gray version look boring by comparison.
Measuring 12 x 7.95 x 0.55 inches, the Galaxy Chromebook is the thinnest Chromebook on the market. And it weighs a very light 2.27 pounds. However, the aluminum design felt quite solid when I held the machine and put this 2-in-1 display in different modes.
One of the best things about the Galaxy Chromebook is what it doesn’t have: fans. Samsung worked closely with Intel to deliver a powerful U series processor in a quiet and cool design.
Galaxy Chromebook display and pen
The 13.3-inch AMOLED screen on the Galaxy Chromebook is simply mesmerizing. With 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), you get amazing details paired with vibrant colors, perfect black levels and wide viewing angles. Samsung had some sample UHD content playing on the laptop, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.
The bezels are nice and slim at 3.9mm, but the bottom bezel is on the thick side.
The Galaxy Chromebook comes with a built-in pen that makes it easy to draw and write on the display. The pen worked smoothly during my brief hands-on time.
Galaxy Chromebook specs
For $999, the Galaxy Chromebook has the power to go toe to toe with the mightiest Windows ultraportables. It features a 10th Gen Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage to start.
You also get a 1MP webcam and a 8MP world-facing camera for taking quick photos or videos. The latter is in the upper left corner above the keyboard. During our demo time, I wasn't that impressed with the sharpness of the images, but they should do in a pinch if you're trying to take a snapshot of a white board in class or in a meeting.
Last but not least is Wi-Fi 6, which is the fastest wireless networking standard available.
Galaxy Chromebook ports
The Galaxy Chromebook is predictably think on ports. You get 2 USB-C ports, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. I don't like that the power button and volume controls are on the side of the system. Yes, this makes it easier to access the buttons when in tablet mode, but most of the time you'll likely be in laptop mode.
Galaxy Chromebook battery life
Here’s the one spec that has me worried about the Galaxy Chromebook. It comes with a 49.2 Wh battery, which isn’t that big considering that this system sports a power-hungry 4K display. We have found that 4K panels can eat up a lot of juice compared to lower-res 1080p screens.
Samsung hasn’t provide a battery life estimate for this laptop, which isn’t a great sign. But we’ll see what happens when we get the Galaxy Chromebook in our labs.
It’s easy to scoff at a $1,000 Chromebook when you can pick one up on Black Friday for $99. But this is a different breed. The Galaxy Chromebook is a super premium laptop with a glorious OLED display, plenty of speed and 2-in-1 versatility. It’s really up to you if you want to run Chrome OS or something else.
I just worry about the power penalty the 4K panel is going to have on battery life. Nevertheless, I can't wait to test out this Chromebook to see if it's truly worth the high price.