Living life in Chrome OS: 10 days with the new Samsung Chromebook

Editor’s note: The following guest post was written by Marcelo Dunning and originally appeared on his personal Google+ page. Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in submitting a guest post of your own, and keep reading Pocketables for even more hands-on coverage of the new Samsung Chromebook, along with Chrome OS news, tips, and tricks. (I’ll eventually post a full review, too!)

samsung chromebook dunning - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Why did I purchase the $249 Chromebook from Samsung and Google? In all honesty, timing … I just started taking online classes, and I was in the market for a cheap laptop since I don’t have a lot of cash right now. A couple months ago, someone sold me an HP Windows 7 PC for $100, and it was a very solid system. However, I quickly turned around and sold it for $250 – since it was used, it seemed like a lot of work to reset it, and then get all the settings to my liking. So I didn’t even bother and sold it as is.

I have been interested in the Chromebook since the second generation was launched, but the original high price killed the dream for me. I had been researching used Samsung Series 5 550 machines to purchase with my school money, but then, all of a sudden, this newer, cheaper option was announced. It was exactly what I was looking for, so I knew I was going to pull the trigger on this.

I actually wanted a 3G model originally, but had to give up on that due to lack of availability. So I called around, found a Best Buy that had a WiFi-only version left in stock, and quickly got out there to get this thing. And when I went in, a very friendly Google rep was even there!

One of the biggest concerns or complaints I have heard about the Chromebook is this: What good is a computer that you have to be connected to the internet to use? I find this argument perplexing for one reason – for years I have felt that any computer without internet access was useless in a way. That being said, I have to throw that complaint out of the window right away.

I also consider myself a power user. I always have at least ten tabs open; that’s just how I roll. And this thing can hold up with no problem. The new Samsung ARM chip is great, and since the Nexus 10 has the same processor, it should perform similarly. (Maybe I will pick one up for myself for Christmas!)

What are the cons with this Chromebook? Well, I don’t do any real video editing or anything like that, I don’t play World of Warcraft right now, and to be perfectly honest with you, not a lot of people do things on their computers that this thing can’t do. It will work for at least 80% percent of computer users.

My biggest complaint is that I don’t have access to Google Music Manager to upload music to my library. This is odd, since it’s a Google product, and I hope this is fixed soon. Also, there seems to be a bug with the HDMI port. It will only work if it is plugged in when you power on the computer, so you have to power off and then power back up to use it. This doesn’t take a long time, since rebooting takes under 15 seconds, but it is something that needs to be addressed in future updates.

In my first ten days of Chromebook ownership, I used it to catch up in my online class. I wrote a 1,000-word essay, 2,500-word essay, several forum posts, and two PowerPoint presentations. The Chromebook handled these like a champ. Google Docs and Google Slides made me not miss Office for a second. Also, I did a couple check stubs for my friend and a budget sheet for my other friend, and Google Sheets didn’t miss a beat, either.

I am picky about keyboards that I type on, and this Chromebook has an awesome typing experience. The touchpad is up to task to do whatever I need it to. The webcam is decent. And who doesn’t want to have Bluetooth on his or her laptop?

The bottom line is this: after ten days in, I feel like this is the best $250 I have ever spent on a piece of consumer electronics ever. Period.


The above guest post was written by Marcelo Dunning and originally appeared on his personal Google+ page. Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in submitting a guest post of your own!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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