"An admirable performer, especially for the price!"4.5 starson by Zentheoutcast
Pros: - Light-ish weight
- High res screen
- Great battery life
- Very comfortable keyboard
- Simple, clean OS
- Multi-touch scrolling works like a charm
Cons: - Touchpad is occasionally irritating
- Won't work well (if at all) for more complex tasks
- No ethernet port/no built-in video-out
Summary: The first thing anyone looking at a chromebook should recognize is that this isn't meant for everyone; In fact, it's almost a niche-market machine.
The chromebook is designed for web browsing and light productivity work, making it very similar in purpose to a netbook. In a practical sense, however, it finds its place somewhere between a netbook and a laptop in both features and price.
The screen is high-resolution for its size and price, and looks absolutely lovely. The sturdily-built keyboard doesn't feel at all cramped and the smooth "chiclet" keys are very pleasant to type on (but seriously, no home/end keys??); I am actually in fact typing this review on mine right now.
The main draws to this machine are the stellar boot times (8 seconds from off to usable, instant on if it's asleep), the fantastic battery life (~8 hrs of use, almost a week in sleep!), and the chrome OS (which is where most users will be divided).
The Chrome OS takes virtually no time to get used to if you've ever used the Chrome browser, since that browser is nearly the entire OS. The OS is extremely responsive, even when running several tabs at once; in fact I have never been able to make the machine feel slow under load. However the fact that the OS is only a browser means any .exe or .zip files you get will be virtually useless (there are some web utilities for opening zips, but it is a pain). Also the machine is nearly bricked without an internet connection. You can opt for the 3G version if that seems appealing to you, but I grabbed the wifi version since I'm mainly using it at work and school (I can also tether to my phone in a pinch).
What it comes down to is what you plan on using this machine for: If you want a laptop for doing all around computer-y things, this is not for you. However if you just want a ultra-portable, convenient web platform that feels closer in size and picture to a traditional computer, consider a chromebook.
The most important thing is that if you know what to expect, you will NOT be disappointed.