Chromebook with an ARM processor

PSION Series 5

The PSION 5, the last ARM powered “laptop” I owned, it was a bit smaller than the Chromebook

I’m typing this on the smallest, lightest laptop I’ve ever owned, and it cost £230 – the Samsung Chromebook with an ARM processor, powered by a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual core ARM processor, and it’s really good, easily worth the money. This Chromebook is sometimes called the Series 3 by retailers, but Samsung and Google just call it the “Samsung Chromebook”, which implies this is the future direction of Chromebooks, away from Intel processors and onto ARM ones.

So far I’ve mostly been using it for experimenting, the browser works exactly as you’d expect it (it is Chrome after all), almost all plugins have worked fine (just one didn’t, for SSH, due to needing a native code extension), and overall the experience is very slick.

It played YouTube videos in HD without issue, and has in general been very good for graphics quality.

Chromebook image

Samsung Chromebook, things have moved on

The keyboard feels fine, much better than I expected really for a device that is made entirely from plastic and weighs almost nothing (1.1kg, or 2.5 pounds), the screen is decent quality (it’s matte, not shiny, so I’m happy), and so far it’s all “just worked”, which is Google’s main promise about the Chromebook.

While it’s not going to replace my existing Windows laptop for everything, I think it’ll do a lot, and I’m planning on experimenting with installing Ubuntu Linux on it over the next few days, and it’s a far better travelling tool than my heavy Lenovo Edge.

There’s lots of more comprehensive reviews of the Chromebook, but for now I’ll get on with using mine!