121 of 126 people found the following review helpful
A Fantastic Update For a Killer Concept,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook (3G) (Personal Computers)
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2012 9:18:06 PM PDT
You actually can hook this thing up to a printer, using Google Cloud Print. It is pretty simple to set up, and you can also send things to your printer from a mobile device. No drivers are needed
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 11:18:55 PM PDT
Yep but it's only a few printers that can get set up directly. I have it set to Cloud Print through my main computer. I've printed tickets and articles to my house while I've been away. Nice feature. But I don't want to advertise that since to do it directly (without another computer) most people would have to buy a new printer.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 10:37:29 AM PDT
Rodney M. Daut says:
If you have chrome on the computer that's hooked up to a printer you want to print from you can use Google Cloud Print. I have two very old printers and was able to make it work with both of them. It's not a direct connection but it works.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 4:11:27 PM PDT
You are absolutely correct. That is how I print using my set up.
Posted on Jul 29, 2012 5:23:25 AM PDT
Selden Deemer says:
Google and Verizon have not shaken hands well on 3G. The problem seems to be that the meids required for 3G activation are not in Verizon's system. Contact a Google Ninja for support; they will contact Verizon and make sure that the meid gets in Verizon's system, and you should be able to activate within 24-36 hours. Use Ctrl-Alt-t to bring up a terminal window, then type modem status. On the 7th line under the GetStatus: section, you will see the meid, which is a 14-character alphanumeric string.
3G is the primary reason I bought another Chromebook after dropping my first one (the Cr-48 prototype) one too many times. While Wi-Fi is nearly ubiquitous, it isn't everywhere, and when none is available, a 3G connection is a lifesaver. Compared with the price of a Wi-Fi hotspot plus monthly usage charges, over 24 months a Chromebook is essentially a free purchase.
Re printing, there are two obscure features that are very useful. First, you can cloudprint to a Fedex/Kinkos shop anywhere in the country. Just walk in, key in a transaction number, and out comes your print. Second, I recently acquired a Nexus 7 tablet, and cloudprint can "print" a file straight to the tablet, where it arrives as a PDF.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 8:27:14 PM PDT
So are you saying that if I have an old fashion printer, I can't print using this thing?
Also, if I want to write an paper, do they have an app for microsoft word? Or do I have to use google documents for that? Seems to not function very well using my window 7 on google docs. I like word better.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 5:28:35 AM PDT
If you have a main computer connected to that printer, with Chrome browser runnning, you can print from your chromebook using Cloud Print. That's how my set up works. Again, I stress that this is not meant to be a sole computer for someone! I use it more than I do my MacBook, but there are still things I must use the mac for; it sounds like you have a windows 7 computer. If you have it connected to your printer and Chrome browser running, it shouldn't be a problem to print.
Google Docs can be a bit frustrating, though it is constantly being updated. I typically prefer the look of Word as that's what I'm used to as well. Microsoft also offers a FREE cloud document service; if you have a hotmail account (or their new outlook account), you can access SkyDrive, where you can create docs, excel spreadsheets, presentations. It looks more like the Office sweet that you're used to, though many of the more complicated functions aren't there. However it has most of what 95% of people need.
I would recommend checking that out to see if you like the look any better. There is no "app" for MS Word on Chromebook.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 5:32:45 AM PDT
Agree with you entirely. Verizon and Google are becoming notorious for not playing well together. If it weren't for my legacy unlimited data plan I would be gone and done with VZW entirely.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 7:18:18 AM PDT
thanks, I am thinking of getting it. I mostly just do everything online so i need something like this. But then there are stuff that I use such as microsoft office for things i have to get done. With google docs being not very responsive as the offline version of microsoft office, its doesn't suit me.
This is a 3g chrome book. How much is it monthly for the 3g service? Is it unlimited? If I get this, and if its not unlimited, might go with the 4g service that gives off wifi devices such as clear. But they have horrible customer service, so might try another carrier.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 8:03:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2012 8:04:02 AM PDT
The included 3G service gives you only 100 mb free per month, for two years. It's a bit of a headache to set up, and what I have ended up doing mostly is using the free tethering app on my android phone and connect the Chromebook via WiFi that way. If you are only checking email or reading the news, or even updating online documents, the 100 mb lasts longer than you would expect. However any kind of pages with media start gobbling it up very quickly. You can buy an additional 2 GB for $20; the issue I have with that is it expires after 30 days regardless of how much you've used.
I'm afraid if you're going to plan on using this offline frequently you'll probably end up regretting your purchase. Not trying to be negative but just want to shoot you straight before you sink several hundred dollars into it.