Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chromebook love

OK, so I said before I liked my Chromebook.

I'm sorry, I lied.  I love my Chromebook.  Even if it doesn't have a caps lock key, and even if it doesn't have a delete key (I'm pretty sure this can be hacked, I just haven't had the time to look up how).  Even if it can't run gaming programs or photoshopping programs.  Even if I can't access Guitarbots (which is funny, because it's a web-based program, so theoretically it should run) and even if I can't take on hourly work through oDesk.

Because, despite all of these disadvantages, there are some pretty major upsides to using a Chromebook.  For starters, I can turn it on and be online within 10 seconds.  In fact, the major bottleneck in getting online is having to enter in my (randomly-generated) passwords.  For another, the battery, which in my model (Asus c300) has been touted as "all day", actually does run for the entire day.  Now, granted, I'm actually away from the computer all day, stopping in only to check on Facebook, or send a quick email, but in the evenings, well, let's just say that even when running YouTube, I've yet to drain the battery below 45%.  And I typically work from 7-12 am.  And lastly, well, it comes in blue.  For a €329 computer, it's really quite nice.

I think Apple made a big mistake when it took colors out of the picture.  Apple does make awesome products, so it doesn't really matter, but on the other hand, well, I like colors.  I guess what I'm saying is that, given similar product specs, I'd most likely pick the product that's available in the color I want.  And since I can't seem to discern any differences between the performance of Karel's iPhone and my Samsung SIII--and likewise, since my Chromebook easily outperforms every PC in this house, times two--well, give me a blue thing any day.

And as for the missing programs, well, there are some pretty nice online sites.  You can also use the Google Play store to download apps, the same as you would with your phone--this might not work for everything, but I've found a pretty nice chess program.  Photobucket offers an array of photo manipulating tools, and Office Online offers an abbreviated version of Office products.  Gdocs is capable of saving as Office-compatible documents (as well as PDF--I cannot tell you how pleased I am that Google's developers considered this detail), and converting Office documents into the relevant G-product.  And the fact that the OS updates automatically, without requiring your authorization, is quite nice as well. The only downside that's been relevant for me is the flimsy 32 GB hard drive, but external hard drives are dirt cheap these days.

So that's my take on the Chromebook.  For a thrifty computer that does web-based stuff really well--i.e., what most people do with their computers--it really can't be beat.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way by Google or Asus (though if you'd like to send me a check, I wouldn't be opposed to cashing it).   This is a review based solely on my opinion of the product I have used.  Your mileage may vary.

1 comment:

  1. We have an Asus tablet with a keyboard and I love it. I must say though the delete key thing would drive me nuts! It doesn't do flash or some other stuff I need to do, so I do use the laptop more. Chromebooks are something that would probably work pretty well for me though, I use a lot of Google stuff/docs every day.