Need a very affordable 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook for light computing tasks? Go through this Samsung Chromebook Plus review to find out all there is to know about this Chromebook.
Itechguides' Take on Samsung Chromebook Plus
The Samsung Chromebook Plus is a beautiful, budget-friendly convertible laptop with bright, colorful displays and a long battery life. Its keyboard, on the other hand, has short key travel and isn’t backlit.
- Bright, colorful display
- Beautiful design
- Comes with stylus pen
- Poor keyboard
In this review, I’ll offer a detailed explanation of the specification and design of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. Additionally, I’ll also talk about how it performs in areas such as processor, memory, graphics, storage, and battery life.
Furthermore, if necessary, I will offer benchmark test results. Additionally, I will also be rating the laptop in each section of this review based on its performance.
After reading this review to the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what the Samsung Chromebook Plus can do.
My Initial Thoughts
Purchasing a Chromebook doesn’t necessarily need you to break the bank and that’s exactly what the Samsung Chromebook Plus offers. In September 2021, when I wrote this review, this laptop had a starting price of just $159.99.
- Dell Precision M4800 Review: Your Professional Powerhouse
- MSI Modern 14 Review: One of the Best Releases in 2021!
Despite starting at such an affordable price, Samsung’s Chromebook Plus features a decent Intel Celeron processor and a long-lasting battery. Moreover, this 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook is one of the first Chromebooks that can run Android applications, thanks to ChromeOS.
Now that I’ve introduced the Samsung Chromebook Plus, let’s dive into its features and performance review.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Design, Dimensions and Weight Review
The Samsung Chromebook Plus, like the ASUS Chromebook Flip, has a bright-silver, aluminum chassis that gives it a premium look. However, except for a Chrome logo and Samsung Logo, the laptop’s lid is pretty simple.
The lid of the Chromebook features curved edges.
Opening the lid unveils the laptop’s 12.2-inch touchscreen display with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution. This high-end display resolution is rather unique as it is not common in Chromebooks.
Furthermore, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ display has a 3:2 aspect ratio rather than the usual 16:9 aspect ratio.
If you’re wondering what aspect ratio means, this term describes the width and height of a display screen. The Samsung Chromebook Plus’ display, with its 3:2 aspect ratio, is ideal for those who enjoy reading long articles.
Additionally, it is also great when you use the Samsung Chromebook Plus as a tablet. This is because a 3:2 aspect ratio display is wider and taller than a typical 16:9 aspect ratio display.
However, be aware that letterboxing might occur while watching movies that are meant to be seen in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Moving on, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’s display is very bright, recording a maximum brightness of 400 nits.
This is really impressive considering the laptop’s price. Also, it is particularly impressive considering that most laptop displays have a maximum brightness of 200-300 nit.
However, the Gorilla Glass coating on the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ display makes it a bit too reflective. On the plus side, it protects the display from hard knocks and scratches.
In terms of color production and accuracy, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ display produces 118% of the sRGB color gamut. This percentage surpasses the 99% category average.
It also exceeds the 76% produced by the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA’s display.
Moreover, with 118% of the sRGB color gamut, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’s display is more colorful than most laptops.
Moving on, the full island-style keyboard on the Samsung Chromebook Plus is adequate but not exceptional. It has a short key travel that will take some getting used to when typing.
In addition to its short key travel, the keyboard’s Enter, Backspace, Right Shift and Tab keys are relatively small. Moreover, the keys also aren’t backlit.
As for the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ touchpad, it is accurate, smooth, large, and responsive. Additionally, the touchpad supports multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom.
Moreover, with the Samsung Chromebook Plus coming with a stylus pen, you may not be using the touchpad so often. The stylus pen is stowed on the right side of the laptop.
When you need to use the stylus pen, it pops out of a slot.
Moreover, the pen looks very much like the S Pen, which comes with Samsung’s Note series of phones. It is, however, slightly thicker, longer, and missing a button for activating additional features.
Additionally, when you pop out the stylus pen, a menu (Stylus Tools) automatically opens on the screen. This menu features shortcuts for creating new notes on Google Keep and capturing screenshots.
Also, the menu includes shortcuts for displaying a cursor that looks like a laser pointer and activating a magnifying glass. However, you can turn off the automatic menu launch feature by using the pen support setting on the Chromebook.
Like most convertible laptops, the Chromebook Plus’ touchpad and keyboard deactivate when you rotate its screen more than 180 degrees. Being a convertible laptop, you can use the Samsung Chromebook Plus as a typical laptop or as a tablet.
