Samsung Chromebook 4 and 4+ warrant a second look

Samsung has a pair of new Chromebooks, and if you've been waiting for mainstream laptop specs but with particularly aggressive pricing, today's your lucky day. The Samsung Chromebook 4 and Chromebook 4+ each borrow the company's sleek Windows notebook styling, but kick off at just $229.99.

The Chromebook 4 gets an 11.6-inch display, with an anti-reflective coating, running at 1366 x 768 resolution. It tips the scales at 2.6 pounds, but still manages to find room for a full-sized keyboard – that's spill resistant, too – and large trackpad.

As for the Chromebook 4+, that nudges the display up to 15.6-inches and 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution. It sticks with the anti-reflective treatment, however. Weight climbs to 3.75 pounds.

Both are powered by Intel's Celeron N4000, a 1.1 GHz processor paired with Intel UHD Graphics 600. That's enough to drive a 4K monitor if you have one to hand. Each Chromebook gets 4GB of LPDDR4 memory and 32GB of eMMC storage as standard; you can optionally max those out to 6GB and 64GB, respectively.

As for battery life, the Chromebook 4 is rated for up to 12.5 hours on a charge, while the larger Chromebook 4+ comes in a little less, at 10.5 hours. Both recharge via USB-C port: the Chromebook 4 has one such port, and the Chromebook 4+ gets two. There's also a USB 3.0, a microSD card reader, and a combo audio jack.

Other connectivity includes gigabit WiFi 5 (2x2) and Bluetooth. There's a pair of 1.5W speakers and a 720p webcam. Samsung says the pair meet MIL-STD-810G standards for transit drop, vibration, high temperature, temperature shocks, freezing, dust, humidity, and low pressure, too, making them unexpectedly rugged for the price.

That price is aggressive. The Samsung Chromebook 4 will start at $229.99, with the upgraded model with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage clocking in at $279.99. The Samsung Chromebook 4+, meanwhile, will start out at $299.99. Both are on sale from today, through Samsung direct, Best Buy, and other retailers.