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Samsung Chromebook 2 Officially Unveiled With 8-Core Processor, Double the RAM of Rivals

samsung-chromebook-2-ope

The All-New Samsung Chromebook 2

After months of rumours and a weekend of leaks Samsung has today finally announced the successor to the Samsung Chromebook, the most popular Chromebook so far.

The refresh is more than just an upgrade; it is a complete revamp of Samsung’s flagship Chrome offering.

As with the initial batch of ARM-based Samsung Chromebooks release in 2012, there’s a petite 11.6-inch model on offer. But following in the footsteps of Toshiba,  a larger 13.3-inch model has been introduced, with a full HD 1920×1080 resolution — a spec bump sure to please many.

Eight Core Processors, Double The RAM of Rivals

As previously rumoured, both models include the Exynos 5 Octa processor, an eight-core ARM processor the Korean electronics company is using in its newly announced Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Of these, the smaller model is clocked at 1.9GHz, while its bigger brother rocks in at 2.1GHz. Both models include 4GB of RAM — double the capacity of popular current generation Chromebooks, like the HP Chromebook 11.

Other specs of the new laptop are pretty standard.

Both models include a 720p webcam, around 8 hours of battery life and 16GB of internal storage, something which can likely be expanded with free Google Drive storage that comes free with most Chromebooks. There’s also a microSD card slot, along with other standard ports like two USB ports (both USB 3.0 and 2.0, one of each), audio in and out ports, a charging port and a HDMI port for connecting an external monitor if you find yourself short of space on either of the laptops.

13.3" Samsung Chromebook 2 in 'Luminous Titan Grey'

13.3″ Samsung Chromebook 2 in ‘Luminous Titan Grey’

First Chromebook with Bloatware

Somewhat controversially, Samsung is the first Chromebook vendors to include what some commenters refer to as ‘bloatware’.

Three ‘premium apps’ come bundled with the devices which Samsung say are worth $100:

  • Wunderlist - a collaborative to-do list
  • AirDroid Premium - a tool for managing your Android phone over a Wi-Fi network;
  • LittleBridge.com - a tool for learning the English language

Not having to uninstall software when you first boot your new computer has been something Chromebook owners have long enjoyed over traditional Windows laptops.

Another slightly controversial feature of the new Chromebook 2, which has already divided our commenters following the recent leak, is the stitched-effect leather-look backing of the laptop, the same as the one used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

While on paper it sounds like a terrible idea, this grippy faux-leather material actually looks pretty sleek in pictures, especially when coupled with the curvy bottom of the laptop.

The Samsung Chromebook 2 is available in both both ‘Jet Black’ and ‘Classic White’ for the 11.6″ model and ‘Luminous Titan Grey’ for the 13.3″ model, in April 2014 for $319.99 and $399.99 respectively.

The full specs of the device can be found below.

samsung chrome 2 spec sheet

  • miri

    Disappointed by the TN displays but otherwise they look very nice. May need to stash my wallet away to avoid buying one on impulse as I wait for Lenovo or Asus to announce consumer-facing Chromebooks.

  • Sam

    Yessss, exactly the type of chromebook that I was looking for. I don’t get all the hate for the faux back, I have the Note 3 and I quite like it. maybe it’s people who’ve never seen one in person?

    • Sean Lumly

      It’s more than likely the strange trend of people criticizing Samsung randomly. I quite like the back as well. At the very least its distinct among notebooks, and makes something that’s inexpensive look quite elegant.

      • Efjay

        I see no trend of random criticism? And it is a matter of perspective and taste, how is that strange? I think it is very inelegant, looking cheap and nasty, even pointless. Also $300-400 maybe inexpensive I the US, but we don’t get goods in the UK at the direct exchange rate, it’s why we call it ‘rip-off Britain’, these will probably come in at £300-£400, give or take £20. That IS expensive for an ARM Chromebook. So then, to me, it becomes expensive and tacky, especially when the previous version cost £220 and looked quite nice.

        • Sean Lumly

          I can’t speak to your tastes, but I feel that the sudden wave of comments from different people, on the subject of Samsung’s design, and using exactly the same language seems more to be an internet meme than originally formulated opinion. This is especially true considering how exaggerated this meme seems to be.

          But its an open market, so buy something else. We don’t have to talk about it here. After all, your “opinion” has sheen thoroughly stated elsewhere.

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      I don’t like the faux leather thing but it wouldn’t be a reason for me not to buy one to be honest.

  • Will Palmer

    Happy here with the hp chromebook 14, but that 1080p display on the slightly smaller 13 sounds like my perfect machine.

  • toulouse

    Shovelware in Chromebooks? I hope that they will be automagically gone when I’ll block them via Chrome Management in Google Apps? Nevertheless, Google – you must be out of your mind for allowing this in licensing agreement with OEM’s!

