Over the years, Chromebooks have built a reputation for being affordable, streamlined alternatives to regular Windows-powered laptops. Recently, however, we’ve seen the rise of premium Chromebooks that pack top-tier hardware on top of the fuss-free Chrome OS experience.
The sheer existence of a high-end Chromebook has baffled some consumers, especially following Google’s reveal of its $999 flagship hardware, the Pixelbook. Meanwhile, Samsung debuted its beefed-up Chromebook range earlier this year with the launch of the Chromebook Pro.
On paper, Samsung’s 12.3-inch convertible laptop has everything. The lightweight metal Pro sports a stunning LED display with a 2400 x 1600 resolution, comes with an “S Pen” stylus, and is powered by an Intel Core M3 processor backed by 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.
At time of writing, you can pick up the Plus on sale for $449 (originally $549), which is a nice saving on an already reasonably priced piece of kit. It’s also one of first of the new wave of Chromebooks that support Android apps which, after several months’ worth of teething issues, are finally starting to play nicely with Chrome OS.
The only downside? Samsung’s almost-perfect Chromebook Plus doesn’t have a backlit keyboard. This may sound like a minor omission, but if you’ve ever tried to write on a laptop in dim lighting conditions you’ll know how essential even a tiny bit of keyboard light can be.
Thankfully, it seems like Samsung has listened to customer feedback and will implement the feature in either a second run of the current Pro, or in a more powerful successor.
There’s not much to go on at this stage, but the folks over at Chrome Unboxed found a reference to a keyboard backlight and lamp driver in relation to “Caroline”, which is reportedly the codename for an unspecified model of Samsung’s Chromebook Pro.
While we’ll have to wait for official word from Samsung, the prospect of a new Chromebook Pro should excite Chrome OS fans, especially after the original model was so well received.
Would you consider picking up an upgraded Chromebook Pro? Let us know in the comments.