(CBS) - It's finally out!
The Samsung Chromebook Series 5, a stripped-down laptop featuring Google Chrome OS, can be purchased from Best Buy and Amazon. Are you planning on buying it? With headlines suggesting that the Chromebook is "tepid" and "works great only if you're online," leaves many on the fence.
The device (which is priced from $430 to $500) - a bargain compared to MacBooks, which start at $999 - is built and optimized for the Web. It promises a faster, simpler way to surf in a more secure experience.
The Acer Chromebook does the same - only it's smaller, lighter and cheaper (starting at $350); but doesn't have the same high-definition multimedia interface and VGA connection that the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 does.
But is the Chromebook better than other computers out there? Or, is it merely a hyped-up tablet? Here's who dissed it and who loved it...
Dissed by New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue: "Chromebooks assume that you are online anywhere you go. We are not quite there yet. When you're not online, the chromebook is a three-pound 'paperweight,'" he pointed out in yesterday's column entitled "A Laptop, Its Head in the Cloud." He did, however, find it "beautiful and has a MacBook-esque feel." He said typing on it is a dream though it's missing a Caps Lock button.
Loved by eWeek's Clint Boulton: "Samsung's Chromebook is a fine, fun and fast operating little cloud computer machine. If you've used the Cr-48, you'll feel right at home. If not, the paucity of local storage options may throw you a bit," he said in his review entitled "Samsung Series 5 Chromebook Review Reveals Speedy Cloud Computer." Boulton also gushed over the 4,500 apps to choose from in Google's Chrome store (and the fact that most are free), its Google Talk video chat and the fact that the laptop allows him to access all of his "Web content in a speed fashion."
Dissed by CNET editor Joshua Goldman: It's "expensive for its features and abilities," said Goldman in his review. Although he realizes its appeal (because it's good-looking), he wouldn't recommend the new laptop. His bottom line: "Despite solid hardware, great battery life, and fast start-up, we can't recommend the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 until and unless Google improves the Chrome OS."