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390 of 406 people found the following review helpful
Finally received my Samsung Chromebook 2 (11.6" version, jet black color) and have had a day to get it set up, mess around with it, and compare it to my Acer C720 Chromebook (2GB), as well as my previous experiences with the original Samsung Chromebook that was released back in 2012. My initial up front experience is that I am overall very satisfied with the improvements that Samsung has made! There are some areas I wish they improved, but overall for the price, this is an outstanding way to experience the Chrome OS. I'll touch on a few of my in-depth thoughts below, and I'll update this all in the future as I have more experience with the device. I'm going to focus more on the hardware and less on the operating system or software, since the OS will remain fairly consistent across all Chromebook devices and plenty of information already exists about Chrome OS online:

Design/Materials/Build Quality: As mentioned above, I went with the jet black version. This new Chromebook 2 features Samsungs "stitched leather" design to the outside of the top shell, similar to what you see if you have ever used their Galaxy Note 3. It stands out a lot more when you see it spread across a much larger device like this. I'm going to be honest, I think some people are going to find this slightly tacky looking/feeling (especially the fake stitching around the edges), but personally I am a much bigger fan of it than I thought. For a computing device in this price range, you cannot really expect them to be able to throw on a full aluminum/metal case like you might find on a MacBook Pro or a higher end Ultrabook laptop. You're going to get something that is plastic or a more cost effective material, and honestly, I kind of like the way that this faux-leather design makes it stand out from other devices. And the overall build quality of the Chromebook 2 feels much improved over the original. It doesn't have as much "flex" to it, and even though it is still almost entirely plastic-based, it certainly feels like a step up. Also, compared to my Acer C720 side by side, the Samsung CB2 feels significantly higher in quality.

Display: My Chromebook 2 is the 11.6" model. This is one of the very few areas where I am finding myself wishing that Samsung would have improved this new model, even if it came at a slight cost increase. The resolution on the 11.6" model is only 1366x768, which is the same as you'll find on pretty much every other Chromebook aside from the Pixel (which is way too expensive), and the upcoming 13" version of the Chromebook 2 (which will more to a full HD 1920 screen). I'm actually OK with the resolution topping out at only 1366x768 on a screen of this size, but they are still using a TN-based panel when I think that they should have stepped it up to an IPS panel and really made it stand out. It's about on par with the screen on my Acer C720, doesn't feel like much of an improvement. I wouldn't consider myself too overly picky, but side by side with a device with an IPS panel, and the screen on the Chromebook 2 just looks kind of dull and washed out in comparison. According to the specs I've seen, even the 13" version of the Chromebook 2 is going to have a TN panel (just in higher resolution), so I wouldn't be surprised to hear more people complaining about this aspect.

Processor/RAM: The Chromebook 2 utilizes one of Samsung's own ARM-based chips, called the "Exynos 5 Octa 5420", which is rated at 1.9GHz. Most of the computing experiences in my life outside of smartphone use have been with either an Intel or an AMD processor; even my trusty Acer C720 Chromebook uses an Intel Celeron-based processor. I was a little hesitant to make the jump to a newer generation of Chromebook without an Intel processor since I know Acer is going to soon release a variant of the C720 with an Intel i3 chip. However, so far, I am quite impressed with how quick this Exynos 5 Octa chip has felt through normal use. I haven't run any actual benchmarking programs or applications (if someone has a suggestion, I'll be glad to try one, if they even exist for Chrome OS?), but directly comparing it side-by-side to the Acer C720 running on the 1.4GHz Celeron processor, this is no comparison. Apps load much more instantly on the new Chromebook 2, but the biggest difference can be seen when using anything that involves video. Doing a Google Hangout on my older Chromebook was always slightly laggy enough that it was moderately frustrating, especially when trying to multi-task during a hangout. That lag has seemingly disappeared with this new model, and in all honesty, I haven't found a task yet where I've been wishing that it was faster than it is now. This may also partially be aided by the fact that the Chromebook 2 has 4gb of RAM, versus my Acer C720 which only has 2gb, and my previous experiences with the original Chromebook 1 which also only had 2gb. Either way, the improvement in speed has been fantastic and you will certainly notice it.

Keyboard/Touchpad: This is one of the most important things to me on any computing device I own. Nothing is more frustrating than a keyboard with a weird design or layout that becomes a permanent hassle for the life of the device. Luckily, this might be the BEST overall feature of the Chromebook 2. Normally when I get a new device, I find myself needing a period of adjustment as I get used to the feel of a new keyboard, new keys, new layout. I found myself instantly loving the feel and use of the keyboard on the Chromebook 2. The keys feel sturdy and solid, and the spacing feels very natural between keys. The keys themselves have a very natural "curved" feel to the top of them that yields a very pleasant typing experience. Honestly the best possible comment that I think I can give an input device is that it feels so natural and correct that you immediately stop thinking about it once you start using it, and that is the case here. I didn't have many complaints about the keyboard on my Acer C720, but I can definitely say that the keyboard on this Chromebook 2 is noticeably improved and Samsung did a great job here. The touchpad itself is pleasantly wide (wider than the spacebar!) and feels accurate and smooth. Overall I can say without a doubt that this is the best keyboard and touchpad I've used on any Chromebook device to date outside of the Pixel.

