Chromebook's Google-Only Experience Leaves User Feeling Disconnected
The Latest Chromebook
The new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook is basically a netbook that is linked to a Google account.
Limited Offline Mode
Here you see that I'm able to access a Google Docs document while disconnected from the network. However, I can only view the document.
The Samsung Series 5 550 looks like a run-of-the-mill laptop and is unremarkable in design, style or dimensions.
There are no ports on the front of the Chromebook. There are no latches anywhere. The open/close action is smooth.
The right side of the device (from left to right) includes a Secure Digital (SD) card slot, USB 2.0 port and a Kensington lock port for physical security.
The Universal SIM card slot is shown in the rear view.
The left side of the Chromebook (from left to right) includes the power jack, RJ-45 network port (closed), DisplayPort ++ (compatible with High Definition Multimedia Interface [HDMI], Digital Video Interface [DVI] and VGA), USB 2.0 and headphone jack.
RJ-45 Port Open
To make a wire-line connection, just open the RJ-45 port.
On the lower edge, you can see the two speaker ports. There is no user-serviceable battery access.
The All-New Chromebox
The Samsung Series 3 Chromebox is the first desktop device to run the Chrome operating system.
The front of the device (from left to right) includes the on-off switch, headphone jack and two USB 2.0 ports
The rear of the devices (from left to right) includes a Kensington lock, power jack, DVI port, network connection, four USB 2.0 ports and two DisplayPort++ ports.
There are no user-serviceable parts in the Chromebox.
Connecting to Google
Both the Chromebox and the Chromebook are tethered to a user's Google account.
Welcome to Chrome
The user is greeted with an introduction to Chrome when first signing on to either the Chromebox or the Chromebook.