Given Google’s Chrome OS limitations, Chromebooks are ideal as secondary laptops only and are best suited for school and entertainment use. Considering they usually serve as a backup computer, people aren’t always keen on spending a lot of money on them. Thankfully, there are a lot of budget-friendly Chromebooks out there, like the Samsung Chromebook 3. This Chromebook might come at a low price, but you can expect a rock-solid performance out of it.
Right now, you can score a renewed Samsung Chromebook 3 on Amazon for a huge 31% discount. Take home this speedy and dependable Chromebook for just $138 instead of $200.
You can always rely on Samsung’s devices to be good pieces of hardware, and the Chromebook 3 is no exception. It’s slim, light, and evokes an Ultrabook’s aesthetic. It’s not exactly made of premium materials, but it certainly feels sturdy. Its 11-6-inch display is good. With a pixel resolution of 1,366 x 768 — which is higher than that of the Samsung Chromebook 5 — the colors onscreen nicely pop, although the blacks aren’t that deep, and it isn’t nearly as bright as we had hoped for. Still, it’s a pretty decent screen considering how affordable it is and is good for watching movies and TV shows in a dimly lit room.
At the back of this laptop, you’ll find most of its ports, which aren’t a lot. There’s one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0, a full HDMI, and a SIM card slot (on the 3G version). On the left side, there’s a SD card slot and a headphone jack. The small number of ports isn’t really a drawback and something we’ve expected in a budget laptop. The Chromebook 3’s keyboard is pretty good, very reminiscent of a MacBook. For a laptop this thin, tactile feedback and travel are decent and keystroke is quite comfy. However, you won’t spot an Fn key here (since keys don’t actually have alternative functions), and instead of a Caps Lock key, there’s a Search key.
As with other Chromebooks, the Chromebook 3 runs with Chrome OS. Google has worked extra hard to make its interface as simple and efficient as possible. The operating system is now infinitely better than it used to be. In fact, people accustomed to using Windows and OS X would find this interface quite similar. Unfortunately, there’s still a limited number of offline apps that you can download from the Chrome Web Store.
Underneath the hood, the Chromebook 3 is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor with 4GB memory and 16GB of internal storage. It’s pleasantly speedy and snappy when browsing the internet and having multiple tabs open is no problem. Another great thing about this Chromebook is its battery life. The N3060 processor is not exactly a power hog, so you’ll be able to use this for as much as seven hours with continuous maximum usage.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 may be inexpensive, but it’s powerful if used primarily as a web browser. It’s got solid hardware components and superb battery life, with only a few shortcomings like missing keys and a limited number of offline apps.
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