Samsung have launched one of the most beautiful and thought-out Chromebook the market has seen. It’s an innovative convertible device, entirely made out of metal and it’s called the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The model I’m reviewing here is named XE513C24-K01US.
So, Samsung decided to go a step above competition and launch a new Chromebook that would meet users’ demands without compromising on quality or features. This is a model made specifically for people who need a potent, yet flexible machine on which to work & play.
Some of the most notable improvements that the Chromebook Plus include a 360-degree profile thanks to special 2-in-1 specific hinges, a built-in pen device, a 3:2 ratio 12.3″ display (perfect for web browsing and document editing) and the ability to carry it effortlessly because of its reduced weight and dimensions.
We’re looking at a premium Chromebook here, that’s aimed at a more professional audience who values productivity and research more than leisure activities while working on the go. Be it traveling, commuting, or going to the coffee shop for a break.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is powered by a hexa-core processor. Actually, this 6-core, mobile-optimized CPU is made up of a dual-core Cortex A72 and a quad-core A53. Although its performance ratings are quite some distance away from more easily recognisable Intel Core processors, the energy efficiency gains likely outweigh the loss of performance. Still, this combo is more than apt to handle every app there is to download from Google’s Play Store.
System memory is limited at 4 gigabytes of LPDDR3 RAM. It has one memory module installed in the only available slot, which is soldered to the motherboard. Therefore, users won’t be able to upgrade the memory further, although most won’t actually need to. This amount is enough for all everyday tasks and most demanding apps (including speedy photo editing, large documents, spreadsheets, and so on).
The Samsung Chromebook XE513C24-K01US comes with a small storage capacity, hosted on a eMMC drive. More precisely, it has 32 gigabytes of available space, which isn’t up to par to modern standards. However, we shouldn’t forget that a Chromebook is dependant on the internet and Google Drive, so it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that the on-board storage space is so limited.
Still, Google offers every Chromebook user 100 gigabytes of storage space on Google Drive free for two years, and every user should profit from this offer.
Perhaps the greatest quality of the Samsung Chromebook Plus is its display. Specifically, this model (the XE513C24-K01US) has a 12.3″ LED-backlit panel with a QHD display. One of the first thing you’ll notice is the aspect ratio. This Chromebook has a 3:2 ratio, which is ideal for getting actual work done – editing documents, reading PDFs, editing photos, writing code, and so on.
Playtime comes in second place, and this Chromebook isn’t well optimized for that, also because of the screen. Want to watch the latest episode from your favorite TV series? The lack of a 16:9 ratio display means you’ll have two black horizontal bars to look at.
Other than that, the display is brilliant. It works great in bright sunshine conditions thanks to its 400nit brightness and the QHD part means it produces a resolution of 2400×1600 pixels – or 234 ppi. Fantastic details, rich colors and a roomy on-screen workspace.
Interface and connectivity options
Interface options for the XE513C24-K01US are typical. We see the usual ports, with the exception of a USB 3.0 option. This means you’ll have to carry some adapters if you need to connect to legacy devices. A USB-C adapter is included in the box.
- 2 x USB-C ports w/ Sleep-and-Charge
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x MicroSD card reader
Connecting to the Internet is done through a Marvell 88W8997 WLAN card (2×2 802.11ac) with built-in Bluetooth 4.0.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are a couple of features that set the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US apart from other similar devices, and even laptops for that matter:
- 2-in-1 Convertible – With the 360-degree rotating hinges, you’ll be able to achieve 4 use modes: laptop, tent, presentation and tablet.
- Pen Device – The Chromebook Plus has a dedicated pen, which slides into a special slot on the right side of the body. It can be used to quickly sketch up something, to edit photos or even rapidly write down thoughts.
Portability and battery life
The Samsung Chromebook XE513C24-K01US is a lightweight device, perfect for travelers and home/office users alike. It weighs just 2.38 pounds and measures 0.55 inches thick. Which means you’ll be able to take it for a ride in your bag, or backpack, without it weighing you down.
Also, the 2-Cell, Li-Ion 39 Whr battery pack will keep a charge for up to 10 hours. This is on par with most modern ultrabooks, so there’s no surprise this is marketed as a more cost-friendly alternative to ultraportable notebooks.
At the end of the day, the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US may not be the most powerful notebook out there. But, when taking into account its price, build quality, features, display and portability stats, the Samsung quickly becomes a favorite for folks who need a featherweight, always-on travel and work companion.