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Using the Samsung Chromebook

It is in its usage that the Samsung Chromebook differs from regular laptops, since data and programs are stored mostly “on the cloud”, not in local storage. The Google Chrome Operating System is based mostly on the Chrome browser. The device is also different from tablets because of its screen, which is not touch-sensitive.

Something we liked was the boot speed of the device: it is ready to use in less than 10 seconds, even if completely turned off. If it is just sleeping, open the screen and it is ready almost instantly.

In order to use the Chromebook, you have to log in with a Google account. The device must be online when you first use it, but after registering an account, you can use it offline, but with reduced functionalities.

Another amazing point is that there is no need for any configuration by the user: everything is automatic, including the system update.

Figure 13 shows the main screen after the first login. Notice that all the icons are related to Google services: Chrome browser, Gmail, Google search, Google Docs, and YouTube. Actually, each icon just opens the Chrome browser with the specific webpage.

Samsung ChromebookFigure 13: main screen

Clicking on the icon at the bottom left corner of the screen, you have access to the installed “apps”. They are also, in their majority, just links to open specific pages on the browser.

There is also an icon named “Files,” which opens an explorer windows to the local filesystem. Even if local storage space is available, the Chromebook is based mostly on Google Drive do keep the files on the cloud.

Samsung ChromebookFigure 14: list of apps

There is a virtual store that allows you to install new apps, but, again, most of them just install links for opening pages on the browser.

The Chromebook is fast on most tasks, like opening and closing windows. We surfed the web for some time, opening sites and services, and everything worked perfectly. We watched a movie at Netflix with no hassle.

According to Samsung, the battery lasts seven hours in use. This good duration is due to the device’s low-consumption architecture. Besides that, as there is no fan or hard disk drive, the Chromebook is absolutely quiet.

The webcam works fine for video chat, even with its low resolution.

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Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.