Samsung Chromebook Pro Review

Samsung Chromebook Pro Review

Samsung Chromebook Pro Review

The Samsung Chromebook Pro launch is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been excited for a new piece of technology. Sure, there’s  the fun of unboxing a new smartphone, laptop or smartwatch. There’s the uncertainty of how a device like Google Home, the Nest family of devices or even a Bluetooth speaker will work or sound. But nothing is comparing to the restlessness I’ve been experiencing waiting for the Samsung Chromebook Pro to arrive.

The Chromebook Pro got announced back in February 2017 along with a Chromebook Plus. They are essentially the same device, with a better processor and a fancy black color for the Plus… and $100 more. The Plus came out as expected in March, but the Pro was given a soft launch of “April 2017.” April came and went, articles went up blasting Samsung for missing the launch… then most of May went by. Finally, Samsung announced it would be selling the device online at Amazon, Best Buy and a few other online locations on May 28, 2017. Of course, by the time I looked at Amazon it was gone and none of the other places even had it listed on their sites.

So I waited, and waited, and waited… until it surfaced (see what I did there?) on BestBuy.com for the promised price of $549. I couldn’t purchase it fast enough, and thought it would be delivered in time for the weekend, which didn’t happen. So I waited some more… and then all day Monday until it finally showed up around 4:30pm!

So I used it the rest of the day, and even typed this review on the Chromebook Pro the next day, and here’s what I found.

Samsung Chromebook Pro – The Good

Thinking about purchasing the Samsung Chromebook Pro? Here’s some reasons why you should!

  • Weight – Not the other wait; that was bad. But this thing is LIGHT! With the Chromebook Pro I’m replacing a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and an Asus TP300L laptop. Both were noticeably heavier (especially with a case on the Note 10.1) and much bulkier than the Chromebook Pro.
  • Android Apps on the Chromebook – Probably THE most impressive move forward, and frankly what held it back on the release, is the ability to install and run Android apps on the Chromebook Pro. I love Typemail for email, I use Google Voice and Hangouts for calls and SMS messages, OneNote for notes, and more and instead of having to do everything inside the browser, now I can install apps I’m used to using on my tablet and phone to do these things and more.
  • Battery Life – Samsung claims over 10 hours of battery, but with real use I’m seeing closer to 8. Considering I was getting about 3 on my Asus laptop, and about 6 on the Note 10.1, I’ll take eight hours. On the flip side, the battery charges amazingly fast using the USB-C power adapter.
  • Speed – With only a 2.2gHz processor, I wasn’t expecting the Chromebook Pro to be overly snappy. But no matter how many apps I opened, media I had running, browser windows I had up on Chrome, I never really saw any lag.
  • Screen – The screen is incredibly bright, incredibly clear and even with small text, incredibly crisp. It is a little weird with the 4:3 ratio instead of the now-common 16:9, but that took moments to get used to. The bezel around the screen was slightly larger than I expected with Samsung’s journey into infinity screens on their S8 phones, but with the black case is less noticeable than with a silver or grey case.
  • Convertible Screen – The screen flips around a full 360 degrees to convert the Chromebook to a full Android tablet. Reading books, Texture magazines, websites and other media was a great experience, and watching video had stunning video, ok audio (fixed with earbuds), but did lose a little with the 4:3 ratio (see below).
  • S-Pen – Apple has then Pencil, Microsoft has their Surface Pen, but the S-Pen available for not taking and drawing on Samsung devices is still the best electronic pen that I’ve used.

Samsung Chromebook Pro – The Bad

Some of the features on the Chromebook Pro are not spectacular, but not a big deal in my mind. Below are a few things that probably won’t either move you in one direction or the other if you’re thinking about purchasing the Pro.

  • Keyboard Size – The keyboard is a bit small, but the keys have decent travel and everything is there, although the backspace key is slightly undersized and if you like to “scream” on social media, there’s no dedicated caps lock.
  • Ports – The only available ports on the device are two USB-C connectors, a headphone jack, and a micro-SD card reader. So if you’re the type that connects multiple devices you will need a USB-C to USB hub. Personally I connect through BT or WI-FI in most cases, so not a bid deal.
  • Speakers – There was a lot of discussion of the speakers located under the case and the sound not being very loud. I am either using external speakers or earbuds, so for me, again not a big deal. If you are serious about your sound on mobile devices, I still suggest a BT speaker.
  • Fingerprints and Other Marks – The black case looks great, but it does get a little marked up easily, and of course the touch screen can hold fingerprints so keep it clean!
  • Apps Resizing – Not all Android apps are able to be resized and some are limited to phone size only. I’m currently looking for a way to install tablet version of some of my favorite apps like Scribblepost and others, but for now I’ll just use the browser version.

