698 of 722 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
I've been using one of the laptops that Google originally distributed in order to test Chrome OS. As the idea behind Chromebooks is new to some, I thought I'd focus on the operating system, though I've covered the hardware to a point.
I'll try to make this in-depth without it being too technical.
If you're looking for a quick idea of whether or not this is for you, jump to the bottom and read the summary.
The premise on which Chrome OS is based is that almost everything you do when you use your computer happens in your browser, so Google have built a system that makes that experience as fast, as simple and as secure as they can. That simplicity also leads to an 8-hour battery life, which very few laptops can offer.
This simpler approach means that you don't have to deal with software updates(with one exception, see below) or worry about anti-virus software.
This also means all of your files and media is stored on other computers, on the internet. Some people aren't ready for that and if you're not, Chromebooks aren't for you.
Applications and Limitations
As you might imagine, just the web means no Windows, Mac or other typical software applications. Because of this, there's no CD or DVD drive in a Chromebook.
Though `just the web' may sound extremely-limiting, you can do a lot in your browser; multimedia editing(including video), as well as voice and video chat is all entirely possible on a Chromebook, as is the creation and editing of documents, spreadsheets and presentations. This software is available all over the web and there's a selection of useful tools to be found in the Chrome Web Store, with free and paid solutions.
That said, you can just type in a web address or search as you would normally to find a helpful website. As an example, Google, Zoho and Microsoft all offer web-based office suites, some of those are free and some paid.
Setting up a Chromebook is as simple as turning it on, putting in your Wi-Fi connection details and logging in.
If there's a new version of the operating system(as there was when I set my machine up) it will download that before you can continue. This may seem odd, as the idea is to make updates invisible to you, but Chromebooks check for updates the first time they're run in case something in that update changes something key, like the introduction process for new users.
Once the laptop has checked for updates, it reboots and you login. You're then shown how to do various things with the click-able touchpad, such as scrolling and right-clicking.
After the first time it's turned on Chromebooks are designed to be very fast. In my experience, that means booting up in around 9 seconds from off, whether that means the power button being pressed or the lid being lifted. If you close the lid for a while but leave the machine on, it should resume instantly.
Whilst not being able to install traditional software can seem restrictive, it also has a huge benefit: no more anti-virus software.
Viruses are so common on Windows(and lately the Mac operating system, OS X) because the more software that's installed, the more potential vulnerabilities there are to exploit.
Because the Chromebook knows what software should be installed, it can keep a copy in an encrypted area of the hard drive. Each time you turn the machine on, it checks to see if anything unathorised has changed in the software. If it has, that encrypted copy overwrites everything and any updates will be installed when you connect to the internet.
No system is 100% secure, but this method(called verified boot) makes it much harder to compromise your machine.
Privacy and Google
Some users don't like the idea of being dependent on any large company for their computing needs. So, does a Chromebook make you reliant upon Google?
In short, no. Whilst Google does encourage you to log in to a Chromebook with your Google account, you can log in under Guest mode. Whilst using Guest mode, nothing you do is saved on the machine, you don't need to log in to a Google service and you're free to use any web-based service you choose. Google is currently working on other login methods.
However, should you choose to login using your Google account(as I do and most users ultimately will) your settings and bookmarks can be saved and synched across any other device running Chrome(which now includes Android phones running Ice Cream Sandwich - version 4.0 of Android - and above), just as they are in for the Chrome browser.
Files and Devices
A key thing when using a system like this is being able to use files people email you and external hardware, just like you would on a Windows PC or a Mac.
If someone emails you a picture, for instance, you can download that file and directly upload it to Picasa Web Albums, Google's photo hosting site. This is called a file handler(think of it like you would a piece of software that opens certain files in Windows) and Google has released tools for companies to do similar things with different file types. For example, Google Docs will soon be able to upload Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations directly to your account, without needing to go to the web address of the service.
I've tried various hardware with my test laptop. All have worked well.
Inserting a usb thumb drive or plugging in an external hard drive will make a Chromebook scan it for files it can play(there's a built-in media player) and plugging in a camera will show you the pictures on it. I've also tried an external webcam, microphone, keyboard and mouse and my Android phone. All worked as I expected.
