The Samsung Chromebook Plus is a notebook with a 12.3 inch, 2400 x 1600 pixel touchscreen display, a hinge that lets you fold the screen back 360 degrees so you can hold the computer like a tablet, and a digital pen that looks like the kind Samsung offers with its Galaxy Note smartphones.

That makes the Chromebook Plus one of the first Chrome OS devices to ship with a pen that you can use to scribble notes or draw pictures, among other things.

Samsung plans to sell the Chromebook Plus for $450 starting in February. There’s also a second model called the Chromebook Pro coming a few months later, but that model has a different processor and it will also probably have a higher price tag.

That’s because the Chromebook Pro features an Intel Core M3 processor, while the Chromebook Plus has an ARM-based chip called the OP1… although it seems like that may just be another name for Rockchip’s RK3399 hexa-core processor.

Samsung is showing off both the Chromebook Plus and the Chromebook Pro at CES, and I got a chance to spend some time with the ARM-based version.

The display is crisp and clear, and the 3:2 aspect ratio makes the system look great in portrait or landscape mode. And the computer is compatible with Android apps out-of-the-box, so you can download millions of touch-friendly applications from the Google Play Store.

In a lot of ways, the Chromebook Plus is like a souped up version of last year’s Asus Chromebook Flip. The new Samsung laptop has a bigger, higher-resolution display, a faster processor, and pen input. But it’s still a compact convertible Chromebook with Google Play support and an ARM-based CPU.

But as much as I want to love it, I find that a 12.5 inch tablet that weighs 2.4 pounds just isn’t as comfortable to hold as a the 10.1 inch, 2 pound Chromebook Flip. I have a hard time imagining using this model in tablet mode very much.

The trend in Chromebooks seems to be moving toward larger, more powerful systems though. Asus also launched a new Chromebook Flip this year… and it’s also a 12.5 inch model with premium specs and a premium price: it’ll sell for $499 and up.

As for Samsung’s model, it does have some pretty nice hardware. The system measures about 0.55 inches thick, features a 39Wh battery, and two USB Type-C ports as well as support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth.


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17 replies on “Hands-on with the Samsung Chromebook Plus convertible Chromebook”

  1. The bottom line is that both of these models have very slow cpus and you’re going tho be waiting around for both of them to render web pages and that in my mind knocks them out of being worth 500 or more.My guess is that the plus will try to sell for around 750 which is just ridiculous.I’m sort of disappointed that there aren’t any i3 machines in the 300 range that is what people want not this arm or m3 stuff

    1. Well $750 would be ridiculous if it was true but several sites have posted that the price will be $499 or $549.

    2. Slow??? 6 core processor OP1 alias Rockchip’s RK3399 who has support for 4K video playback !
      Do your homework dude don’t confuse people here wtf !?

  2. 450-499 for a computer that doesn’t have issues out the ass is a killer deal, in my opinion. When you get Windows down to that price range it loses a lot of potency, IMO. ChromeOS not so much.

  3. So when does Google start making Chrome phones? It would seem easy for Google to do and would finally solve the update problem. This assumes all Android apps run well.

  4. Do Chromebooks get their OS updates from Google or the manufacturer? Also, any idea how well these will run Android games? Because right now, these seem nicer than any Android tablet on the market.

    1. My Asus flip Chromebook gets updates from Google. I’ve never received an update from Asus.

    2. All Chromebooks get updates from Google, and Android app support is still technically in beta, but apps and games work pretty well on the Chromebooks I’ve tested so far.

      1. Updates from Google is good news. The poor post-sale software support of a lot of Android manufacturers is the biggest knock against Android, IMO.

        1. That’s one of the nicest things about ChromeOS to me if someone plans to buy one of these convertibles to use almost like an “android tablet”. You get at least 5 years of updates to the latest version of android (even if it will take a few months to get the next version) and get “stock android/ChromeOS”.

  5. I think I’d be interested in a Chromebook in the form of the Surface Pro.

  6. “But as much as I want to love it, I find that a 12.5 inch tablet that weighs 2.4 pounds just isn’t as comfortable to hold as a the 10.1 inch, 2 pound Chromebook Flip. I have a hard time imagining using this model in tablet mode very much.”

    There are plenty of use cases for tablets and flip-arounds where you’re not supposed to hold the device at arm’s length.

    Taking notes in class; annotating textbooks/ pdfs; doing homework with the stylus. Using the screen as a canvas in art programs. Music composition with touch. You’re not holding the tablet in your hand in any of these cases. Perhaps these are just not things you do…

    This looks like a fantastic device to me.

    1. I’m probably getting one of these to use to take notes in class. I hope samsung doesn’t plan to release the pro version near the end of my semester though 🙁

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