Hard Drive/Storage: My 11.6" Chromebook 2 came with a 16gb solid-state hard drive, only a little over half of which is actually accessible by the user to use as storage. Everyone has different needs so opinions will vary on this, but one of the main draws of Google OS and the Chromebooks are how well they function as cloud devices. Other than space used to install apps, which for the most part are very small (20mb or less in size), almost everything else I use my Chromebooks for can be performed from the cloud or require very little onboard storage. There are many options available to store files, pictures, data on the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc), so I honestly don't think the storage space is going to be much of an issue for most people. Plus, being that it is a solid-state drive, it is VERY fast compared to traditional hard drives in terms of accessing files and data; also, since solid state drives have no moving parts inside, a lot more stable and damage proof for lugging it around on-the-go. Unless you are going to be installing literally hundreds of apps (most people probably only regularly use two dozen or less), or unless you regularly need to work where you have no internet access at all for extended periods of time, I think the size of the drive will suffice.

Battery: This is a section I will need to update further in the future. Samsung is claiming 8 hours of battery life on a full charge. I haven't noticed anything yet that would lead me to believe this claim is false, but I also haven't owned it long enough to go through a full charge from start to finish. I'll update my thoughts on this after I have run a few full cycles through the battery.

Speakers: I'll be honest, I don't personally use the built-in speakers a ton on any laptop or device I've owned. I'm typically either just using this for web browsing or productivity, but when I do listen to music with it, I've found myself using Bluetooth to connect to external Bluetooth speakers in the past (namely my Logitech Boombox or my Jawbone Jambox if I am on the go). I did test the speakers out for a while though on my Chromebook 2, and I have to say I am fairly impressed. Considering that the speakers are located on the bottom of the device, I was surprised at how well they projected sound. And considering their tiny size, they were able to get louder than I expected while remaining fairly clear. I wouldn't expect booming base from these, but they don't sound "tinny" either and have a decent balance to them. I'll still probably stick to using my Bluetooth speakers when I want to blast music around my house or when working outdoors, but I can't see the built-in speakers disappointing anyone who came in with reasonable expectations.

Other features: I'll come back to this and add to my review once I have had more time with the unit. Webcam, software, pictures, any other likes or dislikes that I find as I continue to use it further beyond the first few days.

Overall, this is a great product, especially when you factor in the value that you get for the money. If I could give it partial stars, I'd give it about a 4.6/5 (and the only deduction would really be because I wish they had upgraded the screen further). It's very very quick in everyday use; boots up almost instantly from sleep (or about 10 total seconds if you shut it off completely), gets very solid battery life, and ChromeOS allows you to easily do almost any normal computing task that you would normally do with Apple OS or Windows. It's very lightweight and portable, and the build quality is solid. If you come in expecting this to perform like a $1000+ i7 Ultrabook or a MacBook Pro, you might leave disappointed. But other than that, especially at a price point of just over $300 at launch, I feel like the Chromebook 2 is not only going to sell a lot of new customers on the Chrome OS, but offer a very noticeable speed and function upgrade to people who are using previous generation Chromebook models. If you have only used traditional laptops your whole life and this is your first experience into Chrome OS, your mind is going to be blown when you first realize that you are INSTANTLY at the desktop and ready to go when you open the laptop up from sleep mode. I will revisit my review and update it further as time passes and I notice new things to comment on. Anything you want me to review that I missed, let me know in the comments and I'll come back and add my thoughts.
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240 of 254 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't sure about Chrome OS. I mean, when it's described you get a sort of "meh" reaction. "So it's all in the browser? It requires being online? It can't run Windows, Android, Mac, or Linux programs?" is what pops to mind. I was in this camp, too. I didn't think a laptop that relies on cloud-based services for 80% of what it does could be useful. Boy, was I wrong!

First, though, I'll say a bit about the hardware: Sexy. I know the faux leather top is just a sort of foamy plastic, but it looks and feels nice. The laptop is slim, sleek, quiet, cool, and fast. It boots up faster than anything I've ever owned, save for Android or iOS tablets. The dual USB ports, micro SD card slot (yes, micro, because so few new electronics are bothering with full-sized SD cards anymore), and HDMI port are all nice additions to round out this sleek laptop experience.

