I’ve had my Chromebook (Samsung Series 3) for over 4 months now, so I thought I’d do a very quick review of the device now that I’ve lived with it properly. Just to make it clear, this is a review of this specific device and not Chrome OS in general, which I think is a superb operating system and way of working.
I have to say straight off that the Samsung Series 3 could not possibly replace my Macbook for work uses, so if you’re thinking of getting this as a main device, I wouldn’t recommend it. Of course I don’t expect a laptop that costs just over 200 quid to be some sort of media powerhouse, but at the same time, there’s no way you can rely on it in meetings, and you can’t install a lot of applications that the majority of workplaces use.
A few main problems I have with the device is trying to play video files (avi, mp4 etc) and Youtube clips; they just end up stuttering like crazy. Also when trying to use Google Music (a service I usually love); as soon as another tab is opened the music stutters. There are several known fixes for these problems, but I’ve tried them all and even a system reboot and still no luck. These are two things that just make the device seem slow and the operating system feel almost incomplete. Using the HDMI port is extremely temperamental too, and it seems to just decide when it wants to work properly, even when using the same TV. However, I know that Google will only improve the OS on this particular device over time, and I’ve no doubt that these problems will be sorted. Let’s hope so.
Now there are plenty of good things too. The device is super light and portable which makes it really good for just chucking in your bag and taking with you without the bulk of a normal laptop. I’d honestly say this is the best part about the device, coupled with the excellent battery life. I absolutely love the keyboard; it just feels amazing to type on. Which brings me to my next point of the device being great for writing. Google Docs and drive do naturally work wonderfully on it, so these in factor with the size and keyboard make it a good choice for writers on the move (yes Google Docs works offline fine).
Overall I’d recommend the Series 3 Chromebook for people looking for a content creation device to complement a home PC. It’s good for a days use on one charge, and very portable, but it doesn’t have the media power of slightly more expensive Windows devices.
Another note: get a case for it! It scratches