Wednesday, March 12, 2014

30 Days with a Chromebook

Hey everyone!

30 days ago, I stepped out on a limb and bought a chromebook. I consider myself a power user and demand alot from my devices. So the thought of moving to a device that is basically a glorified web browser worried me. However I have always been one for a challenge so I did my research and came to the conclusion that the Acer C720 was for me.

Honestly I won't recommend ANY other 11 inch Chromebook. If you need a 14 inch that is a different story but at the 11 inch size, this is the cream of the crop. $199 from best buy or amazon.

I am going to cover things that you might want to know, and information that surprised me during my time with my chromebook. If I don't cover something you would like covered let me know!

Lets start with the hardware first.

Coming from a mac book it is tiny. At 2.4 pounds it is also as light as can be.
The keyboard is ok, it is not my favorite as it is not a super deep key press but it is more than adequate for typing on, in fact I am typing on it now :-)!

Screen - Is also completely adequate. it isn't a retina display, but it is plenty bright and is large enough for the device. 1336x768 resolution screen and if you connect a HDMI cord to an external monitor it can power another 1080p screen.

Build Quality - It feels plasticy but not horrible so. It feels like any $400-500 laptop you have help except this one is $199. 

Storage - 16GB solid state drive to store pictures and documents. There is also a SD card slot and USB 3.0 slot in order to expand storage. 

Battery!!! - This is where the acer C720 shines, you can reasonably get 8-9 hours on with the device (medium screen brightness and wifi on)


Startup Time - This is one HUGE selling point for chrome OS. The boot up time takes 6-7 second from a power off. Check out this video below. 

Chrome - The general rule of thumb is that if you can do it in chrome, you can do it on a chrome book. There is an "App Store" for chrome apps along with various extensions to help out.  For instance I installed the drop box app, the Any.Do todo list app and the spotify apps. You can comfortably have 12-15 tabs open without any noticeable slow down.

Google Docs - Google has Google Docs/Sheets/Slides to compete with Word/Excel/Powerpoint. My main gripe with Google docs was that it was hard to write a paper on it, there was no effective way to manage a papers references. Google changed ALL that yesterday. They opened up google docs and sheets to third parties to develop extensions for their products. So released an Add-On that allowed you to manage sources and easily cite them in google doc papers! This JUST happened, so I have no idea what people will come up with in the coming weeks. 

Overall Google office suite is an adequate replacement for the average persons office needs!

Security - Since it is essentially chrome there is No way to install any virus. This is a great idea for people who may not be tech savvy and need an easy to maintain solution. 

Overall ChromeOS has been more than adequate for all of my needs, and I look forward to using it for many many more months to come. With the low price, I think the chromebook is a VERY good solution for many people. 

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