I just received the Samsung Chromebook and have been putting it through its paces. Here’s a quick writeup of my initial thoughts:
Why a Chromebook?
90% of my work is done in the following applications:
- Google (Drive, Mail, Calendar)
(10% of my work on a monthly basis is done using desktop applications such as Keynote).
As a consultant, I am rarely at one desk all day, often moving between coffee shops, coworking spaces and client offices. I don’t have a car, so a lightweight laptop is extremely important to me if I’m carrying it all day. My MacBook Pro feels like such dead weight.
Cost — I initially considered the MacBook Air, but I couldn’t justify the price tag. And realizing that I do most of my work online, it didn’t seem to make sense.
The Samsung Chromebook is $248 for the Wi-Fi version and weights 2.4 pounds (lighter than the MacBook Air)
Now that I’ve been using the Chromebook for a couple days, I am very happy with my decision to purchase it.
Offline capabilities are great for Google Drive and Email. I may end up switching from Evernote to using Google Drive more for note taking because of this.
It is so light! I just love how portable this device is.
The battery is awesome. I haven’t had the chance to let it fully drain, but I’m getting at least 6 hours (probably more), without charging.
Yes, you can download PDFs and files. You’ll end up having to view them in Google Drive, but that’s fine by me.
It’s fast! If I’d purchased a traditional desktop computer for $250 bucks you better believe it would feel sluggish. Not the Chromebook! It’s super speedy.
Onto the things that are a little funky:
Why didn’t anyone bother to mention they got rid of the CAPS LOCK? If you never use the caps lock, this may not matter to you, but I taught myself to capitalize using this key (weird, I know). I’m begrudgingly using the shift key, and I’ll obviously be forced to adapt, but I am not thrilled about this.
Why is the ALT key on the left side of the space bar so freaking huge? What the heck is that about? I keep accidentally pressing it.
Other than these keyboard complaints, I really have nothing bad to say about the keyboard. It appears full sized and is pretty easy to adjust to.
My final gripe is that I have to jump through an extra hurdle to print and I can only use 1Password with read-only access. These aren’t dealbreakers, but not being able to write to 1Password is pretty annoying.
It does take adjusting to doing everything in a browser. But that takes about a day to figure out — and then you’re up and running. For $250 I definitely think it’s a great value. Is it missing some features? Sure. But for day to day web workers, I think it’s a really awesome alternative to your regular laptop.