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Ever used a Chromebook?

Discussion in 'The Tech Room' started by Joe F, Jun 21, 2014.

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  1. I do a fair amount of work outside of the house where I can't always get access to power.

    The battery on my current laptop is terrible, but I can't really afford a new general purpose laptop.

    The Chromebooks look like they might be a good option: cheap, portable, with long battery life.

    The main downside is that they seem to only let you use the Google apps.

    I'm not a big fan of Google Docs, but could use it if I had to. I see you can use the Google apps offline, but whenever I try on my computer it never works that well. I would be online most of the time but would like the option of editing my work offline if the need arose.

    Anyone got any thoughts on using a Chromebook as a portable machine for writing content, viewing web pages, accessing WordPress admin, and grabbing screenshots?

  2. Considering what I use my laptop for, I could probably manage with a Chromebook 90% of the time. There would be times where it would be limiting e.g. installing software tht can only be installed on MAC or Windows.

    But if it is an addition to your laptop, and not a replacement, I think it could be a good option. Bear in mind, however, that I have never owned one, so I don't know how good they are. If you only need access to Google Chrome, then I think it could be a great investment.

    If you wanted to spend a bit more money, you could look at the Microsoft Surface Pro. That boasts about ten hours of battery life, however the cheapest version of the Surface Pro 2 retails at £569 in the UK. You could probably buy three Chromebooks at that price.

    Jay Mayu likes this.
  3. @Joe F If you can do all your work inside the chrome browser then chrome book will do for you. But remember sometimes I prefer the native apps (e.g. Outlook, skype) over the html5 apps from chrome store. It's your call now. :)
  4. That surface does look good, but probably closer to buying a new laptop territory for me.

    Kevin, what do you use to capture and edit images for your blog posts? I use Snagit for getting screen shots, then crop them in the Snagit editor, then paste them into Photoshop to save for the web. Must be a better way than that?

    I still use Word to write my posts, but I could switch to Google Docs for writing if I had to, if it worked offline?

    My main concern would be if a cheap Chromebook would be able to handle the WordPress admin dashboard and theme/plugin settings etc for writing reviews.

    Thanks Jay, I mainly do use the browser on my computer, apart from Photoshop and Word but could probably switch to something else for those tasks or do the image editing when I get home.

    Samsung look like they do some nice Chromebooks and have just released a 13" one.
    Jay Mayu likes this.
  5. I use Greenshot on my Windows laptop and on my iMac I have set it up so that F6 brings up a screenshot tool for me to choose an area to screenshot. Then I copy to photoshop, ensure it is the right width etc, and save the file in an optimised version for the web.

    You are still in Asia, aren't you? What are the prices of Chromebooks there?
  6. Yes still in Asia but I've not see any Chromebooks around so not sure of the prices. Will probably have to search for one.

    I've been trying just using Google Docs and its OK, but missing a few features from Word which make it less useful.
  7. The Chrome books are ideal for third world countries. But Google and other manufacturers are busy promoting it in NA and EU. I have never seen them in stores in Colombo.

    May be they'll plan even more cheaper version like "Android One" for countries like India.
  8. Perhaps it is an issue of connections. Chromebook can be used offline, though it is best used with a steady internet connection; something which many parts of asia don't have.
  9. True that. Other than the big cities you would always in trouble if you want go online. I'll always bring my 3G / 4G Dongle with me whenever I visit my grandma in the northern Sri Lanka (where most of the civil war was taken place till 2009)
  10. Hey guys. Anyone had any more experience with Chromebooks since I started this thread?

    My girlfriend needs a new laptop after the old one died and a CM looks like a good option.

    After doing a bit of research, this one looks like the best option:
    Toshiba CB30-B-104 13-Inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - £270

    There are cheaper ones but I'm wary of getting anything with less than 4GB of ram. I know Chrome OS is supposed to be lightweight, but I'm skeptical 2GB would be OK.

    It looks like Photoshop is coming to Chrome OS soon, which should be interesting:

    Any CM users out there?
  11. Finally picked up that Chromebook. For £250 its a good deal. Screen is great and it doesn't feel or look too cheap. Battery like is excellent.

    Only real downside is Chrome OS and its annoying keyboard shortcuts. No home, end, page up, page down, caps lock, function keys (unless using other key combinations) is taking some getting used to! Google Docs isn't much fun either, but for the price its a pretty good little portable.
  12. Let us know how you get on Joe. Your opinion may change after a few weeks of using it .
  13. I'm still using my Windows laptop when I can so haven't taken to the Chromebook yet. I like the idea but its just getting used to the new way of doing things.

    It's great that you can buy a usable computer for so cheap and in theory have all the tools you need to start your own freelancing service or online business.

    Still got my eyes on a portable Windows 10 machine with a long battery life though, like the Dell XPS!
  14. In my eyes, the Chromebook could not replace a laptop as there would always be compromises. For example, scripts I was not able to install.

    However, a Chromebook is a much more productive device than a tablet (in general). If I was sitting on the couch watching TV, I think a Chromebook could be useful. If only to respond to emails and forum posts etc.
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