Samsung Chromebook Pro – The Ugly

Looking for a reason to NOT buy the Chromebook Pro? Here’s a couple that will hopefully be addressed shortly and become a totally non-issue.

  • Apps Not Recognizing SD Card – I’m a mobile DJ, I listen to lots of podcasts, and as a website programmer I like to have the ability to backup and retrieve website files on storage devices. So when I found out that my apps couldn’t find the SD card to play music, podcasts and even my Dropbox folder, I was a little put off. I’m sure it will get fixed, but with only 32GB of onboard memory, it seems a little odd for the device not to recognize the SD as acceptable storage.
  • 32GB of Onboard Memory – Considering my first Windows desktop had a “massive” 2GB HDD it seems odd to complain the Chromebook Pro only has 32GB of onboard space. When apps start natively seeing the 128GB SD card I have in the device this will be a totally non-issue, but as it stands now I’m not a fan of the smaller hard drive.
  • Reports of Apps Crashing – There are some reports of the Chromebook Pro crashing when a fair amount of apps and browser windows are active. I have not seen this, in fact, as I type this post I have 10+ browser windows open, TypeMail, OneNote, PocketCasts (playing a podcast), Hootsuite and one more app running with no issues. If it becomes more common for apps to crash the device this is a very real issue, but for me it’s not.

I plan on using the Samsung Chromebook Pro as my daily machine for a few days, with the exception of recording my podcast and maybe a few other things. So as I find more benefits and issues I will make sure to document them here.

Thinking about purchasing the Chromebook Pro? It’s listed on Amazon here for the standard price of $549 (same everywhere else), but at the time of this post was sold out. I’m sure more are on the way.

Looking to save a few bucks but get many of the same benefits minus some computing power? Try the Samsung Chromebook Plus for $449.

Samsung Chromebook Pro Amazon

Some of the Chromebook Pro specs

  • 11.1 in x 8.7 in x 0.5 in
  • 2.38 lbs
  • 12.3 LED Backlight Screen (2400 x 1600 resolution)
  • Intel Core m3 (6th Gen) 6Y30 / 0.9 GHz Dual Core
  • RAM – 4GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 32 GB SSD – (eMMC)
  • 720p Front Facing Camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • 2 x USB-C Headphone/microphone combo jack
  • MicroSD Card Reader

 

Flash! Ah ahhhhhh! – BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 41

Flash! Ah ahhhhhh! – BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 41

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 41 – Flash! Ah ahhhhhh!

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Using Flash on your website?

If your website uses this technology, it’s time to finally move on before you lose your customers!

All of the major internet browsers, Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox, have officially dropped support for the Flash plugin. Some will still allow you to install, but you have to go in to the settings and turn it on, then remember to turn it off again.

None of the major mobile devices including iOS and Android will display Flash animations.

That means that unless your visitors are running old computers, or tech savy enough to turn Flash on to watch, then turn it back off for security, you will lose that visitor… maybe forever.

Here are some options :

  1. If you are only using a Flash animation spash screen, see if it can be removed without killing your search rankings or you website.
  2. If you are using Flash or Silverlight for videos, can you migrate them to YouTube or Vimoe, or even self host the videos if they are small or viewed without regularity.
  3. You may need to plan to replace the website sooner than later. Odds are that if you’re still using Flash probably not usable by mobile devices anyways.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0039 – GSuite & Mailbird

BBP : EP0039 – GSuite & Mailbird

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 39 – GSuite & Mailbird

Hosted by : Marv Dorner, owner of BeBizzy Consulting

Ever get the feeling that someone’s watching you?

That happened to me this week, as I started to look for a replacement for my Outlook replacement, Mailbird. The problem was that although I had hundreds of contacts saved in my various GSuite email accounts, there was no way to easily sync to or from GSuite. On many occassions I was either grabbing email addresses from my phone or having to log into the web interface to gather the email addresses so I could send.

Just this morning, I recevied an email from Mailbird claiming they had a new Contact Manager ready to roll out, all I had to do was update Mailbird, click a few things and BOOM!, contacts. The scariest part was that it worked EXACTLY like it was supposed to work, and now I don’t have to look for a new email system. Way to go, Mailbird! Check them out if you’re a GSuite or Gmail email user.

