Chromebooks: Yes or no?

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#1
I'm thinking of buying a Chromebook. My laptop is too heavy to carry around and my tablet is too limited to do any serious work. What I'm planning to do on the Chromebook is mostly write documents and browse the internet for research to implement in these same documents. I thought a Chromebook is a great way to go, especially seeing as I already use a lot of Google stuff including Gmail, Calendars, Keep, Chrome, Docs and of course Youtube. I do not plan to do any video or photo editing. The biggest thing for me is justifying the purchase, because I don't really need it. I could just use my tablet with a bluetooth keyboard or my laptop. But a Chromebook just seems so convenient. Let's say I can justify the purchase, then I have 2 questions:

1. Do you think a Chromebook is a good choice?
2. The processor question drives me nuts. My guess is the Intel Celeron should be enough for me. Of course a Core i3 would be better, but it's €150 extra. Not sure if I need it. This added price does make it harder to justify the purchase.

I'm thinking of getting the Acer Chromebook 14 by the way.
 

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#2
I don't own one, but I've used a few. If all I did was surf the net and use Google Drive, I would seriously consider one. Google Chrome is still a resource hog, though. Go for the most RAM and processing speed you can afford.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#3
I don't own one, but I've used a few. If all I did was surf the net and use Google Drive, I would seriously consider one. Google Chrome is still a resource hog, though. Go for the most RAM and processing speed you can afford.
That's the thing. I can afforce the i3 model, but It's easier to justify the celeron model. The celeron model is for sale for about €310 at the moment. The i3 model is around €479. I can afford it, I'd just rather not.
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#4
Google Chrome is still a resource hog, though. Go for the most RAM and processing speed you can afford.
But one would assume that Google Chrome would run flawlessly on a Chromebook, no?

I haven't tried one yet. But are tempted.

I would go for the Celeron-model for that exact use.

How are the rules in Holland? In Denmark - if we buy via the internet we get 14 days full return no questions asked by law. So if you could do that - you could test out if it is enough with the Celeron for your use?
 
#8
A classmate had one of the first (original?) ones which he took with him from the States. It worked well enough for documents usage but to my tastes it was very slow in pretty much everything else.
For reference, if I was loading a web page or a document (for example heavy powerpoints or PDFs) for the class on my first gen iPad Mini, then he’d often just not bother because he had to wait quite a while for it open. Looked nice though.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#11
When I did my Computing degree from 2009 to 2012 , I started off carrying around a heavy laptop but then I managed to get myself a really good deal on the original iPad. I found I was able to do pretty much everything I needed for lecture and with it having WiFI , Bluetooth and a Sim for 3G I could always find a method to stay online.

My mum actually owns an iPad Mini and she has a bluetooth keyboard that clips onto the iPad. I can't stress to you enough how much quicker and easier it is to have a keyboard like this. Even with the improvement with touchscreens, the difference in how fast you can type is massive.

After my iPad became "outdated" , I had gotten myself an 11" Macbook Air. I can not praise these Apple laptops enough. It was actually similar in weight to my iPad 1 and is was able to do much more. I am a really big "Apple Fanboy" for phones , tablets and laptops. The best thing about the Macbook Air, was the fact it used the main desktop/computer operating system. This allowed me to use any software I wanted to use such as Microsoft Office. It also meant it would not be phased out of support like the iPad was. The build quality of Apple's laptops is one of the best you can get, The aluminium case meant I didn't have to worry it would get damaged, something that tablets and other pocket computers suffer from.

The other good thing about using a Macbook is how well the older devices keep up with newer PC based systems. I use a Mid 2012 i5 Macbook Pro with 8GB DDR3 RAM and for the tasks you listed, it is just as quick and capable as a current computer. The Macbook Air's from 2011 onwards, are lightening quick thanks to the type of SSD they use and because of the really hardcore Apple fans, really cheap to buy secondhand. If you don't like MacOS, even if it is much quicker and less demanding on the hardware ( I have run several PC's that have been modded to run MacOS and Windows with my Poppa's magazine business as well as personal use) , you can install a version of Windows on, making a dual boot system.
 

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#12
Well, if it turns out the i3 is really the way to go, it brings other dilemma's. At €479, I might just save up a bit longer and just get a new laptop. A nice laptop with an i5 will cost me about €650-€700. So there is more to it than just choosing a Chromebook.
That's the thing that's always stopped me from getting one. Every time I find a Chromebook I kind of like, I find a laptop that's only a $100-$200 more.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#13
I think I at least figured out that it definitely has to be a mobile device. I played with the idea of buying a Mac Mini or even the Samsung Dex and a screen and use that, but with a baby coming and me wanting to also keep a spare room for guests, I don't have the space for a desk at the moment, let alone a desktop.

