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Feb 13, 2017 02:23 PM EST

Samsung Chromebook Pro Ambitious Move To Surface Territory Premature; Android Apps And Chrome OS Marriage Still Rocky


The Samsung Chromebook Pro as a hybrid laptop and tablet has clearly moved to the Surface territory, but it has yet to slam the competition due to a software that has been left behind by its hardware. The Chromes OS and Android apps would have been the perfect marriage but it has yet to resolve various issues like apps not recognizing the keyboard, crashes and mildly complicated games not running at all.

The $549 Samsung Chromebook Pro along with its sibling, the $440 Chromebook Plus, are touted to be game-changers for Google. Both devices are especially "designed for Android apps" meaning successfully combining Chrome OS and mobile apps. The device was unveiled at CES to showcase the collaboration of both Samsung and Google.

Samsung Chromebook Pro New Features

The Samsung Chromebook Pro adds an embedded pen reminiscent of the S-Pen in the Note 7. It can also be tucked away but once removed from the slot, activates the menu appearing on the screen providing various options. The pen can be used to directly write or draw on the screen and is pressure-sensitive with no need for batteries.

Google has integrated the "optical character recognition" technology where machine learning and cloud services have been applied to analyze handwriting. This technology is able to predict where the pen goes next and handwriting text will now appear in searches. This is, of course, doable with a fairly legible penmanship.

The integration of the Google Play Store in the Samsung Chromebook Pro allows the device access to a million Android apps. This new feature has actually made Chromebooks popular in education and with the coming of the Pro may make good progress in business. Moreover, the hybrid device is not just "a regular browser" with many offline capabilities added like watching movies, writing a document or playing games according to USA Today.

Samsung Chromebook Pro Problems

As a hybrid device, the Samsung Chromebook Pro caters to the needs of both laptop and tablet users like what the Surface Pro has done. The latter device has the powerful Windows OS, while the former still has the beta version of Chrome. Google Play Store is also in beta, which may be resolved when the device comes out in April.

In addition, the marriage of the Android apps and Chrome OS is still plagued by various issues. To start, there are some apps that do not recognize a keyboard while there are those that cannot handle touchscreen. There are apps that do not connect to the internet and games beyond Solitaire's complexity do not run at all, not to mention the frequent crashes and flickering apps, Wired reported.

For the Samsung Chromebook Pro to rival the Surface devices, it needs both hardware and software that can provide users the ultimate laptop and tablet experience. Moreover, it will deepen its inroad to business and beyond education if it could deliver the best of the Android apps running on Chrome OS. Until then, to say it is a game-changer is still premature.

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