I’m using a Samsung Chromebook to repost this. I’ve bought both the first generation and the Samsung Series 5 edition last spring. Like most of the people mentioned in the article I both bought on Amazon and got the Wifi only model.
While I’ve been testing lots of tablets lately, I’ve used a Chromebook since they came out because they work. A Chromebook has a lot of advantages over trying to use a tablet as a laptop. The most important, and obvious, is that it’s got the “desktop” version of Chrome so web pages load faster and more accurately. There’s no touch screen, but a trackpad like most laptops. It’s always up to date (with both Stable and Beta Chrome channels). It’s often a lot snappier thanks to an Intel laptop class CPU and integrated graphics. The 12″ screen is bright enough to use just about anywhere and battery life is often 6 to 8 hours.
This unit only has a 16 GB SSD, but since I keep everything on Google Drive (and Dropbox before that) local storage is not a problem. With 4 GB of RAM there’s plenty of room for a lot of browser tabs. As for apps if you can load it into a browser on your Windows or Mac machine, it works on this Chromebook.
A Chromebook couldn’t be my primary machine, but could and should be for many users. While there’s an SD card reader it’s not the machine for photo editing, and browser based photo management is poorly implemented by most services. A touch tablet is a better game machine and the high resolution screens on the 10″ tablets blow away the 1280 x 800 Chromebook. In my experience the Chromebook is a great second machine. A cheap, light highly functional laptop for home when you don’t want to bring a Windows or Mac machine home from the office. Carry it with you on the road for a lighter load but the ease of use of a full keyboard and browser. Send it to college with a student, especially paired with an Android tablet, for full functionality with a lower combined cost than most Windows or Mac laptops. Give it to anyone who’s intimidated by technology for easy use and maintenance.
If you’re not familiar with Chromebooks from Google, check them out if you’re thinking about getting an easy to use, easy to maintain low cost laptop for email, browsing and web apps.