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Showing 1-10 of 4,752 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,478 reviews
on November 21, 2012
First off, I am an admitted IT Geek. I have a computer science degree and have spent my entire career working in IT on everything from mainframes to wearable computers. I really know computers inside and out. I want to provide some perspective about the Chromebook by a person who spends 10-12 hours on some type of computing device every day.

So why would I ever buy a device like this? Well, I ordered the Chromebook to evaluate it for my parents. They are not tech savvy at all. They have a Kindle Fire and an iPad, but when they do write e-mails and want to do other tasks, the pads are just not enough. They are computer users and media consumption people. What I found out during my work with the Chromebook is that it is the right computer for me too. Now, off to the review...

First off the Google Chromebook is computer unlike anything coming from the minds of Apple or Microsoft. Something on the surface that an IT Geek like me probably wouldn't like. It doesn't have a full-blown operating system like OSX nor is it a mobile platform like Android. It is something in between, it is ChromeOS. It is very fast, very reliable, and is perfect for doing your everyday tasks. If you mostly read e-mail, write notes, run spreadsheets, develop presentations, chat, Facebook, and surf, you should read on.

The Samsung Chromebook is very sleek, thin, and light. It is somewhat similar in form to a Macbook Air, but it's also close to a number of the new Ultrabooks. The feel in hand is very solid and doesn't seem like a $249 computer. The keyboard is very good; very solid feel and great action. If you type quickly (100+ wpm), you'll be happy to know this keyboard can keep up with you. The only better keyboard I've used in recent memory is the Air, but it's not far off.

When you open the box and lift the lid it automatically starts up in under 10 seconds. This is not coming up from sleep mode. That's its boot time from a cold start. The setup process is as painless as it can be. Attach it to your wireless network and if you have a gmail account, just login and you are done. I up and reading e-mail in my account in less than 5 minutes. The last out of the box Windows experience took nearly an hour before I was through all of the setup questions, patches, and add-ons.

Now that you are logged in, the simplicity of the system reveals itself. Effectively the entire Chromebook is a dedicated Chrome browser. Almost everything you do is in a Chrome browser window. There are applications included and that can be installed, but they all run inside of the Chrome framework. It is a new way to think about computing. And boy is it fast.

About the speed: Wow is the best way to describe it. I dare you to find a browser that is as responsive as the Chrome broswer on ChromeOS. All running on a tiny little ARM processor. This tiny little ARM processor is what gives the Chromebook its 7+ hour run time on a single charge. In practice a lot of this depends on what you are doing. If you want to stream 7 hours of YouTube videos, you're probably going to be disappointed, but for practical all-day off the charger use, I'm seeing that performance easily. It also charges like lightening, so if you throw it on the charger for an hour at lunch, you won't need to worry about it into the evening.

Back to why I am keeping the Samsung Chromebook. The device does what I need to do 95% of the time during my work day and 99% for the rest of my life. All of this in a very sleek, inexpensive, and portable package. I still have my work computer, a Lenovo i7 based monster, but it is huge, heavy, and doesn't have nearly the battery life or portability of the Chromebook. I now leave that laptop in the docking station on my desk and carry around the Chromebook and that is the computer I take home. I suppose if I was still spending the majority of my time writing C# I would need a different tool, but the Chromebook is the right tool for me.

Pros and Cons?

This introduces an interesting point of view. What can we really compare the Chromebook to? There is nothing else that is in it's class, so I guess I'll focus primarily on functionality.

