Chromebooks - good, bad, and if good, which?

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Anyone offer opinions or experiences with a Chromebook? I need something light, fast, with decent screen real estate to use primarily for Internet - Facebook, this forum, other social media, several email account, most of which are Gmail and the rest accessed by me via a web interface, and the like.

I've never owned a Chromebook, but it seems like one might do what I need. I'm currently using a small, old, slow MacBook - 13"-ish screen, from 2011 - so anything will be an upgrade.

I am not a fan of Microsoft or the Windows operating system, although I won't rule that out completely - but it's not my first choice.

Thanks in advance.

-S-
 

kenaces

Level 6 Valued Member
If you are sure all you want is internet browser/email you should be fine. You can't go too far wrong as they are pretty cheap.

If you would like to use ANY other software on new Chromebook just google it to make sure it will run on chrome. My girl pasted on Chromebook a few years ago as there were one or two programs she uses that wouldn't run on it. For example, I don't think you can run skype on Chromebook(at least when we looked at them 2 years ago).
 

Tirofijo

Level 6 Valued Member
I love mine for surfing the 'net and watching Netflix (on and offline)
. Ended up buying a second identical one for the wife. Best part is touch screen, light weight and battery life (compared to a traditional laptop.)

I would recommend not being cheap like me and buying the cheapest (and slowest) Chromebook at Best Buy. It was, well slow, and wouldn't play movies without lagging. Took it back and got a higher end one (which was still quite affordable.)

I'm not a power user. It's not a work laptop. For me, it's replaced the Ipad because it's easier to type.

The lack of memory was annoying until I picked up a few SD cards. Not an issue anymore.

Mine is an Acer. It's the only Chromebook I've had so I can't tell you if it's better or worse than the others out there.

Amazon Prime Day is July 16-17.
 

Dasho

Level 6 Valued Member
I can't see a better alternative than a Chromebook if you're not interesting in learning a new OS. The only downside (which has already been mentioned) is that it is heavily dependent on both being online and Google's ecosystem.
If you want a non-windows solution that can do more, you would want to look into finding a suitable laptop and replacing Windows with Linux, but the learning curve is likely too high to be "worth it" for your use case.
 

Adam R Mundorf

Level 5 Valued Member
I'm a huge fan of chromebooks and am using one right now. I love the simplicity of them. It is blazing fast at browsing and running programs because there is no bloatware, only what is needed.

FWIW, this is coming from someone who builds computers for gaming. I use Windows for gaming and Chromebook for everything else.
 
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Bret S.

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I am not a fan of Microsoft or the Windows
+1
replacing Windows with Linux
+1

I'm looking for the right chromebook also, from what you describe as tasks you want it for you could easily use a chromebook. I plan to dual boot of sorts with a Linux distro called Peppermint, it's lightweight and based on Linux Mint, I believe it uses the lightweight desktop XFCE so it's very fast, easy and reliable. It's simple to install alongside Chrome OS. Also simple to uninstall. You can play around with it and get your geek on, the learning curve isn't too bad as long as you can hop back to Chrome OS easily or also just uninstall, without borking your Chrome system. Linux has come a long way and is easier to drive than ever.
 

Dasho

Level 6 Valued Member
You can play around with it and get your geek on, the learning curve isn't too bad as long as you can hop back to Chrome OS easily or also just uninstall, without borking your Chrome system. Linux has come a long way and is easier to drive than ever.
Also, I might add that Google does a really good job of providing Chrome (the web browser) for Linux. It handles Netflix/Hulu/Youtube/pretty much anything else out of the box. I won't get into the weeds about other browsers, but suffice it to say Chrome is pretty much plug-and-play.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Since you are already in the Apple eco-system, maybe a second hand iPad with external Bluetooth keyboard?
@Tobias, I've owned several iPads and bluetooth keyboards - still own some. FWIW, I've used the keyboards more with my phone when travelling. I don't think another iPad is what I want. I need something that works like a computer to be most efficient - always feel like "portable" devices are a compromise, but a laptop with an external keyboard and mouse seems OK to me.

I guess I should ask that question - do Chromebooks support a USB keyboard and mouse?

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Jak Nieuwenhuis, I'm looking for more screen real estate. I'm tired of my 13" MacBook, hoping 15.6" will do better for me.

Thank you for the link, though - always good to see exactly what someone is talking about.

-S-
 

Questionfear

Level 5 Valued Member
I would just make sure the Chromebook has at least 4GB of RAM. That way you don't run into slowdowns from low memory.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I just ordered - a good condition, used model from amazon, $120. We'll see how it goes, should be here Friday. For that kind of money, I'm ok if it's not perfect. It'll certainly be a step up from what I'm using now.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Had $10 free money from amazon, took 2 days to get here, using it now, seems very nice so far. Computer and power charger in the box, computer looks new as far as I can see.

Anyone tell me where an "about" box would be where I can see CPU, memory, etc.?

-S-
 
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