Sunday, February 25, 2018

Samsung Chromebook Plus Review

Rating:

Pros:
Runs Chrome OS
Fast
4 gigs of RAM
Touchscreen
Sharp Screen
Bright Screen
Android Apps
Stylus
Long Battery Life
Expandable SD Card Storage
Metal Exterior
2 USB-C Ports

Cons:
No Backlit Keyboard
Can't Run Windows Software
Speakers Aren't That Great
No USB Ports
Not all Android Apps Work
No USB ports (you can use the USB-C with adapter)

I had the older C720 Acer Chromebook for several years before deciding to upgrade. I had even bought it from Group-on (paid around $120) because I was a little leery about the Chrome OS, but a guy at work convinced me otherwise. It was just an entry level Chromebook, but got the job done. For those of you that don't know, a Chromebook (basically a laptop) runs the Chrome OS. You do have to have a Google account (a Gmail login counts). It started as an OS (operating system) that just ran the Chrome browser, but now has advanced to running Android apps on some of the newer Chromebooks, which is awesome. The Samsung Chromebook Plus was one of the first ones to do so.

The downfall of a Chromebook, which most people will argue, is that you can't run Microsoft Windows software on it. You can also look at this as a plus, which means it's harder to get a virus on a Chromebook. Typically you get a virus because you click a link in an email or popup and the computer installs it in the background. You can't just install random software on a Chromebook, it's locked down a little more.  That's not to say you can't get a virus at all on one...

In my next Chromebook I wanted more RAM, a higher resolution screen, and a touch screen. The Samsung Chromebook has all of those things. I definitely don't regret this purchase! The keyboard is easy to type on and the screen is awesome! I wasn't sure how I'd like the 3:2 aspect ratio, but it's actually really nice. You can have more of the web page (or app) on the screen. It definitely feels like a nicer Chromebook with the metal exterior. The stylus comes in handy as well, it worked really good with the OneNote app. The battery life is around 10 hours, which is amazing. You only get that on your more expensive Windows laptops. The screen even flips around so you can use it as a convertible or tablet. Chrome OS is constantly being updated and has came a long way since the beginning. It's actually starting to look really polished. Unlike Windows updates, Chrome updates install in a fraction of the time.

A Chromebook probably wouldn't be a good laptop for students. I'd imaging most of them would want you to have Microsoft Office, I have it on my Windows laptop and desktop. But honestly, I probably use Google Sheets and Docs a lot more. I've been using it for my wedding planning (docs and sheets), my budget, and many other things.

Honestly most people would do well with almost any Chromebook. It just depends on what your looking for. There's all kinds of screens sizes, screen resolutions, processors. There's price ranges for everyone. A Chromebook also makes a great second computer that's lighter than most laptops and cheaper. My fiancee has a 15" screen Chromebook and she loves hers. The price on mine right now is $430, I think I paid $450 for it (it was more expensive). I actually typed this whole blog post on my Samsung Chromebook Plus.

There's a couple of reasons I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. I did have an issue with the speakers making a crackling sound over time. I sent the Chromebook back to Samsung and they did fix the issue under warranty.  Another issue I had with it is when I first purchased it, it would lock up pretty often.  This seems to rarely happen now. I think they may have tried to rush this Chromebook to the market when it was released. I recommend trying a Chromebook out, even if it's not this one. You'd be surprised how much you like it.

Link on Amazon.com

Specs:
Chrome OS
12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 (3:2 aspect ratio) touch screen display
OP1 ARM CPU
4GB RAM 32GB of eMMC storage, expandable microSD
Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac
Dimensions: 11.06 x 8.72 x 0.6-inches Weight: 2.4 pounds

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