Pros:
-Inexpensive (I didn't say cheap)
-Light
-Fast
-All Google-Centric (this can also be a Con)
-Very simple to setup and use
-Long battery life
-Good build quality
-Good keyboard
-Good library of add-on applications (yes, another app store)
-Everything for one price (Hardware, Operating System, Storage, Office Applications)

Cons:
-Not a full-blown operating system
-Doesn't run Mac, iOS, Windows, or Android applications...none of them, it can't
-All Google-Centric (this can also be a Pro)
-Some apps you know and love aren't available yet, maybe never (Netflix is one)
-Not as mainstream as either full-blown computer platforms or mobile platforms

I gave the Samsung Chromebook 4 stars because it's really good, but not perfect. Bottom line, this is a new device that lives somewhere between tablets and full-blown traditional computers. It is a great consumption device with a full keyboard for doing some serious work (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, and web-based applications). I recommend that you give it a shot, I think you'll really like it.
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on November 2, 2012
I'm a student. I need something to carry around that I won't worry about losing, breaking, or someone stealing. I won't bring my Apple laptop to school due to theft increases lately. On that note, I wanted something for web browsing, typing papers in the library egg chairs and had a keyboard/trackpad combo. I found it.

This is not for a poweruser. Don't fool yourselves, people. It's a tablet on steroids. Get that through your head when you purchase and use it. If you have any other expectations like some of the reviewers, well, you're honestly not the target audience. It's meant to be light and cost affordable. Sure, the screen isn't high resolution and it lacks expandable RAM and HD space. That's NOT what this computer is.

I've had the computer for a few days now and I love it. It's not super fast by any means; however, it gets the job done in regards to web browsing, finding papers for literature reviews and listening to rdio or Pandora. That's what I need this for. And most likely the average consumer. Face it, most college students buy $1000 Macbooks to look cool. For what? To facebook, stream music, and browse the web. Most people who do photo editing buy the 15" models with maxed out specs (like me). I don't want to bring that to campus. That's too much money to be slinging in my bag to just browse the web.

So, let me be clear. This laptop is excellent. The build quality is amazing for the price. Build quality is great of which I was surprised. The keyboard reminds me of the Macbook and the track-pad keeps up with my fast paced motions quite well. It's light and I can have four to five tabs open running different processes at ease. It does like to stutter when I do multiple things with a video running though. Expected for a tablet processor though. It keeps cool and charged for a days use. The front camera is great for chatting.

I will admit, this little computer will replace your daily use computer you lug around currently. I used the Chrome Remote Desktop today on campus and was amazed at the speed and ease. I was using my Macbook at home on campus without any hiccups like I experience with Logmein or those other clients. Accessing the 100GB of free storage was as simple as clicking a link. My music, documents and life are on the cloud. I can access them with ease. Printing is no problem for me, either.

This little beast will surprise you. Although, please, don't expect the world from this laptop. It's $250, folks.

P.S. I typed this from the Chromebook. No problems handling my typing speed. And ask questions if you need them answered.

UPDATE 11/24:

I've been using this for a good while now and I haven't had any regrets. The computer does what I need, when I want and I only miss running Netflix at school. That's ok though, I have other avenues for watching movies. They do plan on updating and that's a problem with Netflix, not Google. Printing is simple as it seems to be a very common question. To clicks on your computer and you're done. They have been updating the OS and the Chromebook is acting a little better now. Overall, I'm still loving it. Just remember, it's NOT for everyone.

UPDATE 02/06/13:

I love this computer. It is all I use around campus and for class lectures. I barely use Microsoft Office for my notes or spreadsheets in class. Google Drive and their office version is just awesome. If you do a lot of team-based activities, please, just use Google Drive. Keep your documents available to you at all times and collaboration is simple. It has made my life much easier. Just thought I'd let you all know.

UPDATE 04/11/13:

Netflix now works!

UPDATE 07/10/13:

Now that the school season is upon us, I thought I would go ahead and write an update of my handy-dandy little Chromebook. Let's just say, it's still alive and working. Drops, falls, and tosses across the couch and slides across the table this little tabcom is doing well. Software wise, Google has been working at it and getting all the bugs out of the system to provide an even more fluid experience. I love having the ability to use Google Print from ANYWHERE I am and have it waiting for me when I need it. Everything syncs up across platforms and this has really come in hand during projects. Just try the Google Docs as a team compared to Word with Review and you won't go back when doing initial collaboration. Battery is still holding up to 8-10 hours (I know, right)- that's with smart use of the brightness. I honestly don't know what else to say. It works and is the perfect complement for my Macbook that is collecting dust at home. The Macbook is used via my Google Remote Connection and it's just wonderful. No lag or anything like I've had with LogMeIn and the other one. And like always, ask questions if you have them. And I almost forgot to add that Spotify works in the browser just as well as the PC version. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon streaming does work contrary to the other review posted saying the opposite. Cheers!

