Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Staples. All opinions are my own.

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

With back to school time upon us, many parents are thinking about buying a computer for their student. I recently had the opportunity to review the Samsung Chromebook. This was PERFECT timing for me, as I have a son who will be heading to middle school in the not-to-distant future. He has been asking to have his own computer for school (and let’s get real– play games and watch YouTube) but we have held off until now. I was curious about the Samsung Chromebook and whether it would be a good fit for our family. Starting the review, I had some questions.

Is the Samsung Chromebook a Good Choice for Students?

1. What are the capabilities for doing schoolwork (writing papers,making presentations etc)?

2. How easy are the functions for a kid to use?

3. How heavy/portable is the machine (is it something a kid could comfortably carry in his or her backpack)?

4. Is there tech support available?

5. Is is a good value for the price point?

Samsung Chromebook Info (from the Staples website)

  • Samsung Exynos 5 Dual 1.7GHz 1MB Cache Processor
  • 2 GB DDR3L 800Mhz Installed Memory
  • 16GB Solid State Drive
  • 11.6″ HD Anti-reflective Display (1366 x768)
  • Google Chrome Operating System, which ensures a secure virus-free experience, it updates itself automatically and storage in the Cloud means secure, convenient access to your data.

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

Getting Started with the Samsung Chromebook

 I am fairly savvy when it comes to blogging and social media, but I don’t feel as confident about my techie skills. The thing I appreciated about the Chromebook was how simple it was to get started. After receiving a box from Staples I opened it up to find the three essentials– the Chromebook, an AC Adapter, a Power Cable and the Quick Start Guide. Just plug the Power Cable into the AC Adapter and the other end of the Adapter into the computer and you are in business. A kid aged 10 or up could do it by themselves.

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

Once you start the machine, you are prompted to choose your language, and keyboard and select a network. The language and keyboard were a cinch. I experienced a little bit of a hiccup with the network. Basically, the Chromebook “picks up” the nearby networks. We have one for our home, as I’m sure many people do, that’s password protected. So here’s my tip– KNOW THE CORRECT PASSWORD FOR YOUR NETWORK, including the cases.

I entered our wifi password and was denied from the network. I instantly figured out I had forgotten to make one letter capitalized. No biggie, right? Just try again. Well, that was the hard part. It doesn’t give you another opportunity to try again.

But that was kind of a good thing because it let me to an answer to question #4: Is there tech support available? I consulted the handbook that came with the computer to find the site for Chromebook Help. After reading up on the issue and following the prompts, I realized I needed some support from a human. So I filled out the brief form to be contacted by a Chrome Ninja.

Within 10 minutes, I had an email from a Chrome Ninja, who helped me work out my problem through a series of emails. Basically I needed to get on a public wifi network to reset my computer aka “powerwashing” it. Issue solved and a enthusiastic YES to Question #4 about tech support– it is available.

It isn’t essential for you to have a Google account to use the Chromebook, but if you don’t, the functions are limited. I already had a Google account and was able to login, no problem. You can also sign up for a Google account by clicking “Create a Google Account” on the right of the log in screen.

 Using the Chromebook

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

Now that I was “in”… yay(!) everything was easy peasy. A bright, easy to follow screen popped up with rectangles filled with helpful things like “Welcome to Your Chromebook,”Get to Know Your Touchpad,” “Save an access files,” Work offline,” Redeem your free offers,” “Create documents,” “Chat, phone calls and more,” “Listen to music,” “Edit photos,” and “How to Print.” 

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

Additionally, apps are available in one convenient location by clicking a little icon at the end of the line of icons.

So the Chromebook is a different type of computer from Google. What makes it different?  

How is the Chromebook Different from a Traditional Computer?

-Google apps that you use frequently are included (like Google Search, Google+, Google Calendar and  YouTube among them)

-Your files are stored online

 I thought that was helpful and cool to have those apps already there, especially if this computer was going to be used by a student.

I checked out some of the other features of the Chromebook.

 Create Documents

This was something I was very interested in, as it related to students– how to create different documements. After clicking on the “Create Documents” rectangle, three apps are displayed:

Docs: Word Processor

Sheets: Spreadsheet application

Slides: For presentations

I messed about with “Docs.” It was an easy to use system. There is also a share function, which could be great for a student working on a project with another student. “Sheets” looks like a big spreadsheet. It could be helpful for a Science project and again– it has the share function. The “Slides” app also appeared to be something that would be great for students. Lots of different Google themes, layout and transition options. So I had an answer to Question #1: Yes, there are great apps for writing papers and presentations… AND Question #2: Yes, the functions are easy enough for a kid to use.

Samsung Chromebook Review and Giveaway

Chat, Phone Calls and More

The Chromebook comes with a built-in webcam and microphone and it allows you to IM, make phone calls and video chat. 