    • CAC1031

      You can remove apps instantaneously from Chrome with a right click so it’s no big deal.

  • Daniel

    My question is, will there be a backlit keyboard?

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      Not that we’re aware of, no.

    • Juan Carlos Cornejo

      That’s a feature I’m most definitely willing to pay for. I hope someone does bring that before it’s time to purchase another one.

  • bydavidrosen

    I would LOVE to try my full Google Account with all my crazy extensions on this. I love my Chromebook but I find unless I disabled a bunch of extensions it can be super slow. With the added RAM I’d imagine this will be great. And I love the back texture.

  • Neon Noir

    How would the processor in this compare to the intel celeron found in the HP chromebook 14? I recently bought one of those and I’m very happy with it, but I wanna know how this stacks up?

    • Guest

      If the processor is a Exynos 5 5420, which it looks like it will be, then it will be slower than the Haswell chip in the HP Chromebook… But it also will not require a fan, pros and cons.

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        Clockspeed doesn’t cover it, not by a long shot. X86 (the Haswells) is clocked higher but the CPU design isn’t as efficient. A lot of the “tick” (a CPU cycle) on X86 is lost to overhead, something ARM doesn’t suffer from.

        So the ARM chromebooks may have a lower clockspeed, they’re well able to keep up with their Haswell counterparts.

        • KatsumeBlisk

          You obviously haven’t noticed how poorly the ARM Chromebooks keep up with the Haswell ones. They’re super slow. I regret getting my Samsung Chromebook over an x86 one.

          • Random

            There are already benchmarks on Geekbench, showing the Haswell to be at least 30% to 35% faster than the Exynos 5 5420… Unless Samsung has pulled out some hat tricks, the Exynos 5 will be slower than the Haswell.

        • calden74

          Actually the ARM CPU in the new Samsung is clocked higher than the 1.4GHz Haswell chips found in Chromebooks.

  • JusticeL

    I just watched the review on CNET and I will be getting the 13.3 with the high resolution screen. Very excited for a really nice screen on a Chromebook!

  • Sean Lumly

    I’m really looking forward to this notebook. I can’t wait to hear how it performs!

  • Wesley Files

    Man, the dimensions and weight of the 11.6″ model are right up my alley. I’d like to see some benchmarks on it before I decide if $320 is a great price.

    I’m hoping the built-in software can be configured to get out of your way if you want.

  • Efjay

    Well at least I know not to bother waiting for them to come out. The faux leather thing is a complete no-no for me. Plus knowing what a rip-off the UK is, these are going to be over the £300 mark – for me that is out of the question for a Chromebook. It’s Toshiba or a HP for me!

    • Victor Who

      I don’t get it. What’s wrong with the faux leather? I actually have a Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) and the faux leather is nice to touch and hold.

      • Curtis Mitchell

        I can see people not liking the look of it but I think once it gets out and people see how easy it is to grip, there will be more than a few converts. I absolutely love the faux-leather back on my Note 3, not because it looks good but because it is really easy to hold. Essential for me as I’ve got issues in my right hand and have trouble gripping

      • Efjay

        If it was a matter of texture then that’s one thing, but it’s a fake leather look with stitching, it serves no purpose and looks cheap and tacky. I don’t like the Galaxy Note either. It’s about choice, I think it looks like cack so I won’t be giving it a second look, also I expect the UK price point to be higher than the maximum I would pay for a Chromebook.

    • calden74

      There are plenty of online stores that ship to the UK. As I live in Switzerland I also have a similar problem with spending to much for computer hardware. I usually wait for my annual trip to the states to stock up on gadget but sometimes like for instance a new Chromebook from Samsung, I purchase them online. B&W Photo for instance will even tag the box as repair to avoid duties.

  • Neil Barrett

    Will it have a fan? That’s the best thing about the original Samsung Chromebook.

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      No it won’t.

  • blazewon22

    At $320 I see the family sticking with the Acer models and proven Haswell procs. Also the bloatware thing seems weird. Kudos to Samsung for trying something different with the bottom and I hope that Netflix works with the new processor.

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      You know that there was an ARM chromebook before there were any “proven” Haswell ones, right?

      • blazewon22

        I’ve had the S500, 550, ARM and now the Acer 720 2GB and 4GB along with a Pixel.

        The reason I brought up the Netflix comment was the original ARM didn’t work well with it. While sleek and fanless the performance was/is terrible! That’s why I went with the Acer versus the HP 11″. Price didn’t hurt either for kids. Haswell has great battery life, and a little pep. The 720 isn’t sexy but at $200 its almost disposable!

