Samsung Upgrades the Chromebook
As many schoolshave discovered, Chromebookshave a lot of benefits — built-in cloud compatibility, good battery life, low cost — but they sometimes struggle to perform. Samsung aims to upgrade the experience with its Chromebook 2 Series laptops, which sport HD screens and souped-up chips. The Chromebook 2 Seriescomes in two screen sizes: 13.3 and 11.6 inches. The big model is a full HD display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution while the smaller one is 1,366 x 768. Samsung also says the 13.3-inch screen is impressively bright, rated at 250 nits. Each model has an octa-core Samsung Exynos processor (2.1GHz for the big and 1.9GHz for the small).Yes, those are mobile chips, which means they're efficient: Samsung promises 8.5 and 8 hours of run time for the large and small models, respectively. However, unlike the recent HP Chromebook 11, Samsung's machines don't charge via a microUSB port, instead opting for a normal DC power connector. These being Chromebooks, they're all about running Chrome OS and the associated apps. Samsung says they're optimized for Google+ Hangouts messaging Samsung says they're optimized for Google+ Hangouts messaging, and each has a 720 webcam to help in that regard. Samsung also provides a "premium" package of apps said to be worth $100, including Air Droid Premium, Wunderlist Pro and Li ttleBridge.com. LIke other Chromebooks on offer, though, Samsung's new models come with 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years. Ports include USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, a microSD card slot and a headphone/mic jack. The 11-inch model comes in black and white while the 13-incher is available only in gray. Samsung's Chromebooks may be a step up in terms of specs, but their prices are similarly elevated: The 11-inch is $319.99, and the 13-inch is $399.99 — putting them on par with entry-level Windows tablets and laptops. They'll be on sale in April. Image: Samsung Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.