Chrome OS is great when you have internet access, but what about when you don't have internet access? Many(but by no means all, yet) web sites can work off-line and then upload your game progress or document when you next connect. This functionality is coming soon(this summer, according to Google) to Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. Some of the applications that currently function off-line include the NY Times, Huffington Post and Angry Birds.
Hardware and Pricing
Those who dislike Chromebooks often bring up netbooks. A netbook is a small, cheap laptop which almost always has low-quality, slow hardware. This results in a poor experience, as they typically run Windows and because of their cheap hardware, can't provide the resources Windows needs to run at its best. On top of that, Windows can't offer the security that a Chromebook does, can't boot as quickly and very rarely will you find any laptop that run for 8 hours on a single charge.
Right now, Google has only 2 partners who are making Chromebooks. That lack of competition keeps prices higher than they likely will ultimately reach.
My experience with the test machine Google distributed(called the Cr-48) from a hardware perspective has been very positive; my Windows machine boots in 1 minute 22 seconds and my Cr-48 is at the login screen in just under 10 seconds. Depending upon the task, I've experienced between 8 and 10 hours of use per charge.
It's similar to the machines you can buy in that it has the same quantity of memory and storage and a similar sized(though not as hi-quality, I'd imagine) screen. The major difference is that the Cr-48 has a single-core processor, whereas the official Chromebooks use a dual-core chip, making them better able to handle more intensive tasks, such as video playback.
To put it simply, Chromebooks are fantastic if you use only the web or spend almost all of your time on the web; sub-10 second boot, great security and great battery life.
If you don't or don't have internet access most of the time, these aren't for you just yet.
As of May 2012, Chromebooks will soon have a very different interface, making them look more like a typical operating system. They will also soon have Google Drive support built-in, as part of the options for managing files.
It should also be noted that Google's Cloud Print service(not so new) can be used to wirelessly print from a Chromebook(or any Chrome install on Windows, Mac or Linux and, eventually, Android, I imagine) to a printer.
As of today, the 29th of May 2012, a new, more powerful Samsung Chromebook with 4GB of RAM has been announced, along with the Chromebox, a desktop version of the latest Chromebook, with some additional ports. Both of these devices should soon be for sale, if they're not already.
Also announced today was version 19 of Chrome OS which has the radical(closer to Windows or Mac) UI design, which should make it more familiar for users of those two operating systems. Along with this, it's been announced that there will(in the coming weeks) be an off-line Google Docs editor, allowing the important functionality of a word processor to not rely on an internet connection. This certainly applies to Chromebook and Chromebox devices, but should work on any modern browser that supports the required technologies, too. This is a big deal and makes Docs(and Chrome OS) much more useful for those who are on the move a lot and worry about not always having a connection.
Finally, Google Drive integration(including off-line support) is said to be released in 6 weeks, with version 20 of the operating system.
With that we'll be close to a point where losing your connection for a while won't be a huge issue. Especially with there being plenty of web apps and Chrome apps out there with off-line support already.
180 of 187 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
I had an older Chromebook and the new Samsung 550 is much much better. It is fast, simple and surprisingly powerful. As long as you're comfortable with the Google Apps products (great word processor and spreadsheet, adequate presentation editor and capable of reading all Microsoft Office attachments) this is a perfect laptop for casual use. The concept of everything in the cloud works great, and makes it easy to upload, view and share pictures from your camera, do your email and social networking, and do your day-to-day document editing all from one place, then pick it up and continue on a different computer if needed. Google video chat or hangouts are better than Skype, and accommodates video conferencing with multiple parties, so ideal for families. This will save me a ton of time acting as tech support for my parents and sister, because there is so little to know to get this laptop working.
I find it interesting to read reviews about how you can get a more powerful Windows laptop for the same price. To those reviewers: you're missing the point. This laptop has none of the crud that is windows (with its slow boot, patches, updates and virus checkers) and simply works. Of course, if you are into gaming, or want to do video editing you need something bigger - but that is not the target audience for the Chromebook. For casual use (and that encompasses the majority of what most people do on a laptop) the Chromebook is perfect.
