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Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 71 reviews
on June 23, 2011
Quick points:
- Yes, it DOES work offline. There are loads of apps and games that do work offline, and offline mode is coming to Gmail, Docs, and Calendar very soon (this summer)
- Web apps are nearing the usefulness of actual desktop apps
- The vast majority of people don't need Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, or a 4GHz processor
- Web apps are the future. They are compatible with any OS that has a browser, which is basically every OS
- Seems even more secure against viruses than a Mac
- No more paying for OS updates like you do with Mac or Windows
- Don't need antivirus software running all the time
- Open sourced OS is very technologically ethical, meaning more progress and more transparency in terms of what is going on inside OUR computers
- The browser was becoming an OS itself already for while, Google is just separating it
- Super fast start up time and long battery life are great pluses
- What about music/video offline? It can't do that with a web app RIGHT NOW (it almost certainly will in the future, but you can easily download any kind of media (yes it does have internal storage like some critic say it doesn't), or you can put media on a SD card from another computer and pop it into this when you cant to watch a movie on a plane or something
- the price IS very good. some people say it's too expensive for what it offers, citing the processor and the almost comparable price of a Windows PC. They are overlooking the fact that this has a solid state drive, which is a huge plus, that a PC running anti-virus software all the time slows down the processor, that most people don't NEED the desktop OS anymore, and a vast array of other reasons, including far superior build quality.

If you want to try this already extremely functional laptop, and are ready to jump into the future of operating systems, you can expect improvements in leaps and bounds very quickly, as Google will update everything in the background, and everything will get faster and better, and your experience will improve over time.
1515 comments| 260 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 6, 2011
I've had my Chromebook for about a week now, and so here are my initial impressions.

I think the title of my post sums it up pretty well. I do not, in any way, expect Chromebooks to become a significant player in the laptop market. At least not anytime in the foreseeable future. It is simply too limited in its capabilities (in present state, anyway-- it will only get better). It will, for obvious reasons, never make your PC or Mac obsolete. Virtualization will help.

But, if you buy it to complement your existing PC/Mac for the right reasons, you won't be disappointed. What are those reasons?

-The internet with no frills.
-Mobility, with its small size and the free or pay as you go 3G.
-Freedom from the leash that ties you to a power outlet.
-The cloud! Music Beta, Picasa, Google Docs, etc
-(Nearly) Endless room for the O/S and experience to develop

What are the downsides I've seen so far?

-Not sure this is a downside for everyone, but I do feel sort of claustrophobic always being in a browser. Not that I am yearning for programs... just a desktop... or something...
-Sort of along that line, I never felt that "wow" factor when I started using this as I did buying new technologies in the past. To me, there's nothing that is stunningly novel, other than the concept. It's a Chrome browser.
-It is slightly underpowered. It stutters a bit when streaming HD video. And in general, if you're doing multiple things at once (streaming music, loading heavy pages), it starts to feel a little sluggish. I really would've liked to see a second core. If handled correctly, that wouldn't even harm battery performance. I'd pay a premium for it, for sure.
-When you see something about Samsung's intelligent charging technology, you should read that as "slow" charging technology. I'm on board, as long as their promise of battery longevity holds true. But it's worth noting that once your battery does finally hit 0%, you'll be tied to the wall for 3+ hours before the 6-cell is back up to full.
-I'd like to see more multitouch gestures for the trackpad.

Ok, I'll touch on the laptop itself quickly: I really like the design. The screen, as advertised, is very bright, and I love that it's matte. The laptop is sturdy, and the keyboard is well executed. Pressing the buttons is decidedly satisfying. The trackpad is big and responsive. I don't like having to click the whole pad down, but enabling "tap to click" remedies that. Uncommonly used ports have covers, nice touch.

To wrap it up-- I bought this because most of what I do these days on my laptop is cruise the internet. I didn't like using my bulky laptop for that, especially given its high electron diet. I still keep that PC handy for gaming or streaming video over HDMI through my home theater, but for day to day surfing and for traveling, I expect I will come up with little reason to regret this purchase.
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on October 24, 2011
She has access to the following an uses them in this order:

1. 2 year old kindle - 40% of her computer time - books
2. samsung chrome book - 30% of her computer time - web, gmail, google docs, amazon music and word games
3. google tv - 10% picasa, youtube and netflixs
4. xoom - 10% 360news and foods
5. asus eee - linux ubuntu
6. 18.5" acer laptop - linux ubuntu
7. dell desktop running linux ubuntu - got tired of windows operating system viruses and the required payments to anti virus software companies - and how slow they made windows run.

