The first laptops built to run Chrome OS a.k.a. Chromebooks, made their debut in 2011 with some good promise.
Having played with the Samsung Chromebook for a few weeks now, the first impression here is one of satisfaction and minor amazement.
It is a sleek, 2-pound machine with an 11.6” screen. It not only runs a quite functional version of Google’s operating system, but also holds a price point as good or less than most notebooks.
It took about 10 seconds after pressing the “on” button, for the Chromebook to boot up and present the login screen. A few seconds later, after entering my Google account info, I was on the Web. Wake up after sleeping took less than 5 seconds.
Google has a Windows-style taskbar to the bottom of the screen. That helps it look more familiar to a Windows user. There are however, no conventional programs. For apps, you go to the Google’s Chrome Web Store. You can browse the store’s limited selection, and click to add the apps you want to use; the next time you open a browser tab, they appear as icons. You can also add apps to the taskbar across the bottom of the screen for quick access.
The Google Apps are fully compatible with all industry standard apps. In fact, this article was written solely with Google docs and then re opened with MS Word.
When you also consider what the Web offers, there’s a lot you can achieve with a Chromebook, unless you are so brand loyal to other browsers besides CHROME
The Samsung Chromebook would make a good first computer for a child, or a low-cost option for a college student or traveler.
Samsung’s light weight hides a well build and stable machine. Samsung has a claim of 6.5-hour battery life and honestly surpassed that with close to 7+ hours. The speakers are also impressive for a small, inexpensive device.
I only find one issue which is the Chromebook having a dependency on the internet, or rather an internet connection. It’s possible for Chrome apps to work offline, but few of them take advantage of this functionality. Offline photo editing for instance is something that can not be done with out a connection
The special section of Google’s store for offline apps is mostly populated by games.
At $249, the Wi-Fi-only Samsung Chromebook is worth buying for anyone who wants an inexpensive, functional laptop that’s also light and responsive.