As Windows 8 RT tablets start to surface in the market, they make for a great computing alternative to traditional laptops or desktops. However, they are not exactly cheap in terms of pricing. There’s still quite a big segment of the market that looks at value for money and the Samsung Chromebook fits the bill exactly at US$249. If you are searching for a cheap laptop that’s suitable for the older generation or for your parents, the Samsung Chromebook is a lightweight 11.6″ laptop that has pretty much enough features to get people up to speed, at a fraction of the price. That is also if you are able to forgo touch functionality and/or prefer a more traditional keyboard/mouse input interface.
The Samsung Chrome is designed as a cheap lightweight portable to bring internet to the masses. It’s specifications aren’t that shabby and are more than capable for simple web-based computing.
– 11.6 inches Display
– Samsung Exynos 5250 1.7Ghz
– 16gb of storage
– 2 GB DDR3L RAM
– 2 USB Ports: 1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0, HDMI Port
– Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
It starts in seconds, has virus protection built-in, and runs your favorite Google apps plus thousands more. The Chromebook comes with leading Google products, like Search, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts, so you can work, play, and do whatever you want, right out of the box. There’s no setup, and your files are automatically backed up in the cloud. At just 2.4 pounds, 0.7 inches thin, and with over 6.5 hours of battery life, the Samsung Chromebook can go anywhere you go. It’s built to stay cool, so it doesn’t need a fan and runs silently. It also includes 100GB of free Google Drive storage (for 2 years), a built-in webcam, and dual band Wi-Fi to make it easy to connect to wireless networks.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Chrome and Apps, said the goal was to create a ”thin, light, portable computer which is great quality.” He said the team sees this as a second device people use at home, as a complement to their desktop computer or a more powerful laptop. I feel that for a second device, people would have just gotten a tablet instead as that is way more portable, especially if the primary device is already a laptop. So where does that leave the Chromebook?
How Heavy is the Chromebook?
At 2.4lbs or 1.08kg, it is lighter than the Macbook Air. And while it does look similar, a touch of it would reveal worlds apart in terms of build quality. Unlike the aluminium unibody of the Macbook Air, the Samsung Chromebook is actually made of plastic with an outer metallic finish. Something had to give.
How Good is the Chrome OS?
The challenge that the Chromebook has is its choice of OS. Similar to the Windows RT platform, and even worse so for the chrome OS where there is a lack of app support and general unfamiliarity with the OS that would impede the take up rate. Google will undoubtedly argue on how user-friendly and easily accessible the web apps are but first impressions do count and most users might be turn off upon their first encounter with the Chrome OS. But once you get beyond the initial learning stage that the browser is your desktop, it becomes pretty easy to navigate about. End of the day, quite a fair bit of what we do now resides in the cloud or web already.
How to buy the Chromebook in Singapore
B&H Photo Video does ship to Singapore. Shipping cost for UPS Worldwide Saver(3-5 Business Days Delivery) -is at $56.83. Alternatively, pick up the Samsung Chromebook from Amazon.com and ship it back to Singapore through ComGateway or vPost. Based on the shipping weight at 4.75 pounds, it is about $33-$40. First time users of this service should Google for the latest promotions, there tend to be frequent discounts applicable. Stocks are still limited but should progressively get better as the initial orders are processed.