The Chromebook ‘All In One’ project: Pixel pros and cons wrap-up

Well, I sent my loaner Chromebook Pixel back to Google today. I did it with a heavy heart, simply because the device is such a pleasure to look at. The Pixel is named for its amazing screen, a 12.85 “, 2560 x 1700, 239 PPI, 400 nit brightness screen with 4.3 million pixels. It’s also a touchscreen, and proves very responsive. I thought today would be a perfect day to write a wrap-up of my weeks with the device and to compare it to the much cheaper (yet still amazing) Samsung Chromebook.

Before I get started, be sure to follow my All-In-One tags both on this site and on Massively.com. That tag sums up all of my experiences with the high and low end of the Chromebook spectrum. This site covers the techier side of things and Massively.com covers gaming — MMO gaming — on the Chromebook. Yes, I said gaming. There are a ton of wonderful browser-based games out there. So much so that I dedicate an entire column to them.

You have those bookmarked? Great. I’m going to go down the list of the good and bad of the Pixel and will also compare it to the Samsung Chromebook. For the record, I bought my Samsung Chromebook for 249$ US and the Pixel that was on loan to me was the 4G LTE model that goes for 1449.00$ US. I’ve compared these two before so some of this might be a repeat for you, but I knew I needed to write this up after spending more time with both.

Display

Good golly, the Pixel’s screen is wonderful. So bright, so touchable, so… just nice. It really did spoil me to the point that I would open other devices and go “Ugh.. so DARK.” I imagine that the screen accounts for much of the cost of this device because it packs in so many pixels and responds so nicely to touch. It’s a glossy screen, however, and compared to the matte finish of the Samsung, I prefer the matte look and feel. However, there is no comparison between the Samsung’s screen and the Pixel’s. I’ll probably say this several times, but the Samsung is a wonderful device. The Pixel has just taken that device and ramped it waaaaay up.

The Pixel’s display is also squarish, having a 3:2 resolution. That might sound odd, but remember that the idea behind a Chromebook is “living on the web.” The boxier shape shows you to see more of that web in striking color and clarity. The Samsung has a typical 1366 x 768 resolution on a 11.6 ” display. Still not bad, but no Pixel.

Keyboard

The keyboard on both devices is awesome. I really didn’t feel much of a difference between the two devices, but that speaks more to the quality of the Samsung. Where the real difference comes in is in the quality of the touchpad. The Samsung’s is nice for the price, but the glass touchpad of the Pixel is smooth as silk. It’s large, very responsive and does not pick up dirt or fingerprints like you might think. That trackpad is another part of the Pixel where you can see where your money went. The Pixel’s keyboard is backlit, something I used way more than I thought I would. I don’t spent my time in the dark, but sitting on the couch while watching TV is not exactly a great situation for typing on a notebook, but the backlit keyboard made it easy.

Touchscreen

There is no touchscreen on the Samsung, so I wasn’t sure how much I would use it on the Pixel. I have tablets and phones in this house and so my life is spent interacting with my devices through touch, but how much would I need to pinch and zoom on the web? A lot, actually. I found myself reaching to touch the screen as part as my normal web surfing or viewing videos. Although I would like to see some buttons increase in size, the Pixel felt almost magical in the way it knew which link I was going for or which button I wanted to press. (Must be a Chrome thing.) I used the touchscreen during gaming a ton, which could be expected. It really depends on the game and the website, but touch is surprisingly fun and useful. My only complaint is that the Pixel’s screen sort of bounced a bit as I touched it, so gaming or touching several times in a row was sometimes a bit… squishy. I’m not sure how to remedy the spring situation, but it would be nice to see a more solid screen when touching.

Connectivity

The Samsung does come with a 3G option but mine does not have it. I use a 3G connected Nexus 7 tablet constantly for directions or for on-the-road posting. I wasn’t sure how the 4G LTE option on the Pixel would work but when I could connect it absolutely flew through pages, videos and games. Sometimes I had to double-check to make sure I wasn’t on someone’s wifi because the connection felt as solid as my home network. (I have a 150/65 mbps Fios network.) In an example, I drove to Oklahoma to visit some friends overnight. The Nexus 7 tablet stayed connected constantly but I could not connect with the Pixel until I found my way into a pretty major town. Needless to say, I was rarely connected on the Pixel until I got into Norman, Oklahoma, a major city.