Moving on, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ speakers aren’t particularly loud, and they’ll struggle to fill a medium-sized room with sound. However, they are adequate for streaming movies or listening to songs in a limited space.
But, if you intend to use the Chromebook Plus for conference meetings more often, external speakers are highly recommended.
In terms of the operating system, the Samsung Chromebook Plus comes with ChromeOS, as expected of a Chromebook. Thanks to ChromeOS, android apps are supported on the Samsung Chromebook Plus.
Therefore, you can download various android applications or games from Google Play store.
Chromebooks aren’t really known for having lots of ports, so it’s no surprise Samsung’s Chromebook Plus features a limited number of ports. The laptop features two USB-C ports – one on each side.
Both USB-C ports are for charging the laptop. Therefore, you can only use one when charging the laptop.
Moreover, the USB-C ports can also be used for connecting external displays to the laptop.
Additionally, the laptop features a headset jack, USB 3.0 port, and a microSD card reader on its left side. For a laptop with such a limited amount of ports, one would expect it to be slim and lightweight.
Well, the Samsung Chromebook Plus does disappoint in the portability department. It weighs just 1329 g and measures 288 x 208 x 16 – 17.7 mm.
Comparatively, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is slimmer and lighter than the Acer Chromebook 14. Specifically, the Acer Chromebook 14 measures 340.3 x 236.2 x 17 mm and weighs 1678.2 g.
In conclusion, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is a well-built low-cost laptop with an exceptional touchscreen display. The Chromebook is also lightweight.
However, its keyboard is somewhat poor and it isn’t backlit.
Therefore, I will be rating the Samsung Chromebook Plus an eight in this design review section.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Processor (CPU) Performance Review
The Samsung Chromebook Plus comes with an Intel Celeron 3965Y processor. This processor is a dual-core processor that runs at a base frequency of 1.50 GHz, with no maximum frequency.
Additionally, the Intel Celeron 3965Y is a less-powerful entry-level processor primarily for tablets, Chromebooks, and small laptops. Moreover, it features a cache memory of 2 MB.
This processor is based on the Kaby Lake architecture.
Kaby Lake is the nickname for Intel’s 7th Gen Core microprocessor series. Being a low-power entry-level processor, the Intel Celeron 3965Y isn’t capable of handling complex tasks.
Therefore, don’t expect the Samsung Chromebook Plus to handle heavy multitasking. Also, this Chromebook cannot handle tasks like video editing or running powerful applications like Adobe Photoshop.
However, it will be able to carry out simple computing tasks like web browsing, word processing, and even light multitasking.
I ran a benchmark test to further determine the performance of the Samsung Chromebook Plus with this processor. More precisely, I conducted a Jetstream 2 benchmark test.
Based on the JetStream 2 test result, the Samsung Chromebook Plus got a score of 113.4 points. Unfortunately, the Samsung Chromebook Plus falls short of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA, which got a score of 127.3 points.
However, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA uses a stronger processor, the Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor. On the good side, the Samsung Chromebook Plus beats the Acer Chromebook R 13.
The Acer Chromebook R 13 which uses a MediaTek MT8173C ARM processor scored 58.7 points on the JetStream 2 test.
In the end, with the Intel Celeron 3965Y, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is limited to basic computing tasks. As a result, I will rate it a seven out of ten in the processor review section.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Samsung Chromebook Plus features a standard memory of 4 GB. This is the maximum memory the laptop supports.
Additionally, the laptop comes with a single RAM slot, with the 4 GB memory stick is embedded onto the motherboard. Therefore, upgrading the memory to a larger size is impossible.
However, Chromebooks are designed to be less-memory demanding. So, even with 4 GB, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is capable of handling day-to-day computing tasks, and light multitasking.
Moreover, one of these Google Chrome tabs was streaming a live video on Instagram. Handling these tasks wasn’t really a problem for the Samsung Chromebook Plus as it didn’t lag nor slow down.
For the benchmark test, I used PCMark for Android test. PCMark for Android is an application-based benchmark tool for measuring the overall performance of a tablet or Android phone.
Moreover, I was able to perform this test because as I mentioned earlier, the Samsung Chromebook Plus supports android apps. So, I simply download the PCMark for Android on Google Play Store.
Based on the outcome of the PCMark for Android test, the Samsung Chromebook Plus scored 3392 points. Compared with the Acer Chromebook R 11, the Samsung Chromebook Plus performed poorly.
