Google Chromebooks come to Canada: is Samsung's version your best bet?

At just $269, it might be.

We live in a golden age of gadgets. Just when you couldn’t decide whether to buy a new laptop, smartphone, tablet or—word gods, forgive us—phablet, another option has popped up. For those not quite willing to go full tablet but wanting a simpler, cheaper alternative to a traditional laptop, look no further than the Chromebook. Available in the U.S. since 2011, Google recently announced laptops featuring its cloud-based operating system would be available in Canada. At $269, this little Samsung number sits between the Acer ($249) and HP ($329) option on the price scale.

The specs
Under the hood, the 2.43-pound laptop features an 11.6-inch display, Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor, 16 GB of internal storage, 2 GB DDR3L RAM, 2 USB ports, an HDMI port, and a built-in dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n.

The doppelgänger
One look and there’s no missing its resemblance to Apple’s $999 11- inch MacBook Air. Of course, given the lighter price tag, the Samsung is plastic, less powerful and not quite as thin or light, but it does boast the same 1,366-by-768-pixel screen resolution, black keyboard and sleek design.

The cloud
It’s a Googled piece of hardware, so it comes with a laundry list of built-in Google products and apps, including the namesake web browser, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and two years of 100 GB free Google Drive storage. You can download additional apps, either paid or free, at the Chrome Web Store.