Samsung Chromebook - Does the pricetag meet expectations?

on Thursday, December 20, 2012

Over the past few weeks I became interested in finding a durable, lightweight and relatively cheap laptop to use for mostly for web-browsing and to keep around the house. I decided to look into Samsung’s Chromebook to see if the notebook offered what I am looking for.

The Chromebook is offered at a competitive price of $249, but does the low price cut quality and performance?

In simple terms, a Chromebook runs on Google’s browser-based, cloud-focused Chrome operating system, if you’re familiar with using Gmail, Chrome, Google+, this laptop offers a similar user experience and usability. The focus of this laptop is to offer an inexpensive product that can be used to quickly browse the web and  provide an easy to use interface for a various number of users. While the laptop offers quick web browsing capabilities, the offline access and storage is limited. The Chromebook is available in a 3G or WiFi model.

I have outlined a few brief key features of the Chromebook below:

·       Lightweight construction with a thin 0.69 inches, 2.5 pounds and an 11.6 inch display

·       Features include: HDMI out port, one USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, headphone/microphone jack, and a card reader

·       Built in WLAN and Bluetooth 3.0

·        16GB of internal flash memory, which is may be limited for some users but Samsung offers 100GB of free Google Drive storage(usually $60 per year)  for two years which is a handy place to keep applications, documents and music available from anywhere

·         2GB of RAM allows for quicker web browsing and document viewing

·         Full QWERTY keyboard that has been modified to optimize web browsing experience

o   Includes dedicated icons for Gmail, Google Search, Google Drive and YouTube

·         Basic file manager to view contents of a USB flash drive or SD card

·         Battery can last up to 5 and a  half hours

·         Front facing camera, reviews have indicated a lack of quality

Overall, the $250 price tag is attractive for many people who are looking for a basic computer for web browsing, emails as well as a spare laptop to keep around the house or for travel. From my perspective, this laptop seems to be best suited for non-technical individuals, which may be ideal for your parents, grandparents or younger siblings.  Do you feel that Samsung's marketing strategy that a Chromebook is 'for everyone' is an ideal approach or do you think the product will quickly fade?


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