FINAL UPDATE:

The Chromebook is an excellent computer for those looking for something light. It won't do everything a full laptop will do and there are privacy concerns of the all-mighty Google. The question to ask yourself though is if you are really secure online? You can get a better laptop as some commentators have stated and that is very true. You can get a nice, heavy computer to carry around and worry about. This Chromebook offers you peace of mind that you can throw it around and not worry about it being stolen (as long as you have a good password on your Google account). It works for me and I'm sure it works for the MAJORITY of others. I've had it for nearly a year and it is only getting faster, not slower. I hope you will take the time to see if it works for you. If not, we live in a world full of other gadgets and tools to fit our lives. I will be removing myself from the comments as there has been a strong output of support from other owners. Live long and prosper!
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on December 13, 2012
I so wanted to love this device and give it a high rating but there are some issues. Actually, near as I can tell, one big issue that cost it the 5-star rating it should get.

First off, people need to understand what this product is for and its purpose. It's a new way of imagining the computer experience where everything is online and in the cloud. This is nothing particularly new, and most people do this already, but Google and the Internet are the apps now instead of MS office and the like.

What's good about the Chromebook: the OS (such as it is) is minimalist, sleek and elegant. It's snappy and efficient and pretty. If you've ever used Chrome (or, really, any web browser) you'll be right at home here. It (logically) integrates with Google services - which is great for me as a grad student, as I use Google Drive extensively for collaboration with students, fellow grad students and my academic adviser.

This is not to say the software is perfect or free from bugs, but bugs happen and I'm pretty forgiving of them.

Most of the hardware is good, too. The Exynos processor is just fine for most activities and it boots extremely quickly. the keyboard is great and the web-centered keys are great. The plastic body won't win any awards for value, but it feels well-put-together. The battery is a workhorse. And it's so light and thin it fits well in my bag.

The big problem, however, is the screen. And there are two problems with it. I don't know yet if it's a problem with drivers for graphics card or lack of optimization for the ARM architecture (if so, here's hoping Google gets that ironed out ASAP).

The first problem is ghosting or screen artifacts. You can see this if you drag a window across the screen or scroll text. Ghost lines of text streaking across the screen move with the text on the wallpaper.

The other problem, probably related to the first, is flickering when the cursor moves at all. Basically, any gradient loses most of the intermediate colors. This is less obvious with small gradients on a website for example. It's more of a problem if you use certain colors of wallpaper and the whole wallpaper has a seizure when the mouse moves across the screen. I don't know if this is a defect in my unit or if it's a normal thing that's one of the corners Samsung cut for this laptop. Still, it's irritating.

The bottom line is it's a great concept almost well-executed. If it weren't for the screen, it would get a perfect score in my opinion. Maybe the next generation will work that out. Or maybe a different unit will not have the issue at all.
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on November 3, 2012
I received this a day back and am overall satisfied. Could have been better but I accept the product with its limitations and still see inherent value in its price point in recommending it, albeit to a different audience.
First of all I had high hopes for this, I am tired of the Windows and Apple monopolies on OSes, I wanted something light, completely connected to the web as most of my needs are web based, hence the Chromebook.

Likes: Ease of use, the thing is a little tiger, just trying and trying to provide you with different Use Cases for it.
The keyboard though small, is ample to type on within 20 mins I was back to Windows level speed.
The new keys are actually an improvement over regular Fn keys, I use them way more.
Build quality is decent, I did notice that the screen can bend when pressure is applied, but the screen itself is nice and crisp.
Music and video play well, there are native apps for them, pretty neat out of the box.
Whole presentation is clear, and clean I like it.
The laptop worked with my keyboard/mouse combo through USB but I didnt like not using the new keys so reverted back to the laptop keyboard.
Free 100gb from Google, Im a cloud person, and have transferred all my documents to Google Drive and Skydrive, so this works seamlessly for me. Love it.

