Back in early June, we received our Samsung Chromebook Pro review unit. After having spent a month with the pre-production model back in February, I wanted to make sure and give this updated model a very thorough review period.
You see, as we’ve posited in the past, the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Pro are very important devices in the life cycle of Chrome OS. Though perhaps a bit premature (Android Apps are still in Beta, after all), these two devices are the most consumer-conscious Chromebooks to date. Fantastic screens, lightweight builds, and way more durability than we thought possible; the Plus and Pro deliver where consumers want.
While I was very favorable in my review of the Plus, I was really excited for the Pro to finally show up in a post-production fashion. The pre-production unit we tested was buggy and had all sorts of issues, so it turned me off initially.
The production model has had the opposite effect.
Don’t Worry, A Full Review Is Coming
After only a few days with this device, I knew Samsung had a winner. Sure, there are trade-offs here and there. The keyboard isn’t backlit, the…uh…well that may be the only drawback I have so far.
I try to be very objective when I review a device. I put each one through the same paces and then adjust my expectations based on what the use case is for that particular Chromebook.
For instance, though the Samsung Chromebook Plus was a bit too slow for me to use at work, I understand that is not the intended audience. Once I adjusted the expectation, I was able to use it at home and in more leisurely ways and it was a fantastic experience.
Similarly, I loved working from the ASUS Flip C302, but as a tablet and leisure device, there are other options that fare much better. However, when I reviewed it, I tried to see it from a productivity standpoint and could still find the upside.
This review period has been very, very different.
Normally, after a few weeks with a device, I begin finding all the things that drive me nuts. The screen. The keyboard. The trackpad. Performance. Price and overall value.
You name it, I can usually find something to give me a reason to keep looking for the next best thing.
I’m Not Really Looking Right Now
Let me state this clearly: I’m looking forward to whatever ‘Eve’ is. I’m looking forward to detachables and tablets as well. All that stuff is super-exciting. However, for the first time since starting Chrome Unboxed, I’m not pining after the next great Chromebook.
Instead, I feel satisfied.
I’m satisfied with how the Pro looks. Feels. Performs. I’m just happy with this device in every circumstance.
I’ve worked from it for weeks and the 4GB of RAM haven’t given me issue once. I’ve kept it as a living room companion in the evenings and a coffee shop warrior on the road. I’ve used it with extended display. I’ve used it to play Android games and sure, it gets warm, but my Pixel phone is like a skillet when I use Daydream. (Processors get warm. Arm or x86, it’s what they do. We have a video coming really soon to talk about that, but I digress.) I’ve put Ubuntu Linux on it. I’ve taken notes in meetings and just let my kids doodle on it in a waiting room.
I’ve lived all areas of my life with this thing in the last month, and you know what? I love it. I’d even go as far as saying it is the best Chromebook experience I’ve ever had, including both Pixels.
Sure, there are more powerful Chromebooks out there, but I never notice that. Sure there are better keyboards, but it is still a good keyboard. Better displays? No way. Better trackpads? Not that I’ve used.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro does whatever I need it to do whenever I need it to. Sure, there’s a bunch of cool stuff coming, but if you are in the market for a new Chromebook and want one that just performs so well at everything that you don’t have to think about how it performs, get this thing.
And get it now, because it is on sale and the deal is hard to beat!
Again, a proper review with a video is being worked on and will likely be a bit different than standard reviews. I’ve never had the ability to use a Chromebook so expansively for so long without feeling the need to get the review out. I’ve also not reviewed a pre-production unit prior. Lastly, I’ve not reviewed something that has so fully embedded itself into my daily life. This one is special, folks.