Is the Google Chromebook Right for You?

The Samsung Chromebook is a notebook computer that only costs $249, but that alone shouldn’t be enough to convince you to buy it. If you’re a smart buyer, you are going to want some information about it and a second opinion. The Samsung Google Chromebook is currently sold out at the time I’m writing this article (12/28/12), so I thought this would be a wonderful chance to go ahead and give you that information and second opinion.

google chromebookThe Samsung Chromebook (which is the one I recommend) retails in the Google Play store, Amazon, Best Buy, and many other authorized locations for only $249. That price is extremely low, considering you can’t even get a (good) netbook for that price. The Samsung Chromebook is way more than a netbook, but a long shot. There are some reasons why that price is what it is though.


Google is Involved

Let’s face it, Google has endless amounts of money, and tons of free services which bring them tons of revenue just by allowing you to use them for free. Their stock price is through the roof and continues to rise, and even the death of Android couldn’t cause their stock price to go down to something insane (say $100 a share) because Google has become a verb, and it’s used by everyone. Google is going to want to make any device that is directly involved with them affordable, simple because they want as many people using as many of their free services as possible.

The OS

The Google Chromebooks runs Google Chrome OS, meaning that there are no licensing or software fees that Google has to pay out to developers. This means less cost to Google, which means less cost to you.

Low Storage

The Samsung Chromebook comes with a 16GB SSD, so essentially it would be like your 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3 as far as the amount of storage. This isn’t that much of a problem because the Chrome OS forces you to use the internet for most of your tasks, meaning you will barely need that SSD except for some downloads if you’re a blogger like me. The Acer Chromebook ships with 360GB of storage, but it’s a standard hard drive, so your battery life is compromised.

Proprietary Chipset

The Samsung Chromebook runs on a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual-Core CPU. This means that Google most likely got a huge deal on the CPUs, and they also don’t have to pay huge licensing fees to Intel or AMD for similar CPUs that retail for anywhere from $100 – $300.

Small Screen

The Samsung Chromebook includes a 11.6″ screen which is a bit small, but that shouldn’t be a complaint at $249

So Should You Buy it?

The Samsung Chromebook is a great computer for only $249. It runs quiet, it’s super light and super thin, and sort of looks like a Macbook Air from a distance. However, if you don’t use any Google Apps already (even Google Docs/Drive) then it is going to be a bit of a learning curve for you. The Chrome OS is essentially a combination between Android and Google Chrome. If you didn’t already know this, you can run apps straight from within Google Chrome. You will be able to run any of these apps on your Chromebook as well. However, it’s not just a web browser when you log in, there is a file system, various settings to play around with, and standalone applications.

I haven’t bought a Chromebook yet because at the time I’m writing this they are still sold out, but I plan to buy one pretty soon after they become available again, however, I only plan on using it strictly for when I am mobile. When I am mobile, usually all I am doing is blogging and possibly editing a spreadsheet. This can all be done easily and very well on the Chromebook. I would not buy the Chromebook with the intent of using it as I use my main desktop computer or even my MacBook Pro, that’s just not going to happen.

If you are looking for an inexpensive computer to do light work on when on the go, and you don’t need to install any software in order to do it or your software can be used over the web via a cloud, then the Chromebook will work for you. Keep in mind that you do need an internet connection to use it. You can still log in and browse files stored locally, but beyond that you won’t be able to do much.


Paul Shirey

Can't talk, playing Xbox.