The keyboard is especially nice. I'm a writer, and to me the quality of a keyboard is important in a laptop design. Equally as important is the quality and sensitivity of the trackpad! I've had laptops with good keyboard that were completely spoiled by the fact that the trackpad was overly-sensitive, causing me to accidentally move the cursor around the screen while typing. None of that happens here. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this is perhaps one of the best-designed trackpads I've used in decades of computing. I like it even better than the trackpads on my old MacBooks, and those were high quality. It's WAY better than the trackpads on more recently-owned systems like the ASUS T100, the Microsoft Surface Type Cover 2, and my last Lenovo laptop. This was, frankly surprising. I did not expect to like the trackpad this much-- Especially since I've never been very fond of trackpads in general.

The screen is sufficient for a system designed for getting some work done. The resolution could be higher, but having an HDMI port built in mitigates that problem if I'm looking to push more pixels.

Speedwise, I'm quite happy. It doesn't lag with multiple tabs open and handles Chrome OS games quite well. Web-based games also seem to be snappy. I doubt most people will feel they're being cheated on speed or graphics performance, considering this is a Chromebook.

Which brings me to my new-found acceptance-- indeed, admiration-- of the Chrome OS. I honestly didn't think I'd like Chrome OS this much, but I've been swayed over from having a "blech!" reaction to having a "I think I'll do that on my Chromebook" reaction. What I mean by that is that the Chromebook is so quick to load, such a pleasure to interact with, that when I need to do some basic work, get online for any reason, or even check out some media, the Chromebook is quickly becoming my go-to device. it's on -instantly- when I open that lid. Chrome remembers all my settings, and Google Drive transfers all my data from my desktop whenever I need it. It functions just like Chrome on my desktop PC, meaning I can go to my work website and not have to worry about missing plugins or not supporting the web protocols (unlike most Android tablets). It's just a pleasurable, easy experience.

Here are some questions I had about Chromebook, along with the answers I learned:

► "Can I run MS Office on it?"
No, but it comes with Google Docs built in, and Google Docs lets you view, edit, and create MS Office documents. It's not as comprehensive as a fully-featured MS Office suite, but most people don't even use 50% of Office's features, and as I've learned, pretty much everything the average user would need is available in Google Docs.

► "Can I watch videos in Chrome OS?"
There's a built-in video player, and you can get others in the Chrome Web Store. You can also view movies and TV shows from every major streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Crackle, CinemaNow, and of course YouTube, DailyMotion, and other sites.

► "Can I view and edit photos?"
Yes! Viewing, of course, is built into the system. Editing can be done with a variety of Chrome apps and extensions, like PicMonkey and Pixlr Editor. Pixlr Editor is very similar to Photoshop.

► "Couldn't I just get a regular Windows/Mac laptop and use the Chrome browser to get the same stuff?"
Yes, you can access most of the apps and sites from Chrome on any system, but the appeal is the speed with which Chrome OS runs, the fact that you don't have all the other OS stuff running in the background, looking for updates, waiting for things to load, etc. It's the same experience, but on a Chromebook it's MUCH faster and easier.

► "If I can't run Windows programs or Android apps, then how do I download an antivirus?"
You don't need to!!! That's another awesome thing about Chrome OS-- It isn't vulnerable to viruses, trojans, worms, and other malware by design. Right out of the box, you're up and running without needing to connect to an antivirus service, pay for a subscription, or deal with background scans or downloads slowing down the system. Chrome OS is secure. You never have to worry about all that stuff. Just get online and get work done.

► "Can I play games?"
Yes. There are plenty of web-based games, and the Chrome Web Store has several games to choose from. Now, you might not have some popular games like Minecraft, but there are still some quality games to play and waste some time. If you're looking for hardcore gaming, you and I both know you're never going to look at a Chromebook as a serious contender, but then, you're also not going to find a super-thin, super-light, super-fast gaming laptop for anywhere near this price.

► "Does it always have to be online?"
No. There are many offline apps available. Head over to the Chrome Web Store and check out the "Offline Apps" collection.

► "What about basic functions?"
Calculators, note-taking, calendars, alarm clocks, translators, banking apps, and all manner of basic applications are available, and they are fast!

Finally, I asked myself how much of my time at my computer is spent online. I was surprised at the answer: "practically all of it". I honestly don't run all that many programs offline these days. Most of my time is spent on the Web, with lots of time spent in email, shopping sites, work websites, entertainment sites, etc.. If you really examine what it is you do with your computer or tablet, you might find the same thing. I'm not even a big fan of social media like Facebook or Twitter, but I know lots of you folks are, and again the Chromebook is going to handle those tasks admirably well.

So who is this thing for? Anyone who needs a fast, light, thin laptop to get online, do some work, watch some videos, play a few games, edit some documents or spreadsheets (Google Docs), edit some photos (Pixlr), edit some videos (WeVideo is pretty cool), do some basic CAD (AutoCAD360), check Facebook, send Tweets, check & send gmail, check & send Outlook mail, video chat, listen to music (Google Music, Prime Music), transfer files between systems (Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive), and even remotely connect to your desktop PC (Chrome Remote Desktop) and work on it from afar.

