My old trustworthy HP G62 has been running a bit warm lately, so I began looking for its replacement. Being on a very limited budget for the forseeable future, as I’m sure many of you are, I was looking for a deal. I found one. As part of an eBay Deal of the Day promotion, I saw the Samsung Chromebook for around $160 (refurbished from Best Buy’s eBay store). I’ve kept an eye on the capabilities of these machines for quite a while, and it seemed to fit my needs, so I took a chance and hit the Buy It Now button.
First impression was that this was a solid little machine. The screen is matte so while it isn’t ‘light up the room bright,’ the lack of glare makes up for it. I have used it for hours on end with little to no eye-strain. I thought that reading on the 11 inch screen might have been an issue, but it isn’t. Even if it were, font size can easily be adjusted.
The Samsung Chromebook island style keyboard is a dream to type on, and the multi-touch capable touch pad mouse has given me no trouble whatsoever. It comes with a small but lightning fast 16gb solid state hard drive, a power sipping ARM processor, and 2gb of RAM. You can take advantage of the USB ports (2.0 and 3.0) to expand your storage, or simply insert a high-capacity memory card.
The Chrome OS is very simple to dive in to, and since I used Google’s Chrome browser on my windows machine, all of my bookmarks were already there waiting for me the first time I signed on. That was very cool and unexpected. Setup was so simple a monkey could do it.
So what’s the catch? Well, for the time being you must have a constant internet connection to be very productive. The Samsung Chromebook runs on web apps, and the number of apps that will run offline is very limited. The good news is that the number of offline apps seem to be growing at a pretty good rate. That, and in today’s world we’re rarely out of wifi range, so the immense number of quality web apps will leave you wanting for nothing from your Windows or Mac machine.
If you’re in the market for a maintenance free, light weight, fast, attractive, affordable and easy to use notebook, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Samsung Chromebook. If you buy it new, it’s $249, and worth every penny. If you run across a deal like I did, you would be crazy not to pick one up. Easy ‘Yea!’