Last week I bought a Chromebook; you see I was having some issues with my mid-2012 13” Macbook Air, issues that seem to have gone away after reinstalling Mac OS X 10.9 (crossing fingers). The mac was showing signs of failing, and I figured I needed a backup laptop in case the Air was out of commission for a while. Admittedly I thought it would be neat to see what this laptop could do.
A brief disclaimer, I also bought an OLPC 6 years ago for the same reason (that thing was super useless), which I ended up shipping to Peru.
Note the model I bought was the Samsung ChromeBook XE303C12-A01US
So the good:
- It’s cheap, $250 for a 11.6” laptop is a good deal
- It is super easy to use
- It seems sturdy
- You can buy them almost anywhere
- It surfs the web pretty decently.
- Great battery life
- It’s cheap, materials feel like cheap plastic
- Screen is super dull, especially when you’ve been using a high resolution (non-retina) mac display
- Resolution is low (again, you get what you pay for)
- Web surfing is SLOOOOOW (I’m using a 60MBps cable connection and 802.11N wifi)
- Google docs runs like crap. Seriously. Kept crashing on me until I disabled the chrome extensions it grabbed from my mac setup (it syncs everything)
- Youtube buffers/skips a bunch.
Who is the Chromebook good for? Schools. I can imagine tons of schools snatching these up. This will also get google hooked into the youth of tomorrow where they associate Google/Chrome as the operating system for work, and perhaps android for their phones. I’m almost certain that Google is subsidizing these devices somehow. Should you get one? Maybe for your 10 year old, but I’m sure he/she would prefer a tablet.
I’ll be returning my Samsung Chromebook tomorrow.