Review: Samsung Chromebook (2012)

This time I am going to try something new. I am developing a live comment document inside of Google Docs to serve as my commentary while I use the the device. It is posted after the jump link below.

Updated The original embed was not a good idea. Here’s the day one review and the link to the live Google Doc.

Day One
Basic Use:I left it unplugged for the evening to see what it would be like and what it would do in the morning. I had three tabs open: WordPress Blog, Google News, and Google+. Upon opening, none of the pages auto updated and I was never prompted to re-enter a password to begin using my Google login. This is a great advantage for time waste but can be a huge security risk for those who just leave their laptop around closed. When I did refresh each page it was snappy and quick, there maybe be auto-caching while it is in sleep mode. Of course with any new OS there is a bit of a learning curve. Going from a conventional two button mouse pad on my HP to a single trackpad required a bit of digging to see how gestures were setup. Notably, the fact that spell check would highlight but a simple hover would not give the suggestion box for changes. Other issues are simply notable lag as the processor has to keep up with certain programs. The other noticeable difference is the keyboard layout. If you don’t know all of the shortcuts then moving to the end of a line without an End button is a bit annoying. Of course now I have a reason to learn more of the short keys. (Ctrl + Arrows jumps to the end of a word.) The layout is a bit cramped based on the width of the actual laptop, the keys seem to be just slightly larger that those on my HP. I know the intent is to be compact, light and portable but it does make typing a bit tight on the shoulders.

Educator Usage: Kentucky uses Infinite Campus, and it is a data hog. The Java based program requires a lot of CPU and can bog down any beasty on a slow connection. I added a few new fields and ran a live calculation on a class set. It worked as expected but was as always. Personally most classrooms should move back to a set of two or three desktop terminals, One for Teacher priority usage, and then simply push teachers over to using a tablet or small laptop. Cloud storage via MS One Drive or my preferred Google Drive, has basically made the required large portable disk space obsolete. Now, since this is the main reason why i was so interested in getting my hands on a Chromebook, I immediately noticed a problem, HDMI only. Our current classroom projectors only use VGA with attached audio imbedded. I think my idea of a work around will be to use my VCR/DVD player and run the video but then I have the problem of dealing with audio output. Ill have to ponder on this for a bit and see what nifty ideas pop up on web searches later tonight.

PS: While writing all of this up, I noticed that my typing and usage of the trackpad has become much easier to handle and