We’ve talked at length about this troubling trend in our podcast on many occasions, but we don’t write about it often. Chromebooks have the worst track record with release dates among all consumer electronics. Devices get leaked and then just show up out of nowhere. Devices get premiere treatment along with foggy availability windows. Flagship Chromebooks take center stage at times and have their ship dates go without real announcements, accountability, or reliability. It happens all the time. And while the bolded statement above may contain a tad bit of hyperbole, you and I both know it’s pretty close to the absolute truth.
Here we are again with a flagship device that will inevitably be important to the ecosystem as a whole in the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, and yet we’ve been without a firm release date since we saw it. Early April was the best we could get at CES 2020, and while that’s pretty good to have a window of sorts, the fact that nothing in the marketing made this clear was a bit confusing. Was it bound to be pushed back? Was Samsung just not sure about availability? Why so vague?
After CES 2020, we did have a bit of time where the Galaxy Chromebook began showing up at retailers with an April 6th date. Those dates have since been removed, leading us all to wonder whether the April 6th date was moved because it was false or if it hit too close to home. As it turns out, it seems it was the latter as The Verge has reported early this morning that the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook will officially become available at Best Buy and Samsung on April 6th. Confirmation is good, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s the opening of the article:
Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Chromebook finally has an official release date. You’ll be able to buy it at Samsung and Best Buy next Monday, April 6th, starting at $999.
Unfortunately, there was zero citation and zero indication that Samsung gave this information to them when it was originally published, but the piece is written in a tenor that would fully suggest that they have the date as an official bit of information from Samsung via some sort of communication. Literally seconds before we published this, Samsung updated their Galaxy Chromebook landing page with the April 6th release date, but it was definitely not there when The Verge published their article at 12:01am. All this feels like a mishandling of information to me. Why didn’t Samsung just issue a press release? Why not an email? Why not update the existing listings on their own website, Best Buy and Google’s own Chromebook landing page?
Your guess is as good as mine, but either way, it is confounding. Samsung of all companies knows how to launch a device. I was really hopeful that along with the Galaxy nomenclature on this Chromebook would come a bit better handling of the launch. I’m not asking for much, but a quick press release, updated web info, an email, and pre-order options would go a long way towards making this feel like a real launch. Instead, we’re fumbling over the finish line with dates being shared to a singular news outlet without any official word from Samsung. It all feels amateur from a company that is so capable of communicating things like this with aplomb and I’m left wondering exactly when we’ll see a big name Chromebook announced along with a ship date.
I don’t want to completely roast Samsung here, though, as we have yet to see any big Chromebook releases get flagship-level treatment. Even Google has yet to do it right. Chromebooks from huge manufacturers like Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo get very little invested in the actual launch. Like I said above, these Chromebooks may appear on stage at press events and have hands-on areas and still have foggy release windows that may or may not end up accurate in the end. Perhaps I was hoping too much that Samsung would jump in and change that trajectory with the Galaxy Chromebook. Maybe next time?