256 of 274 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
Let me begin by saying that I love my chromebook. I have a 3-month old Macbook Pro that I paid over $3K for, but I consistently pick up my chromebook instead because it is just faster at booting and shutting down, and it has AMAZING all day battery life. If you mostly use your computer for surfing the web, and if you trust Google with your information, then there is nothing better for you than a chromebook.
But there is one caveat. Specifically, the chromebook does not work well with video sites like hulu and netflix. The problem is best illustrated by hulu. For example, when you watch a video on hulu there are intermittent video advertisements. The problem with the chromebook is that it cannot recover the video feed for the video after the commercial ends. The audio is there, but the video is not. This occurs every single time an advertisement is played. The only way to fix it is to refresh the browser. This is more than a little annoying, and renders the hulu website useless.
Google needs to fix this problem now. Melissa Daniels, the honcho at Google for all things chromebook, I'm dedicating this review to you. Please fix this problem. Other than this one issue, the chromebook is an outstanding product that I highly recommend.
**Update - 6/20/2012**
I have noticed that the chromebook is frequently unable to load webpages I request. For example, I will type in the URL for cnn and the browser will just churn and will never open the requested webpage. After a few *minutes* of waiting I get an error message saying the browser cannot resolve the DNS for the requested webpage. The chromebook does this even when it is connected directly by ethernet to the router. Also, this is a frequent problem that happens every single day.
Hopefully Google can fix this and the other problem associated with the chromebook being useless with popular video streaming sites like hulu. If these issues are not resolved by the time my 30 day return window approaches, I will be returning this item to amazon for a refund.
**Update - 6/28/2012**
My Amazon return window closes tomorrow, so, it is decision time. Video websites like hulu still do not work well. Lots of other people are complaining about this problem, but Google does not appear to have done anything to correct it.
The network connection issue also remains a problem. I have sat my Macbook beside my chromebook and the chromebook has dropped the network connection repeatedly when the Macbook did not. I think this is a hardware problem inherent to the chromebook, but I am not sure.
A new problem has also emerged. Specifically, one of the chromebook's speakers has started buzzing. I have not abused this computer whatsoever. In fact, because websites like hulu are useless on a chromebook, I haven't used the speakers that much. When I do use the speakers I do so responsibly. There is no reason that the speaker should be busted when I have only had the computer for 29 days.
Because of the reasons described above, this computer is going back to Amazon as defective. I have ordered a replacement and will continue to post updates on how the replacement computer performs.
So far the chromebook has been a disappointment.
**Update - 3/02/2013**
The chromebook is still unable to work well with Hulu and other video streaming sites. I have found an additional problem: the chromebook is unable to stream audio from Sirius. Why is it that Google has been unable to fix these problems after so much time is passed?
126 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2012
Style Name: 3GVerified Purchase
I bought this after finding that I used my original Samsung Series 5 Chromebook more than I used any of my devices. With the increase in specs compared to last year's machine, I was certain this would be an excellent device and my new favorite machine.
Shell - Easily the most improved aspect. It's not metal, but easily some of the best looking and feeling plastic you'll find. The bottom has a textured brushed feel. There is a slight wedge feel to it vs. the uniform thickness of the original series 5. There are nice bumpers on the bottom and small ones near the keyboard which keeps the screen from touching the keys.
Screen - Same screen as the prior model. Nice and bright when turned up. Matte. Wide viewing angle. The top to bottom viewing angle can be bit limited.
Keyboard - The chiclet layout is same as prior. They have a bit more bounce than last time, and instead of the brushed plastic from the Series 5, these have a smoother surface. I like it, and it's a pleasure to type on. Very bouncy and responsive. And as others have said there is the search button where the caps lock key is but you can change it back to caps lock function.
Trackpad - Also MUCH better than before. New gestures include the three finger swipe for moving forwards and backwards when browsing. More responsive and accurate. It's a bit smoother than before and feels of much higher quality.
