Samsung Chromebook – First Look and Initial Reviews

Okay, we had the unboxing and we even saw people tearing apart this little cutie and now  it’s time for us to take a look around and find out what people think of it.

I didn’t get one yet, so, I invite others like me, to join a trip around the websphere to find out what the world think of this new way of thinking.

bonus : How To Win A Free Chromebook from Samsung #Contest

What People Love

It boots up as soon as you open the lid for the first time. That surprised many. Here is a computer which is responding to you for the first time, as if it knows what you are up to. Okay, scratch that, its no artificial intelligence, but it was smart enough to add that option. Agree ? You are opening the Chromebook to use it, so you need it on !

It Looks Good !

Seems like most of them liked how the Chromebook looks like. Its thin, nice build and good polish. You get a good feel of it when you understand how little the world talks about Acer Chromebooks. It sits there in the corner ( have they started shipping them yet ? ) like a small high school kid being bullied by the whole class.

The Hardware

The trackpad and the keyboard has good appreciation so far. Some compare it to the macbook. Good job there by Samsung and Google, responding to the very bad feedback they got from CR48 Chromebook users during the pilot program. Things are more accurate and responsive now, both software and the hardware.

The processor is better than the CR48, so is RAM. This promises better performance, especially while streaming video in high quality.

Boots Up in Less Than 10 Seconds – +1 There !

The Chromebook boots up in around 8 seconds as promised,  in almost all cases. We should see this getting better with regular updates.

For many, being able to reach their browser and the web in less than 10 seconds was a new experience, and was one of the main reasons they opted for Chrome OS. This stands good and Chrome has made a nice first impression. +1 there Google !!

Box To The Web in One Minute – Magic !

A new Chromebook takes around a minute or so to get you set up completely, syncing all your data from your Chrome browser.  The set up procedure was simple.

  • Open the Chromebook, and it powers on.
  • Boots up in less than 10 seconds.
  • Select a wifi network
  • Enter your Google ID and password
  • Agree to terms and conditions
  • Select a profile picture or click one with webcam
  • Download the latest software update automatically
  • You are ready !

It’s simple and worked without any issues/errors. Well, if you want to set up a new Google Account from Chromebook, that’s possible to, and may take couple of minutes more.

Nothing But The Web

“Born for the web” was one of the keywords written on the manual in there. Yes, this is a new thought as Google mentioned during the IO 2011 keynote, and its just’ the web. People who bought the Chromebook seems to know this, so no one is crying yet asking for MS Office and Outlook. So, we are good here.

Automatically Updated OS

New Chromebooks received a OS update on the very first boot. Google will be pushing Chrome OS software updates to all Chromebooks and it will happen without user intervention. Nobody will worry about keeping their operating system up to date. Like it !

What People Hate

There are many who are comparing Chromebooks to normal computers and making statements about how this thing is going to fail. I am not listening to them. What I am interested in is, genuine comments from Chromebooks users.

It’s Chrome, I Already Know How To Use It !

Yes, Chrome OS is just the Chrome browser  and a few dashes operating system here and there. So you know how to use it already, if you are using Chrome as your browser on your PC or Mac. What a good way to start using a new computer with a new way of doing things, all of it look familiar !

Zip and  Unzip

Couple of them had issues getting zip files loaded. Compressed files are still unknown file type for Chrome OS. There should be a native way of extracting the content fro a zipped file or there should be a web based and easy to use alternative. For now, you need upload the file to one of the online services, extract it there and download again.

I am still digging for more complaints and hate speech 😀 Drop me a comment if you see one !!

Will You Buy A Generation 1 Chromebook or Wait More ?

Do you think you are ready to buy a Chromebook now ? If not, what makes you think its not ready ? Is it the hardware or the Chrome OS itself ? Well if you are waiting to find out how Chrome OS is like before buying Chromebook, read our complete review of Chrome OS here.

Let me know your thoughts !

In Category: Chromebook


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 26 Comments
  • Peter @ Cloud High Club 09/06/2011, 7:44 pm

    Great article, Dinu!
    I think we shouldn’t take chromebooks as ordinary computers. It’s more like a web terminal. Things like zip and unzip is not top priority on the feature list. People cannot unzip files on iPad yet it’s hot selling, right?

