Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Samsung Chromebook 2 assessment
Chrome OS might not stay a genuine Windows before Mac killer yet, but Samsung's stylish Chromebook 2 makes a additional compelling set of circumstances than perpetually. This elegant ultraportable sports a frosty, full-HD make an exhibition of; a within reach preinstalled software suite; and all the endurance you need to get a hold through a workday and so therefore a little. However, $399 is dear representing a Chromebook. Is it worth paying the premium concluded HP's and Toshiba's most up-to-date offerings?
Samsung Chromebook 2
The Chromebook 2 borrows the LuxuryLite look of Samsung's Galaxy memo 3, honorable a silver, faux-leather lid with a tactile Chrome logo decorated on the top gone and a weighty Samsung logo in the Laptop battery field of the hub. The overall design, especially the pointed sides, are reminiscent of Samsung's premium notebooks.
A long time ago you friendly the Chromebook 2, you'll glimpse a charcoal-brushed bezel, which surrounds the notebook's 13.3-inch make an exhibition of and skin texture a 720p webcam by the side of the top. So as to same dark-gray conclude spills on top of the deck, which skin texture a prepared of black island keys and an LED power indicator on the top gone.
Additional: Chromebook v. Tablet: Which be supposed to You purchase?
The laptop's underside is mostly bare, honorable lesser stereo speakers on the gone and rectify edges, and four rubber bumpers to keep the Chromebook in the field of place.
Measuring 12.72 x 8.80 x 0.65 inches, the Chromebook 2's elegantly curved edges are thinner than individuals on the HP Chromebook 14 (13.56 x 9.44 x 0.81 inches) and the Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook (12.9 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches). By the side of 3 pounds, the Samsung Chromebook 2 is plus lighter than the 4.4-pound HP 14 and the 3.3-pound A3120.
Make an exhibition of
Samsung Chromebook 2Sporting a 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel make an exhibition of, the Chromebook 2 is significantly sharper than 1366 x 768p competitors, such at the same time as the HP 14 and Toshiba Chromebook. Whilst browsing websites such at the same time as TomsGuide.Com and ESPN.Com on Samsung's Chromebook, we enjoyed rich flag and razor-sharp text. However, don't expect open viewing angles from this classification; we had to urge the make an exhibition of pretty far back to get a hold the superlative picture.
The 1080p promo representing "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" looked satisfyingly vivid on the Chromebook 2. From a graffiti-laden city frustrate to the private hairs and facial creases of the film's apes, Samsung's notebook presented both field in the field of frosty element.
The Chromebook 2's make an exhibition of brightness averaged 214 nits on our light gauge, making it a small piece brighter than the HP 14 and A3120 (both 209 nits) and barely dimmer than the 216-nit ultraportable run of the mill.
The Chromebook 2's lesser stereo speakers are fine representing if a little background blare, but don't expect eminent fidelity. We heard unambiguous pointer vocals and pointer guitar whilst jamming Jenny Lewis' "Just single of the Guys," but the song's background vocals sounded tinny, and low was barely show.
Hip-hop songs, such at the same time as 50 Cent's "Animal hope," were similarly uneven, at the same time as the song's vocals and haunting low line sounded frosty. The track's synth and drums were too cloudy.
The Chromebook 2's sound output of 86 decibels (measured by a tone played from 23 inches away) outcranked the 82-decibel run of the mill representing ultraportables, but Samsung's notebook wasn't quite at the same time as loud at the same time as the Chromebooks from HP (89 dB) before Toshiba (94 dB).
Samsung Chromebook 2The Samsung Chromebook 2's reheat levels were mostly convenient in the field of our hard, though you might care for to stay well thought-out if you're using the notebook unswervingly on your part. Subsequently the Chromebook streamed 15 minutes of HD cartridge, its touchpad and G and H keys reached a practically comfortable 81.5 and 87 degrees, correspondingly. However, the notebook's underside reached a hotter 99.5 degrees, which is beyond our 95-degree comfort threshold.
Piano and Touchpad
Samsung Chromebook 2The Chromebook 2 sports a nicely spaced prepared of black island keys, featuring a out-and-out row of Function buttons representing website navigation, full-screen mode, switching windows, and adjusting brightness and volume. The notebook's keys retain a careful snap to them, but their dumpy travel of 1.09 millimeters (1.5 to 2 mm is better) command somebody to them feel too shallow representing our liking.
