"Fantastic as a work laptop!"5.0 starson by Muffinjello
Pros: - Incredibly fast boot times
- Good wifi range (Better signal than my i7 quad core, anyhow)
- Sexy interface (Seriously, I find windows kinda boring)
- Limited to work (No installable games)
- Google docs (Free!)
Cons: - Can't run the full skype app, none of my contacts really use google hangouts
- Not a lot of apps available for the device
- Missing ability to 'pin' other folders to file browser, currently limited to "Google Drive" & "Downloads"
Summary: I am currently using ChromeOS on the $250-$269 (If you're in Canada) Samsung laptop, with a 16 GB SSD, and 2GB RAM - so my review will reflect my experience with these specifications! Don't get me wrong, ChromeOS will probably function a lot better if you're on one of the higher end machines (Not that there are many).
After using it for about a week, the price and it's ability to carry out what it was designed for is great!
I am very glad that I got my ChromeBook, because now I am limited (yes, limited) to mainly using it for work, without the distractions of tempting programs like video games, skype, antiviruses, ect. I feel that the chromebook has brought back a lot of simplicity to using a computer, to a time when there weren't many bells or whistles. The chromebook has an excellent battery life, and due to the lack of applications (Which is also a plus), you are less tempted to get distracted by having skype open in the background, which also lets your battery last longer!
ChromeOS has very wicked startup (From pressing the on button, to being able to run google docs lagg free) and shut down times, which are greatly appreciated since I need it for school, and the professor does not wait for me to start up my laptop so that I can take notes. All of the apps possibly needed for basic work are available in some form of the other, with google docs being able to replace Microsoft office. I am very glad that there is also a 'offline' mode app for google docs among other apps, which allows me to take notes, even if there is no internet for whatever reason.
I love how you can choose how you want an app to be run, by right clicking it. There are 4 modes of launching apps.
- Open as normal tab
- Open as pinned tab (Stuck to the left of screen, only favicon displayed)
- Open as window (Really slick window type thing - pretty much your app with no tab bar or omni box)
- Open as full screen (Similar deal to "Open as window", but almost as if you've pressed the "F11" button to fullscreen it, like on windows)
There are a few frustrations, like the lack of some programs, and the computer's inability to have a ton (and I mean at 10 or more) of tabs open and still retain the extreme smoothness, but for only having 2GB's of RAM, I think ChromeOS does an excellent job managing the RAM and power consumption. The low amount of RAM and processor inside my laptop are the main reason for this, and my inability to watch HD videos as flawlessly as a normal computer.
Although, I do try to keep in mind that similar windows computers wont function anywhere nearly as good as ones running ChromeOS, most in part because windows is designed to be used in computers with a bit of power in them. In a sense... if you have $900, go get that fancy windows computer instead - it'll perform better, and have more programs available, but if you only have $300 or $400, get a ChromeBook - in my opinion it will quite easily rival another laptop $100 or $200 more expensive than it. That being said, I have a Samsung Chromebook (around $270 sale price with no taxes) and a Samsung gaming laptop (around $1200~ a year ago, around $900 now) - this laptop pretty much beats my older one in DPI (How close the pixels are in the screen, although the other one does have an overall higher resolution), weight, startup AND shutdown times (Seriously, windows 7, mine freeses on shutting down - what the fudge?), and battery life (to be expected, vs. a 17.3" behemoth.)
If not having much functionality when you have no internet is a problem for you, then just remember that the functionality of other computers is limited as well. Chromebook does have certain ways of letting you work on googledocs/slides/ect. while offline. The main file storage may go out the window, but there is an SD card and a 16GB SSD in the machine for a reason.
My final verdict would be to say, if you are on a budget and need something reliable, that will travel with you, get a ChromeBook.
If you're looking to game, or run fancy 3D software, there is no way ChromeOS or most of the models that do have ChromeOS are going to fullfill your thirst for raw power & cross-platform compatability.