    • Dinu 09/06/2011, 7:46 pm

      I like your iPad argument 😀

  • Megagamerx1 09/06/2011, 8:12 pm

    I think one of the main problems with something like this is that no one is adopting the power of HTML5 yet. I just read in a post today that someone made a Linux emulator out of pure JavaScript. Think of that… real companies just need to adopt HTML5. Web apps like Google Docs are just going to get better as HTML5 is incorporated. Adoption + Time = Chrome OS Success!

    • Cougar Abogado 09/06/2011, 11:30 pm

      I really like this argument and the iPad zip point from above. Couple Google cutting off support for older browsers on August 1, and I think we’re really going to see some serious enhancements rolling out.

      As for buying a chromebook, I wish I had some extra cash floating around, and I totally would — trying to put the family first, here! For now, I can get by on my Cr-48, especially at school when I’m just taking notes, anyway, or on my HP when I get frustrated with the Cr-48’s speeds/occasional wonkiness.

      Unless someone wants to hook me up with a new chromebook, of course . . .

    • acupuncture 10/06/2011, 7:45 pm

      I think you are right. It’s a matter of time for HTML5 & PNaCl to mature. . . and that’s what MS has tried to stop for the past 15 years.

  • A-Saf 13/06/2011, 10:19 pm

    I had been really wishing that it would be going for $300. I think 500 dollars is too much for what it is. Right now I have a gaming laptop that is too big to carry any where so I am planning on getting a desktop and a small laptop. This seems perfect because everything that I do on a chrome book will automatically be available on chrome on my desktop.

    • Endre 16/06/2011, 2:29 pm

      This could be a real competitor for Apple since their market is filled with people who wants a laptop that just works! (its amazing how many of my friends that buys a macbook pro because they need a good laptop to use office products and play music and videos) And a real low price price could be the winning argument.

      Of course, a bigger SSD and a good music / video player + spotify support is needed to get my Apple friends away from their overpriced Macbooks.

  • Jonathan 29/06/2011, 8:03 pm

    Great article.

    I won’t be buying a Chromebook because my money is important to me and it would be for my wife who spends most of her time on Facebook (using Chrome) or playing Bejeweled which has to be installed. Kinda sucks that there is no OS to play around with, or I would totally shell out the dough.

    But again, great article! You helped me make the decision NOT to buy the Chromebook 🙂 (lol, I would have come to that conclusion AFTER I realized there is no way to ‘install’ programs)

  • Paul Dellinger 07/07/2011, 3:33 am

    The internet will keep evolving, so the chrome will keep getting better and better. Eventually google will find a way to sort out the compressed file problem.

  • Matt 15/07/2011, 5:55 am

    I’d like to say that the web apps being produced with the google web toolkit and the google app engine are going to completely revolutionize the internet. However, its funny, I need a new laptop for myself but I want to write programs of my own. The tools neccesary to create web applications require Integrated Developement Enviroments. These are installed as programs and require a operating system to use, so if I had a lot of mony, I’d probably get a mac and a Chromebook too, but the mac has got to come first (I can imagine a web app that will allow you to write programs, but not like what I got installed, not for a while). And since I dont have a lot of money, im just going to stick with windows

    • KNow more than u 25/11/2011, 11:33 pm

      gross dude, youre choosing a mac?? have fun with inferior hardware(such as the motherboards with PLASTIC WRAPPED CAPACITORS)

  • Mark 16/07/2011, 12:28 pm

    Not Netflix compatible, really bummed me out.

    • Dinu 16/07/2011, 1:28 pm

      netflix is on the way..

  • Johnny 20/07/2011, 11:58 pm

    Good post but i’m not buying it.

    I think that it is stupid to have this just download Google Chrome (I’m a really big fan of!) on a mac or windows pc so…
    Don’t waste $500 dollars on a internet PC.
    When my internet goes down with a regular PC/Mac I can play a downloaded game or I can do some work or play around in the system. With the Chromebook NOTHING!
    So its just Google Chrome on a empty hard drive.
    Get one for free on your Mac/PC.
    Or just get a virtual machine of it like a VHD file and put it in a virtual pc 2007 from microsoft!

    Am I right? If you think so reply and say YA.

    But good post!

    • Johnny 21/07/2011, 12:00 am

      So please reply and say your thoughts.

