Now, don’t get it mixed up. This is a Samsung Chromebook 3 review, and we’re NOT talking about Samsung Series 3 Chromebook. Sure, that can get quite confusing, but all you need to know is that Chromebook 3 is the newer and better one of the two. Samsung released the Chromebook 3 in 2016. They made it thinner and cheaper, all while using different architecture altogether.
If you’re curious about the specs, here they are: the Samsung Chromebook 3 uses a Celeron Dual Core processor, with 2 GB of RAM and a Solid State Drive (SSD) with 16GB of space. Everything you see will be through the 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. At first glance, these specs might not sound all that impressive. But try to withhold judgment while we take a closer look.
The Chromebook 3 isn’t the kind of laptop you’ll buy for gaming, video editing, or anything else that requires a lot of computing power. Instead, it’s the ideal device for people who want a simple and affordable laptop to get online, surf the web, and maybe even get a little Netflix-watching done on the go.
With that kind of usage in mind, the Chromebook 3 checks many boxes in the performance department. For instance, having an SSD instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD) makes it much lighter and cuts down its overall power consumption. If you think that having only 16GB of space isn’t enough, think again. You will store most of your applications and data on the cloud, with very little of it in the laptop’s memory. Quite frankly, 16GB is probably more than you’ll ever need.
Now, in the rest of this Samsung Chromebook 3 review, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at the Samsung Chromebook 3. Firstly, we’ll discuss what kind of users will benefit the most from this kind of laptop. Then, we’ll look at the good and the bad of this device overall.
Who’s It For?
Overall, it’s best to think of a Chromebook as a basic or starter laptop, suitable for newbies and minimalists alike. Samsung’s Chromebook 3 is best-suited for users like:
- Kids and older users: Thanks to the Chrome OS, using this laptop is more straightforward than any other operating system. The no-frills experience is ideal for kids and senior citizens learning to use smart devices and the internet. Both you and them will feel more confident knowing that they can make mistakes on the Chromebook 3 without causing any significant complications.
- school kids and college students: Chromebooks, in general, are trendy in educational settings. As mentioned in the last point, these laptops make for easy-to-use devices for kids. That’s especially true in the context of blended learning or e-learning from home. As for college students, they won’t have to buy expensive laptops with more computing power than they need. Instead, they can invest in Samsung’s Chromebook 3, which has everything they’ll need to complete their college essays and assignments.
- Business and leisure travelers: Whether you travel for business or leisure, you’ll know that your laptop makes your journey just a little bit more challenging. The added weight, having to take the device out to get it X-rayed, plus the overall risk of losing the device adds unnecessary stress to the journey. That’s why the Chromebook 3 makes for an ideal ‘traveling laptop.’ It’s lightweight, small, and you won’t feel too bad about losing it. All the while, you can use it to stream movies and videos online to keep you entertained throughout your trip. Even if you lose the laptop, all of your sensitive data will be in the cloud and not on the device itself. So, all you have to do to secure that data is to change your cloud passwords.
- Online workers who need a backup device (e.g., freelancers, etc.): For people who make a living online like freelancers, traders, and business owners, losing their connection to the internet can be devastating. That’s why a lot of them require a backup device to minimize any possible downtime. The Samsung Chromebook 3 is perfect for people in that kind of situation. Among other reasons, the Chromebook is affordable, and it’ll keep them online until they choose to replace their primary device.
Who the Chromebook 3 is NOT for
Let’s be honest, Samsung’s Chromebook 3 is not for everybody. Here are a few types of users that the Chromebook 3 is probably not suited towards:
- Users of specialized software: One notable limitation of the Chromebook 3 is that you can’t install software on it the same way you would on a Windows or a Mac-based system. So, if you rely on software that doesn’t have any cloud access, then the Chromebook 3 isn’t ideal for you.
- Gamers: When it comes to gamers, the Chromebook 3 has two significant limitations: one, you can’t install games on the device. Even for online or web-based gamers, the Chromebook 3 simply does not have the necessary computing power to guarantee smooth gameplay.
- Video and photo editors: Combining both limitations mentioned above, video and photo editors will not find the Chromebook useful. That comes as a result of not being able to install specialized software and limited computing power.
What We Like About The Samsung Chromebook 3
If you ask us, here are the things we love about the Samsung Chromebook 3:
Here’s something we don’t often say about devices: the Samsung Chromebook 3 is ‘disposable.’ Typically, when we buy a smartphone or laptop, we worry a lot about damaging it. We walk around on eggshells and spend even more money on screen protectors, shock-proof casings, and so on.
