Samsung Chromebook 2 review

Samsung's revamped Chromebook 2 is a comeback winner

Samsung Chromebook 2

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Thanks to the new Intel processor, the Samsung Chromebook 2 is a much more capable machine. The laptop did not show any signs of chugging while multitasking and it still retains its thin fanless design. In case you've been avoiding Samsung's Chromebook offerings after hearing horror stories of the much maligned Exynos processor, you should really give them another chance now.

We liked

In a sea of nearly identical plastic Chromebooks, Samsung's laptop is a uniquely thin and attractive option. You won't find another Chromebook adorned with a leatherette finish or one that's thinner than 0.66 inches. It's also one of the most well built Chromebooks, with a metal frame and reinforced corners.

The Samsung laptop also bucks another Chromebook 2 trend by including a fairly decent screen. Plus the inclusion of Helpouts adds another feather to Samsung's cap even if it still has a ways to go, if it wants to match Amazon's Mayday service. Still, no other Chromebook yet includes this extra safety net. That distinction alone might be enough to sway you towards Samsung.

We disliked

While you can finally multitask with this newly implemented Bay Trail processor, the part unexpectedly chugs. Thankfully, the problem only rears up in two cases; either typing something into the address bar or navigating through a graphic-rich Google Drive document. But, as these are fairly common exercises, this annoying slow down could grow grating overtime.

The Samsung Chromebook 2 is also somewhat flawed in that it has a comparatively shorter battery life. The Acer C720's ridiculously long eight hour and 30 minute run time that makes the Samsung machine's seven hours and 32 minute lasting power look short by comparison.

Final verdict

The Samsung Chromebook 2 is also one of the first laptops sporting a Bay Trail processor, which affords its unique fanless design. Unfortunately, packing in this new Celeron CPU isn't a simple flat upgrade.

Samsung's second crack at its second Chromebook loses a bit of performance and roughly an hour of battery life, compared to its Haswell-equipped competitors. Regardless, Samsung's latest appears just as capable and comes in a slimmer package. That's a fair trade in my book.

In the future we'll likely see more laptops adopt Intel's next generation Core M processors as they promise to deliver more power on a fanless architecture without reducing battery life. The Samsung Chromebook 2 is simply the first leap into what will likely be the future of all Chromebooks, and it's a bright first attempt. That in itself is reason enough to put the Samsung Chromebook 2 on your radar.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.