The chromebook is lite, instant on/off, easy on her lap, has a very good keyboard - and again she does not need to worry about windows operating system viruses. Plus when she has visitors it is very easy to share her chromebook.
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on September 28, 2011
First off, this is designed for a certain type of user. If you aren't ok with having everything in a cloud then this isn't for you.

Set up was a piece of cake. Turn it on and let it update then some minor setup and you are good to go. Very easy, maybe a 20 minute process most of which was waiting for the update to finish.

Instant on. Doesn't get any better than that.

Battery life is amazing. I always wanted something small and compact that I could bring to work and use all day without having to lug around a charger. I have an iPad2, which is great, but isn't the best if you need to use it to create documents and type. This solved that issue. I run it from 8am to 6pm, and when I get home and put it in the charger it usually still has around 14% battery life(which is almost 2 hours of use left).

The ability to change the theme of the chrome os is great as well. For people with short attention spans when it comes to technology, it allows you to change the appearance of your browser so you will never get bored with what you look at.

You can use an SD card for external storage if you want to save files, however using the cloud allows you to save most documents without storage.

Having multiple users be able to sign in with their gmail account is great as well, perfect if you want to share the chromebook with family/friends.

If you are the type of person that lives on the internet and can deal with not having a traditional laptop then this is a good buy. The Samsung model is the much better buy, and it comes with 100mb of data a month from Verizon for 2 years! Go buy it!
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on August 2, 2011
I purchased this notebook to evaluate its use for students in a K-12 academic setting, where students and faculty all use Google Apps as their productivity/communication/collaboration tool, so this review will address the Chromebook from that perspective. If you are new to the use of Google Apps suite of tools, this notebook might not be the best fit for you until you've experienced what GA for business, education, or enterprise has to offer. Most folks who are panning this device clearly were looking for something else upon purchase.

We recently have become a Google Apps school, where students in grades 2-12 grade have access to school GA accounts (with graduated privileges as they get older). Being an all-Mac school, we have certainly done our share of pondering the role of iPads in students hands. With the initial swell of popularity, I think that there has been a slight "pressure" to make the them fit as a tool that every student should have in their backpacks; as a textbook replacement AND productivity device. While content publishers have been dragging their feet to jump into creating widespread electronic content for the iPad, we "hear it's coming" and would have already been making plans to put iPads into the hands of our students if they would function better as a PRODUCTIVITY device. Google already has the collaborative environment down with its GA services, yet with Apple locking horns with Google, refuse to allow its iOS to access GA in a fully functional environment without using a crappy, watered down mobile version of the site or with the use of cumbersome 3rd party workarounds to create and share documents.

Enter this Chromebook. As much as I hate to admit it, I would estimate upwards of 85% of student work on the computers at our school is based upon productivity software (word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation) and internet-based activities. From that standpoint, this Chromebook (coupled with their GA accounts) quickly and efficiently addresses the VAST majority of what students need at school and at home, at a very attractive price point. I would have no reservation recommending this device to any parent of a middle school-high school aged child if they use GA at school. Throw in the token 100mb of free 3G Verizon service (with the ability to have similar iPad data pricing plans), now our "commuter" children can spend time in transit to/from school getting a head start on their school work, not to mention take it with them on any trip away from home.

Positives:
* Great screen/keyboard size
* Decent construction
* Lightweight
* Very crisp picture
* Love the function keys replaced with meaningful internet "shortcut" controls
* Love the "instant-on" feature; would really save time in a classroom
* FAST CONNECTION SPEEDS (even with the 3G)

