The market for laptops is gigantic. Almost every major technology company offers a laptop of some sort, from the Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro to Sony and their VAIO lineup to Dell and their vast variety. Everybody is trying to create the latest and greatest in laptop technology and the prices reflect the cost of innovation. Those prices have driven consumers to consider lesser options such as iPads or Surfaces or any kind of tablet which provide enough of the functionality of a laptop for a lower price and more convenience.

Samsung produces tablets but seem to be convinced of another market between tablets and laptops. The best name I can give this market is the budget laptop and frankly, I’m a little skeptical of the idea. Why do we need a laptop that can do the same thing as a tablet and the only difference is in the form factor? With the Chromebook 2, Samsung is seeking to prove me and other critics that the budget laptop is worthy of attention.


Faster Loading Times are Key

Budget laptops rely on the “less is more” philosophy while also relying on quick loading times to prove their worth. The Chromebook 2 claims a booting time of 10 seconds from powering on to log in screen. Even my Surface takes longer than that to fully power on. The secret is the new Exynos chips which significantly improve performance over older chips while taking up the same amount of space. I use my Surface for Word and the internet, the Chromebook 2 claims the same functionality while making it a quicker process. For the price, I am convinced of the value in having a budget laptop if all you need is something that can edit documents and surf the internet.

Another factor that gives the Chromebook 2 a competitive edge over the tablet market is the inclusion of multiple USB ports and an HDMI port. This inclusion gives the Chromebook 2 the basic functionality of a full size laptop, even if it is a bit limited. At least you have the option of using the HDMI port where most, if not all, tablets have yet to include it. One last factor that comes into play is the design of the Chromebook 2. A stylish design masks the lack of power underneath while the lack of big components lets the laptop stay extremely slim, about .6 of an inch. The only thing that will not convince me to give up my tablet is the lack of a touchscreen. I have become so adjusted to my small devices having a touchscreen that having a budget laptop without one would hamper my efficiency. In time, I could readapt but I would yearn for the simplicity of using a touchscreen in conjunction with the full keyboard and trackpad.


Budget May Be Pretty Good After All

The Chromebook 2 will be coming out in April 2014 at the prices of $319 and $399. With the solid capability of the laptops for the price, you are looking at one of the most cost efficient pieces of technology in the last couple years. The budget laptop is a weak market based on a solid principle so consider a Chromebook 2 if you are looking for a device that bridges the gap between tablet and laptop. You will get your money’s worth for sure.