15 Dec Samsung Chromebook Review
After purchasing a Samsung Galaxy Tab and finding it not as great as I wanted it to be, I was asked to review a Chromebook, and let me tell you I loved it. I tried in vain to hold onto it for a few extra days and miss it now that it’s gone. Let me preface the review with this: I am not a tech writer or even a technofile. I’m just an average user. That said, I can think of few people or professionals who wouldn’t greatly benefit from having a Chromebook in their life. Let’s go over the main selling points.
The Chromebook is fast. It boots quickly, and if you simply shut the lid and restart it later, it picks up where you left off faster than my current laptop or Samsung Galaxy Tab. Browsers open quickly, pages load fast, and jumping between tabs is effortless. Some have complained about the lack of a cd-rom drive, and I have to wonder why. The Chromebook allows you to plug in a USB cable or memory stick, and has HDMI ports and built in dual band wifi. If that’s not sufficient, you should know there’s no place to plug in your spinning loom either.
This is the only area where I found the Chromebook lacking. I’m among the many suffering under the false belief that I can multitask effectively, so I’m the kind of person who routinely has several browser windows open, with multiple tabs in each. Regardless of how many browsers were open, I noticed the only time the Chromebook ever slowed or hiccupped was when I had more than 5 or 6 tabs open. This isn’t a huge downside- I really had to be cranking for this to be a problem. It never froze completely, and by simply closing a few tabs the problem resolved itself.
The battery life on this thing is so good I forgot to charge it a few times. It charges in just a few hours, and no matter how often I used it for how long while out on the road, not once did I ever run out of battery if it was mostly charged when I left the house. In fact, I used it to stream a Hulu marathon over a few evenings and was never able to stay awake long enough for the battery to run out. I can tell you it runs for at least six hours streaming before running out.
This is the other big area that sets the Chromebook apart from any Tablet. The only apps you have access to are Google Apps. And I get that. However, it would really have been convenient to be able to add some of the other cloud-based apps I use, like Drop Box. Or Skype.
If you are mostly cloud-based, the Chromebook can certainly help make your life better. But you have to be aware that it’s not a tablet, and the app restriction is one of the biggest limitations.
The Little Things
The keyboard is great. It’s large enough to be able to type at comfortably for extended periods. and it feels like a real keyboard. It has just enough resistance. The chromebook’s slim design means the screen sits closer to the surface of your desk. I’ve never had good posture, but I found myself slouching even more than usual because of those few extra degrees I had to look down.
There were a few minor annoyances that took a little getting used to. As a PC user for years, I’m quite used to looking at the bottom right of my screen and seeing the date and time displayed. I didn’t realize how often during the day I did this until I started using the Chromebook, which lacks this feature.
The mouse pad has no buttons, simply a single or a double click. For most people, especially Mac users, this is no big deal, but it did take some getting used to. That said, once you’ve got it down it is more efficient. works flawlessly.
With the ability connect to the internet practically everywhere these days, there’s one major downside to the chromebook: Without internet access, the Chromebook is not much more than a slender silver paperweight. Yes, there is the ability to utilize Google docs offline, however it’s not quite the same. There’s not much else to do with a Chromebook besides be on the web. With internet, the chromebook is great. Without, not great.
The verdict: The google chromebook is at the top my wish list this holiday season.