So, I did end up getting a Chromebook. Well, technically, I didn’t get it right away. But I did receive an “IOU” from my father as a great Christmas present this year. Though I’ve already mentioned that the Samsung model was higher on my priority list, both it and the Acer are very similar in terms of specs.
So, my willpower was tested today as I browsed Best Buy’s selection only to find the Acer in stock. I was tempted to snatch one up and take it home, instead of waiting for the Samsung to be restocked, but I resisted for a few reasons.
When it comes down to it, the Samsung Chromebook provides far better value than the Acer. Engadget breaks down the differences quite nicely, but I’ll summarize my thoughts here:
- Most noticeably, the Acer looks cheap. It looks like a $200 device, whereas the Samsung looks like a high quality Macintosh-esque product. (+1 Samsung)
- The Acer feels cheap. Touching it, the Acer feels like something out of the early 2000s or like an early Netbook. It has a dull gray, steel color that’s rough to the touch and feels chunky/bulky even if it is only a couple pounds. (+1 Samsung)
- The Acer’s screen is glossy. The demo unit was covered in greasy finger prints and the gloss was not attractive at all. Again, the Samsung wins in the screen department with its soft matte finish and 1366 x 768 resolution. (+1 Samsung)
- The Samsung has Bluetooth. Even though I don’t use it often, it seems like a good “future-proof” feature to include. (+1 Samsung)
- The Acer has a 300+ gig hard drive, while the Samsung only has 15 gigs. (+1 Acer)
- The Samsung has a solid state hard drive that makes it super speedy and attractive, even if it is a tad small. (+1 Samsung)
- The Acer has a big vent down the left side which houses a traditional cooling fan. What is so cool about the Samsung is that it doesn’t have any moving parts. No fans, no moving parts. (+1 Samsung)
Maybe I’m a bit harsh on the Acer, but for $50 more (and a waitlist) to get the Samsung, the styling and functional benefits are clearly worth it. If this is my first foray into the “cloud world” of Chromebooks, I want to do it well. I choose Samsung.
EDIT (1.15.2013): After using the Samsung Chromebook for over a week now, I noticed one thing right away. It scratches very easily! I carried it to in my regular backpack and took it out only to find some dark spots that seemed to be rubbed in from moving around in the bag slightly. My recommendation: Buy a small Caselogic protective cover if you want to be carrying this thing around.
EDIT (3.11.13): Great news for Chromebook owners – Netflix has been made officially compatible with the Samsung. Download the Netflix Chromebook App here and get watching! This was the only thing holding me back from recommending this device hands-down to everyone.