Overall design

The Pixel is a beautiful machine, for sure. It’s heavier than the Samsung but remains light. There are no visible screws and no vents or fan outlets, so heat does become a bit of an issue. The device becomes downright hot (but not dangerously) when playing a lot of videos or games. I asked Google about this and was told that “the device was designed with heat sinks while balancing seamless exterior aesthetics.” It makes sense, really. The lack of joints and fan vents means that the actual aluminum body of the device helps to push off heat, acting as a heat sink. It’s odd but I can see what they were trying to do. At the same time, some vents or other heat saps might not have been that hideous to look at.

In all honesty, the Pixel is just a beefed-up Samsung. You get the exact same experience, essentially, between both devices. So, why get a Pixel? Well, that’s like asking why someone buys a sports car when they can drive a basic Honda. There is a lot to be said for the amazing screen, better processor (there’s a core i5 in the Pixel, as well as more RAM,) touchscreen and backlit keyboard. So, if you have the money and need the extra-beautiful web experience, go for the Pixel. You will get what you paid for: superior build quality and an amazing interface with the web.

The Samsung is still my favorite, however. It’s cheap enough to grab several for the whole family. It’s perfect for a college student (as long as they understand what a Chromebook is for) and is great for a Grandmother or father. I fantasize that Google will make the Samsung its flagship device and maybe beef its stats. Maybe a backlit keyboard, a slightly nicer screen or maybe a better processor? After using my Nexus 7 on the road, as well as the Pixel, I am sure that I want a 3G Samsung.

The Pixel is an amazing Chromebook, for sure. But it’s a luxury Chromebook. It’s a sports car. The whole experience has taught me what a wonderful, versatile device the Samsung model is, ironically, but don’t let that convince you to avoid the Pixel. It’s just a beautiful machine and makes the web even better.

 

Beau

 

The Chromebook ‘All-In-One’ project pt. 2: The Pixel versus the Samsung

Pixel_front_whiteI’ve been loaned a Chromebook Pixel for the next several weeks, (from Google) so I am going to be giving it the same treatment I did with the Samsung model. For a month I used the Samsung almost exclusively (or at least for a great deal of work) and reported on what I found. If you didn’t know, I cover games for a living so I had to find browser-based MMORPGs and other games that worked on the smaller device that is essentially a non-touchscreen tablet with a keyboard. In the end, I found the Samsung model to be a joy to work with and still use it daily. I cannot recommend it enough. Once you get one, you will see why Google has advertised it so heavily.

But, what about the Chromebook Pixel? This newer device is definitely a concept vehicle, but it is also definitely worth the price of 1200 – 1500 US dollars. I only say that IF you live in the Google environment as it is now, and if you need a machine that does what a Chromebook does (as well as what it does not do.) I’m not going to try and go over everything that the ‘Books are good for, and instead I will be comparing the cheaper Samsung model ($249) with the much more expensive Pixel.

First of all, the Pixel is the superior machine. No one will argue that. Its screen is amazing (why they called it the Pixel) and offers resolutions and pixel density that you will not find anywhere else. So far, that is. I’m fully aware that one day we will look back on its stats and giggle, but for now it’s an amazing piece of machinery. Not only does it offer an amazing screen with 4.3 million pixels at 2560 x 1700 on a 12.85″ screen, making the sight of a pixel impossible, but it’s fully touchable and works wonderfully. It’s powered by a core i5 processor and 4 gigs of RAM, so everything runs smoothly.

It offers a few different slots, from two USB 2 slots, a SIM card slot and — oddly enough — a mini display port. On the Samsung model I get a full HDMI slot that easily plugs into my big screen TV and allows for desktop sharing. I’m guessing that the idea is that users of the Pixel will love the display so much that they will not need to plug into a larger display as much, but I beg to differ. One of the best abilities of the Chromebook series — or really any light laptop — is to plug into a large display to watch NetFlix or to share photos or videos for the whole family during the holidays.

So, while the Pixel is definitely the better device and I would be happy to have one, the Samsung is the better deal pound for pound. For $249 you get a very light, portable and capable multimedia internet machine with a pretty good screen and decent speakers. I am rarely away from WiFi, but there is a 3G model available for $329. My experience with the 7″ Google Nexus 3G/H tablet has convinced me that the speeds are perfectly suited to doing stuff while on the road. We use the Nexus tablet all the time, so I can only imagine how much I would us a Chromebook with the same option.

