In just a few years Samsung has earned itself a spot as one of the most respectful computing companies in the world. From desktop replacement laptops to ultra-books, Samsung has quite a number of accolades under its belt. The Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US comes into the market to quench users after a slim, portable and battery efficient laptop. This lightweight device is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 processor, coupled with 4GB RAM and 16GB solid state drive. Chromebooks are mostly cheap given that they come to supplement on the primary laptops in terms of portability. The laptop boasts of better battery life and less heat due to lower voltage from its average processor. The 11.6-inch display laptop comes with an anti-glare display and a resolution of 1366×768, which is quite average. This is a capable laptop for web browsing, editing documents, emailing and playing games online.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US flaunts a sturdy construction with a reinforced chassis and a textured finish. Samsung keeps the laptop all plastic but it appears strong enough to survive an accidental fall. The design remains at its minimum, a factor that contributes to keeping the price low. It measures 11.37 x 8.04 x 0.7 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds hence a good companion for students and travelers. This is not the lightest Chromebook in the competition as the Asus C201 weighs 2 pounds. The Acer Chromebook CB-131-C3SZ also claims the portability spot weighing in at 2.43 pounds.
The laptop aimed to improve the users experience with an improved keyboard that is user friendly. The full sized keyboard is chrome based with the F1-F12 keys being replaced with chrome-particular functions. There is no delete key, the Backspace key serves both the functions with the combination of an alt key. The trackpad comes with an interactive touchpad that does not have the left and right click buttons.
Under the hood, the Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US sports an Intel Celeron N3050 processor clocked at 2.6GHz. This is not the fastest CPU around for handling demanding tasks and multitasking, but for casual day to day use. The Chromebook comes with 4GB DDR3L RAM, a departure from the usual 2GB we are accustomed with in basic laptops. This is enough memory to handle a number of tasks without slowing down. The storage capacity of the device is at the lower end, just 16GB for storage of important documents only. The solid state drive enables the Chromebook to run smoothly with quick loading of programs and fast booting. Google expands the storage capacity by providing 100GB of cloud storage accessible with internet connectivity. With the cloud storage, you can now store all your photos, music and other important files accessible from anywhere.
In terms of connectivity, the system features a one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. The USB 3.0 port offers faster transfer of files and connection to other devices and peripherals. There is an HDMI port for connecting to larger displays to watch your movies in High definition. There is also a microSD card slot for expanding the memory and sharing of your camera photos. Additionally, there is an audio combo jack for connecting your laptop to external speakers or earphones. The system has limited ports and does not come with an Ethernet port and a CD/DVD drive. The slim profile of the device does not allow its inclusion as it aims to remain as portable as possible. You can however purchase an external optical drive separately, if you cannot do without it. Internet connectivity is available through Wi-Fi 802.11ac with improved signal strength and transfer speeds.
The 11.6 inch display features an anti-glare HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This is the same resolution seen in most Chromebooks such as Acer Chromebook CB-131-C3SZ with a good pixel density. The screen is ideal for streaming movies and playing of online games with sharp pictures. The screen might not be that suitable for creating office documents such as excel spreadsheets but it’s ideal for editing. It comes with an HD webcam on top of the display for video conferencing and chatting with friends via skype.
The highlight point of the Samsung Chromebook 3 is on its battery that can last up to 11 hours of basic usage. However, you should expect less than 9 hours depending on the network configuration, backlight settings and many other factors. Combining the battery life and its portability, the laptop suffices as a good companion for those on the move. As such, you can complete your assignment with a fully charged battery without having to worry about charging.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US is a mid-level laptop that provides a perfect balance to mobility and computing. The laptop is energy efficient, lighter, thinner and with the power to handle day to day tasks. The Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM included in this device are capable while keeping the laptop affordable. The Toshiba Chromebook is however more equipped in terms of features compared to the Samsung Chromebook. It features an Intel Celeron 2.16GHz processor, 4GB RAM, Intel HD graphics and 16GB SSD. The device offers great features but you will have to add some more bucks. All said, the Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US remains our top pick, thanks to its power capability, portability and affordability.