After considerable thought I purchased the Samsung Chromebook, looking for something light, easy and portable. Although, I knew the limitations, I didn’t realize how limiting they would actually feel.

I said I wanted the Chromebook as a writing device, but I’ll admit, I really just wanted to see it in action. You hear a lot of stuff about different pieces of tech, but honestly, you never know for sure until you get your own hands on it. On the plus side, you can check them out at Best Buy if you are looking to get your hands on one yourself, but haven’t picked one up. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Samsung Chromebook

Pros

Instant startup
Yeah, it starts up FAST. I bought it, took it home, opened it and it was up in running in less than a minute. Give it about 12 seconds to boot, then I connected to wifi, so tack on another 12 seconds. Then finally, I had to link up to my account; another 20 seconds. So sitting pretty at around 44 seconds into having opened my unit, I’m up and running. That’s a giant plus

Lightweight
The Samsung Chromebook is lightweight and super easy to hold. You don’t have to worry about wrecking internal components because it’s all solid state.

HDMI
This was awesome. I got it hooked up to my TV (after running an update that allowed more than video mirroring, and also put audio through the HMDI cable), watched an online movie and started typing away. I don’t really recommend it for focusing, but hey, it can do it. I will tell you though, don’t go jumping around in an unbuffered movie, it kills the response, and I froze my computer doing it. I was just testing it out, but that might have been a bit much. Oh and Transformers 3 is a TERRIBLE film. Just horrible. Thus the skipping.

USB 3.0/SD Card
Cool, great potential, but didn’t get to use it all. But if you wanted to add some of your own storage, this would work.

Expanded 100 GB Google Drive

Speaking of storage, you get two years of 100 GB storage on Google Drive. Given that it’s an internet based computer, that makes sense, and it ROCKS!

Cheap

That $249 price tag, combined with the features makes it a fantastic deal, period.

*Edit*

Writing

Yeah, it writes, and it does it well enough.  The keyboard takes a couple hours to get used to for those who are used to working on a full sized notebook.  I didn’t include this at first because the other pros and cons are what I was seeing.  I expected it to type decently enough, so I didn’t mention whether it performed normally.

Cons

Cheap

That fantastic hardware comes in a really cheap casing. I’m not really surprised, but it definitely wasn’t the best. I could have snapped the computer in half if I’d flexed it a little too much. Just don’t throw it around if you get one. Also, that hardware is in the back, making the Chromebook weighted to the rear. This makes it tip over when it’s not on a completely flat surface.

Display Assembly

Okay, this one really got me. I couldn’t open the display with one hand. I had to grab it with both and pry it apart to open it, and see that sweet boot time. That was aggravating, lets say I’m talking on the phone and trying to look something up? “Hold on, I need both hands to open my 11.6 inch display!” Maybe it’s time to hit the gym, or Google could make it less difficult to open.

 

Slow Response

Now I’m willing to admit, I only used it two days solidly, but in the three locations I used it, the wifi seemed to respond slower, and more choppy than on other computers I’ve used. Much as I enjoyed seeing the little Green Chrome PacMan loader guy, he got old fast.

 

Inflexible

If I was out working,  and wanted to do much more, I just couldn’t  This was the biggest reason I returned the Chromebook. I’d have an inspirational idea for Gimp or Photoshop, and No can do. SketchUp plans? Nadda. Mock up of an idea that just hit you in the cafe? Nope. There are applications out there, but combine the fact that the web interface was working slow, and the processor is understandably tiny, it wasn’t working for me. Also, the 11.6 screen real-estate wasn’t used well. I felt like I was working on one of those old tiny netbooks. Combine that with about twelve open tabs (because remember everything is run online), and it fills that space way too fast.

Chromebook Fails

All in all, I didn’t like the Chromebook as much as I thought I would.  I might have been able to work out my differences and workflow with the Chromebook,  but I don’t have the time to plan out each day so that I never need some offline or expanded features during my time with the Chromebook. So it was returned. Plus, the Nexus 7 really does as much as the Chromebook. Except it doesn’t write like a normal keyboard, and I can’t get used to a bluetooth keyboard combo’d with the smaller screen. But that’s something I can work out.

There are obvious pros and cons, so it’d have to fit your lifestyle. Go take a look for yourself! Samsung Chromebook!

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jimbo444882
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jimbo444882

A few things strike me as odd about this review. The first is that you stated at the beginning that you purchased the device to write on, and then failed to mention how the writing was on the machine. How’s the keyboard? Was the process of writing and saving your work simple or tedious? You also state at the end that a Nexus 7 can do just as much with the exception that it doesn’t write as well. I thought that was the main reason you wanted another device. Second, you speak of not being able to plan out offline… Read more »

jwolinda27
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jwolinda27

undefined You have some valid feedback here, and you’re right I didn’t include much about the writing on the unit. My idea was to communicate the things that the chrome book did well and poorly, not whether it worked as advertised. I wanted to tell people things they might not realize while reading about it online. But realizing how it came across, I’ll make some adjustments to the article for clarity. I’m glad the chrome book works well for you, and if you have more thoughts on the offline features, let me know! Shoot me an email, or land them… Read more »