So, while the Samsung is easily the best little web machine you can get, the Pixel is a pleasure to use. It’s just a beautiful screen and if you are a Google fan (as I am) then you will find everything you need in the device. The price is hefty, but I imagine that you are paying for the incredible screen more than anything.

I’d like to warn that the Pixel does get very hot, quite often. There is a fan but it’s not as loud as other reviewers would make it out to be, but the fact that it sits flat and has no visible vents means that the sucker will start to burn up quickly. It’s not uncomfortable but it’s definitely not something you’d expect from a device that costs between 1200 – 1500 dollars.

The touchscreen is not enabled by default as well, which is odd. I had to go the settings and enable it. When do you use a touchscreen? I can only speak for myself, but I use the pinch and zoom to quickly increase the size of text or to look at a picture or detail. As you zoom in you’ll see just how much the Pixel rules in the reading department. I live on websites, so the pinch and zoom works well. Otherwise, I use the touch when playing games and to push big, obvious buttons. It’s hard to explain but you’ll find yourself using the touchscreen more on certain sites than on others. The screen does wobble a bit when you touch, so you won’t be pounding on it by any means.

I’m going to do some more comparing but the lighter, cheaper and in many ways comparable Samsung Chromebook is the better device. Now, I won’t lie to you and say that I would pick a free Samsung over a free Pixel, but if we’re talking value, the Samsung is the best. The Pixel is a pleasure to use and surf on, and to do many of the things like gaming and watching videos on, but the excess heat and price point make it only for those who want an incredible build and screen.

I’m a bit torn, both devices are wonderful. Be warned that I am a Google fan boy and use Google products like crazy. I live within the Google universe and use all of their products every single day. The Pixel makes that experience amazing if not for the heat.

Want to buy an extra laptop or three for your household, even for those power users? Get a few Samsungs.

Want a laptop with a beautiful quality build and a screen that will make it an immense pleasure to work with, get the Pixel.

Then again, I need a few more weeks with this.

Be sure to follow my Massively.com blogs to check out how gaming works on the device. See you soon!

Beau

My last Chromebook article… for now: A wrap-up

Thanks for sticking with me during this project! It’s been a lot of fun and the ‘Book community has been great. Let’s get to the links!

First of all, check out the MMObility intro if you haven’t already:http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/01/04/mmobility-the-chromebook-all-in-one-p… — this will explain what I am intending on doing with the project, as far as games go.

For all of the gaming articles, just go to the All-In-One project tag on Massively.com: http://massively.joystiq.com/tag/all-in-one-project/

….also check out my Rise and Shiny column, I cover a lot of browser-based games that will work on the Chromebook:http://massively.joystiq.com/category/rise-and-shiny/

Here is a link to my personal blog where I talk about the more techy side of things. Read these blogs for favorite apps and even an interview with Google, as well as a listing of my favorite extensions/apps: http://epicdolls.com/beauturkey/tag/all-in-one-project/

Here is a link to the keyboard shortcuts… bookmark this:http://www.chromebookforum.com/forum/17-chrome-os-software-forum/227-chrome-o…

Google Drive storage info:https://www.google.com/settings/storage/

The Spotify web app: https://play.spotify.com/home

Pixlr photo editing: http://pixlr.com/express/

Minimalist for Google calendar:https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/minimalist-for-google-cal/mgljgiace…

 

Beau

The Chromebook ‘All In One’ project – The Wife test

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It’s been a great month with this wonderful little device so far, but I certainly plan on keeping it around after. While I still have one column left in this series, I will continue to update readers on how I am using it or new developments for the Chrome OS. Make sure that you are checking out my MMObility column over at Massively.com for updates on games that are perfect for the Chromebook. Remember, I am running the Samsung Chromebook — the series 3 — so you might experience different performance with your series 5 550 or other Chromebook. The great thing about this device is that it is updated automatically and switches the conversation from hardware to software. So many of our standard PC performance issues are due to poor software, and Google is attacking it from the correct side. Don’t get me wrong, better processors make a heck of a lot of difference, but when you are able to open any Chromebook and get pretty much the same experience, that’s a good thing.

While I still wait on some questions from Google, I wanted to share with you how another member or my household — my wife — has fell in love with the Samsung Chromebook. She has literally taken it from me at times, to the point that I considered getting her one for her own use. This is a house with plenty of gadgets in it, though. Right now we have 2 gaming PCs, 2 laptops, a Google Nexus 7, an iPad, an iPhone 5 and a Galaxy Note. I just sold off my Inspiron Duo netbook to make a little room, and have been tempted to upgrade all of my PCs with SSDs. I rarely use anything but the browser anymore (except for tablet gaming for my other job, of course) so it really doesn’t do me much good to suffer with standard hard drives. They’re hot and noisy.