@Felix I am going to keep an eye on Macbooks as well, though I use a lot of Google stuff. Need to figure out if it's worth it for me. I do own a Bluetooth keyboard that I occasionally use on my tablet. Perhaps just getting a better tablet is also an option. I used to have an iPad. I replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy A, mostly because I could not justify spending €400-€500 on a new ipad just to watch YouTube and browse the web. But if I'm going to use it to work towards not having to rely on a boss anymore, that might also work.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#15
I think I at least figured out that it definitely has to be a mobile device. I played with the idea of buying a Mac Mini or even the Samsung Dex and a screen and use that, but with a baby coming and me wanting to also keep a spare room for guests, I don't have the space for a desk at the moment, let alone a desktop.

@Felix I am going to keep an eye on Macbooks as well, though I use a lot of Google stuff. Need to figure out if it's worth it for me. I do own a Bluetooth keyboard that I occasionally use on my tablet. Perhaps just getting a better tablet is also an option. I used to have an iPad. I replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy A, mostly because I could not justify spending €400-€500 on a new ipad just to watch YouTube and browse the web. But if I'm going to use it to work towards not having to rely on a boss anymore, that might also work.
The 11" Macbook Air is so light, that you can use your lap or any surface no matter how small to use. On my Macbook Pro, I use Google Chrome for browsing as it's nicer to use than Apple's own Safari browser. The other big advantage is you will have the full app store, so you can get many of apps you would need for free and I think there are a lot of the Chromebook apps uploaded on the store. Also in this size, you have something the same size of most tablets, that will all eventually get phased out, unlike the Macbook Air. Any version from about 2013 onwards, will have the pro retonier display, like the iPad 3 or Mini onwards have, which offer excellent colour matching as well as 1080p res.

The Macbook Pro is not something I would advise for the type of thing you're wanting. Even my mid 2012 13" laptop still commands around £500 on eBay and is a pretty heavy unit. The more recent Macbook Pro models are just way too expensive and from 2016 onwards, they lose the amount of connection ports and SD card reader. Mine even suffered a HD fail, which ended up with me putting a 500GB SSD in which was meant for my PS4. Ironically, by putting an SSD in, I have kept my laptop feeling quick and responsive.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#16
Chromebook:
If you're using apps within the suite it's great. They're small, light, cheap, don't need a lot of power.. They are great.
As soon as you want ANYTHING outside.. But nowadays there's also office for chromebooks.

alternatives:
ipad/android tablets. No keyboard by default but there are really good cases with bluetooth keyboards. These are great if you normally do touch screen stuff.
During other meetings I use a bt keyboard to take notes. But primarily it's a tablet for me.

full laptops:
If you need more software

microsoft surface:
Well if you need full windows on a tablet.. be ready to pay for it. It's GREAT stuff but expensive.



The question that you need to answer honestly for yourself is: "what is your use case"
Only home office? get a pc.
home office and on the road with more functionality? laptop. Or maybe you don't have a place to make a home office and you're working on the kitchen table.. laptop.
It's just to take some notes? use a tablet and suck it up..
etc..
You're saying yourself you don't really need it.. So don't buy it? wait till your tablet fries and then decide what fits your usecase best?

I work in IT, I can log on to my company from any pc.. But I always use my pc in my mancave.. I don't like working from home from the kitchen table. During the day it's not as comfortable and in the evening my wife has the tv on etc.
I used to own a laptop but never used it.. I still own an ipad but really never use it. During job interviews I use paper.. I installed word a couple of weeks ago when I was in a graduation board and needed the thesis of 200 pages at hand. Aside from a pinball game.. that was a bad purchase for me.. My wife on the other hand almost never uses the pc and uses her ipad so much the screen is practically worn out..
 

ADK

Number of lost picks (2019 Season) = 1
#17
@Tankman consider a new or even used Microsoft Surface or Surface Pro. Its got Windows 10 on it, so it can do all of the things.

Lightweight and better processors. The Intel Core m's beat the Celeron's in most benchmarks and are a few years newer.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#18
About 7 months later....

I ended up buying a Lenovo laptop, 14 inch, SSD, Intel Core i3, because there was no i5 available and I got about 30% off, so I ended up with a pretty decent laptop for about €500. I mostly went Lenovo because I use pretty much the same laptop, but in an enterprise edition at work. I love the size, weight and feel of it. So now I have the same at home.
 
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