Despite this, we were able to type by the side of a cool 85.5 expressions for each follow up with 98 percent accuracy on the KeyHero Typing Test, besting our usual 75 wpm.
The Chromebook's 4 x 2.6-inch touchpad provides a satisfying click, though its single-button design lacks several designated areas representing gone and rectify clicks. While two-finger scrolling is enabled, you can't carry out other multifinger gestures, such at the same time as pinching to zoom.
Ports and Webcam
Samsung Chromebook 2The Samsung Chromebook 2 skin texture a practically standard scale of ports, with a DC-in, USB 3.0 docks and HDMI docks on the gone section, and a USB 2.0 docks and headphone/microphone combo jack on the rectify. Interestingly, Samsung opted to include a microSD certificate person who reads on the gone section as a substitute of a standard SD certificate slot. We like better the latter.
The notebook's 720p webcam is a functional selfie taker. The hues of our skin tone and purple dress shirt were reproduced nicely, though we noticed a little obvious pixelation in the field of facial details like our beard and hairline.
Samsung Chromebook 2Chrome OS makes the desktop experience at the same time as negligible at the same time as viable, with a menu button and app icons taking up a lesser corner on the substructure gone, and a widget representing moment, Wi-Fi and Settings on the substructure rectify. Clicking on the latter allows you to switch Wi-Fi networks, toggle Bluetooth, adjust volume, close up down, sign given away and cart up the bursting Chrome OS settings menu.
The Chrome OS Menu button acts like a Laptop battery simplified version of the Windows 7 Start button, at the same time as clicking it spirit allow you to browse and friendly all of your installed Chrome apps. Shortcuts representing Chrome, Gmail, Google Search, Google Docs and YouTube are show on the taskbar by default, and you can add several other shortcuts you'd like by simply dragging down their respective icons.
If you log in the field of to Chrome OS using your Google financial credit, you'll receive notifications representing things such at the same time as weather, Hangouts messages and even Amazon shipments rectify from your dash. If you make the most of Guest mode, you'll stay narrow to Chrome, stockroom, get a hold Help and library, and you won't stay able to install apps before download library.
Samsung Chromebook 2You can augment the Chromebook 2's app selection via the Chrome net stockroom, which at present skin texture in relation to 33,614 apps, according to ChromeOSApps.Org. While the net stockroom is a ways behind the 100,000-plus apps existing on Windows 8, you'll still stay able to learn favorites such at the same time as "Angry Birds," "Cut the Rope," Spotify, eBay and Pandora.
The net stockroom sorts its apps into Laptop battery opportune categories, so you'll stay able to browse specifically representing apps so as to come off offline, are business-oriented before are compatible with Google Drive. The stockroom plus provides recommendations based on how you expend your Chromebook.
While Chrome OS is largely a Web-based operating classification, its app ecosystem is in stages growing to support offline expend. Nearby are additional than 100 programs in the field of the Chrome net Store's Offline Apps section, which skin texture apps like cut back the Rope, Google Keep, Kindle Cloud person who reads and Google+ Photos.
You can expend default Chrome apps like Gmail and Google Docs offline, but you'll retain to at the outset enable offline functionality in the field of both agenda while you still retain a connection.
With our Chromebook 2's Wi-Fi bowed inedible, we were able to have the benefit of a the minority rounds of "Cut the Rope" and edit credentials offline in the field of Google Docs. Apps like photo viewer 500px provided very narrow offline expend,at the same time as we were sheltered given away of browsing pictures in the field of the widespread, Editors', future and Fresh tabs devoid of a connection.
Samsung Chromebook 2Powered by a 2.1-GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 central processing unit and 4GB of RAM, the Chromebook 2 acceptable us to carry out everyday tasks with simplicity, despite falling behind on a little imitation tests. We did notice a little slowdown whilst on stage "Cut the Rope" while at the same time browsing a dozen Chrome tabs and streaming song on Spotify, but things round given away subsequently a the minority seconds.
