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First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Review

The Samsung Galaxy is a gorgeous Chromebook with a price-tag that'll make you gasp

First Impressions

With stunning looks that put other laptops to shame and a display that ticks all the boxes, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is a showcase device for Chrome OS. As good as it looks though, the near $1000 price will likely make it a tough sell for most.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £TBC
  • HDR 4K AMOLED display
  • 10th gen Ice Lake chipset
  • Up to 16GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • Chrome OS

How much is too much for a Chromebook? That’s the question Samsung is posing with the $999 Galaxy Chromebook here at CES 2020.

Chromebooks tend to be cheaper laptops for those who don’t need or want the full-fat Windows or Mac OS experience. They give you quick access to Google services, Android apps and not much else.

Related: Best Chromebook

View from top of a red Chromebook kept on a table displaying Google News's worlds tabPicture of a screen's back panel view of a red Chromebook kept on a table

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook – Design and features

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook isn’t your usual Chromebook. This is an absolutely gorgeous machine with a thin design, glorious display and even a satisfying keyboard. It also costs “from $999”. You could say this the Pixelbook reborn in 2020 and made by Samsung.

While I love the way this thing looks as it’s just so thin and light, it’s the display that really sucked me in. You’ve got a 4K 13.3-inch 16:9 panel here and like Samsung’s high-end phones it uses OLED screen tech. This offers sublime colours, perfect blacks and just a real punch you don’t get with LCD. It’s HDR certified too however no one could confirm to me what HDR content you’ll actually be able to watch here. I assume HDR YouTube will playback fine but Netflix might be a different story due to the various codecs used.

Pair that glorious display with the ability to flip the screen and prop it up with the keyboard and you’ve got what just might be the finest way to watch videos on the go.

You can get the Galaxy Chromebook in two colours: red and grey. The red is the winner here and it’s such a deep, vivid hue that it’ll instantly stand out anywhere. More laptops should have the confidence to go with colours like this.

I only had a short time with the Chromebook so I can’t say for sure how well the keyboard here performs but It felt good upon first impressions. There’s not a serious amount of travel (slightly more than 1mm it seems) and you don’t get a whole load of feedback. Still, the keys are large enough and I wasn’t making too many mistakes in my demo.

Above the keyboard there’s a camera for taking pictures when you have the screen folded over, a fingerprint scanner and you’ll find a dinky (and slightly flimsy) stylus buried in the side. In terms of ports there are 2 USB-C port and a slot for a microSD card.

Related: 5 things you might have missed from CES 2020

Close up picture of a red Chromebook's keyboard section

Inside the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook you’ll find a 10th gen Ice Lake Intel i5 processor, RAM options up to 16GB and storage going up to 256GB. These might not be the fastest specs going, especially at this price, but it’s still strong for a Chromebook and should lead to some impressive performance.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook – Price and release date

You’ll be able to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook for a starting price of $999 when it goes on sale sometime in Q1 2020. There’s confirmation if it will ever make its way to the UK.

Early Verdict

With stunning looks that put other laptops to shame and a display that ticks all the boxes, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is a showcase device for Chrome OS. As good as it looks though, the near $1000 price will likely make it a tough sell for most.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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