Samsung Chromebook 2 gets faux-leather look - and bloatware
By Shona Ghosh
Posted on 5 Mar 2014 at 12:15
Samsung has unveiled the Chromebook 2, furnishing its updated laptops with faux-leather lids, Full HD and its own pre-installed apps.
The Chromebook 2 will be available in two models, with an 11.6in or 13.3in display. Both ape a design feature seen on Samsung's Galaxy devices, with leather-like casing.
The laptops will arrive next month and are more expensive than other Chromebooks currently on the market, although UK prices and availability weren't immediately available.
The 13.3in model is the more expensive at $399.99 (£240). It runs on Samsung's 2.1GHz Exynos 5 Octa chip - so far reserved for mobile devices - and boasts an improved screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The 16GB of storage is expandable via a microSD slot, and it features 4GB of RAM.
Samsung claims up to 8.5 hours of battery life. Ports include a USB 3 slot, USB 2 slot and an HDMI connector, and there's support for Bluetooth 4. The device weighs just less than 1.5kg and will be available in white and black.
The cheaper, $319.99 (£191) 11.6in model drops down to a 1,366 x 768 screen, a slower 1.9GHz Exynos 5 chip and up to eight hours of battery life. Otherwise the hardware specs look the same, though it's a little lighter at a shade more than 1kg and will only be available in grey.
Samsung's also pre-installing premium apps on the two devices. It may seem an odd move given Google intended Chrome OS as a lightweight operating system, but it follows Samsung using a skinned version of Android on its smartphones, complete with its own pre-installed apps.
The Chromebook 2 includes a paid-for version of AirDroid, a file management app that lets users transfer media between their Android phone and PC, or track and wipe a lost phone.
There's also collaboration tool Wunderlist Pro and educational tool LittleBridge. Samsung will throw in free subscriptions for a year; after that, users will have to pay for continued use.
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