There's obvious interest around the Chromebook. Two reasons: It's a Google-based laptop. Apple has its army of followers and Google does, too. Until now, they haven't been able to use only Google-branded products. The other reason is an appreciation for Google's unique approach to distributing the notebook, which will be available to businesses for only $28/month and to students at a discount. Google for Business project manager Rajen Sheth "is stressing the three S's: simplicity, security and speed," GigaOm reported. Students and business executives are being encouraged to adopt the Chromebook because any updates to Google programs will occur automatically and can be accessed from any computer. No more need to install programs or driver. No reason to worry about losing files. (Unless Google accidentally deletes them.)
But how does it work? Only a few lucky reporters have been able to get their hands on the Samsung Chromebook Series 5. Here's what they have to say:
Melissa J. Perenson at PCWorld:
I'm not convinced that everyone will want, or even need, a
Chromebook. But what I saw so far looks to have promise. And with
pricing for Samsung's models starting at $430 for the Wi-Fi version, and
$499 for the 3G version, the Chromebok looks set to give standard
netbooks and ultralight laptops some new competition.
Perenson also noted that the machine's near-instant-on capability was a big selling point; her model started up in under 10 seconds. In addition, she enjoyed Chromebook's keyboard, describing it as "very roomy and comfortable for my touch-typist fingers," and how quickly the computer recognized her "random USB drive." Problems? "The high-resolution images didn't always automatically resize to fit the screen (as they do when you double-click on a photo in Microsoft Windows Explorer and open it [in] Window Photo Viewer," and Perenson found that navigating through dozens of open tabs was too difficult.
Mike Isaac at Wired's Gadget Lab:
Bottom line: we've seen and touched a lot of web-only notebooks in
the $400 to $800 dollar range, and none have felt as promising as the
Series 5 Chromebook. If the finished products are as half as nice as
this one, we'll be excited to see them hit the shelves in June.
Isaac appreciated how, at 3.3 pounds, which is less than the current MacBook Pros on the market, the Chromebook is not "terribly heavy." Additionally, Isaac appreciated the full-size keyboard and the ability to log in under a guest account to keep browsing details private. Still, it took him a little while to get used to the new search key, which is placed where a caps lock key would sit on a traditional keyboard. The new key "opens up a new tab in your Chrome browser upon pressing it," he explained, in awe. "Hit it again, and the tab disappears." Isaac sums up his feelings about the computer in only a few words: "Frankly, we're stoked on this thing," he wrote.