Laid-back browsing, or work, it's all reasonable with Samsung Chromebook Pro

(Tech Xplore)—Whoa, whoa, steady Windows fans, Apple loyalists. Here comes a real threat to your belief system.

Another device is coming at you to do your work as well as deliver browsing choices, and it's from a place you might least expect. Chromebook land? Well, read on.

There is currently a pile of news sites finding good things to say about the Samsung Chromebook Pro. It is being touted as a contender that even could take a bite out of Windows PCs and Apple's MacBooks.

One news site even concluded that Samsung's Chromebook Pro will tear MacBooks into pieces. Well, we will see about that.

Gizmodo said, "This is a true competitor to Windows and MacOS that sacrifices bells and whistles for lean, smooth operation."

Carl Anthony Teves in Auto World News said, "the all new Samsung Chromebook Pro, which was revealed this past January's CES, along with the Chromebook Plus, will take on the Windows PCs and Apple's MacBooks."

Shelby Carpenter in Forbes has been "a dedicated Macbook user for over 10 years, and was initially drawn to Apple products because of the quality of the Retina display and the user-friendly interface."

Carpenter said Google's Chromebooks keep becoming closer and closer to high-end MacBooks and PCs with each iteration. "A few years ago, I would only consider a Chromebook as a back-up computer, and now I'm considering getting one as my primary machine next time."

Jared Newman, who covers technology for Fast Company, wrote, "here I am using a Chromebook in ways I never did before, and wondering whether I really need a Windows laptop anymore."

It has an aluminum chassis with satin finish, curved corners, and rounded edges.

It will run Android apps. It can run any of the apps in the Google PlayStore.

It has a powerful Intel Core m3 chip, 32GB of storage, and 4G of RAM. It runs off Chrome OS, built with Android Apps. Time said, "The biggest thing: the machines are integrated with the Google Play Store, which opens up Chromebooks to millions of Android apps."

A number of writers said the same thing about its design—as a well-built hybrid. The Pro device lets you use it as tablet or laptop, and easily so. Reviewers took note of the 360-degree hinge and touch screen.

"The 360-degree hinge means you can put the keyboard face down and have the screen up closer to you for watching movies and other non-keyboard-y activities," said Forbes.

Ports? The left side has one USB Type-C port. The right side houses one more USB Type-C port and stylus holder.

Weight? Carpenter said the device is just 0.55″ thick and weighs less than 2.5 pounds. That weight sounds really good to someone avoiding having to carry around a heavy laptop but Fast Company noted it is not so ideal in the other form factor. "Not that you'd want to go full tablet mode too often," said Newman. "The Chromebook Pro weighs 2.5 pounds, so the arms tire after holding it for too long."

As for charging, the Samsung Chromebook Pro charges off a USB-C port, said Carpenter, "which makes the charger cable smaller and lighter to carry around than your average laptop charger."

Valentina Palladino in Ars Technica spoke about another feature—the stylus. She was working with the Pro for a couple of days, and offered her review. She handled the stylus and said Samsung tried to make the writing experience more natural with it. They tried to perfect the friction that happens between the pen's point and the glass display to make it feel more like a regular writing experience as if you are working with pen on paper. "What they also did was to build a machine learning algorithm into the device so that it will almost predict where the pen is going to go next based on where you had the pen before."

All in all, she said it was a better writing experience than some of the other styluses she has used.

She also praised processor performance. She said she was able to use it as her regular work computer for a couple of days. She was able to have multiple tabs open.

How long can it run? The key question about drew a curiously inconsistent number of remarks from those putting the machine through its paces for review. Why?

Battery life did not leave Victoria Song at PCMag very impressed. "Its first time through our battery rundown test, the Chromebook Pro eked out just 7 hours, 36 minutes—a poor showing. On its second run, however, it lasted a more respectable 8:44."

Time found it lasted 7 hours. Glass half empty or half full? If you consider a day's work on a single charge 7 hours and you use it for work, then OK. "During my testing, the battery lasted for about seven hours, during which I wrote this review, played games, streamed Netflix and browsed the web."

According to the Samsung press release, the Chromebooks "feature batteries that last up to 8 hours," but the company adds asterisks for a footnote and that footnote says " Battery life is based on internal testing conducted by Samsung. Results may differ by usage pattern."

Several writers complained about the small size of the delete key.

Reports said that the Samsung Chromebook Pro will cost $549.

According to Samsung, the Chromebook Pro "will be available later this Spring."

Explore further: How Google Chromebooks conquered schools

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