A few weeks ago I bought a Samsung Chromebook (£220) and received an ultra-light, 11 inch, super slim laptop. I bought it only after my usual relentless justification process i.e. I want it so where will I use it. I decided that it would live in the sitting room, at the dining table, and I’d use it for long form writing, email and surfing, all things I do on my iPad but without the severe amount of pain.
So, I was aware that I was getting a ARM processor with 16gb of onboard storage and that my default storage would be Google Drive of which they provided an additional 100mb for three years.
What is it like. Simply stunning is the short answer. By not pretending to be a full blown laptop they have focused on doing the few things it does do well, brilliantly. One of the pitches Google makes is that unlike other computers this one gets better rather than worse over time. How true. You don’t update the OS it just happens in the background so you just keep on working.
But all of this is fine but the real killer is the boot up time. I can go from a cold boot to working in 9 seconds which is faster than an iPad and a warm boot is under six. So in practice you get a laptop that is instant on. This makes using it a massively compelling proposition. You get a full computer connected to the web and ready to go under the time it takes to type this sentence.
Google integration is amazing as you’d expect. I set up a user account for my wife and instantly her Gmail, Contacts and Google Drive folders as well as her Google Play Muisic were available.
The battery life is great at 5-6 hours. The screen isnt the best but at the price is more than usable. In short a brilliant computer as long as you stick to the 95% of computing you usually do. If you want to do Photoshop and video editing use your other computer.