Who wouldn't benefit from a Chromebook? I guess if you need a laptop that will play the hottest, newest games in 3D, a Chromebook isn't for you. If you need to do super-intense professional video editing on your laptop you'd best go for something Windows, Linux, or OS X based. If you need to run a very specific piece of software on your laptop and can't find the Chrome OS equivalent in the Web Store on on any website, you'll have to go with the system that software was made for.

For everyone else, the Chromebook is the nearly-perfect laptop. It combines insane boot/wake up speed, essential functions, and excellent hardware design into a laptop that handles most functions modern Internet dwellers need.

I would say the Chromebook is especially great for people who aren't all that tech-savvy. They'll never need to sit through a Windows update, a virus scan, or get a BSOD. They'll never have to figure out some ultra-technical way to make the computer do something, because Google really does make almost everything insanely easy and fast. There's just not much to screw up on a Chromebook!

However, I do have ONE minor gripe about the Chrome OS, which is why I'm only giving four stars instead of five in this review. Currently, Chrome OS does not provide an easy way to turn a web page into a desktop or taskbar icon. You can bookmark any page, just like in Chrome, but you cannot drag a URL to the desktop or taskbar and make it into a clickable launch icon without going though some convoluted steps. It CAN be done, but not easily. From what I have read, Google is aware that people want this feature and they're working out how to do it with just a couple clicks. For now, however, you're stuck opening the Chrome browser and clicking the link in your Bookmarks, or finding an official Chrome app/launcher/link that provides one-click access.

This is a minor caveat (and as I said, one that Google is working on) and so it's only costing a star from this review. Have no fear, however, about the hardware involved here. The Chromebook 2 is a fine example of sleek, sexy laptopping (I know. "Laptopping" isn't actually a word. I still like it.) and I'm certain that anyone who gives it a chance will love what they can do with the Chromebook 2.

► Final Verdict: FOUR STARS.

► Recommendation: Unless you're an elitist, professional video editor, hardcore gamer looking for a portable rig, or a Google-hater, you probably want to get one of these to complement your other Windows/Mac/Linux PC, or to stand alone as a simplified way to get online, get work done, and have a little fun. Give it time. You may become a fan.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 18, 2014
I've been curious about Chromebook for a while, but finally took the plunge and got the Samsung Chromebook 2 after several weeks researching. A bit of gripe: FedEx did a terrible job of delivery, seemed like my Chromebook traveled all around the US before getting to me a full 3 days after Prime expected delivery date. The Samsung Chromebook 2 seems to have it all: powerful processor, more memory (4GB vs. 2GB on other brands) and new design.

I won't go through the technical details or features here; you could read them from the website description.

After using the Chromebook for a couple of days, all I can say is: I SO LOVED IT! The machine is fast, dead silent and does just about 80 percent of all the things I would use a laptop for daily. And I am a Mac and iPhone/iPad app developer guy; I have 2 MacBook Pros and all the I devices. My guess is for 90 percent of computer users, this is all you ever need and more. The machine is beautiful, light and supports everything you need. I currently have a Bluetooth headset and a mouse connected to it. The track pad is wonderful, very responsive to motions and requires almost no force to operate. Keyboard is great, if you are a touch typist you would love this keyboard; very nicely spaced and decent size. I feel like I am on my MacBook because they are so similar in design and operations.

Battery actually lasts as long as Samsung claimed; I have it all with video playing intermittently throughout the day and it has gone for 7 hours with about 15% left. Charging is fast too; It took about an hour to charge the Chromebook from 7% to full.

Worry about availability of apps? I was able to find most of what I want FREE from the Playstore. The Chromebook comes with free Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides that allow you to work on Microsoft Words, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Installing additional apps is a few seconds affair as there was no downloading required. I added a 64GB microSD card to have more space for videos, documents and music. You will need a free Gmail account to used Chromebook; I have 2 different accounts so have 2 different set ups on my Chromebook. This is a very nice feature of Chrome OS: you can log in any Chromebook and have your own set up, or several people can use the same Chromebook, each with different set up.

This Chromebook will travel with me from now on unless I specifically need my Macbook Pro. I used to take my 13" MacBook Pro with me on trip, but no longer. For a regular computer users, this Chromebook could be the only laptop you ever need; unless you are a hard-core gamer, application developer or graphic artist who needs more power and application features for your work. If 90 percent of the time you use a laptop for emails, reading and browsing the internet, this is the perfect laptop for you.

9/22/14 update: I have this Chromebook for almost a week now, and like it even more. Watching a movie on this Chromebook is an awesome experience. The non-glare screen is easy on the eyes, while sharp with excellent color rendintion. Without a headset, sounds is still outstanding. I watch a movie with a scene that the actors were in side a house while it was raining outside, and I keep thinking it was actually raining outside! Chrome OS supports most of the major formats: .avi .mkv, .mp4, .m4v, .mov and more,so that save you time converting your video too. The only problem (personal) is I kept touching the screen, as I am so used to the iPad :-).