With Chromebook 3, you won’t worry about that at all. Firstly, it’s a lot more affordable than most laptops on the market. Second, you’ll probably have all of your data stored in the cloud anyway.
With this laptop, you won’t lose any sleep worrying about getting it damaged. In a worst-case scenario, getting a new one won’t cost too much either.
It offers you a no-frills experience
Buying a laptop is like paying for a flight ticket; you’re probably paying for much more than you want or need. Laptops cost a lot because you’re getting more computing power, hard drive space, and screen size than you’ll find useful.
Samsung’s Chromebook 3 goes the other direction, giving you only the right amount of features and computing power to get the job done. With all of those frills gone, Samsung can make the device more affordable overall.
It’s got all the ports and outputs you need
Just because the Chromebook 3 is ‘no frills’ and ‘disposable’ doesn’t mean it lacks crucial ports and outputs.
Firstly, the Chromebook 3 comes with an HDMI output. That means that you can hook it up to a compatible monitor or TV to use as a more prominent secondary display.
Plus, the laptop comes with a microSD card slot, USB 3.0 ports, and a singular audio and microphone jack. Oh, and did we mention that it comes with a built-in HD webcam? Yeah, it does. So, you’ll be able to use the Chromebook 3 to make video calls (and take a couple of selfies) without any problem at all.
Bottom line? The Samsung Chromebook 3 has everything you need for a complete online experience.
What We Don’t Like About Samsung Chromebook 3
Of course, no laptop in the world is perfect. So, here are a few things about the Samsung Chromebook 3 that we don’t like.
Limited Viewing Angles
Firstly, let’s talk about the screen. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Chromebook 3 comes with a high-resolution and bright 11.6-inch display. So, what’s the problem with it? Well, you can only view the screen clearly if your eyes are aligned perfectly with the screen. That means you’ll lose sight of what’s on display if you move too far to the left or right or if you’re sitting too high up from the screen.
That’s going to be a problem if you’re placing the laptop on your lap. Even if you’re at a desk, you’ll probably need to adjust your screen and your chair height to be at the perfect angle. The limited viewing angle is going to be even more annoying when you’re working for long hours or binge-watching shows back to back.
Can’t Install Software
Chromebooks by design do not allow you to install software on the device. For many people, that’s not a problem. After all, any software you need to type up documents or prepare spreadsheets is all available online.
That’s going to be a problem if you need specific software to do your job. For example, some people need to use video or photo editing software daily. Or, some companies may insist that their employees use Microsoft Office applications to prepare their documents. In these scenarios, using the Samsung Chromebook 3 will be impractical.
Heavy reliance on internet access
One of the best traits of the Chromebook 3 is that most of your data and applications are on the cloud, not on the device itself. So what happens when you don’t have access to the internet?
Well, you’ll have a big problem on your hands. Sure, you can still use some Chromebook 3 features without internet access. Still, the laptop will be mostly useless to you without access to the internet.
- Form factor: it’s small, it’s light, it’s easy to carry around
- Battery life: you’ll get hours of work and entertainment out of this laptop
- Cloud-based: with most of your data on the cloud, you won’t have to worry about losing anything
- Fully-equipped: Webcam, USB ports, HDMI outputs, headphone jack; it’s got everything you need
- Can’t do much without an internet connection
- Limited built-in storage
- The small screen might be uncomfortable for long-time use
The ‘no-frills’ nature of the Chromebook 3 also extends to the contents of the box it comes in. Inside, you’ll find a power adapter and charging cable. The package also includes essential paper items like the Quick Start guide, Software Guide, and a Warranty Card.
Unfortunately, the package does NOT include the following accessories. These are the kinds of things you’ll want to buy to get the most out of the Chromebook 3:
- Earphones or headphones: No matter what you’re using the Chromebook 3 for, you’ll want to have earphones or headphones, preferably with a built-in microphone. That way, you can enjoy better sound quality without blaring the laptop’s speakers out in public.
- HDMI cable: Be sure to pick up an HDMI cable as well. Remember: the Chromebook 3 comes with an HDMI port. That allows you to connect it to bigger computer monitors or even TV screens, giving you more bang for your buck.
- Protective casing: Even though we called the laptop ‘disposable’ earlier in this review, you’ll still want to invest in some protection for the computer. Thankfully, it’s easy to find protective casings for the Chromebook 3 online. You can even buy those with designs on them to customize and personalize your Samsung Chromebook 3.
