Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook review
There are two USB ports, an SD card reader and a single 3.5mm combined microphone and headphone port. You can use normal headphones in this, but if you want to connect a headset, you’ll have to use one with a three-ring connector rather than two 3.5mm ones. The integrated speakers aren’t loud, but their audio quality is better than most netbooks’, with a decent mid-range and less tinniness on high frequencies than we expected. The laptop has a dual-band Wi-Fi adaptor that can connect to either 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless networks, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a slot at the rear to take a mobile SIM.
For external monitor connections, the Chromebook has a DisplayPort output, which means you may need an adaptor to hook up to a DVI or HDMI display. Currently, you can only mirror the screen, which is handy for presentations or viewing media on a large screen, but it means that dual-display setups aren’t an option. Luckily, the 12.1in integrated screen is fantastic. It has a resolution of 1,280 x 800 and a non-reflective finish that lets you work in bright light. It also renders skin tones and bright colours in a remarkably accurate and natural way.
Samsung’s Chromebook is extremely well made, and Chrome OS 20 fixes many of the problems that users had with earlier versions’ cloud-only ethos. It’s still a cloud-computing client but it no longer turns into a paperweight as soon as you go offline. It’s also much faster and more responsive than the average netbook. Unfortunately, its price means it’s also more expensive than most netbooks, but that still makes it cheaper than most laptops with a comparable screen.
Speed and simplicity remain the major points in its favour; there’s very little you can do to break, slow down or otherwise affect the Chromebook, which makes it a great buy if you’re willing to adopt Google’s cloud-based approach.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||291 x 216 x 21.2mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Celeron 867|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||9hr 0min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||N/A|
|3D performance setting||N/A|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||N/A|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Google Chrome OS 20|
|OS family||Chrome OS|