This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Samsung Chromebook Initial Review

Got to preview a Samsung Chromebook.  Here is my initial review, after trying it for an evening.

First thing I noticed (as I was typing) is that the keyboard does not have many of the standard keys one might be used to on a laptop/desktop.....such as a print screen, delete key, page up, page down, end key, no function keys, and home key.  For some this might not be a big deal.  For me, who is very dependent on moving around with the shortcut keys in documents, it is noticeable, as I have to now move around with the arrow keys.  I investigated some of the possibilities.....

Backspace - removes whats to the left of the cursor (regular backspace key).
Alt-Backspace - performs the function of the delete key - removing to the right of the cursor.
Ctrl-Backspace - removes the WORD to the left of the cursor.
Shift-Backspace - seems like a regular backspace key function.

Ctrl- Right Arrow - moves one word at a time to the right.
Ctrl-Left Arrow - moves one work at a time to the left.
Alt-Up Arrow - moves to top of document.
Alt-Down Arrow - moves to bottom of document
Shift-Arrow - Highlights text in that direction.

Ctrl-SwitchWindows - does a screen snap shot - since not PrintScreen key this is a new key function to learn.

The 'ports' on the back of the chromebook are:
- A MicroSD card slot. I think this is the solid state drive.  I assume it's a regular microSD card.
- Two USB ports (one is USB 3.0 and one is USB 2.0)
- An HDMI port to connect to external devices.
- The power port.

There is an SD expansion slot on the left side that is empty, so you can add more storage or input camera cards to read pictures off of.
There is also on the left (near the SD slot) ONE port for headset/microphone. Must be multi-purpose like on a phone and is not TWO seperate ports for headset & microphone.  I like that.
That's all the ports.  Seems like that would be good enough for most users.

Other Stuff:

The screen is easy to view and seem sufficient.  Might a bit small for my taste if this were my primary machine, but for short-term use (like writing this blog entry) it is fine.

With the touchpad you can do two finger scrolling (is it multi-touch?).
When you have a USB mouse plugged in, the touchpad takes a second to 'wake-up' and recognize you are using it.

The video seems very nice.  I watched a couple of YouTube videos and they quality was very good, especially if you watch in full screen mode.

The sound coming thru the speakers was very loud and clear.  It was better than I was expecting.

Printing:  How do you set up a printer.  Seems like it needs to be done via the settings with Google Cloud Print....something I'll need to look into.

Battery Life seemed very good.  I used for two hours testing and only used about 40% of the battery life.

An Odd Function:
When you start to close the chromebook, the screen shuts off and locks the computer, when the screen comes down to about a 30 degree angle.  It basically shuts down before you close the chromebook fully.

I was moving the chromebook on my table and just closed it a bit to more easily move and it powered off the screen and I had to log back in when I opened it fully.  Not a big deal either, but odd.

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