Price: from $299
CPU: Intel Celeron N4500 CPU
Display: 14 inches (1366 x 768)
Ports: 2 USB-C, headphone/mic jack, microSD card reader
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Samsung's roster of Galaxy laptops has just expanded with the addition of the Galaxy Chromebook Go, a new 14-inch Chromebook on sale now at select retailers and Samsung's website for $299. A more expensive model with LTE support will also go on sale in the near future, though Samsung has yet to confirm a price or release date.
This is potentially exciting news because Samsung's been on something of a tear with its laptop business this year, impressing us with the quality of 2021 releases like the $550 Galaxy Chromebook 2 and the $1,299 Galaxy Book Pro 360 2-in-1.
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However, at $299 the new Galaxy Chromebook Go looks to be a much cheaper (in every sense of the word) piece of kit, and it might have a hard time competing with the best Chromebooks on the market. But while the specs aren't impressive, they may be more than enough to satisfy your needs if you're in the market for an affordable new Chromebook.
Galaxy Chromebook Go: Specs
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go is packed with pretty modest components, which makes sense given the sub-$500 price tag. It weighs in at 3.2 pounds and sports a 14-inch display with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels, so don't expect to be watching anything in native 1080p on it.
The Chromebook Go runs Chrome OS powered by an Intel Celeron N4500 CPU, with 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage. That's not a lot of power or storage capacity, but since it's a Chromebook you're meant to rely primarily on web apps and online storage anyway.
Port-wise you're looking at 2 USB-C ports, a headphone/mic jack, and a microSD card reader. This Wi-Fi model of Chromebook Go supports Bluetooth v 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6, which is a nice touch. The built-in 720p webcam probably won't help you look your best on video calls, but for $299 it's hard to expect a high-quality camera.
Samsung claims the Chromebook Go's battery can last for up to 12 hours on a single charge, but that's probably a bit optimistic — in our hands-on battery tests of other Galaxy laptops we've reliably found them to last a few hours less than the advertised maximum.
Galaxy Chromebook Go: Should you buy or skip?
With an asking price of $299 the Galaxy Chromebook Go is one of the cheapest laptops Samsung sells, and that's reflected in what's inside. As you can see from the specs laid out above, this Chromebook probably won't blow you away with its speed or wow you with the quality of the display.
That last bit is especially hard to swallow because Samsung has done such a stellar job of impressing us with the quality of the displays on its Chromebooks. The original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook had an incredible 4K screen (and commensurately meager battery life), while the Galaxy Chromebook 2's downgraded 1080p QLED display was still gorgeous — and dropping the 4K screen helped bump the laptop's battery life up to a reasonable level.
Still, both of those Chromebooks cost over $500, making them less ideal than the new Galaxy Chromebook Go if what you want is a cheap, durable Chromebook that you won't fret too much about if it gets damaged or destroyed.
Galaxy Chromebook Go: The alternatives
If you're in the market for something affordable, there are some potentially better alternatives available that are as cheap (or cheaper) than the $299 Chromebook Go. Samsung itself sells one: the $229 Chromebook 4, a similarly-specced Chromebook with a slightly weaker CPU and a smaller 11.6-inch screen.
And if you'd prefer a Chrome tablet with detachable keyboard, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is $50 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. The CPU is weaker and the 10.1-inch display is quite a bit smaller, yet it can achieve a higher resolution (1920 x 1200 pixels) than the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go.
Galaxy Chromebook Go: Outlook
Obviously we'll have to wait until we get a chance to do some hands-on testing of the Galaxy Chromebook Go to offer you a full review, but based on the specs alone it's clear that the Go is a solid, affordable Chromebook. However, there are lots of competing Chromebooks that cost less than $300, and it doesn't look like the Chromebook Go offers anything special that helps it stand out from the pack.
That will change once the LTE model goes on sale, since having the option to be online anywhere you can get service will significantly improve the Galaxy Chromebook Go's utility. Of course, it may also significantly increase the asking price.