9/26/14 update: The Chromebook is acting up today. All of a sudden, I lost the mouse cursor on the track pad. I finally connect with Google Chrome support and a person tried to solve my problem. We spent almost an hour, tried everything from briefly disconnect the battery (Ctrl Alt Shift R) to Power wash (Refresh Power), to no avail. Finally, I was advised to return the Chromebook to Amazon. Just think if this happens after the 14 days return period! Amazon then gracefully agreed to shift me a new machine. Just to see if it works, I connect a USB mouse to the Chromebook and it works!! But I only get the cursor back with a mouse, the track pad remains non-responsive. In fact, I am writing this update on the defective Chromebook.

I liked this Chromebook so much that I ordered the 13" version for myself and promised to give this 11.6" Chromebook to my sister. The latest issue made me paused. I do not want this to happen after 2 months using the machine; it will be a mess to return to the manufacturer for repair. I still like it and will continue to use it; but less happy with it now.
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2014
Just came, today. Very easy to set up (including getting Hebrew to work, which I need). Very fast to both boot up and come out of sleep. I'm used to using Macbooks and this is obviously not quite as versatile and polished, but it's actually kind of close in the physical experience -- ie, the keyboard and the touchpad are comparable (and that's high praise for a machine that's maybe a third of the price).

Just starting to try the offline capacity, but Google Docs -- the main software I use -- seems to work well offline. Streams Netflix and Hulu well.

Starting to notice some things it _can't_ do. The pdf reading capacity is nothing close to what you get with Mac's Preview -- no ability to annotate or edit pdfs (maybe someone will come out with a good app for that like iAnnotate on the iPad). In a more 'critical mission' department, some banking/utility company software doesn't work with the Chrome browser . . . . and with a _Chromebook_, you can't just switch to MS Explorer or Safari or something to see if it works better.

Bottom line, it seems like an extraordinary machine for the price, especially if you have (like me) already moved just about everything you do into the cloud (only maybe 8gig of usable hard disk space here). . . . With the small storage space and the limited software options it feels to me a little bit like something in between a tablet and a full-service computer. But, as with tablets, you seem to get something in return for sacrificing some functionality -- lightening fast performance at what it does do, especially in terms of being almost instantly available from sleep.Great option if you don't need a ton of hard disk space for videos and such and you're not trying to do image editing or desktop publishing.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2014
I don't write many reviews but I felt I should write one on this Chromebook 2.
First, let me say I am not new to the Chromebook. I purchased one back in 2012 it was a Samsung and at the time it first came out I forked out $450.00 for it but my wife loved it and used it everyday since the day I bought it. Well, she got her new one yesterday and it took me less then 5 minutes to set it up.
Now the look and feel of the new one is much better then the old Chromebook, not saying the old one was that bad. That was the plus side now for the performance. My wife like to watch one soap opera, which she watches everyday. On her old Chromebook it ran great, but on the new one it would pause, skip, and jerk. Now the new unit has 2 gig more memory and a better processor so I didn't expect this.
Well, I went on the help forum for the Google Chrome and tried a few things, like turning off extensions and logging on as guest, it helped some but it still runs slower then the old one.
My wife is going to give it a couple of days and decide if she wants to send it back. This is why I am only giving it three stars.
I also have to be honest with you the soap she watches is on ABC and they don't do videos very well. I try videos from youtube and they work much better. I just feel the overall performance is not as good as the older Chromebook. By the way you can find the old one much cheaper. I missed out on buying one a deal of the day for $85.
How this review will help with your decision making.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
irisch "irisch":

Thank you for purchasing the Samsung Chromebook 2.

I am sorry to hear that your wife is having difficulties with viewing her shows.

To better assist you with step-by-step troubleshooting, please contact Samsung Customer Support toll-free at 1-800-SAMSUNG and a representative will gladly help you.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 16, 2014
I was on the fence about upgrading my original Samsung Chromebook. I mean, the original, still operates just as new almost 2 years later. It hasnt slowed down, nothing has broken, battery still holds a charge, in other words this was not a neccessity. The original Samsung Chromebook turned me away from my PC and made my Toshiba Laptop basically collect dust. I have no desire to use a laptop and deal with Windows updates that take forever, or the 2 minute boot up times when I want to quickly check something on the web. On to the Samsung Chromebook 2!

I purchased a Samsung Chromebook 2 and went with the black version. I have now used it for a couple weeks and I am completely happy I chose to try out the newer version. The Chrome OS is refined and makes operation of the Chromebook extremely simple. It is so simple, that I just went ahead and purchased another one for my older parents to use. I now do not have to worry about having to fix windows issues, spyware issues, and other issues that people can run into when they are not so familiar with using a computer.

