Google’s Pixelbook line has long been the super-premium option for Chromebook users, but at CES 2020 Samsung is hoping to muscle into that niche market. The company announced a new high-end laptop it’s christened the Galaxy Chromebook, to match the highest branding for Samsung phones and tablets.
The convertible laptop looks a lot like a Pixelbook, in everything except color: Samsung’s offering it in an eye-catching blazing red. (Cameron is already drooling.) If you don’t want to draw admiring gazes from everyone on the boardroom, it also comes in a more sedated grey. Specs are high to match: they top out at 16GB of RAM and a capacious 1TB storage (who’s using that on a Chromebook?) with a mobile-style fingerprint reader.
But the highlight of the spec page has to be the screen. Not only is it a 13.3″ 4K panel, already a rarity in the budget-focused Chromebook market, but it’s also AMOLED. That perfect-black screen technology is more typically reserved for phones and ultra-high-end TVs, and the Galaxy Chromebook is the first Chromebook to feature an OLED screen panel. There’s another, smaller feature that’s interesting: a eight megapixel webcam sitting on the keyboard deck. The idea is that you can use it as a standard tablet camera when the convertible is folded back in tablet mode.
If that seems weird, consider that Samsung is also positioning this as an ultra-premium tablet, complete with Samsung’s suite of mobile apps taking advantage of Chrome’s ability to run Android applications. It also includes a stowed stylus, no additional purchase necessary (as is the case on Microsoft and Google products in this category).
The Galaxy Chromebook is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2020, starting at $1000. Expect prices to go up quickly for the configurations with better processors and more RAM and storage.