I’ve learned a lot by watching her use the Chromebook. She tends to leave open many more tabs than I do. I will go with 5 or 6 tops, maybe a few more if I am working. She typically has a dozen or more tabs open. In those tabs she will have email/Gchat, tumblr, the browser-based game she works on and several other tabs. I’ve watched her check her Twitter and then open up a funny video or watch some news or entertainment clip. The Chromebook not only worked well, but it performed just as I have been describing it to people: as a tablet with a keyboard attached. It’s really more than that, however, because it is a full browser that can run Flash and other extensions. This opens the ‘Books up to gaming (as I have been writing about) and to all sorts of things that you really cannot do on a tablet.

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The battery life is also excellent and will run her for at least 5 or 6 hours of heavy use. Granted, this is based on only the occasional video viewing but I’d say that’s pretty standard for a web user. We often let our browsers sit there with several tabs open, just as she does. What I was most impressed with was the fact that even with heavy usage the device barely gets warm. When it does, the heat is concentrated mostly in the middle (where you would expect it) but only ever became significantly warm when she would be using the ‘Book at night with it lying flat on the covers, meaning with no ventilation. If I am using it on the countertop, laptop or on a coffee table the heat is never an issue and is not noticeable at all. In comparison my other two laptops and her desktop almost scream when the fans kick in, another reason to move to this Chromebook.

The fact is that most internet users need only the best experience in a few areas: email, social networking, some gaming and Googling random facts like “How long do giraffes live for?” The Samsung Chromebook is not only good for that, but weighs nothing. It feels like a very light Ultrabook, something that made a huge difference to my wife. Even though she can grab her 14 inch laptop to keep an eye on the web while she is watching TV or off work, the Chromebook is just plain easier to move around with. If you’ve ever tried to sit with a 4 or 5 pound laptop while on the couch, you’ll know what I am talking about. The standard laptop experience can often be a desktop experience in order to take some of the weight off.

When I am gaming or watching videos, the Chromebook’s battery does go down much faster. I still get several hours out of it but I could see the battery life being somewhat of a hassle on a very long trip. The speakers are not as loud as I wish they would often be, but if it’s the only sound source in the room (in other words, if the TV isn’t screaming) then the sound is just fine. My wife’s iPad 2 still has better volume, though, so that’s an area that needs improvement.

Watching her work on the ‘Book taught me a lot. She does a lot of surfing, gaming and viewing while on it and it lasts her at least most of the day. She closes it when it’s not in use, but does leave it open when she gets up to grab food or to do stuff around the house. Even if we forget to close it it will go into sleep mode and the battery does not seem to be effected.

The most enjoyable aspect of the Samsung Chromebook is how it feels while typing. I do not type in any correct fashion so I do have some issues with my thumbs moving the mouse around when it doesn’t need to, but the keyboard feels large and snappy, and when the ‘Book is laying on a surface the thin keyboard feels really solid. I imagine that’s because it is backed up by the countertop. My standard laptops feel like bricks now.

Next week I will do a wrap-up video that shows all of the pros and cons of this device. I’ll also be finishing up with my games list, so be sure to keep an eye on the MMObility column for any other games that I might cover in the future. That column is dedicated to mobile gaming, so be sure to bookmark it.

Thanks again and see you next week!

Beau

The Chromebook ‘All In One’ project – Google interview, Donors Choose and virus protection

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If you joined me last week for my first installment of the Chromebook ‘All In One’ project, then you’ll be up to speed. If not, go back and catch up here. I will be suggesting different browser-based MMOs in my Massively.com column MMObility. I just released my second column that lists the first 10 games, all MMORTS’. Next week I will be suggesting 10 more games, and 10 more games the week after that.

On this, my personal blog, I will be listing more of the tech and other cool options that a Chromebook provides. I would combine both tech and gaming into one Massively article, but understand that Massively is a site for gaming, not tech. So for now I’ll ask you just to visit both sites. Cool? Thanks.

This week I wanted to touch up on two main things while I wait for a series of questions to come back from Google. As soon as I get my answers back I’ll post them here. Watch this space and keep an eye on my Twitter.