And if your NOT a GSuite user… here’s why you should be.

GSuite is a powerful email, calendar, document sharing, task & project management solution. Some other benefits are:

  • Uses Google secure and “always-on” hosting solution. I have had very minimal outages in many years of use.
  • The system is available from anywhere, so as long as you can get to a computer, tablet or phone and remember your login info, you can see you mail, calendar and documents.
  • Easy to share documents within the GSuite environment, so anyone with your domain email can easily receive, share or collaborate on documents.
  • You can still use Outlook. While I recommend getting outside the Office forcefield with apps like Mailbirdold reliable still works with GSuite.
  • 2-Step Verification security to protect your email.
  • 3rd party apps like CRMs, project management suites, mind mapping tools, and much more can be easily made available across the network.
  • Excellent support
  • Relatively cheap at $5 per email address per month.

Check out if GSuite is a good fit for you and your business by going to https://gsuite.google.com

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0038 – Why Hire A Copywriter?

BBP : EP0038 – Why Hire A Copywriter?

Happy Easter, and thank you for all the birthday wishes, everyone!

There was a huge Windows exploit identified last week, and Microsoft has published a patch for Windows 7, 8 and 10, but not for Vista or XP since they have recently stopped support for those operating systems. Run your updates, kids!

Also, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming out on Friday and is rumored to be THE smartphone in regards to performance and features. If you’re in the new market for a new device, check it out!

Why Hire A Copywriter?

Copywriters are one of those skill-sets that we all need, but we rarely think about until it’s too late. On today’s BeBizzy Break Podcast I talk about why you would want to hire a copywriter for your websites, press releases, or other marketing pieces. These can include :

  • You don’t have time to write your website or marketing content
  • You’re too close to your business to write for possible clients
  • Website content is not something you’ve written before
  • Keeping a consistant “voice” in your content
  • SEO copywriting is a very specific skillset
  • Your content is probably NOT using a copywriter
  • Engage with your call-to-action

Copywriters can be a game changing addition to your marketing team. Contact BeBizzy Consulting if you need to find someone to help you with your marketing voice.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0037 – Wave Accounting

BBP : EP0037 – Wave Accounting

Happy Tax Week, everybody!

Episode 37 – Wave Accounting

This week I am happy to be joined by Rob Maurin from Wave to discuss this awesome, FREE, accounting and invoicing software.

We discuss some of the many features of this powerful business tool that will help you with your :

  • Accounting
  • Invoicing
  • Recurring Invoicing
  • Expense Tracking
  • Payroll
  • Mobile Invoicing
  • And much, much more.

I’ve been a user for several years and couldn’t be happier with the ease and completion of the system.

Check out the interview with Rob, then head over to http://waveapps.com and take Wave apps our for a drive.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0036 – Golf. Good for Business?

BBP : EP0036 – Golf. Good for Business?

FORE!

Golf is a fun activity participated in by many in the business community. Should you be one of them?

Golfing – Good for Business?

There are many reasons why whacking a little white ball around a park can help you and your staff land new clients, get better at what you do, and just create a great environment for you to conduct informal business.

Some other benefits as posted for the MGT Open are :

  • It’s a 5-hour meeting. Good luck landing that with a client or even with your staff.
  • Golf reveals the true character of both your potential clients, and yourself (so be careful).
  • Business Golf is ideal for developing exclusive business leads, thanking clients and staff, brainstorming and team-building.

And more! Check out the link to the PDF.

And don’t worry if you’re a poor golfer, the game can actualy help if you’re not just a little better than the person you’re meeting with. And there are games like a scramble, best ball, or others that can help golfers with a higher handicap be on a more level playing field. And, getting better as the summer progresses is a great way to demonstrate that you can/do get better with repetition.

Now keep in mind that many don’t golf, especially in the millenial age group. So if the target demographic spends more time just sitting around drinking a few craft beers or at a coffee shop, that may be more productive for you. Golf works, but both parties have to be willing and able to play. Remember, golf is NOT a cheap outing. By the time you buy/rent clubs, pay greens fees and cart rentals, and throw in some food and drink, it can be an expensive, but fun day.

So tee it up, network with your friends, and enjoy a day out in the sun talking about your business. You never know what might happen.

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0035 – Happy World Backup Day!

BBP : EP0035 – Happy World Backup Day!

