Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US Specifications
|Display:||11.6″ 1366×768, 135.1 PPI, 200 cd/m²|
|Battery:||4080mAh 9 hours|
|Dimensions:||28.96 x 20.47 x 1.68 cm (11.4 x 8.06 x 0.66 in)|
|Weight:||1.2 kg (2.65 lb)|
|CPU:||Intel Celeron N2840 Bay Trail dual core @ 2.167GHz to 2.58GHz|
|Wireless:||802.11ac dual band and Bluetooth 4.0|
|Connectivity:||0.9MP Webcam Microphone|
|3.5mm Headset Jack
MicroSD Card Reader
Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US Review
A decent Chomebook for sure, but there are better options out there. First, let me review this and then I’ll tell you about a couple others to look into. First of all, this is Samsung’s newest released Chromebook and it packs some decent power, RAM, and hard drive space, but nothing extraordinary that you can’t find on other newly released Chromebooks.
Like many Chromebooks being released, this one is still using the Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz dual-core processor. It’s a decent processor and there’s no doubt it will handle everything you need it to, however, it is starting to become outdated, especially when you compare it to Acer’s new Chromebook which offers the NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core 2.1 GHz Processor. HUGE difference in processing power. That said, even though Acer is currently leading the way for other Chromebook manufacturers, you can’t go wrong with the Celeron processors as this is a Chromebook, not a full Windows running laptop.
The screen, again, leaves much to be desired. It is still only 1366×768 pixels which is to be expected for a Chromebook running an 11.6″ screen. Again, there are other Chromebooks out there running full 1920x1080p screen resolutions with more processing power, longer battery life, and a slightly larger 13.3″ screen, FOR THE SAME PRICE as this Samsung Chromebook.
The screen on this Samsung is decent and I don’t think you’ll really have too many complaints about it. It’s easy to see, doesn’t look too muddy, and reproduces colors accurately.
The Wi-Fi is great and uses the latest 802.11ac protocol which is up to 3x faster than the older Wi-Fi being used on older laptops and Chromebooks. This makes a huge difference as I’ve noticed this Samsung Chromebook connects quickly and easily to available networks and gets a really good signal where even my phone or Windows based laptop will not. Very impressed by the Wi-Fi.
The battery life is slightly above average when compared to most new Chromebooks. At 9 hours, you’re able to use the Chromebook all day without having to lug around your AC adapter. That said, there are other Chromebooks (specifically the Acer Chromebook 13) that are offering 13-hour battery life. They have the same specs as this Samsung Chromebook with a faster processor but the cost is the same. So, if you’re a power-user who needs to stream lots of video, chat on Skype, download and upload large files, etc., you may want to look into the Acer Chromebook 13 as it’s at the top of the list of Chromebooks at the moment. (On a side-note, Acer also offers a Full-HD version of the Chromebook 13, this time sporting an amazing 1920x1080p display, a much faster processor, and 11-hours of battery life… FOR THE SAME PRICE. If battery power is not super important (ie: you’re just going to be surfing the web or taking notes in Google Doc, etc., 9-hours of battery life is plenty!)
Okay, it’s 2014… NO laptop, desktop, or even these Chromebooks should be running anything besides USB 3.0 ports. This Samsung Chromebook does give you a single USB 3.0 port and another USB 2.0 port. I don’t get it. Why not just make both of them USB 3.0? And while I’m comparing this Samsung Chromebook to others that just hit the market, I’m going to have to mention the Acer Chromebook 13 again as it wins in the USB department with 2 USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI output port as well.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
At only 2.6 lbs and 11.4″ inches wide with nice 0.66″ thickness, this is a very light and comfortable to carry Chromebook. If you’re going to throw this in a bookbag or messenger bag, it’s going to slide in just like a small book or folder, not some clunky laptop. Samsung did a nice job here with keeping this Chromebook light and compact, yet still providing it with a solid feel and a well laid out keyboard that resists flexing when typing.
OVERALL DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY:
As I mentioned above, the build quality is very nice. I love the stitched look on the cover… it gives it an elegant and sophisticated look without going too over the top. The keyboard is well laid out, I didn’t notice much flexing of the keyboard while typing, as you’ll sometimes find on other Chromebooks, and overall, the whole thing felt nice and solid while carrying it.
BOOT TIMES AND WAKE TIMES:
The Samsung Chromebook is right on par with the competition when it comes to boot times and wake times. Booting in 10 seconds is only a couple seconds longer than Acer’s Chromebook 13, and the wake from sleep time is identical. It will be out of sleep mode and ready to go before you even get the screen opened!
The Chrome operating system is very stable and secure at the moment and Samsung emphasizes that with this newest Chromebook claiming it keeps the operating system files and app files separate to avoid “cross-contaminating” the files if a virus happens to pop up. Since the OS is still new, hackers are still trying to find ways to exploit the system but for the most part, they’re still having fun hacking Windows and Apple machines. For now, Chrome is pretty safe and safety and encryption is something Google takes seriously. (I can’t believe I just said that as Google Drive was down today for hours, but seriously, overall Google operates its services flawlessly while protecting your important files.)
BUILT IN WEBCAM:
Surprisingly, the picture quality is pretty decent using the on-board camera. It’s certainly not going to be as good as some of your high-end smartphones that can literally double as a camera, but it’s right on par with the rest of the competition including the iPad, Acer’s lineup, and so forth. I haven’t tested the Google Pixel Chromebook yet but I’d imagine it’s pretty similar in quality to that overpriced laptop, too.
You really can’t go wrong with this Samsung Chromebook. I LOVE Samsung products as they have a history of being reliable and high quality. As you could probably tell from my review, I honestly believe there are better choices out there right now that are a few steps ahead of the Samsung Chromebook in terms of processing power, battery life, and screen resolution, for the SAME PRICE. I don’t want to steer you towards one over the other but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t compare this Chromebook to at least one of the competitor’s in a similar price range. I’d really suggest reading this review and the review on the Chromebook 13 before you make any decisions. They are both great machines and I think you’ll be satisfied no matter which one you choose. This Chromebook is still too new to give you a 1-10 rating but I’m guessing it’s going to fall in the 8/10 range.