First of all, out of the box it is very easy to use. All you have to do is open it up. It took a minute to log onto my home wireless network (because we have a few layers of security) but other than that, cake. The first thing you do is log into your Google account. If you don’t have an account you are prompted to create one. That’s it. From there you are in.
At first it was weird to do everything within the browser. I use Chrome for everything so I was pretty familiar with how it works. But, still, strange to be browser-bound. I’ve gotten used to it though. I have installed several really great apps from the Chrome Web Store. Almost everything you would need for a netbook is there, and more.
I like the keyboard. The keys are larger than on normal keyboards and there are keys specifically designed for tasks one does on the internet. For example there is a key that opens up a new tab, there’s a key that acts as a “back” button, etc. The trackpad is big, which is really nice.
You don’t save files to local memory on this. Files are saved in “the cloud.” So if I want to create a document I would use Google Docs (which is totally fine with me as I use Google Docs daily).
Bottom line: I really like it. It does what I need it to and it does it really well. It doesn’t replace my computer and I didn’t buy it for that reason. I bought it so I could have a portable device that I could use for writing and for browsing the web. It’s smaller and lighter than a laptop and it has a nice keyboard. It’s bigger than my iPod, which makes my web surfing experience better. I thought about getting and iPad but the one thing that kept me from that purchase (besides the price) is the fact that it doesn’t have a keyboard.
It’s gotten terrible reviews and I think some of the concerns are valid. I have links to some of them below. If you are not into Google this is not for you. If you don’t trust “The Cloud” this is not for you. If you expect this to replace your main computer, this is not for you. You won’t be able to do major photo editing or media storage on this. You won’t be able to store your music library on this (you can stream music from the dozens of internet radio station sites, though). Is the price for it too high? Maybe. I don’t know. I paid $500 for it and I feel like it was worth it. It does what I want it to do, and I can share it with my husband or anyone else who wants to use it without any hassle. I don’t have to worry about annoying updates because Google has that covered for me. It came with some free internet via Verizon if I’m not within a wifi connection. So I do think it’s worth the price, personally.
- In Depth: Google Chromebooks: what you need to know (techradar.com)
- Is Chromebook Google’s True iPad Competitor? (searchengineland.com)
- Essential Apps for New Chromebook Owners (appreaders.com)
- Google Chromebook: Great, as Long as You’re Online (abcnews.go.com)
- Is the Samsung Chromebook Worth It? (chris.pirillo.com)