As I’m spending more time with Chromebook Plus models (reviews coming soon), I’m more and more excited by the segment as a whole. Sure, it’s great to see Chromebook Plus features arriving on non-branded Chromebook Plus devices, but I’m more keenly interested in the current and future branded Chromebook Plus devices set to arrive in the coming months.
New Chromebook Plus models are exciting
I think the initial batch of devices was a nice start, but the attention to details that make great user experiences has me excited to see what OEMs do with Chromebook Plus moving forward; and few companies have the potential that Samsung does to deliver something special in the hardware market.
Just look at their current lineup of Windows laptops and what they pulled off with the original Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro and the Galaxy Chromebook. Put plainly, Samsung knows how to make hardware that feels and looks great.
Samung’s Chromebook Plus contender
While it is tempting to want Samsung to jump back in the fray and try a big swing like the Galaxy Chromebook again, the fact of the matter is that wouldn’t be the best decision on their part. Chromebook Plus is creating a bit of buzz around the idea of powerful, fun-to-use devices that don’t break the bank; and I think Samsung has the potential to deliver in that space.
We recently found evidence that they are working on a new Chromebook – code name ‘Pirhaa’ – and that device is built on the same ‘Nissa’ baseboard that excellent Chromebooks like the Lenovo Chromebook Slim 3i are based off of. I’ve been so happy with this Chromebook and in this sort of price range (roughly $500-$600) I think Samsung could create something quite special.
Looking at the Galaxy Chromebook 2, there was a lot to like about that device. The QLED screen, the great keyboard, and the color of that device were all fantastic. If they stick with the Chromebook Plus spec, there will be no concerns with slow hardware, and Samsung can concentrate on building out a laptop that has some of that Galaxy Chromebook flare, fit and finish.
A new USI S-Pen?
And in the past few days, I’ve found evidence that Samsung is working on not just a new Chromebook Plus model, but one that will bring back the pen as well. If you recall, Samsung pioneered the first Chromebook with a pen in the chassis, and they continued to deliver that feature in the Galaxy Chromebook as well. And, if things progress as we’re seeing, that trend will continue with this next device as well.
As you can see from this change in the Chromium Repositories, ‘Pirrha’ is not just getting pen support, but its own pen as well. This could be a hybrid approach as Google only mandates that if pen support is available, it must have USI as one of the options. This doesn’t mean a digitizer couldn’t be included that supported multiple input types; including one that is a Samsung exclusive. But USI has to be part of that equation.
Why an included pen matters
With the inclusion of a pen, it definitely has me feeling some Galaxy Chromebook vibes for sure. Samsung usually relegates included pens to their nicer devices, so I’m hopeful that whatever they are working on with ‘Pirrha’ will be a thoughtful, well-made, reasonably-priced Chromebook.
Something like the Galaxy Chromebook 2 with a bit more attention to chassis material, and included pen, and all the hardware niceties that Chromebook Plus ensures could go a very long way towards getting Samsung back on the map in the Chromebook world. And I know I’m not to only one excited for that prospect.