Google Chromebook Review – The Samsung Chromebook Experience
There’s no getting around the fact that using Google Chrome requires an adjustment. Not only is the user interface different than what a Windows or OSX user is accustomed to (think tabs and lots of them), the Chrome experience is highly reliant on the cloud.
Instead of Microsoft Office, you’re using Google’s online application –Google Docs, for example — and files are primarily stored in the cloud via Google Drive. Contrary to what many people think, the Google Chromebook is not useless when there’s no Wi-Fi, but you need to plan ahead and save files locally to the SSD if you want to work on them offline.
Forget about gaming for the most part, although Google does have a Chrome Web Store where you can buy apps like Angry Birds and Facebook for the Samsung Chromebook Series 3, so you do have access to some of the casual use experience of a tablet (although app selection is sparse compared to Google Play). As TechRadar points out in its Google Chromebook review, those third-party apps are browser-based and may require a web connection. So yes, you can work offline, but entertaining yourself with the Samsung Chromebook may be tougher.
Chrome itself has some distinct advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it doesn’t require much horsepower, so a mobile CPU is enough to keep things humming and there’s no fan to add noise. That mobile CPU also means decent battery life. Chrome allows multiple user accounts, so sharing the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 while maintaining privacy and personal settings is easy. Chromebooks also check for updates on launch and automatically install any patches, making for a low maintenance and secure device.
On the downside, it’s easy to end up with dozens of tabs open in the browser-based OS. With only 2GB of RAM, the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 starts to chug until tabs were closed.