The screen resolution or clarity on the Samsung Chromebook 2 has been improved but not as much as I had originally hoped for. I knew at this pricepoint I wasnt going to get a plasma-like screen, but I was hoping that at least I would be wowed. It is improved, but I was hoping for more if that makes sense. Build quality though is alot better than the original. My keyboard doesnt creak as the first one did on the corners while typing and the amount the Chromebook 2 seems to be able to flex is also less, making it feel alot more sturdy in your hands. Even though the flex of the first Chromebook was worriesome at first, it proved to be well built and no issues ever arised from that.

Web performance seems improved on the Chromebook 2 as well. I am a tab browsing maniac. I always have anywhere from 5-20ish tabs open at once and bounce back and forth from each tab. I have yet to experience a slow down while browsing. My internet is Comcast 50/10 Mbps speeds for reference. Startup from the unit being off to being operational is about 8-10 seconds. Shut down is equally as fast. I have not had any freezes or forced restarts at all. Battery life is long, I havent needed to charge the battery while using it and have used it heavily at the longest time for about 5 hours. The keyboard itself seems very well thought out and I compare it to the Macbook in the ease of use and fluidity while typing. I love the keyboard.

Some other features to quickly address. Speakers are ok, not ear numbing good, but they do their job adequately. Pick up a bluetooth speaker, it will improve sound dramatically. I believe the Chromebook 2 has bluetooth 4.0 which is great. The webcam produces a nice image for the end user during my Google+ video calls and the mic is more than adequate. I really have no complaints other than wishing the screen was upgraded a bit more. For the 300 dollars, I really couldnt ask for more. If you have any questions just let me know, I will try to answer them as best as I can. Thanks
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2014
I didn't realize it, but I do mostly web surfing and watching videos with some light word, excel, etc. What I really want in a home laptop is something small and light, works fast, and lets me do the above. This is obviously amazingly fast, great battery, allows me to do everything I want once I got used to it and got all the extensions and such. I got an external hard drive to keep all my historical photos and files. Synched up all my files I want to have access to on google drive to have them in the cloud.

One thing I didn't like quite so much was that the screen isn't super high res, so videos look good, but not great. When at home I connect to a second screen, so it's not a problem, but on the road it's not perfect. I wanted to the smaller size though, so I guess it was a tradeoff as I've heard the 13 inch has a really nice screen.

Overall, I love the simplicity and it does what I want to do very very well at a very very good price.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2014
Because Chromebooks are so new and not widely used, invariably a review of this item has to be a review about the Chromebook OS as well as the machine itself. I'll start with the OS.

I have been intrigued by Chromebooks for a while but have been hesitant to try one because of their limitations. Recently I needed to replace my laptop, but did not feel like plunking down a lot of cash for a new one. I have a desktop PC with Windows 7 in good condition for running any special software that I may occasionally need, so I figured that if I ran into things the Chromebook could not handle I could always go back to my desktop for that. As it turns out, I find myself going back to my desktop very rarely. There are two programs -- an accounting program and an image processing program -- that I need to run on the desktop, and both of these I would prefer to use on the desktop anyway for the larger monitor. For everything else the Chromebook not only does it, but does it faster and with less hassle. If I need to send an email, upload some photos, check the news, or make a quick edit to a document, I can complete the task on my Chromebook in the time it would take my PC just to startup and become functional. It starts up so quickly that I don't even think about it -- it is basically like opening a book. The OS, from the user's point of view, is completely an afterthought. You just switch on the machine and start working. And you don't have to mess with anti-virus or anything like that. It is such a worry- and hassle-free device that I can't believe they aren't more popular. For anyone who dislikes doing PC maintenance or finds Windows confusing, this is definitely the system to go for. When I first read reviews of Chrome, some said that if you wanted to experience Chrome, just maximize the Chrome browser in your PC and that was basically what it was like. Not true (at least in the current version). There are a number of apps built into the system (handy stuff like a calculator) and more that you can add on (nearly all for free) from the app store. There is also a file manager for managing external storage devices as well as files stored in the machine's own solid state drive. It is all very intuitive and easy to use. I glanced through the help menus one time just to learn some shortcuts and such, but it was hardly necessary. Once you get connected to the internet you will be off and running. The system is also ideal for users who are using cloud-based apps like Google docs, Evernote, etc. If you are not already using cloud-based apps, using a Chromebook will likely get you hooked on them. You always have access to your files wherever you are, and you don't have to worry about losing because your computer crashed or something.