Speakers - Also greatly improved. On the series 5 the speakers were often barely audible even at full volume. These speakers can fill the living room with the volume turned up. Watching shows doesn't require headphones to hear anymore. Very happy with this upgrade.
OS - With the faster processor Chrome OS moves quickly and is much smoother than before. The new layout (which is on the older chromebook as well) is nice but I kinda liked the full screen "only browser" layout from before. This moves more towards a traditional OS look, where you can dock the apps at the bottom (such as Calendar, Youtube, etc). I'm not sure this adds much because formerly the New Tab page contained all your apps so they were all instantly available instead of the smaller selection you put at the bottom. They have also added the Google Drive to your File Manager area, which is nice. I highly suggest that if you want to get the full use of your Chromebook you need to make use of Google Docs and Drive. They are working to make creating docs offline possible. As a side note, the menus when you right click are also bigger now, which wasn't really necessary.
3G - Can't judge how well this works because it isn't working at all right now. I can't even activate it. I called several people at Verizon and none of them even knew what a Chromebook was. I sent a message to the Chromebook ninjas and they informed me this is a "known issue" that they are working with Samsung and Verizon to resolve. I'm very nervous that this is a hardware issue as you can see that the 3G 550 isn't available for purchase anymore, which makes me think they've pulled them. Hoping it's something they can fix with Verizon's network or with a Chrome OS update, but they really should have been able to do that by now.
Another random issue is that it has trouble accessing Facebook. I've let the ninjas know about this as well. No issues on my Chrome browser on my Mac. No other websites seem to be affected.
So basically the two major issues are the 3G access and the Facebook loading. Otherwise this is a great update and a wonderful device to use as a secondary machine. THIS IS NOT TO BE USED AS A PRIMARY MACHINE. You can't install printers or other software. But for the same price as a tablet you get a nice large screen and a keyboard with greater functionality. Before anyone says a tablet can do more, try turning off the network and then see how much it can do. You can play some games and that's about it.
I'll update with any information as it rolls back on the 3G issue.
Update: I meant to post this sooner. The facebook issue is entirely resolved. As is the 3G. Personally if you have an android phone there are numerous free tethering apps out there at this point so you can usually get away with having the wifi only version and saving $100. That's just one opinion so obviously it's up to you.
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
After immersing myself in my Chromebook the last few days, I feel like I know enough about how it works to be able to write an objective review.
The thing that struck me first is how fast this computer is. You are up and running in 10 seconds from the computer being completely turned off. Browsing is fast. Navigating around the computer is fast. It is evident that speed was a big priority in the making of this device.
The computer itself is quite aesthetically pleasing; I have gotten asked about it already in the few short days I have had it. It feels solidly built, and is very comfortable to hold and use. I love the keyboard, it feels good to type on. The track pad is great as well. It is large, and has a clickable button built in that is neat to use. From what I can see, the computer doesn't seem too fragile, and there isn't anything hanging off that can get snagged.
As for the Operating System: Chrome OS is great, if you know what it is all about. This computer is not for the person who is set in their ways of having certain programs they use every day, such as iTunes, Photoshop, MS Office. You can not install these programs on the Chromebook. That being said, there are many applications that can take place of these programs. Google Docs is a stripped down MS Office that has the same basic functionality. There are several music apps that would be happy to let you store your music library on them. Google is constantly updating the software and bringing more functionality to Chrome OS as well.
No frills, no viruses to get, minimal set-up, instant start up and shut down, and great hardware is a great experience. I highly recommend it.
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
For the last six years, I've been using a Macbook that I got through work. I love my Macbook. Now that I'm switching jobs, I need to replace my laptop and Apple is out of my price range. First, I tried going back to a PC. I hated it. Every time I opened the laptop, I had messages reminding me about software updates, antivirus updates, registration opportunities, etc. It took 10 minutes to click out of all the reminders and options to open programs I didn't want to open. Even after uninstalling much of the bloatware, the whole thing was too much of a hassle. I found myself avoiding using the PC, so I took it back.
