The 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook Reviewed

It is official, Google is slowly taking over planet earth and you don’t even know it. When it was launched a couple of years ago, the Chromebook was received with little fan fare. There were no flashy Apple or Samsung-style advertising campaigns, not witty marketing strategies. It was like: “Hey guys! Come take a look! We have a new laptop computer that we think you will really like!”

© samsung.com

© samsung.com

© samsung.com

© samsung.com

Today, all you need to do is to take a look at the laptops best-sellers list and you will realize that Chromebooks have quietly become a mainstream-computing platform. Heck, at the time of writing the 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook is the #1 best-selling laptop on Amazon.com. How is that for global domination? In true Google style (look at how google.com, Gmail and the Android OS rose to dominate their respective industry), the Chromebook looks set to take over the entire market. Remember how tablet PCs completely wiped out the netbook market? Well the Chromebook is set to do the same for entry-level laptops. Here is a closer look at the Samsung Chromebook.

Design

The price of the device is usually left for the end of the review but I am going to talk about that right now since it is a defining feature of the Chromebook. The 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook costs around $250. That is as cheap as it gets for any type of laptops. So what do you get for $250?

From a design perspective, the first thing that you will notice is that the laptop looks nothing like a $250 machine. It measures in at 11.40 x 8.09 x 0.69 in dimensions and weighs 2.4 pounds, which is the profile of an high-end ultrabook model. It is very sturdy and solidly built with barely any noticeable bendy or squeaky components. One of the design highlights on this Chromebook would definitely have to be its chiclet-style keyboard and oversized trackpad. Despite its size, they keyboard is extremely comfortable to type on and the trackpad was very sensitive and responsive. Many reports stated that the keyboard and trackpad experience on this laptop is comparable to those found on MacBooks, which can cost up to 10 times more.

The 11.6-inch display has a 1366 x 768 resolution that is not exactly groundbreaking, but more than sufficient for performing common everyday tasks. It has a matte surface that is conducive for use under bright lighting conditions and overall, the screen is average at best but screen performance is not something that most mainstream consumers care very much about anyway. Overall in design and construction, this 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook is as good as it gets for its price. In terms of aesthetics though, you are definitely getting a great value for your money thanks to its slim, high-end looks.

Features & Performance

It is worthwhile to mention that the Chromebook was never designed to go head-on to compete with your regular laptop model. It was designed for people who are looking for something that are little more functional that a tablet, and yet not as bulky or pricey as your average laptop PC. It is designed to handle common everyday computing tasks such as surfing the web, running and editing Microsoft Office documents, checking emails, watching movies, listening to music and other similar tasks.

The Chromebook basically runs on the Chrome operating system that mainly runs on web based applications. This OS is extremely fast and resource-efficient where it can boot up in a matter of seconds. It comes pre-installed with a basic set of apps (you can download more from their web store) and built-in security that all automatically updates them for free whenever a new version comes up. Yes the Chromebook is a heavily dependant on an internet connection but more and more offline apps are being developed as we speak.

Thanks to the automatic updates, the nature of the operating system and the apps that run on it, this laptop won’t become slow over time because all the new updates are designed to work perfectly with the existing specs and hardware on this laptop. This Samsung Chromebook comes with a 1.7 GHz Exynos processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 16GB solid-state hard drive. The device comes with 100GB of free online storage (for 2 years) on Google Drive. You can add more storage buy using the SD card slot. They have also thrown in 12 free Gogo in-air internet passes that allows you go online on flights.

Summary:

Overall, the 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook is a stellar entry-level laptop that is perfect for anyone who is looking for an affordable and practical workhorse computer. It is not a very powerful laptop, but then again it is not meant to be. It will not be able to handle advanced image processing or play resource-heavy 3D game because it is not designed to do so. If you are, however, looking for a lightweight, good-looking and affordable laptop computer to perform simple, everyday computing tasks, it is hard to find a deal that is better than this one.

Check out our reviews of other Chromebooks:

Acer Chromebook C720

HP Chromebook 11

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March 2014
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