Samsung Chromebook Plus Review

Updated on December 27, 2018
EricFarmer8x profile image

Eric has always loved to tinker with, and test software, and using computer software would become his great passion.

My Experience With the Samsung Chromebook Plus

I have owned the Samsung Chromebook Plus for over a month. I have been using it every day, and I have had enough experience to voice some thoughts about the notebook computer.

Here are the things I am going to cover in this review.

  • Why I bought the computer.

  • What I use it for.

  • What the computer is good and bad at.

  • How durable the computer is.

  • A few other topics as well.

The computer with the lid open.
The computer with the lid open. | Source

Why Did I Want a Chromebook?

I wanted a fast computer that could browse the web and also allow for some document editing and playing a few games offline. I also considered the fact that newer Chromebooks can run Android applications to be a nice bonus.

I needed a cheap and lightweight computer to bring to college as well.

Have You Used a Chromebook Before?

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What Chromebooks Did I Consider?

I choose to get this particularly Chromebook as I read good reviews about it online. The fact that the Samsung Chromebook Plus also runs Android applications was something I considered.

While I could have paid more money to get the slightly faster Samsung Chromebook Pro, the only difference I saw was the speed of the CPU (processor), and it cost $100 more.

I decided that the increase in price was not worth paying for and opted for the Plus model.

While I could have paid more money to get the slightly faster Samsung Chromebook Pro, the only difference I saw was the speed of the CPU (processor), and it cost $100 more.

I considered some more expensive Chromebooks as well. I would love to buy and own a Pixelbook, but the price range is way too high for me right now. I would spend that kind of money on a good desktop first anyway.

Overall, the main reason I choose this computer was cost and good reviews.

This Little Computer Is Fast!

For what it does, this Chromebook does it fast. It takes less than ten seconds to turn on when powered off.

Google Chrome runs well, as long you don't put a lot of strain on it by running many tabs and windows at once.

I have not had any performance issues in the apps that run on. I will talk more about how apps run in future sections.

I Already Use Google Stuff Everywhere

Chrome OS is an operating system based on the Google Chrome web browser. If you already use Google Chrome as your main web browser not much will change. You can keep using the same bookmarks, theme, and extensions you currently use.

I use many Google services in my life, and they run great on this computer.

  • I was already using the Google Chrome web browser.

  • I use Google Drive to save and backup files.

  • I use Google DOCs to write and edit files.

  • I use Google Sheets to many spreadsheets when I need to.

  • I use Google Search too many times to count.

  • I use Google Keep to make notes and track activities.

  • I use Google Calendar to remember future dates.

  • I use the Android operating system on my smartphone.

  • I use multiple Gmail accounts as my main email provider.

  • I use Google Play, Play, Movies, and Play Books.

  • I use Google Maps when I need to get somewhere.

I like services from Google, so I use them often. Everything syncs well, and most of the Google apps work great offline as well.

You need a Google account, but you could use other services for some things.

You do need to use Google Chrome as your main web browser though. There is no getting around this really. I guess you could use an Android web browser application, but you would be missing a lot of functionality.

Some Web Applications and Games Don't Work

I like to think of myself as somewhat accustomed to troubleshooting web browser issues. I have had to fix many issues for myself and family over the years. I also fixed many issues while working in an IT department at a university.

I could not figure out how to get some websites and web games to run on this Chromebook though. There are many issues and reasons why things don't work. Could be plugin errors and who knows what else.

Thankfully any important website I need to use works. The biggest offenders are Facebook games. Some work and some don't. It seems random sometimes.

I think the main reason some things don't run is that Google Chrome is trying to drop compatibility with older web plugins like Adobe Flash and Shockwave player. It is hurting me in the short term though.

Maybe some of my issues could have been solved with more time and research I guess?

If my bank and school websites run, I am not too stressed about Candy Crush Saga or a poker game not running I guess.

Chrome Web Applications

It turns out Chrome Web Applications were never too popular. I used a few myself in the past, and I am currently using some on my Chromebook.

I use a few specific applications over websites, and they work great. They are sometimes great alternatives to using websites.

For example, I am using the Google Keep web application. I also use the Pocket web application to read saved articles.

I guess people shouldn't be using these applications anymore as it seems Google wants them dead.

Android Applications on the Samsung Chromebook Plus

Bad News

Some Android applications work or run, but fewer will be 100% compatible.

I don't know about other Chromebooks but on my Samsung Chromebook Plus only a few of the applications I already used on my Android phone worked.

Many of the games I wanted to try on my Chromebook would not run or had display issues. I also had issues where I could not sign into Facebook to access the progress I already made in some games.

It seems games by bigger developers like King work have a better chance of running.

