Otherwise, the Series 5’s overall profile is admirable. At just under three and a half pounds, carrying a Chromebook around doesn’t feel like a rock in a bag on your hip. It’s lighter than the MacBook Pro I’m currently using by more than a pound, and it felt fine as I schlepped it around San Francisco during my workday. The Series 5 is also fairly thin when closed — 0.79 inches, to be exact. Obviously not MacBook Air-levels of thinness, but it won’t cost you a grand, either.
It’s sleek, too. The Series 5 comes in two finishes, Arctic White or Titan Silver — both plastic, and both offset nicely by the Chromebook’s black innards. Despite the notebook’s mostly plastic construction, it doesn’t come off as chintzy. Lightweight resin composition? Yes. Cheapo kid’s toy feel? Definitely not.
Much unlike Apple’s toasty laptops, the Chromebook didn’t set my crotch on fire after extended use. That’s a big plus, and certainly positive for any future children I may happen to father.
The Series 5 has a full-sized keyboard, so it’s not cramped and feels just like a regular laptop keyboard. Non-essential keys are gone, including the F1 through F18 keys, which are replaced by media controls. A Search key replaces Caps Lock. It opens a new tab in your browser when you press it. Hit it again and the tab disappears. If you miss Caps Lock (crazy!) you can re-map the keyboard to your tastes.
Samsung claims it takes eight seconds to power up, from the point of being completely off to seeing a usable browser window. When we tested this, it actually took only seven seconds to start up and be ready for use. It’s a seemingly trivial point, but think about what the device is used for: instant access to the web, e-mail and simpler tasks. You want something fast, not a rig that requires minutes to fully boot up.
Which gets at the heart of the device’s utility, and Google’s vision for us: simple, stripped-down browsing driving the majority of our computing experiences. For that purpose, but for that purpose alone, the Chromebook is a worthy vessel.
Photos by Jon Snyder/get-gadget
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