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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 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 October 24, 2012
***Updates To My Review At The End***

My background: I'm a gadget geek but I'm not super devoted to any platform. I do love Google's web products but never used their hardware. My laptop is a 13" MacBook Pro and my desktop is a Mac Mini that runs both OS X and Windows 7 (I spend more time on Win 7 these days). I have an iPad (3rd gen) and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx along with a docking station. My wife has a Win 7 ultrabook, Kindle Fire HD and Razr Maxx, all of which I purchased for her.

I'm an editor for a web-based publication so my usage is primarily writing and some light (very light) image editing. I've done most of my writing on Google Docs for a long time because it automatically saves and I hate writing directly into the CMS. We also use Google Apps Business for e-mail, calendaring and doc sharing so that rocks.

The last thing I need is another computer but Chromebook called to me. A couple of reasons:

- The docking solution wasn't great. The keyboard was crap, my phone got unusually hot and interacting with the CMS was hit and miss with the phone OS. It was good for e-mails.
- An iPad with a keyboard is garbage. I've tried it and hit the same issues. It is just clumsy for my primary work. I still travel with an iPad because it is light and its battery is a rockstar and can do in a pinch.
- The laptop is fine but it is a beast to carry. I just got back from a week-long jaunt to three conferences and I think my shoulder is broken from my shoulder bag.
- I love my phone and tethering has been a lifesaver. No complaints.
Okay, enough background. Now to the actual review.

Unboxing wasn't particularly impressive but I don't really care. Standard laptop box with the laptop, an AC adapter and Chrome sticker. I plugged it in and it was at about 75%. Now about an hour later, it is nearly charged.

When I pulled it out of the box, it almost felt like a laptop that didn't have a battery in it (remember that?). Anyway, it feels solid closed up. I don't have any problem throwing this in my engineer's bag and feeling like it will get screwed up. The AC adapter is your standard black box with two cords.

I opened up the lid and it started immediately. It asked me to connect to my wifi connection and then proceeded to download the latest update of the operating system (version 23 according to the info in Chrome). After a quick reboot, I put in my Google credentials and it loaded everything I use in my Chrome browser normally, including my apps and bookmarks.

Opened up, the build quality showed a few weaknesses but nothing major. There's a little give on the keyboard and palm rest. I didn't feel any problems holding the laptop from its corner. It feels very solid overall. The thing to remember, of course, is that I came from a unibody MacBook Pro so take that for what it is worth.

The keyboard blew my expectations away. I figured it would be fairly cramped and that my typing speed would suffer. I figured the action wouldn't be very good either. But, coming from a MacBook Pro chiclet keyboard to this was a cinch. I feel very little difference in typing speed or accuracy. This was really a big deal for me. I tried the HP Mini a few years ago and it was awful. A few millimeter difference is it.

The trackpad is very good though not as top notch of a comparison as the keyboard. It is very Mac-like in using it. The two finger swipe gestures, right-clicking, dragging, etc... it all operated like I expected. I'm a tapper, not a clicker so that may have something to do with it. It doesn't seem like it is quite as accurate or response as the MacBook Pro but still very good.

The screen isn't great but it isn't a dealbreaker. For text, it performs adequately but not spectacularly. For video, it is quite adequate, maybe above average but again, not fantastic. The screen brightness isn't what it could be, I feel like it is a tick or two off what should be standard brightness. But, I am also used to glossy screens and even with the brightness, the matte screen seems to do okay. I work right next to south-facing windows and even though we have no sun here in Seattle, it gets fairly bright and it seems good in these conditions. The viewing angles aren't going to impress anyone but it works for me.

The speakers seem to be pretty good and loud enough. They are optimal for use on a desk rather than a lap though as the sound gets muffled a bit by clothing. I put on Pandora One and the sound through my nice $100 studio headphones sounds pretty good with the top volume topping out just right. Using my Apple headphone/mic combo, it worked well in a hangout. One thing is that the headphone jack seems very tight.

I hit my first snag when I tried to do HDMI out. It didn't seem to work. Then I read a bit more and got it to work with the Ctrl+Full Screen and that seemed to do it. Depending on your monitor, your results may vary. It actually looked great on my LCD TV (including sound) but the resolution needs to be adjusted. It didn't look good (ironically) on my Samsung 21 inch monitor. There might be some settings I'm missing on either side but it's not a huge deal. Testing the video on the 1920x1080 HDTV, it worked great other than the overscanning.