        This new model could be amazing, but i’m so gun-shy on ARM at this point, that I will sit out the early adopter phase.

        • Jasper Vinkenvleugel

          Do you think 2GB RAM is enough? I want to buy the $179 ASUS Chromebox to use as small PC and eventually to replace the SSD with a larger variant to install Ubuntu.

          On average, I have around 7 tabs open with Tweetdeck running and Pushbullet receiving notifications.

          • william

            Ubuntu with 2GB RAM does not seem like a good idea, how about Linux Mint Xfce instead?

          • Jasper Vinkenvleugel

            Maybe I’ll upgrade it, I’m not sure yet.

    • Mike

      Is it possible to find the 4GB ram, non-touchscreen Acer anymore? I have one but want another for a dev laptop.

      • blazewon22

        Nope, my kids broke one last week and when i went for warranty replacement, i couldn’t find it anywhere. To be honest I haven’t seen much difference between the 2GB and 4GB for them.

  • http://iamdavidgray.com/ David Gray

    Any word on the Asus Chromebooks that are rumored to be out by end of March? If the rumors are true, their Chromebooks are at a much better price point; 11 inch for $200 and 13 inch for $250. If all holds true, I think I’d be more interested in the Asus Chromebooks. We’ll see…

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      They probably won’t have the 1080p screen, which is the reason the price is so “high” I think.

      • Curtis Mitchell

        Yeah, you’re definitely paying for the screen with the price on that 13.3” But it isn’t really an unreasonable price point for a 1080p screen at all.

    • Efjay

      I’d be interested in that too.

  • Captain Megaton

    The 13″ one is tempting, but in the end it will all come down to if I can deal with that leather finish.

  • Iggies

    I can’t wait to see the benchmarks of these, compared to the HP 14 and Toshiba versions, which are both what I’m aiming for right now. I love my first-gen ARM Samsung Chromebook for its weight and portability, but even opening up a large Google Doc can mean painful wait times and delays when typing. I’ve had to eliminate several extensions just to get decent webpage load times, and what’s the point of using Chrome if you can’t fully utilize the extensions?

    • Shawn Holmes

      I have the hp 14 and love it. It is fast and looks good. The keyboard is legit and the 4gigs of ram is a must.

  • Atómiko

    I am still on a Samsung Series 5 with Intel Atom running ChrUbuntu, and never actually use CrOS. I am quite fond of this machine, but it lacks power and disk space, so I would like to replace it this year, and thought I might even use it as a replacement for my work machine, an ageing All-in-One. Naturally, I would consider a new Samsung Chromebook first, but all Samsung has to offer by now is yet another 16 gig lappie? Are they serious about this? No other options? Am I supposed to dual boot from Google Drive or what?

    • calden74

      The whole idea of this laptop is to do your work in the cloud. If you never use Chrome OS why did you bother even purchasing it in the first place. Adding a Linux Chroot is supposed to compliment not replace Chrome OS. I’m actually dumbfounded that you are even complaining about this, this is a Chromebook, NOT a LinuxBook. There are plenty of other laptop models that can easily accommodate you. Just because you can do something outside of the manufactures intended purpose, doesn’t mean the manufacture has to support it. 16GB is more than enough space.

      • Atómiko

        If you are satisfied using Chrome OS so may be it. I have a different purpose for this notebook and you should not critisize me for that. To me it is a real computer which I am using every day with great pleasure, and which gives me all the software I need but which Chrome OS does not intend to ever support.
        While there may be people who just need ChromeOS – and I do not mock them at all – there is definitely a huge market for a netbook that supports ChrUbuntu or other Linux derivates, and I happen to prefer the dual boot way. Actually I think Chromebooks wouldn’t be nearly as “wildly popular” without people like me. But as it is, I will probably go for something way “beefier” like a Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu or a 64 gig Chromebook Pixel, as this is going to be my next work horse.

        • Giuseppe Muratori

          Can you not use an SD card to extend your memory.? Sandisk just announced their 126gb card.

        • Efjay

          I’ll be hacking Linux onto my Chromebook. Without people doing that kind of thing, we would have no Linux, no Android and no Chrome OS. Even Linus Torvalds uses a Chromebook for Linux. Chromebooks are very nice machines, great for running Linux on. Nobody should be condemned for making the most of great hardware.

          • calden74

            No one is saying you shouldn’t do it, just not to be annoyed when Samsung or any other Chromebook manfacture doesn’t have the interests of the Linux developer community in mind. This is a Chromebook, a notebook that uses web apps, not installed. 16 GB is more than enough space for the OS. Especially when there is an SD Card slot for the users files. I also use Linux as my main OS but I have a Thinpad T430, a computer designed for such things.

