Six months ago my Macbook kicked the bucket; the keyboard stopped working correctly and everything became frustratingly slow. When an Apple technician told me it would be about $700 to fix the keyboard alone, I knew it was goodbye. So, I began my hunt for a new laptop, but I was iffy about PCs (due to past experiences) and I knew I didn’t want to hand over close to 1,000 dollars for another Apple product. Sadly, those days are over (trying to make grown-up decisions here). As a result of my uncertainty about each system, I discovered the Chromebook. I was wary of the Chromebook’s “internet only access”, but after a lot of research I came to find that there were more pros than cons. I finally took the plunge (aka clicked “add to cart”) when I found the Samsung Chromebook on sale for $199 at Staples….with a 14 day return policy! I figured why not give it a try? The price was right and I had the option of returning it as a safety net.
The 14 days came and went and my Chromebook is still here; I LOVE it. Before purchasing the Chromebook I used Chrome for web browsing and I stored my pictures and videos on Google Photo, so it was an easy transition to the “internet only” laptop. Here’s a quick rundown of the Samsung Chromebook:
- Extremely lightweight (comparable to the Macbook Air)
- Sleek look (again, comparable to Macbook Air)
- Everything is in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about the hard drive crashing (Still not sure how the cloud works. Will we ever know?)
- Quick start-up
- Customizable browser and desktop
- Quality speakers*
- Long battery life (big plus!)
- Doesn’t get hot when you use it for long periods of time
- No risk of viruses (even bigger plus!)
- Menu bar makes everything accessible with a single click (mail, apps, videos, files, calendar, etc.)
- Small amount of memory on the laptop (16GB), in case you do need to save something.
- I’ve sometimes found that it has trouble running multiple tabs at once, depending on what I have open. For some reason Tumblr always seems to slow it down just a bit.
- You can’t use Microsoft Word. Google Docs is an alternative, but definitely not the best (however, I have a feeling they’ll be improving it as Chromebooks become more popular).
- *The speakers are good quality, but they aren’t super loud.This isn’t a problem for me, because I don’t usually listen to anything loudly, but if you’re big into music you might want to give the speakers a test run before buying.
Bottom Line: If you use the computer lightly (web browsing, email, watching movies, creating simple documents), and you are looking for something that won’t cost you too much money, the Chromebook is a good option for you.