The notebook booted Chrome OS in the field of a zippy 6 seconds, tying the HP 14 (1.4-GHz Intel Celeron 2955U) and launching significantly closer than the 11-second gumboot moment of the Toshiba A3120 (1.4-GHz Intel Celeron 2955U) and the 11-second ultraportable run of the mill.
However, the Chromebook 2 fell behind the HP Chromebook whilst loading websites concluded the same Wi-Fi connection. The Samsung loaded ESPN in the field of 6.8 seconds and Yahoo.Com in the field of 7.2 seconds. By comparison, the HP Chromebook took 4.3 seconds to load ESPN and 2 seconds to load Yahoo.
The Samsung plus fell behind the Chromebook competition various imitation benchmarks. On the Peacekeepeer browser test, which measures browser swiftness, the Chromebook 2's do of 1,365 was eclipsed by the HP 14 (2,771), Toshiba A3120 (2,920) and the 2,203 group run of the mill.
Last of all, we loaded WebGL Cubes, which renders 150,000 rotating cubes with three illumination. This test offloads much of the computation to the graphics. The Chromebook 2 averaged 9 frames for each succeeding (the animation was quite choppy) versus a much smoother and closer 30 fps representing the HP Chromebook 14.
Samsung promises 8.5 hours of battery life with its most up-to-date Chromebook, and the notebook lasted even longer in the field of our hard. The Chromebook 2 endured a whopping 9 hours and 34 minutes on our battery test (Web surfing concluded Wi-Fi by the side of 100 nits), outlasting the HP 14 (7:57 by the side of 100 nits), Toshiba Chromebook (8:02 by the side of 40 percent brightness) and the 8-hour ultraportable run of the mill.
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Software and Warranty
Samsung Chromebook 2Compared to Windows and Apple gear, Chromebooks are typically light on preinstalled software. However, the Samsung Chromebook 2 ships with additional than $100 worth of especially applications, with collaboration tool Wunderlist Pro and LittleBridge.Com's language learning app.
Single of the additional captivating preinstalled apps is AirDroid, which lets you access your machine device on your Chromebook. The app looks like a desktop, but in the field of a browser window. At this point, you can point of view and download library from your phone before tablet, receive notifications -- such at the same time as newborn emails -- on your Chromebook, and forward and receive SMS messages.
Probably the coolest introduce is the Camera app, which lets you tenuously point of view and control the camera on your machine phone using the notebook.
You can plus download machine apps to your Chromebook, but you can't fool around them nearby. Discouragement.
Any more expedient introduce is so as to the app lets you tether your phone, either at the same time as a portable hotspot before via USB.
The Chromebook 2 comes with a gratis trial of AirDroid Premium, which overheads $19.99 for each time. This lets you hand on library up to 100MB in the field of remote connection mode, dial phone informationtion tenuously, bond up to six procedure, and glimpse through your machine camera tenuously.
The Samsung Chromebook 2 includes a one-year standard parts and labor warranty.
Our 13.3-inch Samsung Chromebook 2 sells representing $399 and comes loaded with a 1920 x 1080p make an exhibition of, a 2.1-GHz Samsung Exynos 5 octa-core central processing unit, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of sparkle luggage compartment.
The $319 11.6-inch difference has the same RAM and luggage compartment, though you get a hold a less-sharp 1366 x 768p make an Laptop battery exhibition of and a 1.9-GHz version of the Exynos 5 CPU. The slighter archetypal is existing in the field of black and pallid, while the 13-incher ships exclusively in the field of titan depressing.
Samsung Chromebook 2The $399 Samsung Chromebook 2 looks insincere, boots quickly and has everything you need to command somebody to the on the whole of Google's nascent Chrome OS. Its full-HD make an exhibition of puts it a step beyond many Chromebook competitors, and its small fry design and 9.5-hour battery life command somebody to it an ideal companion representing the road.
However, the sleeker body and sharper screen don't go cut-rate, at the same time as this mechanism overheads $100 additional than the HP Chromebook 14 and Toshiba Chromebook. On the whole importantly, the Chromebook 2's ARM central processing unit is slower than Intel Haswell-powered Laptop battery competitors. The Samsung Chromebook 2 is single of the sharpest, slimmest and longest-lasting Chromebooks yet, but the Toshiba Chromebook is still the superlative price.