Samsung's new Chromebook is a premium Chrome OS notebook for business users. Compared to competing machines, the Chromebook 2 packs a relatively quick processor and long battery life, and comes in two variations: an 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch model. And like other Chromebooks, Samsung's new notebook is powered by Google's Chrome OS operating system.
Chrome OS does not run regular desktop applications the way a PC or Mac does. Instead, the platform is based around a souped-up version of Google's Chrome Web browser. If you rely on a particular piece of Windows or Mac software, the platform might not suit your needs. But if you need a notebook exclusively for basic business tasks like email, Web browsing and document editing, the keyboard-equipped Chromebook 2 looks to be a good tablet alternative when it launches next month.
Here are the top three features that could make the Samsung Chromebook 2 a solid business machine.
Laptop form factor
Starting at $319 for the 11.6-inch model, the Chromebook 2 is more expensive than the average Chromebook, but more affordable than the average laptop. In terms of value and specs, Samsung's notebook has a lot in common with a midrange tablet. But Samsung's notebook has big advantages over tablets — such as a built-in keyboard, and a display that can be adjusted to sit at any viewing angle — that give it a huge edge over tablets as a productivity device. Bluetooth-enabled keyboard add-ons abound for iPads and Android tablets, but to work on those devices, you'll have to pair them with a folio case and kickstand. The Chromebook 2 offers a tried-and-true laptop form factor out of the box.
Compared to a slew of budget-priced options, Samsung's latest Chromebook offers a bit more power under the hood. The Chromebook 2 packs an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM for smoother multitasking and better overall performance. And it should have good longevity: Samsung says to expect more than 8 hours of battery life from both models.
Samsung's Chromebook 2 is fully integrated with Google Hangouts, Google's video-chat platform. The notebook itself features dual-array microphones and 720p cameras for a top-notch videoconferencing experience. As long as you have a Gmail account, you can connect to a video-chat session with just a few clicks. That's a boon for business users who need to meet remotely with employees, colleagues and clients.