The camera is something that Monet would appreciate. You'll get the gist of it but this is no HD cam. It is good for basic pictures and compares unfavorably to the front-facing camera on my Droid Razr Maxx.

After an hour of use off the charger, the heat situation is non-existent. This thing is creepily quiet and cool to the touch except for a few warmer spots. I will end up watching a movie to see how it reacts but that would be a nice change. Even my iPad gets warmer.

I had no opportunity to try out the bluetooth or the SD card reader. I will be getting a 32 GB SD card. I did try out a USB drive and it seems to be working just fine.

Getting into the software and how it drives on the ARM processor, I was pretty impressed. I opened about 18 tabs (which is well beyond my max, typically) and I had Pandora running in the background the entire time and didn't get a stutter. At times, the load was sluggish but again, I am switching between this and a MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a dual-core i5. But I really expected this to be flawless when using the web. As long as you don't go crazy with tabs or the apps you are driving in them, you should be good.

Watching videos, outside of the screen quality, was really quite smooth. From someone who bought the original Kindle Fire and saw it stumble with streaming video for just $50 less, I was super-impressed. I don't know if power-users will love it but it works with my slightly-lowered expectations.

That being said, this is a web enabled device and there are a few (very few) apps that I use regularly.

My stand-alone apps that I use regularly is chat (Google and AIM) and Tweetdeck. Both Tweetdeck and imo seem to work pretty good in a browser. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

I also know that Skype doesn't work great right now. I am using it through imo but, at least as far as I can tell, I can't make dial-out calls like the Skype app allows on all of my other devices. This, including no support for a USB headset, would make it tough to make this a full-time replacement. I live on Skype as a dial-out provider (Google dial-out will not allow me to use certain conference call providers plus Skype is great for connecting with people worldwide with ease). I'm hoping a promised webapp version is coming soon. On the plus side, Skype works great on my cell and iPad.

I turned off the wifi connection and it worked liked it should. You need to turn on offline mode in Gmail and Google Drive in order for it to work but after that, it worked like it always has. Games that I had loaded for offline mode worked. Offline, this is a pretty limited machine but not unduly so.

Chrome remote desktop worked particularly well. Granted, I was using it on the same network but there was no lag on the software side of using it. I was, again, thoroughly impressed with the graphics. Though, one thing would be to allow me to select which screen I view when I am using a dual-display.

I'm looking forward to Netflix capability but that's not ultra-critical right now for me. Amazon Instant works well for me, as does Hulu.

I'm taking only this when I go on an extended trip this weekend so I can update more on real battery life and any other real-world experiences of using it later.

Overall, this is what I expected and I am pretty happy with the purchase, especially as one of my first sight-unseen types of purchase. For my uses as a primary road writing device for blog posts and e-mails, this is a solid, solid play. And for $250, it's pretty unbelievable. All of this typed into the new Chromebook as well at my normal rate.

== UPDATE 10/28/2012 ==

Just took this thing on a weekend away without bringing my laptop. This is a big deal as even if I took my iPad, I would normally take my laptop as well. A couple of additional thoughts from 72 hours as my primary computer.

I did end up getting a SD Card (a 32 GB one from Amazon) and putting it in the SD card slot. Unfortunately, it sticks out from the side pretty well (about a centimeter looking straight down on it). I loaded it with a few movies and some music so I would have some tunes and movies for offline. The player works fine but is very basic. Other than wishing the SD card would seat all the way in, it is a good setup for leisurely watching movies solo.

I also did some extended work while my wife was driving. I typed two articles and I can't emphasize enough how good of quality this keyboard is. Even working it off of my lap, it performed beyond its price point.

I typed those articles offline and using Google Docs offline worked as expected. When I reconnected, my documents synced up no problem. This worked exactly like it had on my MacBook Pro whenever I took it on a flight without wifi so no surprises there.

Under normal use, the battery is probably going to be right there in the 6.5 hour range. Google could have pushed this spec. Working offline with the screen brightness at 50%, I was able to squeeze a little over 2 hours into 25% of battery life.

