Breaking Down the New Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2) 2-in-1

By August 31, 2018Chromebook, Reviews
samsung laptop

Samsung’s Chromebook Plus Convertible has received a second-generation iteration, and it’s looking very promising. The Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2) is a step in the right direction when compared with the first generation: it features a new processor that packs a punch and has two cameras and a built-in pen, among the other novelties.

Under the Hood

The Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible V2 has moved from the ARM Processor to an Intel CPU and features a 1.5 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron processor. The Intel Celeron 3965Y handles the Chrome OS really well and as it is built on Kaby Lake microarchitecture and has two cores, it handles daily operations without delays.

Supported by the HD 615 graphics card performing at 300 to 800 MHz, 32GB of built-in storage (SSD) and 4GB of RAM, the Chromebook Plus V2 is fast, reliable, and easily handles a multitude of apps. Since this is a Convertible model, it also has a 360-degree hinge that lets it switch from laptop to tablet mode, which is becoming a firm favorite.

Cameras:

It also features two cameras, which is an upgrade from the single camera the V1 model had. The front-facing 1MP webcam is located in the upper bezel, while the stronger, F1.9 13MP camera with autofocus can be found in the upper-left side above the keyboard. When switching to tablet mode, it then becomes a rear-facing camera.

Display

The display is actually a bit of a downgrade compared to the V1 model—it’s 12.2″ and features a 1920×1080 resolution with 16:10 aspect ratio and a brightness of 300 nits. The V1 model had a 2400×1600 resolution with 3:2 aspect ratio and 400 nits brightness. Even though the display shouldn’t have been the one feature that took such a big hit, there’s a silver lining: the new display is wider and this works great for the keyboard layout which has been given an upgrade to a full-size keyboard.

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity and ports, the V2 comes with plenty. Two USB-C 3.1 ports, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack are located on the left side, while a USB 3.0 (Type A) port, the Pen dock, as well as the power button, volume switch, and indicator light are located on the right side. Both USB-C ports carry 4K video and audio when used with the right adapter.

Additionals

The stylus in the pen dock is identical to the previous model, which is definitely a good thing: it features full-tilt recognition and 4096 pressure sensitivity levels that make all signatures, drawings, sketches, and writing precise, especially on a 12″ display. Plus there are two speakers at 1.5W each.

Full Specs

  • Processor: Intel Celeron 3965Y Kaby Lake
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • Storage: 32GB internal, Solid State Drive
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Weight:93 pounds
  • Dimensions:34 x 8.19 x 0.63–-7.0 inches
  • Ports: 2 x USB-C used for charging and as 4K video output with an optional adapter, 1 x USB3.0, MicroSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Display Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  • Display Brightness: 300 nit
  • Camera: Front 1MP and 13MP on the keyboard deck
  • Stereo Speakers: (2 x 1.5W)
  • Built-in-pen with 4096 sensitivity pressure levels
  • Waterproof Keyboard (small spills only), but no backlight

Personal Use

The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 comes with the latest Chrome OS that also supports usage of Linux apps, the Google Play and Chrome Web Store apps and other content. You will easily stay in sync and work on it as long as you have an internet connection, and the offline capabilities will let you continue work should you be in an area where you can’t connect. The battery life allows you to use the Chromebook for hours on end without the need to charge it. It’s easy to carry around and is protected against the most common accidents like spills, thanks to a spill-resistant keyboard that can handle the smaller day-to-day minor spillages.

Who Should Buy It

It’s a good fit between entry-level and high-end models—a middle ground worth checking out if you want a device that you can work on the whole day while you’re on the go. While the price may support most budgets, it’s important to note that high power users will be better off buying models with more RAM and internal storage by spending about $100 to $200 more.

The Verdict

The new Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 has a premium feel to it. It’s lightweight, features a minimalist no-fuss design, and can be used as a regular notebook or a notepad. The battery life is great and enables 8 to 9 hours of continuous moderate usage and the Wi-Fi is a big plus—range and speed are both superior to most other models.

It’s sturdier than the V1 model, although also a bit heavier. The display is a downgrade but makes the V2 faster (especially with the new processor) since there are fewer pixels to handle. Overall, it’s a very good choice for the new upgrade!