      • Cougar Abogado 21/07/2011, 7:37 am

        +Johnny, like an iPad, a chromebook is valued because of its unique attributes, rather than being a hardware stallion.

        I consider myself a geek and I value my Cr-48 (which is pretty dang slow, admittedly) over my super-fast HP mother-ship laptop because I can avoid dealing with spyware, malware, Windows updates, Windows wonkiness, and other windows headaches. In short, I love my chromebook because of what it gets rid of (headaches), in addition to what it adds (fast boot time, ease of use, etc.).

        Hope this helps.

      • Sheldon 18/08/2011, 5:09 am

        Correction, the ChromeBook DOES have the ability to play several OFFLINE games in those rare moment that you might have an internet outage (lets not forget that it also comes with 3G connectivity).

  • Kelsey Martineau 09/08/2011, 3:15 am

    First of all, great article. I disagree with the people comparing Chromebooks to Apple laptops and iPads. The functionality in an iPad runs circles around the Chromebook, not to mention the millions of apps available on the market.

    These are too simple for power users, and too complex for morons. Google won’t find a niche market for this product. I see these as a major fail. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of laptops online for under 500 dollars. The startup time isn’t a selling point either. That’s why Windows and MACS have standby mode.

  • Bharath 25/08/2011, 11:54 pm

    Awesome, but does this work without the Internet connectivity…..

    • efren 06/12/2012, 11:05 pm

      it has 3g internally but need to buy coverage. no, on wifi only. this is the future of computers apple started with the air book. everything is going to be online. get use to it.

  • Brian 17/09/2011, 12:56 am

    Yea, it is a pretty nice concept since I do a lot of work in the cloud. However, I wouldn’t even consider buying it unless it was about <$200. I mean seriously. You can get a netbook for about $250 and just download Chrome and have all functionality of the Chrome OS.

    Also, if you just use the internet and start up speeds are really important to you, you can install Chromium OS or JolliCloud on your netbook. Actually JolliCloud uses chromium as the browser but also has some desktop apps too.

    • efren 06/12/2012, 11:00 pm

      My samsung chromebook cost me around $ 200.00. it has sd card reader and usb. hdmi out put. I have a Mc pro notebook ,desck top , and a 2 pc lap and desk.
      I spend most of the time using my new samsung chromrbook. it is synced to my android to send data to my ph and the other way around.
      I’m uploading music to google play up to 20,000 songs. and uploading data to my goolge drive up to 105 gb of storage. all for free. because i got me a chrome book last week. I confest the fist night was a nigthmare. because i just forgot what they told me at the store.after that I’m happy, and recomed it . good tool. I can even use wifi in the airplain for free for two years, them I have to buy more. up to 250 mb so i can send an email in case of emergency on the air over 10,000 feets.

  • Kevan 06/11/2011, 6:03 am

    We (family) have the Samsung 3G version and the user experience has impressed me. Using a fast on device is an unexpected pleasure.

    In many ways, the Chromebook reminds me of early Windows when version 3.1 finally had us thinking that something (a graphical user interface) might be better overall than the speed of a DOS command line. In this case, the Chromebook has shown me how nice it is to use a computer and only think about what work I want to do.

    As to complaints, we have only had trouble with ZIP files and Windows Media Player files. Even though these files are supported and the player starts, none have actually played yet.

  • Greg 04/11/2012, 10:27 pm

    I’m loving it, but to answer the point of shortcomings, I’m finding the problems with playing media files such as silverlight and wmp is it. I found instructions on online that seemed answer how to get wmp to play, but it didn’t work because they were probably written for an Win 7 machine with Chrome, not a Chrome OS. Then, some other online streaming video that I thought would not play, is playing beautifully. Overall, I think its a winner, that will disrupt.

    • Dinu 05/11/2012, 7:45 pm

      I am sure Google will be addressing many of those shortcomings soon since Chromebooks are taking off finally..

  • ChristmasPresent 26/12/2012, 9:45 pm

    I just got a CHROMEBOOK for Christmas, and at first it turned on great and was amazing! The size is great and you can search the web very fast. But the next time I go to turn it on (today) it didn’t turn on, and is still not on… It is completely charged but I have no idea why it wouldn’t turn on.

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