The impression you get when hearing about a Chromebook is a low cost netbook, but instead of Windows you get a shoddy Chrome operating system, devoid of many applications you would otherwise find on your PC.
Rounding all this information up, you come to the conclusion the Chromebook is a low end laptop, with no real features to draw you in apart from the cheap price tag.
Features can settle things for many people when choosing their new laptop, so can the price. The question is can you use the Chromebook more efficiently than any other laptop in the same price range?
The Chromebook we are looking at today is the Samsung Series 3. There are others out in the world, including HP, Lenovo, Acer and now Google’s own brand, although the Google Pixel Chromebook is a higher end device, priced at $1299.
Samsung’s Chromebook Series 3 specs:
- Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor (2GB of RAM)
- 11.6’’ (1366×768) display
- 16GB Solid State Drive
- VGA Camera
- Bluetooth 3.0, dual-band WiFi, optional 3G
- HDMI, 1 USB 3.0 & 2 USB 2.0 ports
- 6.5 hours of battery life
One of the main advantages a laptop has against a traditional desktop is portability, users want the laptop to be able to work in different rooms and ideally they would love to take it on trips without poor connection or heavy weight.
The Chromebook comes with a 3G option, allowing the user to still use the Chromebook in areas with no available WiFi. The WiFi on the Chromebook comes in two different bands, making it easier to connect with your router.
In terms of size and weight, the Chromebook weighs less than 2 pounds and has a very slim and compact design. Carrying and resting the Chromebook on your lap will not cause discomfort.
Due to Chrome OS being a lighter operating system, the Chromebook can operate without slowing down or lagging and all tasks can be executed very quickly. The Exynos processor is only 1.7GHz but is enough to keep the machine running without faults.
It takes less than 10 seconds to boot up your Chromebook from sleep state. Compare that to Windows, Mac or even Linux and you will find the Chromebook is more efficient.
Even with lots of browser windows open, the Chromebook performs to the highest grade and even running video and other media doesn’t slow the laptop down. It is a perfect machine for web browsing and superb tool for checking email, calendars, tasks and other web based services.
Perfect for Google users
There is nothing different between the Chromebook and a Windows netbook when it comes to Google services design, but the experience on the Chromebook just works better. The user can pin different web applications to the tray, including YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Drive and all the different Google services, something you cannot do easily on Windows or Mac.
When first booting up the Chromebook, it will ask for a Google account address and password, and then the system seamlessly integrates all your Google services accounts together, so you don’t have to keep signing in and out.
Google has a dedicated Chrome Store allowing the user to download and purchase various applications for their Chromebook. Right now, the store is a little barren, but apps are being added daily and there is some pretty good productivity apps.
Google is currently offering 100GB of cloud storage for two years when purchasing a Chromebook, normally you would get 5GB of cloud storage and then have to pay for more per month. This is excellent, considering the Chromebook only comes with 16GB of onboard storage.
Automatic Updates & Virus Protection
The Chromebook comes with automatic updates and free virus protection inbuilt. The automatic updates occur whenever the Chromebook is put to sleep and when using the Chromebook a small icon may appear telling the user an update is ready. Simply restarting the Chromebook will allow the update to occur.
Virus protection is never seen on the Chromebook, there is no app to tell the user how many viruses are attacking. Google adds the virus protection before the Chromebook is sold, and runs tests and virus cleanses daily. The virus protection defends against normal viruses, malware, spyware and other nasty content.
The price of your average netbook is about $350, the price of the Chromebook is $239 and a little extra if you want the 3G version. Even at $100 less, the Chromebook does a better job than most netbooks because it takes away the core problem netbooks face, a large operating system and redundant performance.
The Chromebook is an superb web laptop, the performance is excellent, Google gives you a lot of little freebies you would otherwise have to pay for, the portability and weight really makes using the Chromebook feel light and easy and it is just an excellent solution to users that only care about the web.
In my opinion, the Chromebook is an excellent tool for users that spend most of the time on the web. For animators, coders and gamers, this is not the machine for you, but if most of your work and time is spent on the web, the Chromebook is efficient and works perfectly for day-to-day needs.