Announced in March, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 is now available. This education-focused Chromebook starts at $429.99 with some nice external features and a capable but basic processor. Samsung boosted the keycap size on the keyboard, which is spill-resistant.
If I were a younger student, I’d like this device for its intended use. Samsung really upped the experience by using a 12.4-inch touch display with 2560 x 1600 resolution and up to 340 nits of brightness. The screen bezels are relatively thin and the display rotates a full 360-degrees for tablet and tent modes as needed. Thanks to that screen size, Samsung kept the Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 to around 2.8 pounds. While there are lighter laptops on the market, this device should be comfortable in a backpack.
Inside is an Intel Celeron N4500 with two cores capable of running a single thread each. The base clock speed is 1.1 GHz while the chip can boost up to 2.8 GHz as needed.
While not the most powerful CPU on the market, it should be capable of education-focused tasks as well as some video streaming and light Android gaming. The $429.99 model includes 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of eMMC flash storage. Samsung says a configuration with double the memory and storage will also be available.
WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, optional LTE, a 720p front-facing camera, an 8-megapixel world view camera, and a 45.5 W/hr battery make up the rest of the hardware package. This is all supplemented with a pair of USB Type-C ports, a single USB Type-A, a microSD card slot, and a headphone/microphone jack. So aside from the bare-bones CPU, this is a nice Chrome OS laptop.
I do question how the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 will fare against other devices in this price range though.
The company says “Samsung and Google’s partnership leverages the latest Chrome OS with features unique to Galaxy. The result is an ecosystem experience that keeps students effortlessly connected to their peers and their assignments while protecting their personal data.” (emphasis mine).
It then goes on to highlight Phone Hub, Nearby Share, responding to text messages on the Chromebook, and WiFi Sync. All of these are compelling features. But they’re not unique to Galaxy; they’re standard fare for anyone with a Chromebook and Android phone.
That means the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook at its regular price of $439.99 has those features too. It only has a 1080p touch display but jumps to a more capable Pentium and 128 GB of local storage with all other features on par with the Samsung model. That’s just one example of what the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 is competing against and doesn’t factor in any sale prices.
But for students that want a smaller, nicer display and just need to get their school work done, this should definitely be in the running.