Samsung’s Chromebook Plus was a hit with consumers when it launched last year, and this year, Samsung is giving it a refresh. Dubbed Chromebook Plus v2, the second-generation model gets a bump in processing power, adds a secondary camera, and comes with a more comfortable and durable keyboard that makes this unit a great option in the education segment when it goes on sale on June 24. The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 retains the signature hallmarks of its predecessors, including a stylus with its own silo on the device, a premium build quality, and a convertible form factor that makes it a great machine to run Android apps.
This year, the Chromebook Plus V2 ditches the ARM processor from last year in favor of Intel’s Celeron 3965Y silicon, which should give it a boost in performance. Alongside the new Intel chip are 4GB of RAM and a 32GB drive for storage. The Celeron processor also comes with Intel’s HD Graphics 615 integrated. Connectivity is handled through the two USB-C ports, a single USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a MicroSD card for up to 400GB of extra storage.
Another big upgrade for this year’s model is a secondary camera on the rear. The front camera clocks in at 1 megapixel, while the rear camera has a 13-megapixel F1.9 lens with autofocus. The second camera is located on the keyboard deck, allowing you to capture images when you rotate the hinge to transform the Chromebook Plus v2 into a tablet.
This year, Samsung has made big improvements to the keyboard to make it easier for typing and more durable. The keyboard now comes with curved key caps and is designed to be spill-resistant. Samsung claims it can withstand spills up to 60cc.
And even though the design remains the same — the Chromebook Plus V2 keeps its predecessor’s premium aluminum alloy build — the display is a notable downgrade from the first-generation model. This year’s v2 uses a 12.2-inch display with a standard 1080p resolution, while the original model came with a 12.3-inch panel with a higher 2,400 x 1,600-pixel resolution. That means that along with a lower resolution display, the panel’s aspect ratio has also changed from a 3:2 to 16:10 this year. While 1080p will likely suit most users fine, many productivity enthusiasts still prefer the 3:2 aspect ratio popularized by Microsoft on its Surface lineup.
Samsung is also promoting some of the software features that make its Chromebooks stand out against the competition. “The Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2) offers even more functionality to users with multiple connected devices, including easy file sharing between Chromebook and mobile devices,” Samsung said in a press release.
The Chromebook Plus V2 will be priced at $499 when it launches later this month at Best Buy. Be sure to check out our guide to the best Chromebooks if you’re in the market for a new Chrome OS device.