I had looked at Chromebooks earlier, and I was encouraged when the next generation appeared with better reviews and even faster speeds. I love my Chromebook. Immediate access, responsive touchpad, comfortable keyboard, automatic updates - all as promised. However, one thing I did not see mentioned anywhere is that Amazon Instant Video is not supported for Chrome OS. Oh, please fix this, Google and Amazon! I love Amazon, and I love my Chromebook. One is peanut butter, and other is chocolate - they belong together. I understand why Amazon wouldn't support Instant Video on rival tablets if they're promoting the Kindle Fire, but why not support Chrome OS? You're leaving out a growing potential market.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
Style Name: 3GVerified Purchase
Purchased the Samsung Series 5 550 3G model because it allowed 2 years free access on Verizon's 3G network. I was amazed at how after turning it on, selecting our WiFi network and password that my kids could log right into their school's account in a matter of seconds!
St Leo the Great of San Jose has all the students using chromebooks. Each student is issued their own school email address and password. All their school work is saved in Google docs and on Google drive (cloud based). All their email, homework, calendar, video lessons, etc. are available.
We debated between a MacBook Air, a Windows laptop or a Chromebook. Overall I'm happy we went with the Chromebook. There are cheaper Windows laptops out there, and some folks find the WiFi is more stable and the web browser is faster, but for our needs and to keep our kids from having to deal with administering a Windows machine it made sense to pay a premium and go with a Chromebook.
Since a Chromebook is basically useless without an internet connection going with the 3G and 2 years free 100mb a month option made sense. If you use more than 100mb a month you can buy more ($10 for an unlimited day pass). This is useful if they are working on homework in the car or at a friend's house without WiFi access. Your 2 year period starts once you configure it in settings (about a 15 min. registration setup - you can configure it by going to the lower right hand corner, choosing your google login icon, select settings and in Internet connection choose mobile data, activate Verizion Wireless).
The coolest thing is that anyone can walk up to a Chromebook and if they have a Gmail account (or a school account that uses Google like Bellarmine or St Leo) they can log in. Everything is stored online and the browser window leaves off right where you left it.
A couple of items to point out (see product photos I uploaded):
- The AC power cord to brick connector isn't flush. Not a big deal, but it looks sloppy when you don't get a tight fit. The power brick has a useful green LED to let you know it is plugged in.
- The power tip connector to the laptop isn't flush either. You do get an amber light on the laptop to show you it is charging, but I do wish Apple would give better licensing terms for their patented magnet power adapter (magsafe) connection. I can totally see this small Samsung power tip bending or sending the chromebook flying if someone trips over the power cord.
- The trackpad is large and works better than previous models. It doesn't have Apple's multi-gesture shortcuts and the scroll direction is the opposite of what I like but that can be changed in the trackpad preferences.
- The keyboard doesn't have a caps lock key (they put a google search magnifier) but you can use shift+magnifier to toggle caps lock function ON/OFF. The keyboard isn't backlighted.
- The screen has a dull matte non-glass finish which is better for reading (not too many reflections). The screen size is small at 12.1 inch LCD at WXGA 1280x768 resolution.
- Video out is via the full size displayport connector. I wish Samsung had put a HDMI connector instead. You'll need to buy a full size displayport to VGA, DVI or HDMI connector for your video output needs. If you use DVI or VGA you'll also need to buy an mini-jack 1/8" standard audio cable. Make sure to fully plug the Displayport to HDM cable into the laptop in order for it to fully connect and detect your HDMI TV.
Here's a list of the video out adapters you may need to buy:
Cable Matters Gold Plated Premium DisplayPort to HDMI Male to Female Cable Adapter
Accell B087B-005B UltraAV DisplayPort to DVI-D Single-Link Active Adapter ATI Certified (Black)
Accell UltraAV B101B-003B Display Port with VGA Active Adapter
Belkin Mini-Stereo Audio Cable (12 feet)
- You should take the time to learn the keyboard shortcuts for the Chrome OS. Hit Ctrl+Alt+? to bring up a graphical map of the keyboard and all the useful shortcuts.
- You may get intermittent trying to connect messages inside a Google Docs that locks you out of the document for a few seconds. I've never noticed this when using the same google doc on a Mac or PC laptop so I'm not sure if this is a Chromebook WiFi adapter issue. The chromebook has built in gigabit ethernet CAT 6 cable connector so that may be more stable if you run into this too.
