Reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go has been thing of a rollercoaster. A elemental one, with 1 large assistance elevation and a precise speedy drop. To the bare eye, if you tin disregard its hulking bezels, this looks highly well-appointed. It has a 14-inch screen, thing you don't ever spot successful the generally-smaller satellite of Chromebooks.
It has a classy achromatic interior and a banal silvery outer case. There are plentifulness of ports, 1 of which allows you to slot successful an LTE SIM and get online wherever you mightiness be. We started our clip with it beauteous excited. What could determination perchance beryllium to kick about?
Hitting that constituent of inertia and rolling implicit the highest of the elevation means hitting the powerfulness button, and reveals the existent play of this ride. There's a 14-inch surface alright, but it's 1366x768 and truthful debased connected contrast, color, brightness and adjacent sharpness it disappoints successful each respect different than size.
There's a big, spacious trackpad which clicks poorly and, astatine times, conscionable gives up for a while. There are capable ports, but a deficiency of HDMI won't suit the emblematic idiosyncratic basal of Chromebooks, folks apt not technologically dependable capable oregon budget-equipped to play with USB displays. The keyboard is large and feels nice, but it's besides squashed and bouncy acknowledgment to a precise flexible keyboard deck. And really utilizing the thing? It's a low-spec Chromebook, and it feels similar it.
Not that you can't bash plentifulness with it. Android and Linux enactment is here, if some a small sluggish. 4GB RAM connected ChromeOS means this has capable representation to persevere with aggregate demanding tabs, truthful the acquisition is not rather arsenic frustrating arsenic it is connected much RAM-starved machines - but it's not a performer by immoderate means.
You won't privation to usage it arsenic a media machine, but you can, and the speakers are large enough. And the artillery is, similar the Galaxy Book Go, extensive. This is the Mr Bones' Wild Ride of laptops: it's mundane, lasts forever, and you'll privation to get off.
There's a applicable marketplace that this would acceptable close into were it not for the awkward terms - much connected that successful a sec - and determination are (of course) acold worse machines successful the Chromebook canon. We can't precisely excitedly urge it, but if you're looking for a large Chromebook with further connectivity, the Galaxy Chromebook Go mightiness conscionable beryllium for you. If you're conscionable looking for a cheap laptop? Steer clear.
Price and availability
Here is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4500 (Up to 2.80 Ghz with boost, 4 MB L3 Cache)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4x
Screen: 14.0-inch, 1366 x 768
Storage: 64 GB e.MMC
Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A port, micro SD reader, nanoSIM, audio combo jack
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, Wifi 6 (802.11 ax 2x2), 4G LTE
Camera: 720p webcam
Weight: 3.2 pounds (1.45 kg)
Size: 12.88 x 8.88 x 0.63 inches (32.7 x 22.5 x 1.59 cm; W x D x H)
We person a occupation with the Galaxy Chromebook Go's price. Straight up: it's excessively costly for what it is. This peculiar model, with LTE connectivity (locked to AT&T successful the US, and unfastened successful the UK), attempts to person you to walk $350 (£399, astir AU$555) for a instrumentality which sits close astatine the bottommost of the modern spec tube (at slightest extracurricular of its connectivity and, perhaps, its larger-than-the-Chromebook-usual 14-inch display).
If you're successful the US, there's a $250 exemplary disposable which omits the cellular connectivity - adjacent that, arsenic we'll get to, mightiness beryllium somewhat excessively overmuch to ask, but it's overmuch person to the constituent astatine which this should beryllium sitting.
Australian readers whitethorn beryllium retired of luck here: we've seen the non-LTE listed for AU$480 and the LTE mentation for AU$555, but these appeared to beryllium US imports truthful tread with caution.
The main contented with this terms is that low-end Chromebooks are meant to beryllium genuinely affordable - spot the Asus C233, often discounted beneath fractional this terms - and the Galaxy Chromebook Go conscionable creeps implicit the line. The convenience of an always-connected instrumentality doesn't warrant the other cash, fixed that you'll request the disbursal of a SIM paper with a information program alongside it, and since galore cellular providers are blessed to let constricted mobile hotspot use, you're astir apt amended disconnected utilizing the telephone you already person successful your pouch - and that mightiness adjacent battalion 5G... which this doesn't.
The different occupation is that this (at slightest successful UK) is somewhat much costly than the pretty-dire but besides LTE-equipped ARM-based Samsung Galaxy Book Go, with which it shares the bulk of its plan language. Samsung is successful contention with itself, then, but possibly it's successful a contention to the bottom.
It's comic what quality a small colour - oregon the implicit deficiency of it - tin make. In the lawsuit of the Samsung Chromebook Go, the institution has opted to springiness the user-facing surfaces a lightly textured matte achromatic integrative decorativeness which, whether you similar it oregon not, does acceptable it isolated from astir of the aluminium-hued metal-aping low-end laptops connected the market.
Does it work? That's a substance of taste: we rather similar however unfussy it looks, peculiarly erstwhile bordered by the silvery edging of the lid and base. It mightiness adjacent borderline towards being cool, if this is your benignant of happening - or, conversely, it mightiness item the cheapness alternatively than attempting to obscure it.
The colouation does enactment the sheet into focus, making this coagulated for work, and adjacent with nary keyboard backlighting, the glow of the surface is capable to prime retired the achromatic fable connected the keys successful the dark. Typing enactment is good, but the flexible keyboard platform is noticeable.
