Internet connection is a must for full experience.
The Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook laptop provides a cloud-based computing experience from within a traditionally-designed laptop. It sports an improved Google Chrome OS interface, 3G-cellular connectivity, a comfortable keyboard and a good-quality display. Not without its downsides, however, as it runs quite hot and the need for an Internet connection.
Lost a little of its charm, visually.
There's not much wrong with the Chromebook hardware. It's actually a pretty decent machine, it has better connectivity than most Ultrabooks and is certainly a lot cheaper. That said, it's not as powerful as a normal laptop - many costing little more than the £380 of this machine - and it is still frustratingly limited.
What bothers us most, perhaps, is that the Chromebook isn't light, and it isn't all that cheap. These are the two things that we really do think would set it apart.
Very portable, strong improvements over last gen Chromebooks software and hardware, fast OS
Clearly, the very dated hardware isn't the driving reason to buy the Series 5 550 Chromebook. For the same price, you can get a much more compelling Windows laptop. Chrome OS is the star here, but we're not sure the world is ready and able to live life solely online. Not that the Samsung doesn't have a healthy set of connectivity options with Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Verizon 3G with 100 megs of free use per month for up to two years.
Isn't for everyone.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook 550 isn't for everyone. For $450 or more you can buy a decent Windows laptop, install the Chrome web browser, and do almost everything that you can do with a Chromebook.
But you can do many of those things better with a Chromebook if the web browser is your most important app.
Bright, pleasing matte display
What the Chromebook does, it does well. It's not an exaggeration to say that this is the best Web browsing experience that you'll find on a laptop. It's quick, smooth, easy to navigate via multi-touch scrolling and supported by a brilliant matte display. As a portable web browser, the Samsung Series 5 is perfect.
So that's the question: Do you want to buy a $450 (Wi-Fi only) or $550 (3G) Web browser?
Suffers from the general sluggishness
Ultimately, the whole Chromebook experiment feels like it's just a couple years ahead of its time. There may come a day, sometime in the not-too-distant future, when web applications have the power and sophistication necessary to really replace most of what you do on a computer.
Improved speed, Fast boot up
So without being able to recommend the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook as your only computer, does it do enough to warrant you buying it to go alongside your existing laptop, desktop or all-in-one? Sadly, not.
While it's certainly well built, the form factor isn't as convenient or as easy to carry as the Chromebook's chief competitor: tablets. While Chrome OS has been improved, it's not as powerful as the iPad's iOS, or that other Google operating system, Android.
Bright, Antiglare Coated Display
Fujitsu's LifeBook P701 falters from being a good laptop because it is still stuck in the older corporate computer mindset. It comes with half the RAM and a third of storage space of the modern laptop PC. Add to this the lack of modern high speed peripheral ports and you are stuck relying on your limited resources with limited external expansion options. At least the display offers a bright spot with antiglare coating and nice color.
Fantastic battery life, Matt screen stops reflections
Fujitsu has focused on what a high-end user would want from an ultra-portable - great battery life, a comfortable keyboard and enough connectivity to provide a wealth of options.
It won't take the crown from the likes of the Sony VAIO VPC-Z13M9E/B or the Apple MacBook Air, but at half the price, we're not complaining.
Good range of ports for the price
The Fujitsu LifeBook P701 impresses with its good screen, sterling performance and sturdy build quality. A number of problems mean it fails to live up to its price tag though -- the keyboard isn't great, it lacks a DVD drive and its battery life could be much better.
Good performance for a very compact Notebook
The Fujitsu Lifebook P701 is small and nicely made. We'd have liked a higher screen resolution and could live without the ScrollWheel - but overall, if you need something very portable, it could suit.
Excellent package for prices under $400
For those that want a higher performance netbook that can achieve high definition media playback, the ASUS Eee PC 1215T offers an excellent package for prices under $400. The AMD Athlon II Neo processor, Radeon HD graphics, 12-inch display and HDMI output all make for a great media capable netbook. The downside is that all of this extra performance does take a toll on the battery life of the system as well as the size.
Panasonic just announced the Toughbook S9, a 12.1-inch laptop with DVD drive and Core i5 processor. It starts at about $2,400 and offers 11 hours of battery life on one charge. Again, good old Kyp gives us the tour. The Toughbook S9 includes a standard three-year limited warranty.
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Reviews and Ratings for 12.1 in. Display Size Notebooks from ReviewGist