Cons
I was really hoping this would be a primary computer replacement, alas I doubt it:
1) I cant connect to my monitor, I purchased a HDMI to DVI adapter and there is no output.Major annoyance(I know Google is working on a fix though, along with extended desktop)
2) Citrix receiver doesnt work properly and the .ica files can't open, big annoyance.
3) If it doesnt work on my current monitor I doubt it would work on the Apple display I planned on purchasing.

Otherwise it's great, Im planning on buying 1 more for generic use around the house.
If I find answers to my Con list i'll update the review, or if someone has answers please reply.

Update1: I checked the HDMI output to a TV and another Monitor and it worked pretty well, so im guess it's a problem with my monitor. A friend told me that extended desktop support is coming really soon. Also using HDMI to Display Port you can view the output on an Apple Display i cant confirm this though.
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on September 17, 2015
Bought this almost 3 years ago and it still works! (Purchased: November 27, 2012.)
The only major issue I have had so far was the screen going out. However, that turned out to be an extremely simple fix. The cord that connects the monitor to the actual computer was coming unhooked. However 3 years of opening and closing this laptop daily will most likely cause issues with any laptop. All I had to do was carefully take off the frame around the computer screen. Unscrew 12 screws and gently plug the cord back into the monitor. Now it is working just like the first day I opened it back in 2012. It is currently 2015 and this has been my daily computer since I got it. I would definitely buy another.

Pros: Great for browsing the web. Google offers a lot of features to do school work online (Microsoft office alternatives.) However, I believe Microsoft Office now has browser versions of their applications. Fantastic light-weight laptop that works for browsing the web. Decent battery life, but after 3 years it has lost some of the original battery duration. I think it was originally 6 hours and now I get 3 - 4 hours.

Cons: I do experience lag often, videos can sometimes be skippy, has gotten slower with age & numerous updates. I powerwash mine once a month to keep it running smoothly as I notice lag when the on board memory begins to get filled up.

It is a "cloud" computer. The storage memory is 16gb, but only 11gb is usable since the OS needs space on the storage as well. If you just need a small, inexpensive laptop to browse amazon, reddit, google, youtube, listen to music, etc. I recommend this. Would I suggest buying this model specifically? Probably not in 2015 as there are plenty of different chromebooks that have been released in the past 3 years. Most of them have better specs and are either cheaper or the same price as this one. Go for a newer model. However, this is a fantastic laptop and if it ever drops to $99 I will definitely buy another 2012 model.
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on February 24, 2017
We bought two of these Chromebooks back in 2012 for our then 11 year old son and 14 year old daughter. They are still working despite the fact they have been dropped multiple times, have gone on every vacation, college visit, etc. The only thing wrong at this point is that after years of heavy use the screen goes in and out and you have to adjust the angle of the screen to get a clear image. This has happened with actual laptops we have owned previously that we paid more than $500 for and their screen issues all started within three years. The screen issue has to do with the opening and the closing of the device at the hinged area. I will be purchasing another chromebook or two (for my husband and I) by October of this year when the two we have reach their end of life date. Chromebooks are a very affordable way to have a device that handles most of what a person wants a laptop for, streaming, googling, email. They are not for college students, a true computer is needed. Save the money with your kids and get a chromebook. Wait to invest in a PC or Mac for when they go to college.
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on December 22, 2013
The price is what first enticed me. I got this when it was on sale for $199. For a laptop? Can't be beat. I am a heavy Apple user. I have a 13" MacBook Pro, a iPhone 5, an iPad 3 and an Apple TV. Needless to say, I love Apple products, but I needed a machine for work (I'm a teacher) and this fit the bill perfectly. And over the past week since I've owned it, I've actually been using it more than my MacBook Pro (can't believe it!)