Specifically, on the PCMark for Android test, the Acer Chromebook R 11 scored 7580 points.
In summary, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is a decent performer with 4 GB RAM. However, its performance on a benchmark test I conducted says the opposite.
Hence, I will rate the Samsung Chromebook Plus a seven out of ten in this memory review section.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Storage Options & Performance Review
In terms of storage, the Samsung Chromebook Plus features an eMMC storage type. Furthermore, the Chromebook offers two storage size options.
Specifically, you can either purchase the Samsung Chromebook Plus with 32 GB eMMC storage or 64 GB eMMC storage. My review laptop ships with 64 GB eMMC storage. Generally, 64 GB of storage space should be adequate for most users.
However, I’m not sure I can say the same for storage-hungry users. Thankfully, the Samsung Chromebook Plus comes with an SD card reader for storage expansion.
Besides that, it also features 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage, just like any other Chromebook. Moreover, this 100 GB Google Drive cloud storage is free for 2 years.
I’m supposed to carry out a Crystaldiskmark test to measure the speed/performance of the laptop’s storage like I normally do. Unfortunately, Crystaldiskmark doesn’t support eMMC storage, it works only with Solid-state drive (SSD) and Hard disk drive (HDD).
Therefore, I will be rating the Samsung Chromebook Plus based on its storage options. Based on its storage options, I will rate this Chromebook a nine out of ten.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Graphics Card Performance Review
Chromebooks aren’t really known for great graphics cards. Therefore, the Samsung Chromebook Plus features an Intel HD Graphics 615.
Additionally, this graphics card runs at a base GPU frequency of 300 MHz. In addition to its base GPU frequency, it runs at a boost GPU frequency of 850 MHz.
Moreover, this graphics card is an integrated graphics card. This means that the graphics card is embedded into the laptop’s CPU.
Thus, it has to share the same memory as the CPU to perform.
As a result of sharing memory with the CPU, it won’t be able to run graphically demanding games or applications. However, it will be able to run most android games as they are less graphics-demanding.
Speaking of android games, I was able to play Asphalt 8 smoothly on the laptop without it lagging. Furthermore, the laptop also performed smoothly on a WebGL Aquarium graphics test I performed.
WebGL Aquarium graphics test is a website-based test for determining the 3D graphics rendering capability of a computer. On this graphics test, the Samsung Chromebook Plus rendered 2,000 fish at a frame rate of 48 fps.
This is about 15 fps better than the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA’s 32 fps. Moreover, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA uses an Intel HD Graphics 515 graphics card.
In conclusion, the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ graphics card is pretty impressive, even though it is integrated. Therefore, I will rate the Samsung Chromebook Plus an eight out of ten in this graphics card review section.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Battery Life & Performance Review
Samsung powers the Chromebook Plus with a 39 Wh Li-Ion battery. This battery, according to Samsung, should last up to 10 hours.
I found this claim to be unbelievable. As a result, I ran a battery test to find how reliable Samsung’s claim is.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus lasted about 8 hours and 49 minutes on the battery test. The battery test involves surfing the web continuously using a WIFI connection until the laptop dies.
Comparatively, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA lasted slightly longer, lasting 8 hours and 52 minutes.
In conclusion, even though Samsung lied about the Samsung Chromebook Plus’ battery, I am still impressed with its runtime. Therefore, I will be rating the laptop a nine out of ten.
Frequently Asked Questions
Samsung released the Chromebook Plus 2017 (four years when I published this article in 2021).
Yes, it is. The Samsung Chromebook Plus features a 12.2-inch touchscreen display. This display has a screen resolution of WUXGA (1920 x 1200).
Unfortunately, No. The Samsung Chromebook Plus doesn’t feature an HDMI port. However, it features USB Type-C ports which can also be used for connecting external displays.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus uses ChromeOS, just like every other Chromebook out there.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus features a dual-core Intel Celeron 3965Y processor. This processor is capable of handling basic computing tasks efficiently.
My Final Thoughts
The Samsung Chromebook Plus may not be the best Chromebook out there. However, for a price below $200, I can boldly say it is one of the best budget Chromebooks available.
This laptop features a decent performance, an exceptional touchscreen display, as well as a long-lasting battery. However, its keyboard is very poor.
Finally, if you need a low-cost Chromebook with more pros than cons, Samsung’s Chromebook Plus is the one for you.
You may also ask questions or make comments regarding this review at Itechguides Community. Our team and other community members will respond to your questions or comments as soon as possible.