So clearly I am sold on the OS. How about the machine? I was also pleasantly surprised with the quality of the machine, especially for the price. It is very thin and lightweight, perfect for carrying around. It is something you can slip into a briefcase or bookbag and hardly know it is in there. My previous laptops all look massive in comparison. I have seen some negative comments about the stitched styling of the top -- personally I think the texture looks and feels nice, and the stitching is reasonably subtle and not cheap looking. It is not brushed aluminum or whatever, but you are not paying for brushed aluminum (nor should you in my opinion). This is a machine that looks good and simple, and absolutely gets the job done. The keyboard is pretty solid, although I am used to deeper keys (more like an external keyboard), and I love the simpler layout that the Chrome OS makes possible. Huge track pad and very responsive. I am not enough of a techie to comment on the technical specs really, but I would say that 4 gb ram seems like more than enough to be running a lightweight OS like this. As for speed, as I mentioned above, everything I have done on this is lightning fast, including video streaming (HD) etc. The monitor is about average -- I have no complaints about it except that I agree with some other reviewers that the viewing angle is not great, but for personal use it works well and I have watched lots of videos on it and done lots of reading at generally think it is a solid monitor for the price. Speakers are average / typical for a laptop. I have not clocked the battery runtime but it is off the charts compared to any laptop I have ever owned. I don't even think about the battery, just charge it in if I happen to be near the power cable (sometimes only every couple of days depending on usage). If you are used to a Windows PC I am sure it will be better than the runtime you have now.

In conclusion, this is the laptop I always wished was possible. It is inexpensive, requires no maintenance or software, and it does nearly everything you want very quickly. Even if you are buying it just to use on the go, you will likely find that it quickly becomes your primary machine, even if you do need to go back to your Windows machine from time to time for a special application.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This Samsung Chromebook 2, our 4th Chromebook, was purchased for our college-bound firstborn. By the way our first was Samsung Chromebook (Wi-Fi, 11.6-Inch) 2012 Model. Over the past year or two I came to realize that not only Chromebooks do almost everything a laptop or a PC or a tablet would do for me but they do it cheaper, usually faster and better, almost always worry-free and very much in style. I wrote 'almost' because, yes, not everything does everything even though the Chromebooks seem to be doing a lot and they are getting better - even run Microsoft Office these days (see note at the bottom).

WHY A CHROMEBOOK AT ALL?

There's so much to say here but let me make a quick summary. And never forget that we are talking about an 'around 300 dollars' device here because, yes, anything that costs 3-4-5 times as much should do SOMETHING better or very few of us would pay more for such devices.

˕ My Chromebook is by far my most used computer excluding work hours and by 'computer' I mean PCs, laptops and tablets.
˕ Malware, spyware, adware-free. Since nothing is really 'installed' on a Chromebook and not much is physically stored on it, it would be very hard for one to be infected. I am in fact now using my Chromebook to open suspicious emails or click on dubious URLs that I don't dare touch from a laptop.
˕ Extremely safe OS. I don't know if this is common knowledge but Google is constantly challenging hackers to crack their OS. As far as I know, Chrome OS wasn't cracked yet.
˕ Easy to share among any number of users without any concerns of compromising privacy. If you have a Google account, you simply sign in and you are going to be within your own, personal environment.
˕ Constantly updated and upgraded. Google updates Chrome OS every few weeks and I found my Chromebooks actually getting better all the time rather than slowly fall into obsolescence.
˕ Nearly maintenance free. Whenever I don't use a tablet or even a laptop for a while, they tend to get very busy once I turn them back on, downloading and installing various patches, updates and upgrades. Not the case for Chromebooks. Whatever upgrades may take place don't hit my Chromebook. Whenever I call up an app, I get it in its latest version.
˕ The attached keyboard helps a lot. Yes, you can pair a keyboard and even a mouse to a tablet but the Chromebook's keyboard is always there, it negates the need of a stand or even some protecting case.
˕ Chrome OS is streamlined and efficiently focused where it matters, on the everyday uses most of us need a 'computer' most of the time.
˕ Chrome OS being such a streamlined one, browsing and running apps on a Chromebook is in fact faster than off a PC/laptop/tablet of equivalent specs.
˕ Relatively low prince, 11.6" display and light weight seem to be just about right for something that typically you'd be using to browse the Web while watching TV or take to and from school.

WHY NOT A CHROMEBOOK?

Yes, Chromebooks can't do everything. Google's productivity suites notwithstanding, Chromebooks are best at media consumption rather than production. Nobody should buy a Chromebook and expect to be able to edit video or do some hard-core gaming. There are other machines and devices for such tasks. My experience is that a Chromebook can't do 'everything'. Tablets are more portable, PCs and laptops are more powerful and versatile but, to me, my Chromebook is the most fun to use and it's likely to stay this way. I am not going to call it my 'second' or 'third' or 'first' computer but, objectively, it's the one I most use outside business hours if what we measure is 'hours'.

MY SON's SAMSUNG's CHROMEBOOK 2 vs. MY HP's CHROMEBOOK 11

From the start, it was a very familiar feeling. Samsung's is easily recognizable as a Chromebook (see video).