- The boot up time for a Chromebook is fast! The Chrome browser however is slower than a Chrome browser on your Mac or PC when loading pages. Hopefully this will improve as Google learns how to optimize their Chrome OS.
- Printing is a pain. Your best bet is to buy a Goolge Cloud compatible printer. Our HP Envy 110 printer was already Mac Airprint compatible and worked well with the Chromebook. These new cloud based printers use an email address for your printer so technically you could just email it if all else fails. Google Cloud Print is tied to a primary Google account that then shares the printer with other users, so be sure to set it up with your primary Google account first. Lower left corner, select your profile icon and choose settings, choose show advance settings and select Open Google Cloud Printer.
- Scanning is also a pain. Your best bet is that same Google Cloud compatible printer will also allow you to type in your printer's TCPIP address and load a web based scanner utility that you can use to scan a photo into the Chrome browser. You can then Control+click the image to get the option to do a save image to your Google drive. In our case our HP envy resets it's IP address every time the router reboots so I'll need to hardcode it's IP address and then save it as a bookmark in the browser to make it easier to access.
- The Goolge Chromebook comes with a built in camera for video conferencing across Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts. You can also use Evernote to use it to capture images as a poor man scanner with OCR detection!
- Battery life is awesome. 6+ hours on a full charge.
- Plugging an SD card into the slot brings up a folder drive icon and you can copy whatever images you want over to Google Drive.
- Kensington security lock hole makes securing your Chromebook a no brainer. Why Apple dropped this off the MacBook Air makes no sense. That said, a Macbooks have the Find my iPhone app that also tracks your Mac's location. The Chromebook has no current method for tracking stolen Chromebooks (something that probably happens frequently at schools). The good thing is that any data is encrypted on the Chromebook and that you can access all your work on any Chromebook with an Internet connection.
- I wish the Chromebook had USB 3, but that said I haven't really connected any USB devices to it yet anyways!
If this review helped give it a thumbs up, if not feel free to add your gripe in the comments. Chromebooks aren't for everyone, but I'm amazed at how the challenge of having to always have an internet connection is offset by the wonderful ease of use of cloud based computing.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
I find that Google is the easiest ecosystems to become a part of. Consumers who use Google applications don't need to have an Android phone. They don't need to buy a Chromebook. They don't need a Nexus 7. They don't need to own any Google hardware to use Google products. They basically just need a web browser on any popular platform. Before I started buying Google products, I already felt immersed in the ecosystem. I used Gmail, Docs, Google Play Music, Chrome, and others. I used all of these from either a Mac computer or a Windows 7 computer. It didn't matter which operating system I had. The specifications of my system did not matter either. It always worked.
The first Google product I bought was a Galaxy Nexus. All I had to do was sign into my Google account. Everything was there. My contacts were there, my email was there, my music was there, etc. I liked that. Since school was starting up again I decided to get a Chromebook. When I first opened the lid, I was amazed at the quality of the hardware for such a low price. Then it powered on. I connected it to my WiFi network, and it downloaded the updates and installed them right away. Once it restarted, I signed into my Google account and felt right at home. Once again, everything was there. No bloatware, no virus protection to install. I love it.
What I mainly use it for is schoolwork and a Chrome Remote Desktop connection to my work computer. That is a must-have for anyone who is afraid of missing out on legacy windows applications. Setup takes 5 minutes. It is as fast as Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection Client and setup is more simple (in my opinion). The computer is light, looks great, has an awesome keyboard and track-pad, and boots up in ~5 seconds. After receiving this Chromebook Series 5 550, my girlfriend could not stop using it and talking about it. I just finished ordering her one and it is coming in 2 days.
I have never looked forward to using a computer as much as I look forward to using this one. I have a powerful desktop I built for 3D rendering and gaming, yet I always want to use this one instead. As of right now, this is one of the best purchases I've made this year. That's why I bought a second one. Hope this helps anyone who uses Google web products. Once again, for those people who want a more traditional experience, Chrome Remote Desktop is amazing.
