Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US Review

Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US review

Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US Specifications

Display: 11.6″ 1366×768, 135.1 PPI, 250 cd/m²
Battery: 4080mAh 8 hours
Dimensions: 28.96 x 20.47 x 1.68 cm (11.4 x 8.06 x 0.66 in)
Weight: 1.2 kg (2.65 lb)
CPU: Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5420ARM Cortex A15 quad core @ 1.9GHzARM Cortex A7 quad core @ 1.3GHz
Storage: 16GB SSD
Wireless: 802.11ac dual band and Bluetooth 4.0
Connectivity: 0.9MP WebcamMicrophone
3.5mm Headset JackHDMIUSB 2.0USB 3.0

MicroSD Card Reader

Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 Review Summary

Overall users should be quite pleased with all the developments that Samsung has made! Overall for the cost, this really is an excellent laptop and performs excellently in many performance tests and actual use. Users looking for an excellent screen and decent performance should be looking closely at the specific Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US model as their first or second Chromebook.

Samsung Chromebook 2 Performance

Initially, I was a bit reluctant to make the jump without an Intel cpu to a newer generation of Chromebook since I understand Acer will shortly release a version of the C720 with an Intel i3 chip. Yet, up to now, I’m impressed with how fast this Exynos 5 Octa processor has felt through regular use. The greatest difference could be seen when using video and having multiple tabs open. There tends to be some performance issues when going about 15 tabs split between videos and other processor intensive web sites.

Doing a Google Hangout on my older Chromebook was consistently somewhat laggy. So much so that it was rather frustrating, particularly when attempting to multi-task in a hangout. That slowdown is gone with Samsung’s new version. This might also partly be assisted by how the Chromebook 2 has more RAM than prior version Chromebooks. It could be soon that we start seeing all Chromebooks come with 4GB of RAM standard.

Samsung is asserting 8 hours of battery life on a complete charge for the Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US. This is mostly true and the Chromebook can run multiple browser tabs and videos and still hold a good days charge. The speakers were tested by me on my Chromebook 2 though outside for some time, and I must say I’m pretty impressed. Considering the loudspeakers are in the base of the machine, I was surprised at how nicely they sound considering their miniature size. They could get louder while staying reasonably clear than anticipated. Still could be a good idea to get an external bluetooth speaker or some headphones if audio quality is an important characteristic.


Many will probably think they want a better screen from Samsung, even if it came at a minimal cost increase. The screen on the Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US is about on the same level with all the displays on an Acer C720s and the Samsung screen does not feel like much of an advancement. As stated by the specs I have seen, even the 13″ variant of the Chromebook 2 will really have a TN panel (only in higher resolution), so I would not be surprised to hear more folks whining about this facet of the Chromebook. However, it still is a Samsung screen and they generally build a better product than other computer manufacturers.

Design and Features

One thing to note is this new Chromebook 2 features Samsung’s “stitched leather” layout to the exterior of the top casing, similar to what you see in the Galaxy Note 3. However, one the Chromebook 2 stands out more when you see it spread across the back of the screen. Some folks will find this somewhat tacky looking/feeling (particularly the imitation stitching round the borders), but some might be surprised how much they like it. Overall, the entire build quality of the Chromebook 2 feels considerably improved over the original. Additionally, comparing the Samsumg to the Acer C720 side by side, the Samsung CB2 feels much higher in quality an design.

Nothing is more frustrating than a computer keyboard with layout or a bizarre design that becomes a long-term hassle for the life of the device. Fortunately, the keyboard could be  characteristic of the Samsung Chromebook 2. I find myself wanting a period of adjustment as I get accustomed to the feel of a fresh keyboard, new keys, and new layout, usually when the get a new computer. However, with the Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US, I found myself immediately adoring application and the feel of the computer keyboard. The keys feel strong and the spacing feels quite natural between keys. It feels very natural and I can undoubtedly say that the computer keyboard on this Chromebook 2 is clearly enhanced and Samsung did a fantastic job here. The touchpad itself is wide (broader in relation to the spacebar!) And feels smooth and precise. Overall, this is the best touchpad and greatest computer keyboard I have used on any Chromebook to date outside the Pixel.

Lastly, there are several choices available to save files, graphics, data in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc), so myself really do not believe the storage space will be much of an issue for most folks. Plus, being that it’s a solid-state drive, it is extremely fast when compared with conventional hard drives with regard to getting data and files; additionally, since solid state drives have no moving parts in, a lot more secure for lugging it about on the go and preventing damage.

Overall, the Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US is an excellent computer, particularly when you factor in the value that you just get for the cash. It is really quite fast in regular use; boots up nearly immediately from sleep (or about 10 complete seconds in case you shut it off entirely), gets really strong battery life, and ChromeOS lets you readily do virtually any ordinary computing job that you’d ordinarily do with Apple OS or Windows.

Last word on Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US

It is portable and really lightweight and the build quality is solid. For those who have just used conventional notebooks your entire life and this is your first encounter into Chrome OS, your head will be blown when you see how fast it boots up.

Other Samsung ChromeBook 2 11.6 Reviews


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Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 XE503C12-K02US Review
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    Performance - 8.7/10
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User Review
4.67 (3 votes)


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