Also, applications open differently. Some go fullscreen, and others stay in a phone shaped window on my screen. I know this more of a developer compatibility thing, but it ruins any consistency.

This is not that big of a letdown as I considered using Android applications to be a bonus feature. I hope maybe in the future with more compatible updates, or future hardware more applications are in a better state.

Good news

The applications that did run without weird graphics glitches did seem to work great though. It just takes some time to figure out what applications will and what won't work.

My advice. Don't buy a Chromebook if you want to play or use a specific Android application. Do some research online and see if it works first.

Here are some some of the Chrome web applications and Android applications I use.
Here are some some of the Chrome web applications and Android applications I use. | Source

How Much Space Does the Computer Have?

The computer has a built-in memory card with 32GB of storage space. This is about the same as having a tiny SSD hard drive.

I mostly use my Chromebook online so having a small amount of storage space is not too bad.

I have found I have more than enough room to install the applications I need. I am not also using much space with the pictures and documents I use.

You can use a micro SD card if you want extra space, but I do not feel like I need one though.

But What About Video Games?

Do not buy a Chromebook to play video games.

Some web browser games, Chrome app games, and Android games will work, but that is it. So if you can have some fun with these types of games then no problem.

If you want more to play more games than that you would be better off getting a somewhat decent Windows desktop or laptop.

if you want to play a popular game like World of Warcraft though, please don't buy a Chromebook.

Even if Chromebooks could run Windows applications chances are the hardware would be too weak to run most popular games anyway. Not to mention online games take up lots of hard drive space. Something most Chromebooks do not have a lot of.

If you are a high school college gamer thinking about buying a Chromebook, you are going to want to get something else. Trust me.

The Computer Is Easy to Scratch

I am rough with my electronics, and it is a bad habit of mine. So no surprise my Chromebook has a few battle scars even after owning it just a month.

It turns out you shouldn't put this thing in a bag with other things. It still runs great, but the computer most certainly looks used though.

There are scratches on the bottom of the computer, and I damaged the paint on the top.

Small Form Factor

I like how small the computer is. It is very light and so much lighter compared to the first laptop computers I have owned.

The computer is easy to carry around and hold on to. I tend to leave the computer in the default configuration, but you can use in tablet mode by adjusting the keyboard.

But I Miss Having a Bigger Keyboard

I guess I can't have my cake and it eat it this time. While a smaller form factor is great, I also miss typing on a full sized keyboard with a numpad.

I also miss having a good mechanical keyboard. The tiny stub keys this Chromebook has doesn't feel the same. It took a bit of adjustment time to get used to though.

I suppose I could buy a bigger USB keyboard and plug it into the Chromebook I am not sure I would want to spend the money doing that.

This is the keyboard of the computer.
This is the keyboard of the computer. | Source

Weird Hotkeys and Keyboard Shortcuts

I am used to the keyboard hotkeys and shortcuts Windows and Linux has. So when I switched over to Chromebooks and I had to learn new ones I was somewhat annoyed.

For one some keys I am normally used to are missing such as DEL, HOME, etc. To compensate you have to press new key combinations to do the same things.

I am also still getting used to using the Chromebook specific keys on the keyboard. I suppose this is more of a nitpick than anything, but it is a learning curve.

USB Type C Is New and It Shows

This computer only has USB Type C ports. This would be great if more things supported this format, but I needed an adaptor to keep on using some of the things I already owned.

  • Want to use a USB mouse?

  • Use wired internet?

  • Use a USB flash drive?

  • Plug in a controller?

  • Plug in an HDMI cable?

Chances are you will need an adaptor of some sorts. Also, keep in mind this computer only has two USB ports so can you can't plug in much.

While charging this limits you to just one open port. The computer uses a USB port to charge as well.

The good news anything Bluetooth enabled works, and this computer has introduced me to the magical world of no longer needing cords. For now though I mostly still plug in things until I buy replacements.

Here are the USB devices and headphones I use with my Chromebook.
Here are the USB devices and headphones I use with my Chromebook. | Source

What I Think About the Included Stylus

I should take a moment to mention the stylus this notebook has. It has its own slot in the computer.

It works great for selecting and tapping things on the screen. I suppose if you interested in drawing it would be good there.

Also, don't play with the stylus. The stylus I had broke and ended up stuck in my computer. I had to unscrew the back of the computer to remove it Thankfully I was able to glue the pen back together, and it still works.

The stylus is not cheap to replace either. I would be careful not to lose it or break it.

The included stylus.
The included stylus. | Source

Final Thoughts on the Samsung Chromebook Plus

This computer functions how I need it to. It does not do everything I want, but for practical and business purposes it is good.

If you want something that can play games and still edit documents, you most likely will want a Windows machine.

If you love to use Google services this an amazing device to have.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Eric Farmer

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