This is how they compare:

˕ USB-based charging. Yeah... it's proprietary on the Samsung vs. semi-proprietary on the HP. HP's USB-based charging allows the use of most off-the-shelf chargers so there's a lot less to worry. However, off-the-shelf chargers aren't as efficient as the HP-supplied one so, while I give HP's a slight advantage, both HP and Samsung's are better off when charged with the manufacturer-supplied charger.
˕ Better quality display. When compared to Samsung's, HP's colors are sharper and brighter and you can view the screen from almost any angle left/right or up/down. This can be seen in the attached video but it's the difference is even sharper to notice with the naked eye.
˕ Keyboard. As a touch typist I am comfortable with both but. On a blind test, I wasn't able to distinguish between the two. As the video shows, the size and the layout are very similar and so is the feel.
˕ Style - see video. Again, a matter of preference. HP's glossy white is easier to wipe and clean but some may find Samsung's black more elegant. Both HPs and Samsungs come in other colors. They are both Okay as far as I can tell.
˕ Ports. There are no USB 3.0 or HDMI ports on the HP's but you do find them on Samsung's. Speaking for myself, I never felt a need to output HDMI off my Chromebook, ever. I am occasionally using USB to plug in a mouse dongle or perhaps a speaker set. Regardless, USB 3.0 is nice to have.
˕ Other hardware. Samsung's comes with double the RAM (4GB) and a much faster processor. This is a clear advantage, especially when running demanding apps such as spreadsheets.

Overall, I am pleased with both. I am going to keep my relatively old (but oh so pretty) HP because its primary use is 'entertainment' as in Web browsing and playing media but my kid prefers Samsung because, as a college student, he can put the faster processor and the extra memory to good use.

RATING

Chromebook 2, while generally excellent, loses one star for the somewhat dull display and for breaking through the 300 dollar price barrier.

I am not going to compare Samsung's Chromebook with the Pixel or some top of the line laptop. So, let me make a 'duh' statement: this Chromebook is not as good as devices that sell for 3 times or 4 times as much so anyone who doesn't mind paying more should pay more and get one of those. Even though... look at some reasons above for why one my prefer a Chromebook to a laptop or a tablet, regardless of price.

Samsung's is at least as good and in some ways better than my now one year old, often used and much trusted HP Chromebook 11, even though I prefer HPs better display. As far as performance, Samsung beats HP when loading pages even though they both appear to be up to the task and they both played Netflix movies flawlessly over Wi-Fi and cast them to the big TV through Chromecast (no need of an HDMI cable for that) - I mention it because I just tried that. Samsung's Chromebook was able to easily and simultaneously play a movie on Netflix, a video on Youtube and a song on Pandora while I was checking my email and running a spreadsheet in the cloud without breaking a sweat. Not bad for such an inexpensive device. By the way, I had to cut that part from the attached video because it was too annoyingly noisy but I will try to redo it and attach it later.

Chromebooks are not for everyone and they are not a universal computing device and Samsung's Chromebook 2 is a Chromebook through and through but, if used for what they are meant to be used, they are as good and as revolutionary as tablets.

_____________________________________________________

NOTES:

- Prior to ordering this Chromebook, I attended 'orientation' at our kid's college. The session with the IT director helped me decide to order it. I really wasn't sure what was good for him. He already has a rather large Windows 8 laptop but he doesn't want to take it to school because it's too large and heavy among other reasons. I asked the IT person if he was going to be Okay if he used a Chromebook and he said 'yes'. Then I asked the specific 'Microsoft apps' question: "are there any 'Microsoft apps' that he may need and won't be able to run on his Chromebook?" The IT person stated that all students are granted free Web access to Microsoft Office and that Chromebooks are fully supported.
- Like most Chromebooks, this one too comes with a free 100GB in Google's cloud for two years. I didn't take advantage of that offer and I'm not going to go for this one, simply because I have no use of 'cloud' storage that goes beyond Gmail at this time.
- While Chromebooks are immune to viruses and other forms of malware, you are as tracked and 'monetized' while on a Chromebook as you are when browsing from your laptop or tablet or phone. However, there are ways to disrupt and confuse the trackers and my two favorite extensions these days are Disconnect Search (or Disconnect.me) that makes it impossible for Google to log your search activities and DoNotTrackMe which does what the name implies. Worth trying.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2014
This is exactly what i wanted since all i do is just surf the web and i don't care about so much nonsense that basic PCs and laptops come with. This is like pure chrome and perfect for someone like me who doesnt need a powerful PC or apple laptop. I like how it's strict with downloading stuff so you wont ever get viruses on this and it's super thin, easy to use. This device is a great regular laptop replacement and not just used casually like some people say for chromebooks. I mean ofcourse if you do stuff like gaming and other stuff that requires more powerful computers then yeah this isnt for you but it's not as casual as people say. The screen is not even 1920x1080 and it's still beautiful in my opinion but the best thing about this laptop is the speed it's way too instant. The touchpad is great and keyboard is great, 11.6 inch size is perfect too imo.I can repeat alot thats already in the description but that alone should make you get it cause it's really worth it but do know 1 minor flaw which alot of people wont mind but it's the speakers. I mean i didnt expect to be blown away but for some youtube videos you really need headphones cause you wont be able to hear fully even in a room thats fully quiet but the pros outweigh this one con. Would highly recommend regardless.
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