It's thin, light and easy to use. Of course you're not buying this thinking it does everything a Mac or a PC can do, because everything is web-based and in the cloud. Basically if you can't do it on the internet, then you're limited. However, like MOST people, I do simple word processing (use Google docs) and internet surfing. For work, I answer e-mails, take attendance and input student grades.

If you're a heavy photo/video editor, gamer or a software developer or something, then this can't be your only computer. However, for everyday tasks, it's awesome.

LOVES:
* Fast, light and easy to use
* Only $199 (I caught it on sale)
* I can access ALL my iTunes music using Google Play Music (from my iPad & iPhone too, huge plus!)
* Amazon Instant Video & Netflix works great
* Printing is easy with a wireless printer.

The things I don't love about it are all things I knew before I bought it and I can still do from my MacBook. I can even use Java apps or other things I can't do on the Chromebook by using Remote Desktop to access my MacBook. That basically solves all those problems.

I would buy this again in a second. As long as you have your expectations adjusted and know exactly what you're buying, this machine is great.
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on March 17, 2016
We purchased a Chromebook after my husband retired his Sony VAIO laptop. We weren't looking for anything fancy - just something small, lightweight, portable, mainly to be used for browsing the web. The Chromebook seemed to fit the bill - plus, it was affordable and cheaper than laptops!

The Chromebook is lightweight at ~2.4 pounds, small, and sleek, with an 11.6 inch display, 2GB RAM, and 16 GB Drive. The device has 2 USB ports, a built-in webcam, dual band Wi-Fi, and runs a Chrome OS operating system. Battery life is approximately 6~7 hours. It has a modern appearance with a silver exterior, black keyboard, and multi-touch touchpad that is reminiscent of MAC/Apple laptops. As the Chromebook does not have a hard drive, it is designed to use internet apps to store and save files in the Cloud. 100GB of free Google Drive storage (for 2 years) is included with the purchase of a Chromebook.

The Chromebook did everything it was designed to do, but we missed the functionality of a laptop. These weren't huge deal breakers, but there were a few things that also bothered us. The entire exterior case of this product was very flimsy - it was so thin that when we had the Chromebook resting on the top of our legs, our legs would actually 'click' the touchpad from the bottom of the Chromebook. Our Chromebook would also get very hot while running. We also faced frequent internet connectivity issues, and although it didn't bother me, my husband complained about its poor screen resolution. Honestly, our favorite aspect of the Chromebook was its small size and portability. In the end, we ended up selling our Chromebook and purchasing a laptop.

I could see this product being useful for some, but only if they also have a working laptop they can use for other applications. Don't purchase this if you're looking for a laptop replacer because you'll end up being disappointed.
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on December 11, 2015
My high rating takes into account the fact that the seller was for some reason asking only $56 (shipped) for a used model on Amazon. I bought it because I couldn't resist paying only $56 and thought it might be fun to play around with, not because I needed another laptop. But it turns out I am using this daily instead of my aging Lenovo x220 Windows 10 laptop, which works but is no longer portable due to problems with the case.

If I had to pay more for this than $56, I would lower the rating to 4 stars because of the inherent limitations of the Chrome operating system.
Chrome was not originally designed to run software other than as extensions to the Chrome browser, but a lot of extensions are available, enabling you to do quite a variety of things both offline and online. Check out the Chromebook app store to see what is available. For example the Microsoft Online extension allows you to do all the usual Office things such as word processing and spreadsheets and can store documents on the Chromebook as well as on the cloud so you can work on documents offline.

One limitation of a Chromebook is printing. A Chromebook is not capable of driving a printer connected to it and does not recognize windows network printers, but it will print though my "cloud printer" which directly access the internet and which is set up to receive documents the Chromebook sends to it via the Google cloud print service.

To overcome the inability of a Chromebook to run software, you can install Ubuntu, with Chrome and Ubuntu booting concurrently allowing you to switch back and forth by pressing a hot key. No rebooting required. I tried it on this machine and Ubuntu seem to work, but I didn't test it extensively before restoring the machine to Chrome only. I am reasonably familiar with Linux, but don't really like to use it.

