To start for a laptop for under 200 dollars, I have to say Chromebook should be on your best option considering this system will offer you better hardware and much thing compared to what you see in Windows laptop at the same price. Many users who search for a device at this price range should probably only do some works related to editing document and browsing. For this kind of case, I am pretty sure that Chrome OS will do everything without any problem. As for my top recommendation here, I will pick of Samsung Chromebook 3 considering I have used the laptop for almost a year until now.
Samsung has released the upgrade version for it while it does not carry a decent improvement in hardware, but still carrying of better hardware in theory. The Intel N3060 processor is now featured alongside with 4GB of RAM and 32GB EMMC storage. In good side, they don’t raise the price at all and still stick with its original price. I have got the chance to revisit of it and let’s see how far the improvement goes here. That is what we are going to talk about on this article. Without further ado, let’s we jump into the article.
Design and Connectivity
Students and kids will probably love of its design because it looks fancy and pretty light to carry around. The device is measured at 11 x 8 x 0.7 inches and only weight for 2.5 pounds. Anyone can even hold it with single hand without any problem considering how light the weight is. The chassis surrounded itself is built from plastic and having some kind of smooth finishing surface. The lid surface looks quite glossy and slippery when my hands are wet. That is not a big problem, but the lid surface will leave a fingerprint mark pretty badly during this case.
One good feature Samsung added here is the flexible hinge system. The hinge system is allowing you to adjust it up to 180 degree and should provide a more option in viewing angle. It’s not pretty useful as the panel used here is TN, but it will prevent the kids from breaking it easily for holding the lid too strongly. As for the connectivity, there are two USB ports, an HDMI, and a micro SD slot for expanding the storage. The charging process is done through the proprietary charging slot and no USB charging available here.back to menu ↑
Display and Keyboard
Despite for being a low budget device, they actually add of a decent display in my opinion here. I mean the color accuracy is not really good, but its brightness appeared to be brighter than most of laptops nowadays. The 259 nits of brightness is amazing as its competitors would offer only 200 to 220 nits of brightness. This is making the screen feels more enjoyable and reliable for outdoor usage. I can just take it around and using it for a while without getting annoyed the sun is too bright for finishing my work. The viewing angle is also decent up to 45 degree for seeing from left and right sides.
As for the keyboard, I see an improvement on its keys feedback. The keys now bounce better and feel more tactile than before. The travel distant is relatively short which leads to great error during my typing. Kid’s small hands won’t see any problem, but we might need to get used with it for a while. As for the rest of stuff, the backlit support is still missing and they put the power button alongside its keyboard. I am happy to see an improvement made by Samsung here.
|Samsung Chromebook 3 XE501C13||Main Specs|
|CPU||Intel Celeron Dual Core N3060 1.6 GHz|
|Graphics||Intel HD Integrated Card|
|Display Size||11.6 Inch TN HD|
|Memory||4GB DDR3 Memory|
|Storage||32GB EMMC (Flash Storage)|
Performance and Battery
The Celeron N3060 is quite old processor back from 2015, but runs much better than its predecessor. The processor now features a higher clock at 1.6 GHz and can go up to 2.4 GHz with proper cooling. The 14 nm manufacturing process is the biggest leap from the old generation and now the power consumption is lower than I expect. You should see a big improvement in battery life thanks to this new technology. In real life usage, Chrome OS will run nicely and the 4GB RAM is sufficient enough to let you have more than 7 tabs at Chrome browser at the same time. The 32GB storage is small, but Google provides of free 100GB Google Drive storage.
For continuously browsing through the internet while connected to the WIFI, the battery offers of 9 hours and 33 minutes of usage until the battery is completely run off. They add a quite small battery capacity and the battery won’t pass 10 hours because the capacity is just insufficient here. However, I am fully satisfied at the result as 9 hours is a good amount of time to finish everything in a single day. Its big brother, the Chromebook Plus V2 2018 will do better in battery life in case you expect for more here.
200 dollars is the lowest price point you need to spend if you want to afford a laptop. Unfortunately, we are not seeing some good options at this price level because you sure know the manufactures will have problem to put what exact the hardware is. Recently, Samsung announced the new Chromebook 3 model and can be your best option here. Its quality offered here is better than my expectation and leaves a good impression. Feel free share your opinion about it and mind leaving some comments for further assistance regarding the article.