The Positive The Samsung Chromebook is a light-weight, skinny, and cheap laptop computer for these occasions when all you want is a robust browser.
The Imperfect The Chromebook’s low worth comes out in its construct high quality and efficiency.
The Outcome The $249 Samsung Chromebook is an effective additional laptop for cloud-loving Google-centric Web customers.
With Google Chromebooks, worth actually does make all of the displaytinction.
For these unfamiliar with the time period, Chromebooks are laptops working on Google’s browser-based, cloud-focused Chrome OS. They’re basically laptops working a Web browser. That would not change with the most recent(model XE303C12), both.
Google’s by no means actually been all “Drop what you’re using and switch to Chrome OS” about the entire thing, however with this machine it appears to be extra up-front about positioning it as additional cheap laptop that lies round the home and can be utilized for rapidly, simply, and securely dealing with the Web wants of various customers. Especially those that’ve come to rely much less and fewer on conventional put in software program.
I displaycover it an inexpensive system for these classes, particularly for folks like myself who have already got their heads within the Google cloud with Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail. It’s acquired workable if not standout , its battery life is sweet, it switches on rapidly, and the $249 price ticket means it is not as a lot of a dedication because the $450 (or $550 with 3G)that arrived in May.
However, given its sluggish efficiency generally, I can not say I used to be blown away by the Samsung Chromebook. It’s effective for a lot of duties, however energy customers accustomed to having greater than a pair dozen browser tabs open ought to steer clear.
The massive variations between Samsung’s XE303C12 and earlier Chromebooks are that the XE303C12 is smaller, with a 11.6-inch display screen; lighter and thinner; and really completely different below the hood. The Samsung Chromebook makes use of a low-power processor, Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual, which is constructed on ARM’s new dual-core system-on-a-chip Cortex A15 design (prior variations used Intel Atom and Celeron processors). It additionally has simply 2GB of system reminiscence.
The design could be very compact — a bit narrower than Apple’s, however deeper and thicker. It’s acquired a chiclet keyboard, a generously massive contact pad, and a scalloped groove the place you should use your thumb to flip up the display screen. Samsung’s battery life claims maintain up, too (assuming you are not doing something too terribly taxing).
The display screen is OK, with fairly good decision, enough brightness, and a matte coating to chop down on glare. It’s not terribly vivid, although, and would not have a really extensive viewing angle. As Google claims, this Chromebook can 1080p video, however the display screen decision is just 1,366×768 pixels, so it is not displaying full HD.
In the identical vein, the bottom-mounted audio system are workable however produce a muddy sound, particularly when muted by material in your lap. In basic, they’re effective for informal use, however you are higher off with headphones or exterior audio system.
Although the contact pad would not match Apple’s (I have not displaycovered one which does but), it beats out many I’ve used lately, together with some on laptops which are far more costly. Google correctly adopted some Apple conventions with the contact pad, comparable to a two-finger faucet to right-click and a two-finger swipe to scroll or pan. I displaycover clicking requires an excessive amount of stress, however thankfully tapping will do the trick, too.
Those who need one thing as slim because the ultrabook period guarantees can be displaysatisfied, particularly by the hinge that protrudes upward alongside the highest when the system’s lid is d down. It’s hardly chunky or heavy, although, measuring 0.7 inch thick and weighing in at 2.4 pounds. Frankly, I am extra involved about gentle weight and quick wake-up occasions, and the Samsung Chromebook does nicely in these areas.
The keyboard is enough should you’ve gotten used to the chiclet period (I’ve). It’s not a keyboard for pounders, although: the laptop computer’s physique flexes, and it makes a popping noise once I relaxation my wrist on the face. And the keyboard is not backlit.
Along the left fringe of the laptop computer are an SD card slot and mixture microphone-headphone jack. On the again are a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port (a primary for a Chromebook), and an HDMI 1.4 port. A USB dongle for Ethernet is included if you cannot or do not need to use the 802.11n Wi-Fi. A serviceable Webcam perches above the display screen. Inside is 16GB of flash reminiscence, however folks with odd quantities of movies, music, pictures, and letters should depend on Google Drive for some storage. Happily, Google provides Samsung Chromebook prospects 100GB of house for 2 years.
Chrome OS, in fact
Hardware is just half the story right here, although. The Chromebook is nice for a $249 system, and it reveals what an ARM-based system can do, however should you’re not OK with Chrome OS, it is best to steer clear. Those who do not spend the majority of their computing life in attain of Internet entry — wi-fi or wired — ought to assume twice, too.
Chrome OS, for the uninitiated, places a model of Google’s Chrome browser on high of a Linux basis. Where Linux PCs run Linux apps, although, Chrome OS units run browser apps. That’s enormous, since you are able to do increasingly more on the Web. But you’ll be able to’t run a number of common packages — iTunes, Skype, Portal 2, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Spotify, or the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search program, to call just a few.