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Samsung Chromebook Plus & Pro hands on

At CES 2017 Samsung has unveiled two new Google Play equipped Chromebooks, the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro.

Published onJanuary 4, 2017

Samsung’s showing for Android devices seems to be weaker than previous years for CES, but the Korean giant continues to show its love and support for Google Play with the introduction of two new Chromebooks – the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro. In true Samsung evolution, this years’ line of Chromebooks forges a new accessory that has long been a staple with the company. Before we get into what exactly that is, let’s first briefly go through what’s new with these Chromebooks.

Aesthetically, they share the same design, body, and specs, with the exception that the Plus harnesses an ARM processor – while the Pro gets treated to the more powerful Intel Skylake processor (Intel core m3). Exceptionally svelte, they hardly pack any sort of heft, which makes them the perfect companion if you plan on traveling light. Even though there’s that stigma of Chromebooks being built inferiorly, there’s none of that “cheapness” attached to the designs. They feel sufficiently solid, especially for Chromebooks that feature convertible designs.

In fact, their 360-degree rotating designs allow them to quickly go from your typical laptop form-factor to a tablet with one quick movement. Speaking of tablet, these new Chromebooks take a page out of Samsung’s Note series – wherein it comes with a pressure sensitive stylus for jotting down notes, drawing, and much more. Unlike some other styli from the competition, the pen is safely tucked away into the Chromebook’s chassis when it’s not being used. We tried it out, which works intuitively with the pre-installed Google Keep app, allowing us to even search for notes via keywords.

The versatility in these two new Chromebooks can also be found in the way that they can now access more apps than ever before, thanks to the availability of Google Play for additional app downloads. Sure, it might not exceed the workhorses in the PC arena, but for those times when you need some light productivity work accomplished, these new Chromebooks will more than suffice. And oh yeah, they both also feature 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 touchscreen LED displays, making them even more useful than previous Chromebooks.

Chromebooks in general continue to have this unfavorable stigma when they’re pitted against Windows 10 laptops/convertibles, but their affordable prices make them attractive. For these two Samsung Chromebooks, they certainly package in a bunch more goodies than your usual Chromebook, so to some degree, they can be more valuable than an entry-level Windows 10 device. Certainly don’t count these two out, even more given the goodies that they pack along.

The specs between the two are pretty much identical, featuring 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, two USB Type-C ports, headphone out/mic in ports, keyboards, clickpads, and pretty much the same weights. The only exception, like we first mentioned, is that the Plus is powered by an ARM-based chipset – whereas the Pro leverages an Intel Core m3 processor. Pricing for the Samsung Chromebook Plus is $449 and will begin to go on sale at major retailers in February. Meanwhile, the Samsung Chromebook Pro will come out later in the spring with an unspecified price point, but most certainly more than the Plus.

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