Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360


The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 is one of the best value Chromebook laptops you can purchase for less than £500, with a high-resolution display that makes it ideal for watching video. But its Intel processor underwhelms for both performance and battery life.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • High resolution display
  • Portable and versatile design
  • Option for cellular
Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Performance is a little sluggish
Availability

  • UKRRP: £399
  • USARRP: $429
Key Features
  • Optional cellular:The cellular model allows you to add in your SIM card to connect to the internet while on the move.
  • High-resolution touchscreen:This Samsung has a higher screen resolution than the average Chromebook, making videos and pictures look sharper.
  • 2-in-1 design:The 360-degree hinge allows you to flip the keyboard around to the rear of the screen, so you can use it like a makeshift tablet.

Introduction

If you were to spot the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 on a shop shelf in Currys or PC World, you’d likely dismiss it as yet another mediocre Chromebook.

Its plastic interior design and keyboard are not pleasant on the eye, while the chunky under-screen rim makes it look like a laptop that launched several years ago, despite hitting stores in 2022. 

But Samsung’s latest Chromebook is a great example of why you should never judge a laptop solely by its looks. I’ve been incredibly impressed with this machine, with a remarkable 2560 x 1600 screen resolution, portable 2-in-1 design and optional support for LTE when paired with a SIM card. 

What’s more, this Samsung Chromebook is available for just £319 for the Wi-Fi model, or £399 if you’d prefer the LTE version. On paper, that looks like an incredible bargain. But is this really one of the best Chromebook laptops you can buy right now?

Design

  • Plastic build ensures an ugly design
  • 360-degree hinge allows you to flip into tablet mode
  • Optional cellular model with SIM card tray

Chromebooks aren’t known for having stylish designs, and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 does not buck this trend. 

Samsung has opted for an all-plastic construction. That means the entire chassis, keyboard and even the trackpad are made of plastic. For anyone who has used a metal laptop before, you won’t help but feel that this Samsung laptop feels considerably cheap by comparison. Although given the price of this Chromebook, that is totally understandable. 

The bigger issue, at least in terms of looks, is the chunky under-screen bezel. The 12.4-inch screen is surrounded by huge black bars which look really outdated in an age where laptop manufacturers are attempting to squeeze the bezel out of existence. Even the Surface Laptop Go 2 doesn’t look quite this clunky. 

The Samsung Chroembook in tablet modeImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Samsung Chromebook features a 360-degree hinge, allowing me to flip the keyboard around so it’s laying flat against the screen’s rear. This allows you to use it like a tablet, although I personally find it a little too heavy (at 1.28kg) to use it as such – you’ll get a far better experience with a dedicated tablet such as an iPad or Galaxy Tab. 

That said, I still found the flexible hinge useful when flipping the keyboard backwards to use as a stand. Then you can watch the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus with the keyboard hidden from view. 

The laptop has a silver lid and rim, helping to make it stand out a little more than a basic all-black design. I’m still disappointed that Samsung isn’t offering multiple colour options though, as some additional blue, red and green models would add some extra personality. 

The rear of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Speakers are situated on the bottom of the laptop, which has the unfortunate effect of muffling the audio. And yet, I was impressed with the performance of the speakers, with plenty of detail to present dialogue clearly. You’ll still probably prefer to don a pair of headphones, although I’d happily depend on the speakers if required. 

The port situation is decent. You get two USB-C connections, a USB-A port for older peripherals, a microSD card reader and a headphone jack. With the LTE model, you get a SIM card slot – slide in your SIM card, and the Chromebook will have on-the-go connectivity via your network. 

A 1MP webcam is nestled in the top bezel, but it offers poor capture quality with video noticeably pixelated and fuzzy. But if you simply need a webcam for meetings at work, it shouldn’t be an issue. 

A look at the keyboard from aboveImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I’m not a big fan of the plastic keys on the keyboard, as they feel flimsy and generate a fair bit of noise. Fortunately, the keyboard is comfortable to type on thanks to the deep keystrokes, and each key is large enough that you don’t need to fret about frequent typos. As you’d expect from a laptop at this price, there are no fancy features such as a fingerprint sensor.

The trackpad is also made of plastic, but I personally didn’t find this an issue. It’s smooth enough for comfortable swiping, while right- and left-clicks were always responsive. 

Screen

  • Compact 12.4-inch screen size
  • High resolution for a Chromebook
  • Touchscreen support

It’s fairly common for a laptop under $600 to skimp on the screen quality in order to ensure other areas are up to snuff  – just look at Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2.

But Samsung has gone in a completely different direction, as the screen is arguably the best asset of the Galaxy Chromebook 2 360. It is admittedly small at just 12.4-inches, but it has a dazzling 2560 x 1600 resolution which is even better than some laptops that cost over a grand. 

By hitting the sweet spot between Full HD and 4K, you get fantastically sharp video without paying over the odds. I was amazed by the vibrant colours and high detail when viewing high-resolution YouTube videos. 

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 screenImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I was impressed with the benchmark scores after testing the laptop with a colorimeter, too. The Chromebook is capable of a 371-nit brightness, which is brighter than the average laptop. And an astounding contrast of 2742:1 means that bright colours stand out really well from dark backgrounds. 

With such stunning display scores, I think this is an excellent laptop for streaming video – just as long as you don’t mind the compact screen size. Let’s not forget that this is also a touchscreen, so you can easily zoom in by simply pinching or scrolling down a newsfeed by swiping. 

Performance 

  • Sluggish speeds only suitable for basic tasks
  • Only 4GB of RAM is available
  • Only 128GB of storage space

Chromebooks aren’t known for high performance, and while the simplicity of ChromeOS does make them more efficient compared to Windows portables, it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get a seamless performance. 

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 features an Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is one of the weakest options for a laptop. As a result, I noticed a fair bit of slowdown when browsing the web, especially when attempting to load multiple images on a site. 

With just 4GB of RAM, you need to be conservative with your workload, as having multiple apps and web browsers open simultaneously will notably reduce performance, but it’s still perfectly manageable. I never got frustrated with the load times, even when using this laptop for work. 

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Processor Intel Celeron N4500 Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Intel Core i5-1135G7
Geekbench 5 single-core 484 536

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