Samsung has announced that its recently launched Chromebook Plus V2 (LTE) is now available to buy at Best Buy, Verizon, or directly from the manufacturer. That means that fans of Chrome OS can now use either Wi-Fi or mobile data to stay connected while also getting access to the specs and features found in the original Samsung Chromebook Plus V2. However, pricing for the device varies a bit depending on where the device is purchased. Buying directly from Samsung, the cost is set at $599 or $50 per month with Samsung financing. At either Best Buy or Verizon, the cost starts at either $100 off the manufacturer price or at just short of $25 per month with a two-year contract. The announcement also confirmed that another Samsung device, the Windows 10 S-based Samsung Galaxy Book2 is on sale at AT&T, Microsoft, and Samsung’s respective stores starting at $1000. That latter device packs a Snapdragon SoC 4GB RAM and 128GB storage and will be headed to Sprint and Verizon later on in November.
Background: As alluded to above, this device was actually announced near the middle of October and doesn’t bring much by way of changes to the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2. In fact, as per that announcement, it is actually identical in all but connectivity and pricing. The cost of the newly updated Chrome OS 2-in-1 is around $100 more than the original but brings built-in mobile 4G network connectivity to the table. The hardware behind that is a Fibocom Cat 9 mobile solution boasting speeds that could be as high as up to 450Mbps for downloads and up to 55Mbps on the upload side. That’s only supported exclusively by Verizon’s network via a bottom-facing SIM slot, though, so buyers will need to sign up for a contract to take advantage of that capability regardless of where they buy the gadget. On the Wi-Fi side of the equation, connections are enabled via Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n protocol.
Setting aside the Always On features, the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 LTE is built around a pair of 360-degree hinges connecting a 12.2-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) LED display to the keyboard base below. Around the edges of that all-metal frame, which measures 11.34 x 8.19 x 0.63 inches, the company includes a microSD card slot, two USB Type-C ports, and a single USB standard 3.1 port as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. A version of Samsung’s high-precision S-Pen stylus is garaged in the frame too, with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition for as accurate a drawing or writing experience as possible. On the inside, an Intel Celeron 3965Y processor is backed by 4GB of RAM and 32GB eMMC storage and comes with a base clock of 1.5GHz. Finally, the primary webcam is a 1-megapixel snapper while the keyboard-mounted 13-megapixel secondary camera acts as the main shooter in tablet mode and features a f/1.9 aperture.
Impact: Although the new Samsung convertible doesn’t seem to bring much to the table in terms of changes, it is a very important device for the company and the platform itself. To begin with, Samsung is now one of very few Chrome OS manufacturers to offer a Chromebook in a format that includes connectivity on the go. At the same time, Wi-Fi simply isn’t always available for end users but having access to a connection is very nearly a requirement with Chromebooks. Problems with that are easy enough to avoid if enough planning is put in place to avoid dependence on connectivity-dependent apps or services. However, the addition of LTE means that users won’t necessarily need to worry about that.
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