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After posting my Samsung Chromebook review, I have finally decided to write an update. I came across one tech blog that also made a review about the Samsung Chromebook and for the author of that blog, it was 7 minutes of heaven (or so) and then seven days of hell. Well, there are pros and cons of the Chromebook, and yes, we had the same frustration, there is no SKYPE, and that’s a real bummer. So anyway, here’s an update on my review (a combination of the what I like and don’t like):
The laptop “burns” my leg. Well, it is somehow very warm when it is placed on my lap (I wear shorts so I feel it the most).
There is no DEL button or key, just the backspace.
It is addicting, especially the apps and the touchpad! Okay, I received a comment saying that she or he was somehow confused when I said tapping twice is equal to left and right click… honestly, I had no words to describe it. Yes, the touchpad is amazing. You can click with one finger. Press with two fingers to right click and use two fingers to scroll up and down! I’ve tried it with my ASUS laptop and it also works the same. Awesome!
Because the monitor is only 11.6, everything is fit to the page. So everything is really small.
Charging the battery does not take very long.
My son loves to watch videos of the Titanic in YouTube and he uses it all the time, and he just loves the Chromebook because it is very light.
I can’t upload the photos from the memory card to the laptop.
These are just my observations after using it for a week now, overall, the Chromebook is a good laptop. The Chrome OS functions differently from the Windows or Mac, and they have their own features. I like it, I did not have seven days of hell with it, it’s fun to use (because I am not a techie expert and I don’t deal with the hardware and stuff like that) and it has served its purpose.
I may be posting more updates (and observation) in the coming days so stay tune for that.
I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been given the chance to review a Samsung Chromebook. I think it was a day after I posted my last review on children’s labels, someone who works with Staples Canada contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in giving an honest review of a laptop. They are working on their back-to-school laptops and I was, honestly, a little bit skeptical about it but knowing that I would be able to help my readers and it would greatly benefit me and my son and the company as well, and when the delivery guy from Staples left a voicemail, all my skepticism was gone.
So while waiting for the “surprise” I read more about the Chromebook and the Chromium OS that goes with it. Even though I am a Google Chrome user and have seen and heard about the Chromebook, I have little idea how the Chromebook works. So according to the Chromium.org, the Chromium OS is an open-source project that aims to build an operating system that provides a fast, simple, and more secure computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web. And that statement is indeed true, based on my experience, once I open the Chromebook, I am already online, I can browse the web, chat with friends, update my blogs, watch videos and even play games. It boots up fast, because there are no more programs and other stuff that the computer does before I can login and be in the web. Here’s a video I made to see how fast the Chromebook boots up:
Features of the Samsung Chromebook that I love:
* it is very thin and very light – at just 1.1 kg and 17.5 mm I can put it in my purse, tote or backpack, it can go anywhere with me.
* it has expanded WiFi – it was so easy to connect to my WiFi here at home when I first used it.
* it has two USB ports, a 3.0 and a 2.0 – I can use the faster USB port which is the 3.0 to view photos from any other device.
* it has an 11.6″ display – a little bit bigger than my old netbook.
* Touchpad is not sensitive – unlike my ASUS laptop, the cursor stays on the spot when I scroll down or up.
* Wakes up instantly
* Portable, fast to use and comes with free automatic updates
Other product features:
1.17 GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 (1MB L2 Cache
2GB DDR3 system memory
16GB e.MMC iNAND™ Embedded Flash Drive
11.6″ HD LED screen size
ARM Mali T604
Stereo Speakers (1.5 W x 2 )
Battery lasts up to 6.5 hours (depending on use)
I am not very familiar when it comes to hardware and technical specifications, but I was told by my brother who happens to be an expert when it comes to computers, that a flash drive is faster than the traditional hard disk. According to what I’ve searched online about SSD (Solid-state-drive) is that it is typically more resistant to physical shock, runs more quietly, have lower access time, and less latency, and it has no motors to drive the disk. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive).
Okay, for the Chrome OS, these are what I (and my son) love:
* no more set ups and installing of programs on first use – I just signed in with my Google account and viola! I am online, ready to browse websites, update my blogs, and chat with family and friends!
* it is user-friendly – since I am Google Chrome user, I was already familiar with how it works.
* videos when watched in YouTube does not stutter when in full screen – my son and I watched videos of Katy Perry (we both love her songs) and the videos were all good in full screen. Images were not pixelized (if that’s even the right term).
* There are thousands of apps (which I have to discover in the coming days) available at the Chrome Store. I use piZap to edit photos and make collages, all the photos here were edited with piZap. My sons and I also tried the camera and we had so many laughs looking at our faces using the filters, here we are having fun:
* Using the USB port, I connected my external memory card reader to see if I can download some photos from my camera to the laptop. There was no problem with the USB port and it read the contents of the compact flash card. I was able to see the photos in it, BUT there were no options to save a photo (some photos) in the laptop. BUT, photos from my flash card can be edited as the photo viewer has edit options. See photos below:
What I don’t like about the Samsung Chromebook:
* NO SKYPE – this is what I use to talk to my mother back home to check on her and how she is. Since it operates on Chrome OS and apps are in the Chrome Store, I only get to use the apps there. I went to the Skype website hoping that there is an app for Chrome OS that I can download, but unfortunately, there was NONE. I hope that Google can develop a Skype app compatible for the Chrome OS.
* It takes a while to learn to use the touchpad. Unlike the other laptops where there is a partition for the left and right clicks, the Samsung Chromebook doesn’t have any. Tapping twice with two fingers is equivalent to left or right click. Although, scrolling up and down is easy, just use two fingers on the touchpad and scroll up and down the page. You can see this on my video.
* The battery only lights up to a pale red when there’s only 10% left on it and there is NO WARNING, like a pop-up box that tells the user that the battery is low and needs to be charged.
* It is not that very cool especially when I place it on my lap, but the heat is very bearable, it’s nothing to be concerned of.
* The laptop’s battery did not last up to 6.5 hours as marketed in the Samsung website. The longest it lasted on me was 3.5 hours and it was just purely browsing, updating my blogs, Facebooking and checking my emails.
It has been just a few days since I first used the Samsung Chromebook and so far, it has been functioning so well and I have no problems with it. There are no annoying pop-ups on updates or ads from a virus protection software or anything for that matter.
The Samsung Chromebook is not only good and fit for moms like me, it is also very useful in schools too. With Chrome devices, the vast educational resources in the web is taken full advantage of, students can browse, search and surf the web in an instant as there are no set-ups for different users. Chrome devices is personalisable by each student or teacher. So with this in school, students and teachers alike can explore and open more opportunities for learning. Relating this to how my son will be able to use the Chromebook, he can search the web for particular home works, create and share contents or let us say artworks (using Google Drive) to the world and so much more.
Overall, the Chromebook is one perfect back-to-school laptop. Pegged at $270, it is worth its price. Would I recommend it? Yes. I leave you with a video about the Google Chrome OS so you would know more about it:
*Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the product mentioned above for review purposes only. The opinions are my own, based on personal experience with the product.