The Buyer's Guide

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73 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
73

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Summary

When we reviewed the first Chromebook a year ago, we concluded that Chrome OS isn't for everybody. If you need certain desktops apps like Photoshop even when you're on the go, you're never going to appreciate what Google's trying to do here; there will always be some hole in your workflow that keeps you crawling back toward your PC. By design, Chrome OS is at its best when the user has always-on connectivity, which means for the foreseeable future, at least, it's destined to remain something of a niche concept.

The good news is that Google's taken a half-baked, experimental product and done an admirable job of fleshing it out. After spending a few days testing the software, we can confidently say that multitasking is a lot easier when you can view multiple windows onscreen at once, and when you have shortcuts pinned to the bottom of the screen, below the browser. It's also hugely helpful to be able to edit documents offline instead of just view them. Ditto for being able to read books offline, or use Hangouts for video chat instead of the calling feature built into GChat. And it could be even better: It would be nice to add shortcuts to docs, books and other things to the desktop, which currently amounts to a lot of blank, unusable space. More sophisticated photo-editing tools would be welcome, and we'd love to be able to share photos to sites other than Picasa.

Even without these things, version 19 marks a welcome update for existing Chrome OS users, and should suffice for the classrooms that are already issuing Chrome devices to students. Heck, it might even be time for curious early adopters to give Chrome OS a second look. But as Google starts selling more Chrome devices in retail, we have a harder time believing many consumers will be ready to put up with these limitations, especially as tablet apps grow more sophisticated, and as we start to see Transformer-like Win8 devices with touch-friendly apps and physical keyboards. Even Ultrabooks are starting to come down in price, and offer some of the features that have made Chrome OS devices appealing, such as fast resume times. Given how many affordable portable devices there are to choose from, Chrome OS might have the best shot at catching on if companies like Samsung would relax the price of their wares.
73 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
73

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

73
 

User Reviews

40
Jeff
I bought a laptop on Amazon named 'Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-531' and received...read more
90
lloyd.mendoza80
My name is Lloyd of Los Angeles, a computer technician for over 15years now....read more
90
bodermatt
I was frustrated with the slowness of Windows OS and the need to install various...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
75
Average user Score
 
40
Jeff
04.27.18
I bought a laptop on Amazon named 'Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-531' and received it today.Now me,not knowing what a Chromebook was,was excited to start my gaming by playing Minecraft and other games but when I launched it,I was very disappointed,sad and very angry at the same time because I realised that I can't do anything I wanted to do.Now don't think of this wrong.it has a very nice interface and it is easy to use but please make it more like other systems where you can browse files,download files and download games etc.
 
90
lloyd.mendoza80
10.29.17
My name is Lloyd of Los Angeles, a computer technician for over 15years now. I started using Chrome OS for month and just wanna say that i really love Chrome OS using my Acer Chromebook 14.. This OS is really light, flexible, friendly user too and became my everyday tool for all my browing and printing needs. Thanks to Chrome OS team for developing this software making our computer tasks so easy and fast. I hope you guys continue to provide updates and develop more innovating concepts. Keep it up and more skillful power.
 
90
bodermatt
10.30.15
I was frustrated with the slowness of Windows OS and the need to install various software just to clean it up. Sometimes we just wanted to check the email, but the effort of waiting and waiting for the Window desktop was too much. The slowness of Windows OSr was as frustrating as a bad traffic jam.I bought an Asus Chromebox with installed Chrome OS and we are active on the computer in less than 10 seconds. It is fast and it uses very little power and most of the time it is totally silent. Chrome OS as a stand alone operating system is so much faster and an increasing number of free and or cheap apps enables us to do almost everything we could do before on the Window desktop.
 
90
scensorECHO
04.16.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
30
thatguy92
03.03.14
So, I bought a cheap Chromebook on a whim, just to see how good it was. I brought it home and fired it up, had it running in less than ten minutes: huge plus. Problem is, once I actually started using it, I tried putting some programs and files on it. The machine came with a free two months of google drive, 100 Gb, but no actual storage on the computer itself. I couldn't even move a .txt file onto it. All it did was pull up a window, informing me that I could activate my free Google Drive at any time. As far as I can tell, all the thing does is run Google Chrome, which any PC worth a dime can do. It also does nothing else. If your buying a computer for the express purpose of using the internet, and want nothing else, then it's a perfect fit. Otherwise, it's not worth the gas it takes to go buy it. I'm disappointed, Google.
 
80
rncw
01.27.14
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
90
loganbowlby
11.01.13
Chrome OS does everything you need it to an more, the OS is simple and easy to use.
 
80
MNBooZe
10.11.13
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
90
nutcase84
09.15.13
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
100
electrodude1029
07.17.13
I use chrome everyday and it's the only one I'll use. It offers great features and once you sign in with your Google account, it will sync all your settings between your devices (smartphones and tablets). It will even sync your tabs so you can access them on any device.
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