Chromebook: First Impressions

It looks good.

My new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook came in this past Wednesday. I’ve been so busy with end of the quarter grading and parent/teacher conferences that I’m just now getting a chance to really play with it.

Here are some first impressions:

1) Nice size – The 12.1″ screen doesn’t feel cramped like my old netbook, but you don’t have to sacrifice portability.

2) Love the simplicity – Chrome OS seems like it will be a good fit for me. So far I don’t feel like I’m “missing” anything.

3) The price was right – I watched Series 5 prices on eBay for about a week while I sold my netbook and iPad 2. New chromebooks were selling for $360 to $400 including shipping. I got lucky and was able to get mine for $322 with free shipping. Retailers like Best Buy and Amazon are selling them for $499.

4) No need to buy software – When I bought my netbook, I also bought Office 2010 Student Edition ($80) in order to write math tests and lesson plans. When I bought my iPad 2, I had to by apps for those same tasks: Pages ($10), Numbers ($10), and MathBot ($5). Google Docs has all the features that I need for my school work…and it’s free!

5) Feels cheap – My iPad 2 felt heavy yet well made. The Series 5 feels heavy yet cheap. This isn’t a major issue for me, since my chromebook will not normally leave my house. For anyone who plans to tote it around, I would suggest a well padded bag.

Overall, I am pleased with my purchase. I used Google Docs on my school computer to write a couple of tests earlier this week, and I used a Google spreadsheet to write my lesson plans today. At the moment I’m writing this blog on my chromebook (I normally use my phone to compose posts…its nice to have a real keyboard for a change). So far, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook has been a convenient, easy to use gadget.

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