We are fresh off some of our first hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, and I have to say that I’m fully impressed by this new entry into the Chromebook arena by Samsung. Scratch that: I’m not just impressed, I’m a bit blown away. I’m not going to get into all the reasons in this post (our hands-on video is coming soon), but it is enough to say that this Chromebook looks to be the most complete and holistic Chromebook I’ve ever touched.
For this post, I want to focus on just the nomenclature Samsung has chosen. In a world where ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, and Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 are standard fare for device names, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook feels almost elegant. Sure, there are others that get the naming right from a brevity standpoint like the Pixelbook, Pixelbook Go, and Pixel Slate, but they feel few and far between in the Chrome OS world.
While I appreciate the clean naming of the Galaxy Chromebook, that really isn’t what makes this laptop special, either. Instead, it lies more in the fact that Samsung seems to be embracing Chrome OS in a whole new light with this Chromebook. No longer relegated to ‘Samsung Chromebook __________’, it seems the Galaxy Chromebook is finally being embraced by Samsung as a device that will not only be made in the same vein as its more premium cousins like the Galaxy Book S, but it will also get a lot of the same marketing treatment.
Samsung generally saves its Galaxy naming for devices that sell well and get marketed quite heavily. From phones to tablets to laptops, the Galaxy name only gets applied to what can only be described as Samsung’s ‘in crowd’. With phones it is the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S. With tablets it is the Galaxy Tab. With laptops it is the Galaxy Book. And now, with Chromebooks, it is the Galaxy Chromebook.
Forget Chromebook Pro and Chromebook Plus names: this Chromebook now gets front-row treatment in the broader Samsung electronics family, and that means a different story is likely to unfold for this new Chromebook than the ones that previously came before it. Where we once thought Samsung might throw some serious marketing behind the Chromebook Pro a few years ago, that was just an assumption we made at the time. As it turned out, Samsung didn’t spend a ton of time or money promoting that device and it simply became just another Chromebook disassociated from its manufacturer’s larger tech presence.
This happens with Chromebooks quite often, actually, and its a trend I’d love to see go away. Too many times Chromebooks are excellent and never get any of the support or marketing treatment their Windows-toting siblings do. This leaves all these great pieces of hardware out there with little to no exposure and a real need for explanation as to why they should be considered when a consumer enters a Best Buy store. The sheer lack of public awareness around Chromebooks and what they are capable of is still crazy and the stigma won’t change until big manufacturers get fully on board.
Google has done a great job of putting Chromebooks and Chrome OS front and center, but we all know their hardware division isn’t exactly a market juggernaut. They are growing and I love their advertising, but look at their phone sales with flagships like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4. It is clear that the slice of the hardware pie Google owns is small, especially compared to the slice they own in the search, advertising, and browser markets. This leads to new hardware that, while pretty great (Pixelbook Go), has little to no market penetration.
While we kind of expected Samsung to have a large impact a few years back with the Chromebook Pro, that device was simply a forerunner for this new Galaxy Chromebook and, with this new naming scheme, it feels like Samsung has fully invested in Chromebooks this time around. What this means is we’ll see everyone interested getting a review unit of this Chromebook. It means not only will we see commercials and internet ads, we’ll see tons of reviews and product placements on shows and in movies. It means eventually, people will see and recognize the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook.
When is the last time you could say that of any Chromebook? Sure, those of us in the tech spheres can spot a Pixelbook from a mile away, but how many average consumers can? The Pixelbook was/is striking, unique and beautiful. It is easily recognizable and is named in a way that is easy to remember. It was/is a great Chromebook and the general reviews of it after some time went by have been largely positive. But it still didn’t have the brand recognition that something similar from Samsung would.
And that is where this new Galaxy Chromebook enters the story. Every bit the spiritual successor to the Pixelbook, this device not only carries a premium build, recognizable color scheme, elegant name and striking screen: it carries the Galaxy brand. Love them or hate them, Samsung has spent years and countless dollars building the Galaxy brand into something memorable and recognizable, and the Galaxy Chromebook will only stand to benefit from it. I, for one, cannot wait to see all the ways this Chromebook hits the ground running in March and I can’t wait to see how Samsung leveages the Galaxy name to perhaps make this the first widely-known consumer Chromebook.