Overview Of Features
Let’s look at the crucial features of the Samsung Chromebook 3. The first three features make this laptop a total win, with a fourth feature that’s still excellent but could use some improvement. They are:
Lightweight and thin
The Samsung Chromebook 3 weighs only 2.5 pounds with a thickness of 0.7 inches. That’s smaller and lighter than most laptops on the market, even compact ones!
But why does this matter? Think back to the reasons why people choose laptops over desktop computers. They do so because they need a device that’s portable and easy to carry around.
A lightweight and thin laptop like the Samsung Chromebook 3 will fit easily into a backpack, briefcase, or even a handbag. Since it won’t add that much weight, there will be times when you’ll forget you were carrying it at all!
Aside from that, the small form factor of the Chromebook 3 means that it won’t take up much desk space while you’re using it, either. For many people, having more unused desk space offers a sense of minimalism, resulting in added peace of mind.
Even though Samsung doesn’t stress this enough, the fact is that Samsung’s Chromebook 3 is highly durable. Its overall design consists of a rigid plastic that doesn’t feel cheap, unlike some other models, which provides you with an added sense of confidence while using the device. Plus, the laptop also comes with a water-resistant keyboard for even more peace of mind.
With all of this combined, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s not so easy to break or damage the Chromebook 3. Even if you hand the laptop over to your kids to play with, you won’t have to worry too much about them spilling drinks or dropping food on the device. Samsung designed it to stand up to a fair bit of those kinds of damages.
Long battery life
The Samsung Chromebook 3 boasts an impressive 11-hour battery life. That means that you could work on this laptop the entire length of a 10-hour flight across whole continents. You’ll even have some battery power left after you land!
Best of all, Samsung claims that the battery will retain its capacity for up to three years. So, you can think of the Samsung Chromebook 3 as a long-term investment of sorts.
One of the best qualities of this Chromebook is its small and bright display that offers high resolution. Still, it’s one crucial part of this device that could use a bit of improvement on Samsung’s part.
Firstly, the 11.6-inch display is a win because of the resolution it offers (1366×768 pixels) and its high levels of brightness.
Unfortunately, where it lacks is in the earlier-mentioned issue of viewing angles. To recap: you can’t view the screen clearly unless you align your eyes perfectly with the screen. If Samsung manages to improve on this aspect of the device, the small and bright display on the Chromebook 3 will win.
So, let’s pull it all together. Is the Samsung Chromebook 3 worth your money? Yes, you get your money’s worth with this laptop.
Typically, when you go out and buy a laptop from any of the major brands, you’ll end up paying for more features and more computing power than you need. Suppose you’re just going to use the laptop to watch videos and type up documents. Why would you need a computer that’s powerful enough for video editing or gaming? The truth is, you don’t.
With a Samsung Chromebook 3, you’ll get a straightforward and no-frills device that will fit almost all of your computing needs. Using cloud-based apps, you’ll be able to type up documents, work on spreadsheets, and keep yourself entertained with the video-streaming service of your choice. Plus, the built-in webcam and microphone will also make it easy for you to have video calls for work or with loved ones through commonly-used software like Skype or Zoom.
As mentioned earlier, this laptop is also ideal if you’re buying it for kids, your parents, and even your older relatives. That’s because the Chromebook 3 makes for a perfect ‘practice laptop’ for kids and the elderly to use with full confidence. In terms of software, the laptop runs on Chrome OS, which leaves little room for anyone to spoil it or cause a malfunction accidentally. Plus, Samsung built the hardware using a durable plastic material paired with a water-resistant keyboard.
In simpler terms, the laptop is pretty much kid-proof. That gives children and elders the ability to practice using the laptop without worrying about damaging it. Plus, you won’t have to worry too much about your investment going up in smoke, either.
Even if you’re a power user like a freelancer or online entrepreneur, the Samsung Chromebook 3 still has plenty of value to offer you. Sure, it might not be enough to function as your primary computer for day-to-day work. However, it’s affordable and capable enough to act as your backup or ‘insurance policy to keep connected to your work.
God forbid, if your primary device was to fall into a lake or stop working entirely, you could switch over to the Chromebook 3 and minimize your downtime. While waiting on a replacement for your primary computer, you could continue working and running your business without a problem.
All in all, the small and feature-packed Samsung Chromebook 3 has plenty of value to offer, no matter what type of user you are. Whether it’s for kids at school, seniors learning to use computers, or even people who make a living online, Samsung’s Chromebook 3 has a crucial role to play. If you’re looking for a compact, lightweight laptop that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, then the Samsung Chromebook 3 is the device you’ll want.