        • calden74

          I’m not critisizing your use of Linux on a Chromebook, I can care less what you do with a machine you bought. I do have a problem with someone demonizing a product just because it wasn’t outfitted with their ideal hardware in mind. Especially for hardware that has such a focused usage, running Chrome OS, intended for web apps only. Getting upset about a product that wasn’t intented for what you had in mind is very unrational. That was my point.

          • Atómiko

            I am not demonizing anything, I am disappointed because I would love to have this machine – but it just does not work for my use case. Not giving your customers the options they need for using your hardware is not what I would call competing for the favour of users. If Samsung took this category seriously, they would give their users more options, but I suspect they don’t believe in the netbook market anymore and view it as just another channel for distributing their smartphone processors.

  • Thomas Raven

    I’m not interested in an upgrade until it includes a backlit keyboard.

    • calden74

      That’s not going to happen for a while if at all in a notebook that costs less than 400 dollars, kind of a silly ultimatum.

    • Michael T. Babcock

      backlit keyboards are unnecessarily hideous for those of us who touch type

  • http://www.gplus.to/JanPolasek Jan Polášek

    The faux-leather is a bad idea, it does look good neither on Note 3, nor on this. And what about that bloatware – 2/3 “bloatware” apps are apps I like (Airdroid and Wunderlist). I use airdroid very often, actually I connected my phone to my computer only twice) so Airdroid premium is actually very good argument for me. Overall, despite that faux-leather back, I find this to be the best chromebook.

  • Reece Williams

    I know people are moaning about the faux-leather lid panel but think about it. It won’t mark or scratch as easily as the original series 3 and will be better to carry for grip and won’t show finger prints and smudge marks all over it. I like it. Depends on UK price point for me to upgrade.
    Also anyone know if buying a new chromebook you get extended free 100GB cloud storage for another 2 years or was this offer a one time deal?

    • Andy Stetson

      The faux-leather will keep me from putting stickers all over it xD

  • Spacey

    Was waiting/hoping for this but… Fake leather top is hideous and both are over priced. Why make something that is already niche undesirable? Samsung really is losing the plot! Only hope Asus can pull something magic out of the hat.

    • TrOuBLeDbOy

      agreed that leather stitch thing is horrendous , if anything they should make it sleek and metalic like their series 9 or ativ

  • Boothy

    This actually looks better than I hoped.
    All about what performance the Exynos 5 Octa can do now.

    From someone who uses the Series 5 550, I’ve been waiting for a decent mid-tier Chromebook to come along.
    Wunderlist and Airdroid are both programs I use frequently, so them as “Bloat” isn’t too shabby.
    Now, it I can get to the SSD easily to insert my 64GB, I’m sold.
    They do look very similar to the series 9 ultra-books.

    • calden74

      Well it can’t really be called bloat when an app doesn’t actually install it’s physical presence on the hard drive but I get your meaning. It’s a nice service to have, when do you think Samsung is going all in with Chrome OS?

  • Karl C

    I have the Series 3 Samsung Chromebook at the moment. I’m very interested in upgrading to the 13.3″ model, but one of the key features would be whether or not the SD card slot allows the card to be fully inserted into the laptop. I find it really frustrating that it protrudes in the current Series 3, as it means it can’t be safely kept it at all times.

    The 1080p screen is a massive bonus, and I am shocked it has taken this long to get full HD onto a Chromebook (not including the Pixel of course). $399.99 will probably translate to £379.99 here in the U.K. which is frustrating, as that will be £150 more than what I paid for my current Chromebook 1 year ago.

  • mik straz

    Does anyone have any idea if this arm processor will be any faster than the haswell celeron…

    • Mike

      I am all for new products but when it comes to CPUs intel really has never ever let me down . i think arm cpus are great for phones and tablets and i think this new arm chip will be the fastest one they have yet , but on a laptop im just not sold on performance and value . arm has so many good things going for them but intel for me unless things really change . mostly for program support like linux and apps . long story short i think it will be fast enough for chrome os o yeah for sure. but i love me some solid intel products. i can not wait to see the charts on performance after release

      • mik straz

        Thank you for the response. I do to install ubuntu, so I guess i should stick to the intel processor. Maybe the hp 14 our the Toshiba…

        • Mike

          I love the HP 14 its very nice and Ubuntu is fantastic on it

  • teemunknee

    Does anyone know what’s soldered on and what isn’t? As in, possible SSD upgrades and the like.

    • john

      The SSD is actually an eMMC. My understanding…no upgrade since its embedded.

  • Samer Serhan

    Wish the 13.3 came in black :(

  • Charlie Du

    Saw the 1080p display, got really happy for a moment. Read the rest, massive disappointment in every way, Samsung has yet again built a tablet with a keyboard.