Speaking of brightness, the ambient light sensor works pretty well. Maybe a little too good in the car as it would dim slightly as we went under overpasses on the freeway.

The other thing I wanted to do is try out the some games. I played Angry Birds because I could compare it across all devices and the Chromebook is definitely lagging in performance. It was just a step behind and could be a bit choppy. I also tried the most popular game Entanglement and it seemed to perform well though it is simple. I also did a fantasy basketball draft on Yahoo sports and it was also a step behind.

I'll also mention that the first time I loaded up Entanglement was the first time the Chromebook crashed on me. I don't imagine it will happen that often but the nice thing is that it recovered everything I had up in about 20 seconds. Also, it is the first time I noticed heat of any kind coming from the laptop at all. Not unusually hot but it will warm up some when going graphics and CPU intensive.

In any case, I stand by my 4 star review. Even with some minor performance issues and a few smaller issues with quality, this is still an excellent purchase. An improved screen and battery life would make it easier to look past the sometimes-lagging performance. I won't be getting rid of my MacBook Pro but I am looking forward to taking this thing on the road and getting a good chunk of the functionality without the weight.

== UPDATE 11/20/2012 ==

After about a month more with regular usage, a couple more notes.

After awhile, the Chromebook does warm up but not significantly. Again, I'm comparing this to other laptops. And really, you shouldn't be using a laptop on your lap anyway but some situations require it.

Closing the screen instantly puts it to sleep but I definitely have found that you can't keep just putting this thing to sleep time after time and not expect any lag. Eventually, something I loaded would make the Chromebook freeze and I'd have to restart. I've learned to simply shut this computer down rather than close the lid and let it sleep. With near instant boot time, it's not a big deal but that's definitely a change.

The keyboard on this thing is still a rockstar. Using it in poorly lit situations make me long for a bit of backlighting but I am really a touch typer at this point so it only slows me down when I am realigning my hands.

No degradation in performance. I've watched probably 6-7 ripped movies on this thing with no problems and no internet connection. Looking forward to taking this to my in-laws for Thanksgiving instead of my MacBook Pro.

== UPDATE 03/09/2013 ==

I haven't updated in awhile so I thought I would. I still use the Chromebook on a regular basis and thanks to the regular updates to the system, this version of the Chromebook now has swap enabled (at least in the beta channel). For those unfamiliar, previously when the Chromebook would run out of physical RAM, it would just start dumping inactive tabs (so it would require a refresh). It would, at times, get a bit laggy with too many tabs open.

With swap enabled, once you hit the top of your RAM usage, it starts using the hard drive as RAM. This means limited to no inactive tabs being dumped (I haven't seen one yet) and overall, faster usage under heavy workloads (10+ tabs).

In short, this computer has actually gotten faster and better since my last update.

A couple of issues still exist. Netflix still doesn't work. I've contacted Netflix and they say they are working on it. They've been saying the same for months though. Every other streaming service works (including Amazon Prime, Hulu and Comcast's streaming). If Netflix is a must and you don't have an alternative device (I use an iPad mini for it if I really need it), I wouldn't bet on this coming through anymore.

I would like to see more gestures using the trackpad as well, The two finger scrolling is nice but the three finger nav (especially for back) helps a lot. I can use the keyboard back button too, yes. But switching between using a Mac and the Chromebook makes it especially unnatural. More gestures!

There is a little bit of wear on the palm rests and some dings but nothing major as of yet. This thing still is great for writing (which is my primary use for it). It is so great and lightweight so it is easy to throw in a small bag for a day trip.

Overall, still very happy and it is even better with the speed and stability improvements with swap enabled.

== UPDATE 03/11/2013 ==

Just a quick update since I just updated but Netflix now works. I've tried it and it has been confirmed by many other users. Again, this has been a big ding against both Netflix and Google for not figuring this out but now it is working.
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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 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 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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It took me a while to move past the "Well, it's not really a laptop" and embrace the Chromebook, but once I did, I found a gorgeous little machine (it looks exactly like a mini Macbook, if that helps) which functions well, is incredibly quick to boot up and shut down, is insanely light weight (I swear my son's iPhone seems heavier than this computer, and serves most of my home-based needs. As others have said, set up is a breeze: just plug in, type in your gmail info, and 10 seconds later you're online with access to all of your Google based accounts. My primary home uses are watching Youtube, reading news sites, watching films on Amazon and Netflix, and responding to emails. If this sounds like you, then snatch this machine up tout de suite! This is the perfect computer to take out of the house (unlike my heavy Lenovo laptop and even my Asus which I fear to touch without scratching). It is solidly built and feels like an iPad sitting on your lap. And don't forget, the price for this can't be beat.

