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Samsung’s Chromebook Pro highlights the category’s continued evolution

If you're looking for a solid all-around laptop for roughly $500, the new Samsung Chromebook Pro should at or near the very top of your candidate list. Sure, there are plenty of Windows laptops and tablets in that price range (or lower), but none that I can think of offer this combination of a decent design, mostly metal construction, lag-free performance, long battery life, better-than-HD touchscreen, built-in stylus and a hybrid hinge that transforms the system into a tablet.

Despite the hybrid design, this is still a laptop first and a tablet second. For the opposite approach, an iPad plus a snap-on keyboard would cost about as much.

I know what you're thinking: "But wait: Chromebooks use Google's weird browser-only operating system. They won't run any of my must-have software, and they're useless when you're off Wi-Fi." And you'd be right about some or all of that -- if it wasn't 2017.

 

Yes, Chrome OS -- while significantly evolved over the past few years -- is still essentially the Chrome web browser with a laptop wrapped around it. But, Samsung and Google are using this new model, and its sister system, the Chromebook Plus, to showcase an important new Chrome OS feature coming to all new 2017 Chromebooks, as well as a handful of older models. These new systems are compatible with the Google Play Android app store, allowing you to download, install and run millions of Android apps, much as they would on any Android phone or tablet (with a few exceptions).

 

It's a twist that changes the entire nature of Chromebooks for a huge swath of people, giving the platform access to a universe of software, from games to office tools to social media apps. In practice, it's not as universally useful as it looks on paper, but it's also incredibly satisfying in surprising ways.


Article Tags: #samsung
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