Samsung’s high-end Chromebook Pro has been a long time coming. It was first unearthed last October and formally announced at CES in January, but it’s still not available. In the meantime, its less powerful, cheaper Samsung Plus sibling has been on sale since early February.
Amazon let us know that the Pro is coming soon, however. It recently put up a pre-order page, which quickly was spotted and posted on the Chrome Unboxed website. Just as quickly, the online retailer removed the page, presumably after reaching its limit on preorders.
Perhaps the most important piece of information the now-expired page revealed was a release date for the Chromebook Pro. Amazon said it would be available on May 28, or less than two weeks from today. We’ll have to wait to see if Samsung actually does release the Pro on that date, but it’s an encouraging sign given its delayed shipping date from its original “early spring” expected release.
That delay may have to do with the Pro’s ability to run Android apps from the built-in Google Play store. There have been issues with Chrome OS being able to handle the Android app integration as seamlessly as hoped, and given the importance Google is placing on this feature, the kinks are presumably being ironed out as the company gears up for its I/O developer conference, which starts today.
In terms of hardware, however, the Pro is an impressive Chromebook, highlighted by an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor (compared to the ARM-based CPU the Chromebook Plus relies on) and 2,400×1,600 12.3-inch touchscreen. Like the Plus, it comes with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, and built-in keyboard and included stylus, It’s also apparently changed color from silver to black, perhaps to further differentiate it from the Plus.
Assuming that the Android app issue is worked out, the Chromebook Pro could be an appealing alternative to a Windows hybrid like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which is more expensive and doesn’t come standard with a keyboard. In reviewing a pre-production version, our sister site CNET hailed the Chromebook Pro as “the Chromebook for the Chromebook skeptic,” lauding its metal construction and decent battery life.