I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop a few years ago (it is an i5 machine with 1TB...used primarily for processing pictures and videos) that ran on Windows 7. At the time, Windows 8 was the current OS but I had heard a lot of bad things...hence I stuck with Windows 7. Fast forward a couple of years and here is a relentless popup encouraging me to upgrade to Windows 10 for a free, incredible, feature-rich upgrade. After closing the popup for several months, I finally did it....I upgraded. WRONG MOVE!!
Currently, my laptop no longer functions smoothly or correctly. The trackpad goes buggy, I can no longer use the Start menu without an error, it hangs up mysteriously, etc. I spent weeks installing updates, doing workarounds, etc trying to get it to work. When I was finally so disgusted that I just wanted to revert to Windows 7, it was too late. I could not restore my system back to it's previous state. My beloved laptop was ruined!
I felt I should sue Bill Gates and Microsoft for the cost of my laptop...they presented their OS as a stable system, meanwhile they were using me as a beta tester. Since I have neither the time or money to litigate, I decided to take my dollars elsewhere. I first considered an Apple machine, but realized just how pricey they are. After many of our local school systems left behind the iPads for Chromebooks, I started to research them.
Chromebooks are basically laptops that only capable of running Chrome (they call it Chrome OS, but it is basically a glorified Chrome browser). My previous laptop was mainly used to process digital photos using Lightroom or Adobe's Creative Cloud. Chromebooks are not powerful enough to run real programs like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. They are not set up to install the software needed and even if they were, they do not meet the minimum specs for resource heavy programs like Photoshop or the latest PC game. If you need a laptop to run Windows or Mac OS programs, a Chromebook is NOT for you.
If you can do your tasks in the Chrome web browser, you should be able to do it on a Chromebook: watch YouTube videos, shop on Amazon, check email, type a document in Word (online version), pay bills online, etc. As a college student, I can use my Chromebook to complete 99% of all assignments required. The one snag that I had was when I needed to install a screen recorder for a Jing presentation in a technology class. Of course, I could not install the software onto my Chromebook (I ended up installing it on my buggy Windows 10 machine and suffering through the assignment). Outside of that, I have been able to do everything I've needed to with my Chromebook.
Since this is a browser-based machine, I should also mention that there is no way to directly install another web browser. I would like to have Firefox installed also since some web sites work better with it than with Chrome...but if you try to install the browser from the web you will get an error message. I have read that there is a way to Frankenstein a copy of Firefox onto the Chromebook but it is not that important to me.
As far as the quality of this Chromebook...it is very lightweight and very flimsy. In it's defense, all of the Chromebooks that I looked at in this price range are thin, lightweight and a bit flimsy. I really like the look of this Chromebook and the dimpled surface helps to give you grip when you are handling it. I try not to put the full weight of my wrists on this keyboard when I am typing and I surely try to not flex the lid/display as I open and close it (many reviews on the net say that the screen is easily broken and only adhered internally with a bit of tape...don't know if it is true since opening it up will void my warranty).
The plus side is that this is a speedy little laptop. As soon as you open the lid it is booted up and ready to work within a few seconds. Once booted you must sign in with your Google credentials for full access to your machine and it's features. I was able to surf without lag with 10-12 tabs open at once. If some of those tabs were streaming video, I could not open up as many before I saw the lag (but who does that...for me it was only for testing purposes). I watch HD video on my Chromebook without any problem (YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Tablo, etc). I used this Chromebook for the last several months during the summer semester of class. I would definitely buy this again and recommend it to others that need a cheap, efficient work horse. I would just caution others to be careful to treat it with kid gloves as a large fall or hit would probably destroy it on the first occurence. I recommend a padded case and a protective skin.
Cheap, plastic, flimsy feel
Cannot run software that require a true OS
Doesn't feel durable
Need Google Cloud Print enabled printer to print out of the box.
Nowhere near the risk for viruses/trojans as Windows systems
Can do most common tasks such as paying bills online, shopping, watching online videos, etc.
Quick and easy updates via Chrome OS
You can make any moderately modern printer able to print from the Chromebook using Google Cloud and a little work.
Very nice looking display for the price point.
Samsung's newest Chromebook provides the perfect balance to computing and mobility. Easy to take with you on the go, this notebook provides just what you need to check your email, work on a school project, do some web searching, and check your SNS accounts. Do what you need to get done without being weighed down by unnecessary features. The long-lasting battery will keep you going all day long!