The only cons I have are as follows: the keyboard is a bit stripped down, which means that functions you are used to performing on a standard laptop must be done differently on this. For example, spellcheck works not by right-clicking on the misspelled word but by pressing "Alt" then left click on the word. Just little things like that, nothing major (so far. Fingers Crossed!). There is no delete key, so backspace must be used to clean up mistakes. And of course, no disk drive or hard drive (deletion of which made the machine both lighter and less expensive), but there are times I wish I could watch a DVD based film on the Chromebook. However, I have laptops which are designed to perform this function so it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. It is easy to watch Amazon and Netflix films on the Chromebook, and the resolution is amazing. The screen quality, while smaller in size than my other laptops, is much sharper and brighter. The sound quality is average to high average.
The possible problems I anticipate concern the OS. I have tried Google doc and while it's decent and probably serves most essay writing needs, I know there may be times in which I simply have to use Word. Microsoft Office and Lotus Office are the only writing software systems I have used, and little things about docs annoy me every time I use it. I worry about compatibility issues between the operating systems, but my son the techie assures me that they will convert without issue. Time will tell. However, the Google apps are free, functional, and accessible for anyone with a device using cloud technology. So if you're a student and just finished your essay on the Chromebook the night before, you can access it on your iPhone and print it out at school with no penalties for lateness (assuming that the teachers allow you to pop to the library). Due to the cost, portability, appearance, and functionality, the Chromebook could be a gamechanger in serving the tech needs of lower to middle income kids who previously did not have access to home computers. For that alone, Chromebooks should be voted technological advance of the year.
One last point: the battery life on this thing is extraordinary compared with its "big brothers." A simple one hour charge usually lasts me all day (unless I have insomnia and haunt Youtube all night). In contrast, my Asus lasted 3 hours at most and took about 1.5 hours to fully recharge. I hope this review helps to dispel any fears about whether or not this machine is worth it and what it can do. If your needs are close to mine, it will perform most of them exceptionally well, but you may wish to retain a standard laptop for hard-core document writing and research.
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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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on February 21, 2015
Overall I love this computer. The person who sold it to me was wonderful (some issues with delivery that he was very helpful with). The computer itself is lightweight, fairly indestructable given the plasticness of it all.
My big complaint about chrome is the assumption that one will always have access to the internet. There is minimal room for storage of data on the computer, and I've had trouble manipulating data that I have stored on a travel drive. I live in a part of the country that has spotty internet (Maine), and frequently find myself without access to anything that I need. Would love to be able to download and work on documents. I'm not great at hacking solutions, so need a computer that gives them to me easily, and this is not that computer. It also does not adapt well to standard programs such as word. Chrome is its own universe. I'm not a computer nerd, so probably should have picked up a computer that was a bit more adaptable. Having said that, it does most of what I need it to do, it was incredibly inexpensive, and the manufacturer was up front about the limitations (which google would not see as limitations). And, I'm writing this 3 years after buying the computer, with no signs of computer death on the horizon.
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on August 13, 2015
I purchased this in Sept. of 2013, so 2 years ago.
It is still working great! Most laptops are obsolete after 2 years, but my Chromebook still fits all my needs.

I've dropped it, sat on it, stepped on it (My husband had to replace the screen after that incident - took him 5 minutes).

Things I like about it:
Light weight
Doesn't get hot
Easy to use
Fits in my backpack
Holds its charge
Everything??

Things I don't like:
Nothing.

This serves it's purpose as an "Internet machine" and worked great for me while I was in school and for easy browsing at home.
I could easily bring it to school and then take it out and do work on it anywhere because it fits on my lap.

Would definitely buy again, but I don't know when I will as long as this one is going strong!
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