That's a tentative triumph depending connected taste, then, but we bash person immoderate plan gripes which can't easy beryllium brushed away. For one, the bezels are perfectly enormous, with a heavy apical borderline lodging the webcam, important sides, and a monolithic chin.
Despite its width, Samsung seems to person tally retired of country for the keyboard 90% of the mode done laying it out, choosing (on our UK-layout model) to contented a squashed-up Return cardinal which is conscionable tiny capable to propulsion disconnected one's touch-typing instincts, and rubbed brackish successful the coiled by teaming it with a powerfulness cardinal close supra a cut-back Backspace. This whitethorn beryllium the Chromebook formula, but that doesn't halt it being an unnecessary annoyance.
On the extracurricular the Samsung Chromebook Go is astir arsenic generic arsenic a Chromebook comes: it's grey, the edges are crisp and straight, and it looks bladed portion concealing a reasonably bulbous underbelly. The accustomed laptop tricks, and they enactment good enough, arsenic this surely won't look unattractive sliding retired of your container beyond the garish Chromebook logo.
Underneath beryllium perforated ports for a brace of down-firing speakers - but nary ventilation, arsenic this is wholly passively cooled. The magnitude of heat-dissipation tech that's surely packed wrong does springiness this a small heft, but not to the constituent that it feels heavy.
Ports aren't a immense interest connected a Chromebook, but this provides a just selection, duplicating those seen connected the ARM-based Galaxy Book Go. That means a Type-C larboard connected the near on with an audio combo jack and microSD reader, past a Type-A port, a 2nd Type-C larboard compatible with Displayport out, a Kensington fastener niche, and a SIM slot.
There's genuinely small to beryllium upset astir isolated from a deficiency of HDMI - if you're looking to grow a Chromebook beyond what's offered here, possibly you don't really privation a Chromebook.
Here's however the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go performed successful our suite of benchmark tests:
JetStream: 75.13 (higher is better)
Mozilla Kraken 1.1: 1531ms (lower is better)
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 11 hours and 18 minutes
The Samsung Chromebook Go is, well, a Chromebook, and 1 connected the little extremity of that scale. It's not thing you needfully attack looking for earthy power, and determination are plentifulness of options retired determination if that's truly what you want.
The question isn't truly whether this tin determination mountains, it's whether it's an acceptable instrumentality to usage day-to-day. If you're truly cautious and don't expect excessively much, it conscionable mightiness be. With caveats.
It'll happily tally respective browser windows streaming media side-by-side, for example, and it tin header admirably with a Twitch squad stream. Opening enactment apps - the Google suite, oregon Office 365's online tools - was snappy capable too. It's worth, astatine this point, straight comparing this to its closest relative successful the signifier of the Windows-on-ARM Samsung Galaxy Book Go: this offers a amended on-the-browser experience.
It's a small smoother, it's little jarring, and you get the consciousness that adjacent a base-of-the-totem-pole Celeron is simply a smarter prime for low-power laptops than ARM. If anything, possibly Samsung got the hardware platforms of the 2 the incorrect mode around, due to the fact that there's a gulf betwixt the show benchmarks of the pair.
Being a modern Chromebook, this tin bash much than conscionable browser-slinging. Its Android show is just if not peculiarly stunning, moving the likes of Asphalt 8 astatine a juddery yet just-playable framework rate, and moving its mode easy done much plain apps, though bash carnivore successful caput that there's nary interaction screen. Debian Linux performance, done ChromeOS' virtual machine, is besides acceptable - not singular by immoderate means, but we were capable to occurrence up apps including unfortunately-named Photoshop-alike Gimp without incident.
That's wherever the positives end, though. Drawing successful Gimp with a elemental instrumentality highlights immoderate of the Chromebook Go's biggest flaws. The trackpad is terrible, often ignoring inputs oregon jumping from constituent to constituent - and pressing it to click is capable to flex the full keyboard deck. Performance is acold from smooth, with notable jerks and stutters hampering conscionable astir each task. And the surface has fundamentally ne'er heard of contrast. It's not quite arsenic atrocious arsenic the sheet successful the Galaxy Book Go, astatine slightest successful presumption of visibility, but it's lower-res and thoroughly unpleasant successful its ain way.
The Galaxy Chromebook Go is besides hindered by its deficiency of RAM. Yes, you tin propulsion it, and 4GB is much than galore Chromebooks get, but it's inactive not rather capable to counteract Chrome's legendarily cruel representation absorption if you hap to overload it with tabs oregon windows. That's not wholly unexpected - again, this is simply a Chromebook connected the little end, and you should expect precisely that benignant of show - but we can't accidental we weren't disappointed.
Good quality successful the artillery department: Samsung claims a coagulated 12 hours, and we really ended up getting rather adjacent to that astatine a hairsbreadth nether 11:20 successful our artillery test.
Not a immense surprise: Intel's Celeron CXASDASD is simply a precise cool-running chip, adjacent erstwhile you're pushing it, meaning there's small successful the mode of wasted energy. Working with it implicit a fewer days, the Galaxy Chromebook Go felt similar thing that hardly needed plugging successful astatine all.
That's a recognition to this Chromebook, and a large crushed it has earned the people it has: if you're working, studying, oregon conscionable browsing hard, taking this determination comfy and convenient won't beryllium a challenge. Whatever we've said astir its price-to-performance metrics, you whitethorn privation to prime this up simply due to the fact that of its staying power.
Buy it if...
Don't bargain it if...
- These are the best Chromebooks you should bargain instead