Edit Photos

It also has an image editor, allowing you to easily edit photos. You can access this feature by opening any photo file from the Files app and then you can upload them to albums online.

Play

For those times when students aren’t using the Chromebook for their (ahem) studies, there are THOUSANDS of free and paid games in the games section.

Pick Your Wallpaper

Young people love personalizing their stuff.  There’s an app that allows you to choose one of their pre-loaded wallpaper or upload your own, choose your own background image and add your profile photo. I think students would love these features.

Redeem Your Free Offers

Of course I had to redeem the free offers which turned out to be 100GB of Free Storage. Awesome!

Light and Portable

At just 2.5 pounds and is 0.8 inches thin the Chromebook is very light. It also has over 6.5 hours of battery life. To answer Question #3: The Chromebook is light and portable and it would be easy for a student to carry it in a backpack.

Virus Protection Built In

The Chromebook has built in virus protection, giving students and parents peace of mind.

Price

 At $249, I think the value is great for the price point.

Samsung Chromebook: A Good Choice for Students

Here are the questions I had when I began this review and my conclusions:

1. What are the capabilities for doing schoolwork (writing papers, making presentations etc)?

Great capabilities for writing papers and doing slideshows.

2. How easy are the functions for a kid to use?

The functions are very easy to use.

3. How heavy/portable is the machine (is it something a kid could comfortably carry in his or her backpack)

The machine is extremely light at 2.5 pounds and 0.8 inches thin.

4. Is there tech support available?

There is solid tech support available.

5. Is is a good value for the price point?

 The price point of $249 is really reasonable for all the things this machine can do.

Samsung Chromebook Giveaway

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I appreciate a machine that’s easy to set up.

  2. says

    This is an awesome giveaway!
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  3. Kim Reid says

    I like the part of the review about the Chromebook being a good choice for students because that would be very important issue to my family, thanks!

  4. mary Anne says

    The part about using google apps and the capabilties of the machine such as video I had been wondering what these Chrome computers were and now I know!!

  5. says

    Well this is exciting! For a med student + complete Google Fan Girl like me this would be amazing ^.^
    That was also a really good review! Thanks!

  6. Natasha says

    The points on why its good for students was very helpful. My sister is in college and this would be great for her!

  7. Jenna says

    WE LOVE the chromebook. We have had many over the last few years as testers. My girls are always so sad to have to give them back. They are so handy because each of us has our own log-in.

    Think how nice it would be without netbooks – only chromebooks – my daughter’s shoulders would be happier walking to and from the bus with a chromebook :) No more lost thumb drives. I could go on and on. Great giveaway Malia!!!

  8. says

    My favorite part of the review is the section on document creation. This sounds like it would be super easy to create the homeschool documents we need, the business documents I need, and the worksheets we need for homeschool group. It sounds like a great overall option for our family.
    Cassandra Holdeman recently posted…Summer BreakMy Profile

  9. says

    We have a son entering college this year and have been looking at laptops ’till my eyes bleed. We still haven’t agreed on one…he wants it to look “cool” and I want it to be “functional”.

    Although another option is something we don’t really need, I’m glad I read your post…this might be the one!

  10. Laura says

    Our computer situation at home is dismal. My laptop from 2009 is a sad, pitiful mess. It’d be nice to have something we can do actual work on. The review was all around helpful.

  11. Rebecca Brewer says

    This looks great. I love my Samsung phone and google, so this has to be even better! I use mac all day so I like to use anything else at home, just to separate from work! Thanks

  12. Susan H. says

    I liked all of your review. The comparisons to traditional computers and the details were great. I love the sounds of this product. Looks like a good fit and value for me. Thanks for chance to win.

  13. Amanda Sakovitz says

    I loved how the review explained how the apps were organized and also the tech support usage was helpful. I’ve always wanted a chromebook! Thank you for the review and giveaway!

  14. Darlene Carbajal says

    I like how it’s a good choice for students. I’m currently a college student and this will be great for me!

  15. Ali Goff says

    This sounds like the perfect computer for me as a college student. The price is amazing and all the features sound great.

  16. Laura says

    well first of all this laptop looks easy to use. Its awesome that files are stored online incase you accidently delete something or your computer crashes! I also like that it has built in virus protection that is awesome cuz theres a lot of spam out there!

  17. Stephanie Gossett says

    I loved your review. I liked how you went in to detail about the differences between this and a traditional. I am a homeschooling mom of four daughters and this would be an incredible blessing to me! I could not even imagine winning. I love that it is easy to use for students. It seems like a great buy for the money. Thank you for hosting. Have a great week!

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  18. Denise says

    I’m glad to know it’s only 2.5 pounds. The laptop I have now is old and heavy and I’ve been thinking that one perk about getting a new laptop would be how they’re so much lighter these days!

  19. Marti B. says

    How the Chromebook was different from a computer was the most helpful bit. I’d wondered about that subject for a while.

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