The first thing I would want to try and look at is how the Chromebook fights viruses. We’ve all heard about how the ‘Books need no virus protection at all… but does anyone actually believe that? I think I do, but then again I am already in the habit of keeping unique passwords for every single thing I do. Yep. Still, it feels a bit odd to not have to scan my hardware for viruses occasionally. Here’s a blurb from the official site:

“With automatic updates, Chromebooks download security and software upgrades so you don’t have to. No more hours wasted installing patches..”

There’s also a good amount of light information on the rest of the site:

“Chromebooks use the principle of defense in depth to provide multiple layers of protection. Every time you boot up, they do a self-check to make sure your system hasn’t been tampered with. Chromebooks also automatically download updates so you get the latest security fixes to keep you safe.”

…and here’s a much deeper explanation about the processes and thinking that goes into the built-in virus protection. Chrome itself uses these ideas, but the Chromebook physically lacks many of the characteristics that would normally allow a virus to grow.

So, from what I’ve gathered, although I don’t know as much as I would like (that’s where you come in with your comments!) the Chromebooks are safe for many reasons. First, they do not allow programs to be installed or downloaded to the ‘Book. With no .exes to be downloaded, that cuts out viruses. Not so fast… there are still possible issues. Google has released a software kit that potential evildoers could use to create apps that could introduce malware onto the Chromebook, but most of what I have read indicates that this is unlikely. Google also updates the ‘Books on a 6 week schedule, so changes in the OS could help further hinder viruses.

Either way, it’s refreshing to never have to worry about scanning my device, defragging it or messing with upgrades. The recent success of the Chromebook can be explained by the success of the tablet. Convenience wins the day.

I’d also like to point to a charity service that easily illustrates how I want to push technology in order to help those without it. The internet is a free library and is perfect for education. That is, of course, as long as the kids are kept safe while online. Chromebook’s built in virus protection and ease-of-use are perfect for the classroom, and Google is teaming up with Donors Choose to sell classroom ‘Books for 99 bucks. If you go to the site you can pick out a specific classroom and donate to help purchase the books for a particular teacher.

Eventually I’d like to see less expensive internet devices spread to communities across the globe. The more connected we are, the more information we can share. The more we get to connect the less likely we are to hate each other.

Or something like that. The Chromebook might not seem like a step towards world peace, but technology has saved us in a lot of ways. Donors Choose is a great charity that allows custom delivery of funds. Please donate!

Below is the interview that I did with Google. Thanks so much to them for taking the time to answer my questions!

Beau: I am pretty clear as how a Chromebook fights viruses. But, can you clarify this a bit? Is it mainly because there is no downloading going on or installation of programs? I’m sure you’ve heard of possible vulnerabilities that still exist in the browser environment… so does Google tell customers to not worry about ever scanning a Chromebook?

The Chromebook benefits from multiple layers of security, which we call “defense in depth.” This PDF describes in brief each of the security measures working for you on the Chromebook. Chrome the browser itself does a good job of warning and quarantining malware on the web, and we can also push out auto-updates very quickly, say, in the case of an exploitable vulnerability. And if your machine was infected, there is a parallel backup copy that the machine would boot to (described in Verified Boot) to get you back to the last known good state.

How long do you plan on running the educational Chromebook Donor’s Choose? I’d like to mention that in the hopes that readers can donate to it.

We would love if your readers are inclined to donate to DonorsChoose! I believe the plan is to keep the projects open until they are fully funded. There is some upper bound on time limit imposed by Donorschoose on the order of months, I believe, but we hope all projects are funded before then. Simply point them to Donorschoose.org/Chromebooks, and they can search for schools near them to whom they can donate. Thanks for offering, that’s so great.

Voice is popular on Gchat, and have been intrigued by using a Chromebook for everything that a mobile phone does, including text messages and making phone calls. So, if I had a 3 or 4G Chromebook or hotspot, I could still make those calls? Many Chromebookers have talked as though the G-chat services do not work over a 3 or 4G network. Also, there is much confusion about how the voice services works. You have Gchat extensions and Voice extensions… any plans on combining them into one plugin?

(small note, there are no 4G Chromebooks manufactured today)
I’m not sure if you can make voice calls from Gmail or Voice over 3G, I haven’t tried it. But you can use the services over wi-fi connection for certain. If you have a Google Voice number, you can also connect that to Gmail’s phone service so that you can receive calls in Gmail, etc. (see here). I’m not sure what you mean by extensions, on a Chromebook these services should just work without plugins. Let me know if you had to install something to use them.

