I’m more high tech than I thought, thanks to my Chromebook!

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Smasung Chromebook OverheadI love gadgets. Especially tech-y ones. I mean, I'm always up for a new wine opener or back scratcher or something, but a gadget that lights up/plugs in/have buttons that do stuff?

I'm in.

I have lots of gadgets that help me stay connected; both desktop and laptop computers, my smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy tablet, a bluetooth keyboard for said tablet, a dedicated eReader, an mp3 player… what more could I possibly need?

When Staples approached me to review the Samsung Chromebook, that's admittedly the first thing that went through my mind.

“Do I really need ANOTHER gadget?”

Now that I've had it in my hot little hands for a couple of weeks?
The short answer is YES.

I've always called myself a “low tech note taker” when I got to conferences. I spend most of my time doodling on my notepad and Retweeting the awesome one liners the speakers say and someone else Tweets.

I don't like typing on my phone, and the bluetooth to tablet connection never seems stable enough, or the keyboard quite right, for any amount of real input. (Totally my issue; I know lots of people use them with great success!)

The Chromebook is the perfect solution for me! It's small and light enough that I can carry it easily in my bag, but it's a real keyboard and trackpad for typing and naviagting, so I'm not stuck with the frustrations of the tablet. (Again, my issue) Click on this link to read more about all of the Chromebook's awesome specs.

I took it for a test run at the half day Disney on the Road event a couple of weeks ago, to see if it really did make note-taking easier. And it totally did!

Samsung Chromebook at Conference

I was able to take notes as much as I wanted, which was great considering all the nuggets flying around the room, and it also made it easy for me to stay on top of work stuff, since I just needed a couple of tabs open so I could keep an eye on that as well. Multitasking FTW!

To demonstrate how lightweight this little whiz is, I got Max, my “I can't carry this bag of Pirate's Booty in the house it's too heavy for me” kid to show you. He wasn't even complaining about the weight, even though toting his own water bottle apparently exhausts him to no end. 😉

The Chromebook sports a nice nearly-full size keyboard, and my only complaint (which I'll get over in time) is that the placement of the left shift button is a little weird. It's only because it's different from my usual keyboard, and will just take a little getting used to. I appreciate that it's a quiet keyboard, and so does my husband, as I'm tapping away while we are he is watching TV at night.

Samsung Chromebook Keyboard

I love that as thin as it is, the Chromebook still comes with a USB port (and a Super Speed USB AND an HDMI! The HDMI was very exciting to my AV geek husband) I can easily carry the AC adapter for the Chromebook (even though it has crazy long 5+ hour battery life) and use it to charge my phone, which comes in handy at conferences, of course. (I also carry 3 or more battery packs for my phone at any time, but that's another post)

Samsung Chromebook Ports

The Chrome operating system is easy to use is you're used to using almost any browser, and I love that I was easily able to install my favorite apps (especially me beloved Google Drive) and have access to everything.

I've streamlined the setup on this machine to be perfect for taking to and from work every day, and for blog conferences. I carry my laptop in to the office every day, so every ounce of weight matters to my poor back, especially when I get stuck standing for the whole train ride.

The best part? The Chromebook is only $249! When I'm not longer using this one every day, I think it'll be great entry level machine to pass on to Max… and since I know he's already strong enough to hold it, it'll be just the right size.

Disclosure: Staples.com provided me with this product for review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of Chromebooks and laptops.

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