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This is not a toy: US$250 Samsung Chromebook 2 has Intel CPU, fanless design, aluminum reinforcement

Melissa Riofrio | Oct. 20, 2014
Chromebooks aren't crummy anymore. Samsung's new Chromebook 2, announced Friday, joins a growing cadre of Chromebooks that aspire to more than being cheap. They have powerful CPUs, interesting features, and in the Samsung Chromebook 2's case, an extra-sturdy chassis so it won't get beaten up on the playground.

We also look at the display constantly, which is why I was disappointed with the 11.6-inch, 1366x768-pixel display's limited viewing angles. Every time I moved or the Chromebook moved, I had to readjust the screen so I could see the image. Displays are expensive and these machines continue to cluster around $300 in price, so corners will be cut. Watching the image fade away so quickly just makes me run back to my Chromebook Pixel's gorgeous screen, though.

Connectivity is adequate, with one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, a micro SD slot, and a headphone jack. There's also a 720p camera over the display.

Here's something I'd never considered: The USB ports have electrostatic shock protection to help them survive repeated plugging and unplugging of devices. "That was a direct reaction to consumer feedback from our 2012 model," explained Ng.

Samsung's Chromebook 2 is available for pre-order today and will start hitting stores next week. It claims to be the product of a lot of listening on Samsung's part. Will it provide the right answers? We still have to put it through its paces and will update you when we have.

Are you ready for a new Chromebook? Would a faster CPU or a nicer display win you over? Let us know how you feel about Chromebooks in the comments.

 

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