Samsung Chromebook Review
The Chromebook is an excellent device, for me. And that is what I am basing my review of it on. I have my other computers and my phone as well as my tablet, but the Chromebook is not supposed to compete against any of those, The Chromebook, to me at least rounds out the experience of a modern connected life. I primarily use this product for taking notes in my courses as well as for light web browsing and really that is all that it is meant for. As a second device I would rate this product a solid 9, if you go buy individual ratings it would receive an 8, but it's very attractive price point really pushes it to a 9 in my books.
On the design of the product, Samsung really nailed it. Modeled clearly after the original Macbook Air, The Chromebook is very sleek and light. It's slim form factor allows it to be handled all day without much strain. The body is made out of plastic so that the cost of the device can be lower, but when using the product, I am thankful as an aluminum would have added a bit of weight to the device. Samsung did a really good job on making the device feel thinner than it actually is. When looking at the product from the side, it is noticeable that it is not incredibly thin, but Samsung hid this by using curved edges. The device looks incredibly thin when using it.
The usability of the keyboard is fantastic. On this chic-let keyboard I type faster than on any other keyboard. It's plastic keys do not have much softness though so sometimes it does feel like that I am hitting bottom too fast, but as a whole It is one of the best keyboards I have ever used. The one problem for me currently is that my backspace key is squeaks, which after a bit of typing can get pretty annoying. As I am typing this review on the web I am using this device and I definitely find it very usable.
The touchpad can be a little laggy but it is by far the best touchpad I have seen on any of the Chromebooks if not any windows computer as well. It is very usable and reminds me of well an Apple one. In comparison my HP Pavilions touchpad pales in comparison. I gave the Touchpad a 7 because it still is not top notch sometimes there are small errors. Also it seems that only the top half of the touchpad is responsive to "tap to click".
The Display is cheap. That is basically all I have to say for it. It has the standard resolution of a product it's size. The matte display can wash out a few of the colors, but for it's price it is good.
Performance wise it hold's its own. It is the only Chromebook to be powered by an ARM processor, the Exynos 5. As a Web Browser and a note taker it does better than what I expected it to. Don't expect to be able to play heavy graphics based games though. This is a note taking and web browsing device not a laptop. Because it is running an ARM mobile processor the Chromebook makes no sound at all. At all. It is kind of eerie not hearing the whir of a fan when using this, but very much loved. Also, this device barely emits any heat from it at all, if any. I give this a full 10 because I find these two things fantastic.
The Chromebook has a published 6.5 hour battery life, but in my tests I have found that I can consistently get a full day's work out of it. The Chromebook in this aspect is great for note taking and school work. I frequently need a long battery life so I can get through all my courses and the Chromebook suits it perfectly.
Chrome OS is a great operating system, and I understand many people do not see the purpose of it, but I find it to be great for the average user. I was one of the original Beta testers for the proto-chromebook, the CR-48. I have seen Chrome OS mature and become more usable and friendly. As a whole Aura is a great system for me as my second device. I would have given it a 9 if not for the fact that apps cannot be used in complete full screen.
As an average the individual scores would make it an 8, but the $249 price point makes me bump up my final score as a 9.0. The Chromebook is a fantastic second device, I truly hope the line continues.