I recommend this product fully. I hope this review has answered any questions people have had.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
Style Name: Wi-FiVerified Purchase
This is the first time I have ever reviewed anything. This product far exceeds my expectations. I am not one to use a cd drive. I have had problems with hard drives crashing and viruses wiping out all my information and pictures. This product is refreshing since that simply cannot happen since the information/pictures are stored elsewhere. It is unbelievably limber. It feels exactly like a regular notebook. There is a very small learning curve (very small). I do not like dealing with windows or mac and all their bloatware. Most of the features are simply not used by me. With me, if the internet is down, the computer is off so an internet based computer is a no-brainer. This is by far faster than any other systems I have used wether it be laptop, desktop or tablet. I experience literally no lag time at all. It has an enormous amount of useful applications that vary from business, lifestyle, entertainment etc etc etc. If you want a super fast computer to surf, print, email, facebook etc etc. This is the top gun!
More about the computer. I have installed applications that are available on their app market that while on the computer, all my text messages, phone calls, etc all come through displays on my screen and I am able to respond. I literally can turn off my phone and do all my phone calls (yes, it takes calls also through mic and speakers), text messages, google +, facebook, emails etc,etc all while on the computer surfing. The search extensions are amazing. I now search websites with such an amazing amount of options.
I am a very strong believer in this product. Honestly, by far the best computer I have ever used. When the general public finds out more about it, it will spread like wildfire.
A side note. Buy the 550 not the 5 series. There is a MAJOR difference in performance. The extra money is simply worth it, dont skimp!
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
Style Name: Wi-Fi
I've been using a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and truly love it. I think many of the people that have made complaints about the Chromebook have the wrong expectations of how to use it and what they're for. Yes, there were certainly some issues with the first Series 5, like speed, but as the OS improved (and they release new updates to the OS very, very frequently), performance definitely improved.
Have I fully moved away from my regular laptop/PC?...no, but I'd definitely say that it is extremely rare that I use it now. And for the record, I have a Sony Vaio that's never given me any problems and has been a great device with a very large screen. However, there are some things that I was looking to get away from as it relates to your traditional laptop, both Windows and Mac.
Firstly, I loved the idea of having a laptop that was instantly on. In general, I always found it frustrating to wait for my Windows PC to boot up. I could often make a cup of coffee by the time Windows was fully on and ready to function.
Secondly, is the removal of the need to have to install software. When you buy a traditional laptop (Windows or Mac), you always have to add the extra costs of MS Office, anti-virus protection, etc...which in the end will run you a couple of hundred dollars more than the price of the laptop. With Chrome, you have the full access to Google Docs (and its office counterparts) and if you also have a hotmail/msn/windows live account, you automatically have access to Microsoft's OfficeLive & Skydrive, which gives you web versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word that quite frankly are pretty darn close to the desktop Office version, especially if you're a general user. The great thing about a web based system is that whether you're using Google Docs or OfficeLive, you're using the power behind their servers to power your document...so it's fast.
Thirdly, I love the fact that the OS is constantly updated and that it's quite simple to do so. You just turn the laptop on, it gives you a simple notification that there's an update available. All of the updates (even the latest major one done in May) was extremely quick.
Fourth, from a security perspective, because of the fact that everything is coming from the Google servers and the sandboxing capability of Chrome, I feel very safe with the device.
Fifth, battery life is way better than a standard laptop.
Quite frankly, I often reach for my Chromebook even before my tablet on many items because it's instantly on and just works. A long while back, I moved all of the contents of my traditional laptop to a cloud-based storage and at this point, when the inevitable day comes that my laptop goes (they only last max of 3.5 to 5 years max), I can't see why I would buy another PC.
If most of what you do is browser based search/surfing and your media (music, photos, etc.) are in the cloud...you have to ask yourself...do you really need to purchase another laptop and all that comes with it? I think the fundamental question is "what do you really use your computer for?"...if the answer is as I described then your expectations are right and a Chromebook is for you. I think the new enhancements of the 550 make it a much more compelling purchase for those who were holding out.