Sunday, 6 November 2011

Chromebook: Initial Thoughts

Part 1 to this post was "Chromebook: Will I Buy One?," and yes, I did buy one and so far I love it.

To begin with, how did I buy a Chromebook? I live in Canada and they are not released up here yet. I checked Amazon and Best Buy and neither would ship to Canada so I did some browsing at eBay. After about 2 weeks of searching/following, I bought a Samsung Series 5 3G for ~$350 with shipping; thank you high Canadian Dollar (it has since lowered). Within 10 days it arrived in an oversized boxed filled with camoflauge paper packing.

I love my Chromebook...and my Ikea table

Next, how was the setup process? It was extremely easy! It took less than 10 minutes, I entered my language, connected to the wireless network in my apartment, did a system update, signed into my Google Account and bam, done! Since most of my information is synced, all of my apps, extensions, form information, bookmarks, and theme(s) were present.

The Browser is the Desktop...

What is it like without a desktop? Initially it felt alien, after the first few hours I realized that the Chrome New Tab page is an excellent replacement for the desktop. In general, computer users are spending more time solely in the browser and the need for a desktop is disappearing.

After using the Chromebook for about 4 weeks, I have discovered how important battery life is to me. I am getting ~9 hrs on one charge! Other aspects of the Chromebook that I absolutely love is the weight, chicklet style keyboard, rarely hearing the fan kick in, anti-glare screen, and the fact that the bottom of the Chromebook never feels hot, just warm. I also like the simple folder system and reduced system options which makes finding things extremely easy. I am currently on the developer channel and since the start of this post I have been getting weekly updates; there is now an offline photo editoroffline Gmail, Netflix support, and offline Google Docs (view only); Google realized that the world is not completely online....yet.  

The Worlds Simplest Photo Editor 

The Worlds Simplest File System

On the negative side, sometimes the Chromebook does feel underpowered, there is no Google Earth plugin, certain sites render extremely slow, and I miss having the Home and End keys.

In summary, if you have $500, do most of your work in the cloud, and regret buying that tablet which is impossible to type with, treat yourself to a Chromebook, it is the future!

Note: As you may have guessed, this post was written with a Chromebook.