Negatives:
Mostly Verizon-based at this point.
* Verizon still does not have any information listed on its website as to the different data plans explicitly regarding Chromebooks. I know this device is fairly new, but the first two people I spoke with on the phone didn't know what a Chromebook was. It took me 3 different people all-together just to get my 100mb plan rolling, and it was certainly not a 1-2-3 step process (though not too bad). I would think that if Verizon is giving away data, they would want to make it much more convenient for folks to be knowledgeable about how to spend money with them (something Apple is SUPERB at doing).
* I am a little spazzy with the touchpad; you really have to make an effort to remove your "pointing" finger before you click with your thumb (or you end up displaying a right-click action). Apple products seem to be much less "touchy" in this regard.
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on October 2, 2011
I LOVE this machine. I know it is not for everyone because of their needs but for me, it's perfect. I am not a
tech guy that got the test computer, I think of myself as more of a regular business guy worried about my calendar, email, word processing, online banking, quickbooks online, news websites, Netflix, Spreadsheets, to do lists, linked In , twitter, facebook. I thought long and hard before I purchased it, and as long as you are a fan of the google versions of these, specifically google docs then this is the perfect machine. I already ran a lot of my life on Google. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar. So your decision to purchase this has a lot to do with whether living in the Google World makes sense for you. You can try that world for free before you buy. This machine does what I want perfectly. I go home for the weekend and use it multiple times a day and there is no need to plug it into the charger. It is light weight, the screen is bright, easy to type on. I don't turn it off until I go to bed, I just close the lid to put it to sleep and then open it and I am off and running almost instantly.

I think this product is misunderstood by many. If your needs for a laptop are like me then you should consider it. You can do a lot more with it then me because of all the Google Aps, which I have loaded lots of cool ones. But I still use it like I said above. For me it's what I want.
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on September 3, 2011
(full disclosure: I have been a Google fanboy for years)
Aside from an embarrassing personal FAIL during set up (who knew the touchpad clicks?!), this product has been my reliable, instant-on go-to gadget for weeks. I researched the Chromebook and reviews pretty thoroughly before jumping and have been delighted with it...nothing but the web...and extensions...and Google Books...and GMail...
3G from Verizon has been a snap to setup (and to renew; a warning at 50MB, then click-through to purchase when Free data has expired).

So there's no DELETE key...I'm over it.
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on December 4, 2011
I have been cloud-only with all of my important stuff for years now, and made the switch to open source OS's on my personal machines even earlier so I was (and remain) very excited for the advent of Chrome OS.

So I wanted very much to like this machine. I don't want to have to mess with OS installs and settings and I'm comfortable with a "cloud-only device".

Unfortunately, the performance on this machine is frankly pathetic. Scrolling is so slow I feel like I'm in the 90's, despite every other device on my wifi network performing smoothly. Pages stutter or hang with consistent regularity.

If it weren't for the horrible performance I'd recommend this machine without reservations. I imagine it's hardware-related. The other big gotcha for me is a Chrome limitation - inability to resize windows. Every tab you open is full-sized and you have to switch between tabs, which is a huge step backwards if you're used to having several windows/tabs visible simultaneously.

I guess I'll be getting a $500 laptop and putting Ubuntu on it again until Chrome OS matures a bit.
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on October 11, 2011
For what I mostly use it for; writing and researching online - the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook is a perfect fit for me. I can do anything I need to get done with it currently. I even learned to use Pandora for listening to music online as an alternative background environment for my writing and research episodes. To me it's the perfect computer for what I wanted it for. And it doesn't require a lot of tech on my end. Pretty much seems to run itself.

I know a lot of people like the tablets out there; but to me, the free Verizon Wireless was a very solid reason to go with the Google Chromebook. 100 MB of free 3G access for 2 years was a no brainer. FREE is free. If it's included; it's a deductible from the price. (ATT charges $15 monthly for 100 MB.)

There are also add-ons you can use to write a few things offline and store on your system. For work related stuff, I do use offline Gmail. Offline saves time with limited 3G connection issues. Saving to a USB accessed drive (or MP3 player) isn't possible as far as I know; unless you mess with the t-terminal settings in administrative mode. (I do NOT do that.) I pretty much use it as it is. As far as I can tell, all is well with it.

Had an incident with Verizon Wireless where we had to reset the modem via t-terminal and administrative access. Seems to be working fine since then.

Overall: 5 Stars. The machine was/is a perfect fit for me.
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After using the Samsung Chromebook for a few weeks, it's really hard for me to want to use any of my other computers. It's quick, it's sleek, and it does most everything I need from a desktop/laptop computer without any extra annoyances.

Admittedly, it took a little while to get used to the all-web interface (and I'm a very adaptable sort of cutting-edge guy). It was also a little bit buggy/beta at first, but I can't really lower their score for that because Google was really responsive about fixing bugs and their first OS update had the fixes I needed. They always have a few new fixes and features coming through the pipeline.

Once or twice, since I've had the Chromebook, I actually had to log into one of my other computers (which had a really fast processor), and using any other OS provides a painfully slow experience. If you're adaptable and open-minded to a new computing experience, I give this product my highest recommendations.
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