The Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus are sleek 2-in-1s with bright and sharp displays, integrated pens and solid battery life, but the Android apps need work.
- Super thin and lightweight
- Included stylus
- Crisp, colorful display
- Runs Android apps out of the box
- Mushy keyboard
- Android apps not ready for prime time
- Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus Review
Update: We added a “Durability and drop test” section to the present review with results from our Chromebook drop test report.
Throw in a skinny , premium build and a vivid, albeit oddly shaped 12.3-inch display, and you’ve got two of the simplest Chromebooks on the market immediately . Being 1st, of course, comes with some developing pains. Amazing Android apps we used from the yet-in-beta Google Play Store simply didn’t work well. However, even if you just want Google’s browser-centric operating system, the Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus stand out from the crowd as one of the best Chromebooks.
The aluminum chassis isn’t as wide as you’d expect on most notebooks, and it took me awhile to urge wont to the form . The lid is extremely plain, with rounded edges and no adornments, apart from a monochromatic Chrome emblem and Samsung branding.
Our review unit of the professional was a silver preproduction model, but the ultimate version are going to be black. The +, which is on selling now, arises in silver.
Lifting the lid reveals the 12.3-inch, 2400 x 1600 touch screen, which is exclusive .
You still get a full island-style keyboard and a trackpad, but they’re jammed into a chassis with little or no room on the side. this is often necessary so as to accommodate the screen’s shape. I found that the Chromebook Plus and Pro felt much more natural as tablets than as notebooks, though I managed to urge wont to the planning after several hours of use.
Because these Chromebooks are 2-in-1s, they will be used as regular notebooks, tablets (by folding the keyboard all of the way back), displays (with the keyboard face down and therefore the display facing ahead) or tents (an upside-down “V”).
At 2.4 pounds and 11.1 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches, these are among the thinnest and lightest Chromebooks we have seen thus far — such a lot in order that I forgot the professional was in my messenger bag as I carried it around.Acer’s Chromebook R 13 is heavier (12.8 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches, 3.2 pounds), but it’s a bigger , 13.3-inch display.
Durability and drop test
Be careful once you hand the Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 to your child; it isn’t a really durable laptop. In our Chromebook drop test, the Chromebook Plus 2-in-1’s frame separated from rock bottom once we dropped the laptop from 2.5 feet and 4.5 feet onto carpet and concrete. Bubbling formed on the display, cracks were visible on the deck and a USB port broke once we dropped the laptop onto its side from 4.5 feet.
Chromebooks rely tons on the cloud, so it isn’t a surprise that Samsung’s laptops aren’t bursting with ports. A headphone jack, microSD card reader and a USB Type-C port are on the left, and therefore the right side of the machine features a single USB-C port and a slot to carry the included stylus. Because the 2 USB Type-C ports are used for charging, you’ll use just one port when the laptops are plugged in.
The 12.3-inch, 2400 x 1600 panel is among the foremost crisp and colorful I’ve seen on a Chromebook. once I took to the online to observe the extended, 1080p trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.
Those colors are fairly, accurate, too. The screen registered a Delta-E score of 1.0 (0 is ideal), which is best than showings by the Flip (1.6) and R 13 (1.1), and therefore the average (2.2).
At 376 nits, the Chromebook Pro’s display is way more luminous than those of the competition. the typical is 304 nits, while the Flip measured 292 nits and therefore the R 13 output 244 nits.
The screen uses a 3:2 ratio instead of a typical 16:9, which was hard to regulate to in laptop mode. However, it’s ideal for a tablet, mainly one with an uber-responsive touch panel.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Chromebook Pro and Plus‘ island-style keyboard provides a average typing practice. it’s just 1.2 millimeters of travel (we prefer 1.5mm or more) and requires 52 grams of force to press (we search for a minimum of 60g). The result’s a group of spongy keys and, for me, more typing errors than usual.
On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 106 words per minute, falling just in need of my 107-wpm average and with a 3 percent error rate, above my usual 2 percent.
The 4.1 x 2.9-inch touchpad is smooth, large and perfect. The pad worked flawlessly as I zipped round the web and used basic gestures like three-finger swipe.
The pen pops straight out of a slot on the proper side of the pc and appears almost just like the S Pen that Samsung uses in its Note series of phones, just a tad longer, a touch thicker and with no button to activate additional features.
Popping out the stylus automatically launches a menu (though you’ll shut this behavior off) with quick actions to capture all or a part of the screen, start a replacement note in Google Keep, or use the pen as a hand glass or laser pointer on the screen. I used the stylus menu often, mainly when exerting notes. Google Keep can read the notes and use optical character recognition to form it searchable from any device.
For instance, I could search for a grocery list I made in Google Keep by searching with the words “grocery” and “list” within the note-taking app, also like any item on the list. an equivalent went for a note to call friends; I just had to look their names or phone numbers.
Google claims that it’s used machine learning behind the scenes in order that that there won’t be much screen latency once you write. I did notice some lag as I took notes in Google Keep, but I also found that my handwriting on the Chromebook Pro looked more love it does with pen and paper than on the other stylus and touch-screen combination I’ve tried before. The stylus is pressure-sensitive, which allowed me to form subtle changes within the lines I drew within the Adobe Photoshop Sketch Android app.
