Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a downgrade from the original in every way



Best answer: No, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a downgrade in every way and isn’t worth giving up the premium ultrabook you already spent $800-$1000 on, so please keep what you have and enjoy that lovely 4K screen that I’m still 100% jealous of even a year after launch.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is not an upgrade

I’d normally get into the finer points of why the next generation has some benefits even if it’s not as powerful as its predecessor (from the processor to the screen to the internal storage being eMMC instead of faster SSD storage), but I digress. Still, when investing in one of the best Chromebooks on the market, it’s important to take a hard look at some core specs and let them speak for themselves:

Processor 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Intel Celeron 5205U Intel Core i3-10110U
Memory 8GB 4-8GB
Storage 256GB SSD 64-128GB eMMC
Display 13.3″ AMOLED 3840x2160px (4K) 13.3″ QLED 1920x1080px
Ports 2x USB-C UFS/microSD card slot Audio combo jack 2x USB-CmicroSD card slot Audio combo jack
Features Backlit keyboard Garaged Active Pen Project Athena certified Fingerprint sensor Backlit keyboardActive Pen support
Battery 49.2 Whr Up to 8 hours 45.5 Whr Up to 13 hours
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 6 Bluetooth 4.0
Colors Fiesta Red or Mercury Grey Fiesta Red or Mercury Grey
Dimensions 11.92″x8″x0.39″ 12″x8″x0.55″
Weight 2.29lbs 2.72 lbs
Price $1,000 $549 (Celeron) $749 (Core i3)

Everything on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the same or worse with two exceptions: the price tag and the expected duration of the battery. While the Galaxy Chromebook has a bigger battery, that i5 processor eats battery like candy, so it only gets up to 8 hours of battery life on a charge while Samsung says the Galaxy Chromebook 2 might be able to squeak out up to 13 hours. That said, considering the i3 model you’d actually want to purchase is still an i3, I’m betting that number is actually more like 8-10 hours, not 13.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is aimed at an entirely different market.

The lower price tag is the most important thing here: all of the sacrifices made down the rest of the spec sheet were made to get the Galaxy Chromebook 2 down to almost half the original’s price for that starter model. Samsung is targeting an entirely different segment for the Galaxy Chromebook 2 than it did with the original. The OG Galaxy Chromebook was going after Pixelbook owners: it offers top-of-the-line specs and blazing fast performance in a striking design with the best screen on a Chromebook to date.

This year’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 is targeting a more budget-conscious crowd that’s still willing to pay a premium for that Samsung style and a better-than-most screen. While the screen on the 2 is a downgrade, it’s still the first Chromebook with a QLED screen and 1080p is perfectly fine for a 13.3-inch touchscreen.

But the $749 model with the Intel Core i3 and 8GB of RAM is $749, which still seems too high when you realize that Best Buy has the original Galaxy Chromebook down to $700 right now. So you can pay $50 less and get that sweet 4K screen, Project Athena performance, and a built-in stylus? Yeah, that’s a no-brainer.

Honestly, why didn’t Samsung just give the original Galaxy Chromebook that price cut three months ago and call it a day?

Keep what you got

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook


  • $1,000 at Samsung
  • From $850 at Amazon
  • $700 at Best Buy

It’s hard to beat the original, especially on discount.

Whether you want the latest specs for your work or the best screen around for watching movies, this gives you both. And a year after launch, the original Galaxy Chromebook might still be the better value than the Galaxy Chromebook 2 now that it’s a few hundred off.

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