I am wrapping up my first month using a Chromebook and ChromeOS. I was really excited to see what this platform could offer and I have to say I still love it. Everything the detractors say is wrong. I am currently writing this review totally devoid of internet connectivity and it is working fine. ChromeOS is viable offline and well as on. Now being online is where this OS really shines but does just fine without.
As a case and point, I am currently writing this on my Chromebook while sitting in the back of an Air Force C-130. This is about as low tech as you can get. No WiFi, no inflight entertainment, unless you bring it, and not even a real seat. The argument that the Chromebook is useless offline is not valid anymore. This document will sync to my Google Drive account the next time I have an internet connection. In the meantime Google Docs saves a local copy and that is what gets mirrored in the cloud.
I like the form factor of my Acer Chromebook 14 and have not found anything that really bothers me about it. Other than the aluminum chassis gets cold when I leave it in the A/C for to long. Talk about first world problems.
The screen is great to look at and the battery is seriously all day work ready. Chrome’s low overhead allows the processor to just sip the electrons and allows the laptop to hang in there through the work day and to home on the couch to run my Chromecast.
Is there anything I miss from Windows? Not really. I find Google Docs adequate for my needs and anything else I would use in Windows has a great alternative in the Chrome Store. One of these days the Google Play Android Apps will be available for my ChromeBook and should fill any holes, that so far I have not found.
The only application I think I could use would be Skype. The web version is a little buggy and I have not been able to get it to work. So a more native application would be great. I have tried to get my limited contacts to switch to Google Hangouts, but so far, not so much.
I am able to use my Chromebook at work on our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Network. I am able to use OneNote online to manage all the notes and presentations I need to build during meetings. And again the battery on the Chromebook way outlasts the battery on my work issued Dell.
I even use my Chromebook for some lite picture editing and graphic design. There are some great apps out there that are native to Chrome (Polarr and Pixlr) and for graphics there is Canva.com. Both these options work great for doing what I need for this blog.
I don’t think I will ever go back to a Windows laptop. I will probably switch to a 2 in 1 convertible Chromebook for my next laptop, once the App store is a little more stable. I think it will be the best of both worlds.
I am all about convergence, I want to be able to carry my work from phone, to laptop, to tablet without needing to backtrack what I was doing. Chrome will allow this and I think it will only get better. Chromebooks are here to stay as far as I am concerned.
I just need tech that works. The more something gets out of my way and just lets me do what I need to do, I am happy. This Chromebook does that. I don’t need all the overhead of a full OS or even a 500GB hard drive and tons of RAM. For 100% of the things I need a laptop to do, this Chromebook does it.
I am not switching back.
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