June 28th was my last day at LendingHome. With that, I needed to give back my company laptop…which was effectively my only laptop. Since my iPad has been effectively commandeered by my 3 year-old son, I knew I had to get a replacement. Also being newly unemployed, I did not want to spend a lot of money. Enter in my serious consideration of buying a Chromebook.
I found a 2 year old Samsung Chromebook on Amazon for $85 (and had a gift card that knocked another $10 of the price). It was used…but when it first came out, it retailed for about $250. So not too bad. It had a scratch here and there…but seemed to be in excellent condition given its age.
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty here….
- Nice aesthetics
- Quiet and cool
- User interface is pretty intuitive
- Keys feel cheap
- Processor seems to struggle with heavy multitasking
- Touchpad has lackluster response
As a touch typist, I am still adjusting to using the Chrome OS specific keyboard…which is probably my biggest complaint so far. While I’ve never owned a MacBook, I’ve seen others who rave about the similarity of this laptop’s keys to the MacBook’s. However I don’t find that the flat, spaced out squares are comfortable to type on. But that is just me. Also it drives me up the wall not having a ‘Delete’ key. Instead there is just a ‘Backspace’ key. To make it worse, the power button is located where I am used to the Delete key being, so it goes without saying that I have inadvertently shut the laptop off once or twice.
I also find it frustrating that there is no spellcheck. Yes, this would be perfect for students…who really need to work on their spelling skills. But for me…ugh, I just need to get stuff done! When words are misspelled, Chrome OS will underline the word in red, but right clicking it does not give you the correct spelling. In the Chromebook’s settings, you can select ‘Enhanced Spellcheck’…which I did. But it still does not work as expected. So for now…I am just Googling the correct spellings of words (<<<yes, huge pain in the butt right there)!
Other then that, I am quite happy with my purchase. The Chromebook is fully capable of performing browsing the internet; and also supporting some tasks associated with that (i.e. utilizing the Google Suite to edit, save and upload documents). It is not meant to be a professional work horse (so the lacking processor performance and limited storage space is not a surprise.
To Sum It Up
Gone are the days when you needed to spend a ton of money to get your hands on a laptop. Chromebooks open up the world of personal computing to entirely new demographic. It really is a game changer. This is hands-down, probably the best $75 that I have spent in a long time!