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Back story: I'm a big Linux user and developer, and I recently picked up the new Chromebook from Samsung. My goal is to replace my traditional laptop with this little guy.

 will

Unboxing the new Chromebook was pretty uneventful. It doesn't come with any media and accessories, just a laptop, charger, and a manual. Plugging in the power cord boots the Chromebook if the lid is open, when I get to a battery level indicator it was around 80%.

 

The initial setup process was 3 steps. First, you need to connect to your wifi network. ChromeOS will check for updates and download them before you can continue. This took about 10 minutes or so, and the system rebooted when it finished. Finally, logging in with your google account will bring you to a desktop. Since you hadn't logged in before, this process takes about a minute, subsequent logins are only a few seconds.

Update

Evidently I never finished writing this article! A few years later, I still have my Samsung Chromebook, although it is mostly a "loaner" device for friends who visit. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just got the newer Samsung 13.3 Chromebook with the 1080p screen! The old model served me well for 2 years and continues to see regular use. It was my only laptop for that period and it was a joy to carry and use compared to even a netbook.

Of course, nothing is perfect, so let's talk about that. On the up side, it's very light, it's very thin, it stays cool, and it's absolutely silent. The biggest down side, for me, was the screen resolution. Many laptops (and most Chromebooks) are still using 720p screens, which is really the lowest possible resolution that still provides real usability. Most web sites are built with this resolution as their minimum for a PC experience, but as soon as you open the developer console or try to tile a second widow, it just falls apart. Even with that said, it's fully in the "adequate" realm. The CPU isn't the fastest, but it has no problem playing full screen HD video (or 1080p on your TV if yo use the HDMI port). Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, they all work just peachy. As a media consumption and general internet use device, it's pretty great.

 

Google will be updating ChromeOS for these for a long time, so if you see a good deal on one, don't be afraid to jump on it!

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