When I first turned on the Chromebook laptop, I was unsure on how to respond to the new kind of software. Reviews were all over the map. Some said it was a new era of technology, others were ready to send it back the next day. One review that caught my attention was a reader that explained how it would take time for people to understand and adapt to the new O.S. In addition, the reader stated that google comes out with updates all the time so the software grows better and better.
The hardware of this machine varies dramatically, for some features are compatible to Apple’s astounding structure for a machine and others felt like Samsung went backwards a generation. The top and bottom looks slick, clean, and professional giving the product a great start. The rounded edges look a little goofy, but manageable. When you open up the laptop for the first time, you may notice the screen is very awkward and looks like it is connected to the device by a door hinge. Samsung definitely needs some improvement on making sure the laptop looks like one complete piece. The screen is pitiful; it is flexible and flimsy. It is very bright but has terrible definition. You can feel the screen ready to break as you stick your hand around the side but at least they made it thin.
My favorite part of the hardware was the keyboard. It is plain and simple unlike a Mac’s attempt at making them feel and look like metal. That is all you need for a browser, keys that you can type on with ease. The mouse was a terrible feature; the specifications that were supposed to be there, weren’t always working. The multi-touch was complete garbage and didn’t work half the time. My outdated 2.1 Android Captivate had better scrolling and clicking. Another feature I did not like about the hardware was the speakers. I think I spent two hours trying to figure them out in the two weeks I had it. First, I could not listen to audio clearly without plugging in headphones. Secondly, after you unplug your headphones, no sound works on the external speakers. You have to plug the jack in and take it out multiple times for the sound to transfer over. One time I even restarted the machine up and it finally transferred over the sound. I am not sure if it is a build defect in my machine, or if Samsung just forgot how to make speakers. Overall, the hardware was at average, to below average quality.
Software is a very important thing. It has to be what people want the most, not in the middle. This is where II stand with the Chromebook. The device is simple, it boots up in about seven seconds. Unlike other computers, the start up screen seems quicker and more secure. You log in with your email so you can access your Facebook from a click from the browser with the Facebook app. This browser interface is the ultimate way to surf the Internet, especially with the webstore. The webstore has many different apps that provide ways of making your browsing experience a hundred times better. You have quick access to your google apps with a click of the mouse. The scratchpad is a very useful tool that allows you to take notes and they save up in the cloud, or you can sync them to your google docs. I used this feature for lots of software training videos and for products to buy.
Although this device was an excellent browser, I did not adapt to how the software is constructed. It felt it was difficult and almost impossible to save and access files on the computer. For gamers out there, you are unable to play certain games, and Dropboxes have to be through the web. Building a website is also a difficult thing on this device because saving plug-ins and media on the Chromebook is not easy. Also, there is no Skype so you have to use google video or chat. Every ability that the Chromebook has seems to be limited.
Overall, I would recommend this product to people who don’t use a laptop for work but instead, use them for browsing the Internet for things like Facebook or shopping. If computers is how you run your business, good luck trying to get an advanced website off the ground. In conclusion, this Chromebook is a device that still needs a lot of improvement. Google, I will come back when the hardware and software is manageable enough for me to be able to run a business through Chrome O.S.
To learn more about the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, check out this video.