For those like me who have poorer vision, is zoom the only option for making web pages easier to view? Is it true that zoom can effect performance on certain sites?

There are some more advanced zoom/magnify features coming in version 25, which is in the developer channel right now. If you’re not familiar, most people use Chromebooks in the “stable channel” which is the default. If you are a developer or you just like to be on the bleeding edge (and don’t mind bugs, and can file feedback) then you can switch into the Beta or Developer channels. This help center article describes the differences, and how to switch. I don’t necessarily recommend switching, but just to say there are more features related to zoom coming soon. :-)

Beau

The Chromebook All-In-One Project: Intro and favorite apps/links


Be sure to check out the embedded video above. It will explain everything pretty basically. Essentially I have always toyed with mobile gaming and living and have always enjoyed doing things on the cheap. While I love my gaming rigs or fancier phones, I also have a special place in my heart for tiny or less expensive devices like the Chromebook. Before the most recent and lowest priced Chromebooks, the Samsung series 3 and the Acer C7, most people seemed to admire them from afar. Not anymore… the new batch of ‘Books were some of the hottest items this holiday season. I lucked out and picked up my Samsung from a local Best Buy. I’ve been enjoying it ever since and love the idea of a device that is essentially a tablet in netbook form. Why? It is silent, doesn’t get hot, instantly updates and fights off viruses (more on those later in the series.)

I will be covering actual MMO gaming on the Chromebook in the MMObility column over at Massively.com every Friday (times will vary.) I normally cover browser-based and mobile games in the column anyway, so this will not be much of a stretch. In this blog I will cover mostly the techy stuff, like how it fights viruses or favorite apps.

Speaking of apps, I’ll start off this month of coverage by introducing some of my most used apps and links… so far. The great thing about a Chromebook is that it essentially feels and acts pretty much like an ultrabook, minus the ultra speeds you might get from a better processor and more ram.

1) Tweetdeck: While I don’t tweet as much as I would like thanks to time and the occasional migraine, Tweetdeck is a simple Twitter and Facebook browser-based client that is very easy to read and navigate. I keep my Chromebook browser zoomed in at 125% at all times (poor vision) but Tweetdeck looks perfect. It offers me a stream of Facebook or Twitter updates at no cost. I especially love the simple light/dark toggle.

2) Gmail Offline: One of my main issues with the standard issue browser Gmail experience is the fact that the text is often too small or too crammed together. I much prefer how it looks and feels on my Nexus 7 tablet. Well, Gmail Offline not only looks roomier and seems to respond much faster than standard Gmail, but it also offers offline capabilities by (if I am not correct, please correct me) downloading a set number of emails. Mine is set to one week. If I have no internet, I can still respond and write emails and it will sync later.

3) Google +: This is a no-brainer, thanks to the fact that you must participate as part of the Google experience, but I absolutely love the access it provides to mature communities and friends. I joined a Chromebook group and have already found out many great tips and tricks from them, and it’s officially hosted by a Google CM. The G+ mobile app for tablets is fantastic, as well.

4) Pixlr Editor: This browser-based “app” is really just a link to the site, but it’s also a fantastic photo editing tool that I use for all of my needs. I often have to crop and share screenshots from video games and I do my share of art and personal pic-taking, so having access to an in-browser app is great. It works easily on this Chromebook and saves as I want it to.

5) Adblock Plus: Now, this is somewhat of a controversial tool and I use it only when doing a ton of research browsing. See, I understand perfectly how the web is paid for by ads, and I make money from those ads technically because they bring revenue into the companies that run or own the sites I write for (no, the ads do not pay me directly. Payola does NOT happen.) But, on this Samsung Chromebook a pop-up ad (yes, people are still using those!) can easily cover a huge chunk of the screen, and some ads can effect performance. So, after trying this out I can say I enjoy it BUT be careful… remember that if no one clicked on an ad at all, we’d all have to be paying a lot more for the web or websites would be shutting down left and right.

6) LastPass: I use this to memorize many of my passwords, but not all. I still keep completely unique passwords for every…single…site..and…game.. (and it’s a LOT) but this extension helps keep them organized. You can even have a secondary password to provide more security.

That’s a starter for now. Over the next 5 weeks I’ll be exploring more of the Chromebook, but bear in mind that I am basing all of this on the Samsung series 3 model, the one with the Exynos processor. So, your experience can vary. Feel free to leave a comment here or on my Massively column, and join up in the official Chromebook group on Google +… it’s fantastic.

See you next week!

Beau