Another way to expand the machine's capability is to convert Android apps to run on the Chromebook. Google is encouraging developers to do that and some of these converted apps, such as Evernote, are available on the Chrome app store. There is also a Chrome app (ARC Welder) available that lets you convert Android apps to run on Chromebook. I tried it on a few apps and was able to convert one of them, but the appearance of the app on the Chromebook left a little to be desired. Skype does not have a version that runs on Chromebook, but there are instructions on the net for converting the Android Skype app to run on Chromebook. I tried it but couldn't get it to work.on this machine.

I have read that Andriod conversions and Ubuntu work better on Chromebooks that have Intel processors. This Chromebook does not have an Intel processor.

For me, the best approach to expanding the capability of the Chromebook was to set it up to (sort of) run Windows. Chrome has a remote desktop app that allows the Chromebook to view and remotely operate a Windows computer using Chrome's "Remote Desktop" application. I set up my old Lenovo x220 Windows laptop to run remotely, but you could use any windows machine remotely even a laptop with a broken display, or a desktop running without a display. My X220 laptop has an I3 processor that uses very little power when the display is off, and I just let it run all the time, connected to my router via an ethernet cable. The X220 won't run with the display turned off unless there is an external monitor connected to it. But you can fool a laptop into thinking there is an external monitor connected to its VGA port by inserting the leads of a 50-100 Ohm resistor into two pins of the laptop's VGA connector. One of the pins is the red, green or blue output pin and the other pin is one of the grounds. You can search the net to find a chart of the pins on a VGA connector. With the resistor in place, you can set the graphic options to output only to the phantom VGA monitor. You should also set the power options so that the laptop does not go to sleep when the lid is closed. If your windows machine has only an HDMI display port it may be necessary to plug a $15 display emulator dongle into the HDMI output port in order to fool it into thinking an external monitor is connected. The emulator is available on Amazon. If your windows machine does not have internal speakers, it may be necessary to connect an earphone into its speaker output port in order for the remote desktop software to forward sound from the windows machine to the Chromebook.

Both my X220 and the Chromebook run the free Chrome remote desktop software from the Chrome store. With a press of a button on the Chromebook, the X220's desktop appears on my Chromebook instead of the Chromebook desktop, and I am able to operate the X220 remotely using the Chromebook keyboard and display. The response is very good on my local network When I need to do something I can't do on the Chromebook, I just press the button and use the X220. I can do this from anywhere in the world. As a side benefit, a Chrome remote desktop app also allows my Android phone to access the X220 desktop. .

If you do not also have a more fully capable computer, a Chromebook may not serve all your computing needs. However if you have a windows machine that you can set up for remote desktop, a Chromebook can become a much more useful laptop for not much money. I find my myself using this $56 Chromebook as my primary
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on April 2, 2014
I resisted the whole Google Docs stripped down cloud based computer thing because I believed the word-processing program was not sophisticated enough to meet my needs. As an academic, I write documents that are footnote heavy, and I thought I needed all the feature of the bloated and inelegant Microsoft Office Suite. I was wrong. Google Docs has all of the important features I need to produce academic papers, and I can deploy most of them more easily and efficiently than they deploy on Word. It is perfectly compatible with Word, and moving a document back and forth between Word on my office computer and Google Docs on my chromebook--making changes and additions each time--was seamless and created no issues. This Samsung chromebook is as portable as an iPad, but much better for writing than tablets, which are primarily consumption, not production devices. The easy sync via Google Drive, (100 gigs storage for two years free) make me regret that I recently paid for a year of Dropbox in advance. And while Dropbox does a few things better than Google Drive, Google Drive does a few things better than Dropbox as well. I am likely to go out and buy a Chrome box for my home office next. My employer is still invested in maintaining the old clunky MS Office Suite on my work desktop, and there are a (very) few formatting features that Word has that are missing in Google Docs. I can easily convert a final draft of my work to Word for making final formatting changes and for sending off to journals and publishers (who generally require Word Docs). But I see little reason to struggle with MS Office Products on a daily basis.
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