The speakers on the Chromebook Pro and Plus aren’t very loud, and that they tried to fill our midsize room with sound. once I listened to “My Shot (Rise Up Remix)” from The Hamilton Mixtape, Black Thought, Joell Ortiz and Busta Rhymes’ rapping was crystal clear, as was the backing guitar, but the piano keys were quiet and therefore the drums weren’t as snappy as I’d like.
The Chromebook Pro is powered by an Intel Core m3-6Y30 CPU, with fourGB of RAM and thirtytwoGB of eMMC storage. That’s quite enough performance for multitasking. I had 16 tabs open in Google Chrome (one of which was running a 1080p video from YouTube) with no slowdown. once I opened the Twitter and HipChat Android apps, there was a blink of an eye of latency as I switched between tabs within the browser.
The Chromebook Plus uses an ARM processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, and it isn’t the maximum amount of a workhorse. I had 11 tabs open in Chrome (with one running a 1080p YouTube video) when Chrome tabs vibrated as I switched between them.
But the Chromebook Pro easily defeated its opponents on the WebGL Aquarium graphics test, rendering 2,000 fish during a tank at 48 frames per second, while the Flip notched 32 fps, The ARM-powered Plus reached thirtyfour fps while the R 13 wavered between 20 and 40 fps.
When I played Asphalt 8, the sport was generally smooth and playable on the professional , apart from one or two spots that got a touch choppy. i used to be still ready to play the sport on the Plus, but it had been muddy and uneven throughout.
Chrome OS and Android
The Chromebook Pro and Plus are the primary Chromebooks to support Android apps out of the box.
Installing Android apps is as easy as opening the Google Play Store (which remains in beta on Chrome OS, but Google says it’ll be finalized by time the Chromebook Pro launches in April) and downloading apps such as you would on your phone. Not every app works, though.
within the future, I imagine most major Android apps are going to be compatible with these notebooks.
A lot of apps didn’t play helpful after being resized. Specifically, HipChat and Spotify warned that they could not work when resized, although they typically did. a couple of times, they snapped back to their original sizes or simply refused to vary size altogether. Dark Sky did not have the choice , while the sport Threes flipped round the screen uncontrollably until it settled on a spot (generally sideways, which I didn’t appreciate).
You can have various windows open with different Android apps running. Swiping down with three fingers on the trackpad makes it fairly easy to modify windows. Just confine mind that you simply can’t snap windows side by side as you’ll in Windows 10, neither is there support for virtual desktops.
Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus
I did notice one other hiccup. After saving a drawing in Adobe Photoshop Sketch, i could not access the image through Chrome’s filing system . I had to download an Android image viewer to ascertain my artwork. Google tells me that this is often a known issue which will be rectified within the M57 launch of Chrome, on March 14, before the April launch.
Still, Android apps are a really welcome addition. Otherwise, Chrome OS is usually an equivalent , with the browser because the main focus, a task bar at rock bottom that gives quick access to programs and Wi-Fi required for the bulk of apps to figure . If you favor simplicity, it’s perfect, but you will not get all of the features you will find in Windows or macOS.
The Chromebook Pro should last throughout your nine to five . The notebook endured for 8 Hrs and 5 min on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. The ultraportable score is lower, at 8:06, while the Flip (8:52) and R 13 (11:00) both beat the Chromebook Pro. The Chromebook Plus’ battery life was just a touch shorter at 7:46. (Its weaker processor doesn’t appear to save lots of any battery power.)
The 720p webcam on the Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus is usable. It’s sharp and detailed, catching individual hairs on my head and creases in my shirt, but the sunshine coming in from the windows blew out my face a touch . Colors were true, and therefore the camera captured my shirt’s exact shade of gray.
After I ran quarter-hour of HD video from YouTube, rock bottom of the laptop hit 90 degrees, the keyboard between the G and H keys measured 86 degrees, and therefore the touchpad reached 82 degrees.
Configuration Options and Warranty
The Samsung Chromebook Pro comes with an Intel Core m3-6Y30 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, and it’s a black aluminum chassis. When this notebook releases in April, it’ll cost $549.99.
The Chromebook Plus uses an ARM CPU that you simply would usually find in tablets or phones and goes for $449.99. you’ll purchase it now.
Both the Plus and therefore the Pro accompany one-year warranties
The Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus are the primary Chromebooks to incorporate an embedded stylus and support Android apps as soon as you log in. The lightweight, aluminum frame and crisp, vivid display also help define these machines as premium 2-in-1s. However, if you do not need the stylus or premium screen, Asus’s Chromebook Flip C302CA costs $50 less, features a far better keyboard and offers more internal storage; it doesn’t accompany Google Play preloaded, but you’ll easily catch on
At publication time, the Play Store remains in beta on Chrome OS, and features a lot of issues, including incompatibility and poor window and file management. However, Google says that the software are going to be out of beta and prepared for primetime when Chromebook Pro ships in April.