I touched a Chromebook

From the 9th of April, 2013

I walked into a Best Buy yesterday and finally put my hands on a Samsung Chromebook. Best Buy is doing Chrome OS no favors by blocking all Google websites on their customer WiFi. A Chromebook without access to Google is pretty useless. Fortunately I had my trusty Nexus 4 and I was able to connect to the internet. After watching reviews and videos online there were a few things I fully understood only when actually using the hardware.

  1. The keyboard is awesome. It felt very similar to my Apple keyboard at home. There was very little flex and creek that a lot of reviewers often talk about. With the exception of a missing backlight and a Command/Winkey/Superkey it felt like a premium keyboard.

  2. It’s very tiny. It’s not the same level smallness as an Apple Air but it’s damn close. It’s smaller than some Ultrabooks and feels so light you’d think something is missing.

  3. The screen not the greatest. It’s definitely not a dealbreaker for me but if screen quality is a big issue for your tastes you might avoid. It’s less about the clarity. At 1280×768 it doesn’t need to be very crisp. The issue is the color and contrast. Everything seems a little foggy. I think in lower light areas this might not seem so drastic.

  4. It gets warm, but not warm like my phone does. Under a full load my phone feels twice as hot as this thing does. That’s saying something because my phone rarely get hot enough to notice.

  5. Chrome OS feels a lot like Linux (I know it’s running Linux under, but so is Android). More than I expected. The synaptic experience reminds me of running XFCE on my old netbook. Which brings me to my last point:

  6. The synaptic pad is fantastic. Mulitouch worked perfectly. I was worried it would be too small but it feel like the perfect size for that laptop.

I decided after playing with it for a solid 30 minutes that I really want this laptop. Sadly even at $250 it’s too expensive. I’m living on a tight fixed budget and I can’t justify the purchase. Being poor really sucks, but that is for another post.