Happy World Backup Day, everyone! Well, maybe a couple days early, but we like to celebrate data backups all the time around here.

EP 35 – Happy World Backup Day!

Before we get too far, I’d like to wish a Happy 23rd Birthday to my daughter! We’ll see you this weekend and celebrate the best way you know how, by going to a hocke game!

Now, on to other important matters.

  • March 31 is World Backup Day. Back. Your. Data. Up. That is all…
    • I lied, that is NOT all. Your data is your business! Throw on top of that all your photos, your music, personal financial documents and more, and there are few things in life that would make things as difficult as recovering from a data failure.
    • At the VERY least, back up your data to an external hard drive or to another computer.
    • Personal Cloud storage devices are relatively cheap and easy to add to a home or office network.
    • Data companies like Dropbox and Carbonite have built a business out of managing backups for you. Check them out!
  • A group calling themselves the Turkish Crime Family has claimed to have stolen passwords to 530 Million Apple iCloud passwords. Time to change your passwords, kids!
    • If your Apple password has been stolen the thief can get access to your data, and even reset your phone.
  • FedEx is offering $5 for you to turn on Flash in your browsers.
    • Why should you NOT do that? Flash was proven to be an insecure browser extension years ago, so none of the modern browsers have it turned on by default.
    • FedEx needs to find a way to join the rest of us in 2017 and build a website that does not use this ancient, security-holed software.

Have a good rest of your week, everyone!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

Website Launch – Mandan Memorial

Website Launch – Mandan Memorial

BeBizzy Consulting is proud to announce the launch of our latest website, MandanMemorial.com!

Mandan Memorial serves the Bismarck-Mandan area, and specializes in remembering loved ones with a custom memorial with products like monuments, headstones, benches, bronze markers and much more.

They even do landscape pieces like rock street number signs and other specialty items.

Check them out at MandanMemorial.com, or visit their location on Main in Mandan, ND.

Contact Form or Email Address?

Contact Form or Email Address?

One thing we’ve been told for years is that you need an email address in order to do business. I agree with that statement, but in regards to where that email address is used, I’m not in favor of listing email addresses on a website.

Email Address or Contact Forms?

I am, however, a huge fan of forms, and this week’s BeBizzy Break Podcast features an interview with Rich Brooks from the Agents of Change Podcast on that very subject.

What are the benefits of using a form?

  • Not divulging email addresses to potential spammers
  • Guiding possible leads by asking questions in the form.
  • Inputting form information into a CRM.
  • Pushing the form to multiple recipients, or to a specific person where applicable.

A few more things about Rich Brooks.

 

First, tickets for the annual Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference are now on sale. The conference takes place in Portland, Maine, but it’s also streamed online and available via on demand video. Jay Baer is the keynote and more great speakers will be announced soon. The event is on 9/15/2017 and people can learn more at http://www.theagentsofchange.com
Second, he has a book called The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing that’s available now. Your audience can download a free chapter at http://www.theagentsofchange.com/marv
Enjoy the interview, bad voice and technical issues aside, and don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!

BBP : EP0031 – Case of the Googles

BBP : EP0031 – Case of the Googles

Host : Marv Dorner, BeBizzy Consulting

We’re talking about Google Keep, Google Docs, and Google Chromebooks today on the BeBizzy Break.

But first, we’re proud to annouce the launch of our newest website, Path To Pono. Contact Sandy Thompson with questions about recruiting great employees, developing leadership in your organization, and helping your family with substance abuse.

Now, on the Googles.

  • Google has finally brought Google Keep into the GSuite environement in the web version (desktop and browser)
    • Easily import Keep notes into Google Docs
    • Google Keep is the notetaking app available on all devices (Android, iOS and in your browser) that takes audio, handwriting, images and itemized lists. You can also color code, and tag notes for ease in search and identification.
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro – my next tech purchase (when it gets released)
    • Chromebooks allow you to live in the Google environement for documents, the Chrome browser, photos and more. And now there’s a reasonably priced great device called “Kevin” that even allows users to run Android apps on their Chromebook.
    • The device is convertable to a tablet, and even has a Samsung S-Pen for taking notes and other visual needs.
    • The Chromebook Plus is available for $449, with the Chromebook Pro being released in “Spring 2017” for around $500.

Have a great week, everyone. Spring is slowly on the way!

Don’t forget to send us any suggestions for apps to review or people to interview. And subscribe to the BeBizzy Break Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!