Samsung Chromebook Review

I’ve owned my Samsung Chromebook for about two years. This month I’m doing all my writing on the Chromebook and still the best thing I can say about it is that it still works. So, let me focus on that for a moment, because even though I hardly used it for the first year except to keep it charged, I’ve taken it on a couple of long trips in a pocket of my carryon bag and it has survived some good hits. In fact, if you are looking for a good Chromebook and only need basic browsing and word processing functions and only work indoors and within Wi-Fi hotspots, Samsung makes the best Chromebooks out there. The newest model is the first to use a laptop quality CPU, and that improves performance considerably, compared to the older models based upon smartphone chips. Durability sets Samsung Chromebooks apart from the herd, because Samsung models are built tough. Other brands like Acer might come apart on a display shelf. Click on this link for a current selection of Samsung Chromebooks on Amazon.

The Chromebook is handy to take on trips and it’s a cheap backup in case the power goes out and you have to connect at the McDonald’s for a few days. Other than that I don’t like it much.

The first problem is that the mousepad is extremely touchy. The slightest touch counts as a tap and your cursor can wind up anywhere on the page. There might be a way to fix this by adjusting settings, but my first disaster happened because of a stray click when I was exploring system settings and selected a new keyboard configuration by accident. All the keys lost all sensible meaning and I could find no way back. Also could not find a tech at Samsung who could talk me through the problem. Powerwash did not help, nor did system reset. Tech support at Samsung was polite but seemed no more confident in the procedures than I was, and the Chromebook made two warranty trips back to the factory for the same sort of problem. Obviously it was simple for someone else to fix, but no one ever bothered to tell me how this was done.

I’ve been using the Chromebook on trips lately and have learned more things I don’t like. The monitor completely washes out in sunlight so forget about reading your Kindle books on the Chromebook in the yard on a sunny day. I hate the keyboard with the flat slick keys that give you no tactile point of reference and must be struck with exactly the right amount of force. I miss the Delete button, seems like there’s no reason not to have one. Right click functions are mostly gone and you can’t copy an image to the clipboard. I tried installing an app for this and the app doesn’t work either.

At one point in the initial tech support mess a customer service agent suggested to me that I stop thinking of the Chromebook as a laptop, and that actually makes good sense. It’s not a laptop so don’t expect it to match up to even the simplest laptop’s capabilities. Next time I will buy a good laptop; I will never buy another Chromebook because I expect more than the Chromebook provides, but if you like Chromebooks, buy a Samsung.


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About JTHats

Avid backpacker and outdoorsman with old skills and interests in old ways of doing things; equally fascinated by electronics, from the days of Sputnik, to the Zilog Z80A, to the present day of black box circuitry. Sixty years of experience with growing my own food and living simply. Certified electronics technician, professional woodturner, woodcarver, and graduate of two military survival courses -- Arctic and Jungle.

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