Amazon has whacked our affiliate account. Hosting Donations/Commitments $2063 of $1920 (Sept 13/18). In Hand $1466 (Lump sum payments minus paypal graft). Paypal Donation Link Here

Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

For general computer discussion & help, come here

Moderators: Bakhtosh, EvilHomer3k

Post Reply
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm

We have a Win10 laptop which is ok but heavy and takes a long time from power up till the drive stops sitting at 100%. I also have a Lenovo Android tablet which is nice but has no keyboard. I'm looking for a device to take on trips that powers up fast, has a keyboard and supports the usual popular Android apps. Is this what I can expect from a Chromebook? I know little about them. Also, what kind of specs should I be looking for?
Last edited by jztemple2 on Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 7199
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chrome Book?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:07 am

I'd go with The Wirecutter's currently-recommended Chromebook, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA:
The Wirecutter wrote:After testing most of the Chromebooks released in the past three years, we’ve found that the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is the best Chromebook for most people. It’s fast enough for tab-heavy browser work, it provides a full workday of battery life, it supports Android apps, and it has a small, light body, a comfortable backlit keyboard, and a bright screen. At around $500, it’s more expensive than we’d like, but unfortunately all good Chromebooks are expensive right now—and the Flip feels more like a $1,000 ultrabook than a $500 laptop.

We recommend the DHM4 version of the Chromebook Flip C302CA with a 12.5-inch 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen, an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 64 GB solid-state drive. It has a touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge. The Flip has very few ports—two USB-C ports, a microSD slot, and a headphone jack—so if you need to connect things to this Chromebook, you’ll need some adapters.
Also, don't forget, you can get a lot more out of a Chromebook by turning it into a nifty Linux laptop if you like the idea of having proper Linux apps and even Steam support along with much-improved privacy against Google.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

JCC
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:07 pm

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chrome Book?

Post by JCC » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:21 am

About 18 months ago, I decided I was more than fed up with the Apple eco-system (my iPad) and decided to try a chromebook. (I got the Samsung Chromebook Plus.) I really really liked it. It was quick had a beautiful display. It was light (weight) and did 90% of what I would want on a tablet/laptop convertible. It had good battery life (though not as good as the iPad). The only real blemish was that it didn't have a backlit keyboard, and part of me really wanted the same thing with Windows. I came very close to keeping it.

BUT, a co-worker told me about how you could buy the Surface 3 (already old) for around the same price. The thought of a windows tablet with the surface form factor was too much to resist. I ended up returning the chromebook and getting the Surface 3 from Amazon.

I was midly disappointed with the Surface 3. It did everything I wanted, and was a cool form factor. But it was SO SLOOOOOOOOWWWWWW. So, I probably would have been better off with the Chromebook.

Anyway, I ended up still wanting to stick with Windows so I ended up getting a Lenovo Yoga 720 (late in its model year life but AFTER they upgraded the CPU to the one they would put in the 730) on Superbowl weekend. It ended up costing $300 more than the Chromebook did but while not perfect (battery life stinks) it worked out great for me.

Anyway, long story short, while I didn't stick with the Chromebook - I really REALLY liked it and definitely think it will fulfill the purposes you described. The one recommended above is definitely one I would consider if I was buying. I have also told my parents (who are pushing 80) that if they ever want to buy another PC it MUST be a chromebook or I won't offer them any support. (They always end up with viruses or ransomware. My old man must go to some shady porn sites. LOL) Chromebooks are very cool. I wish I could convince my wife to use one instead of her Macbook Pro - but that's a whole other story....

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:32 am

Thanks for the information :wub:. I am confused about one thing, well, one thing right now. For the ASUS, it says "Wireless Compatibility: Bluetooth". I'm not sure how that works. My tablet uses WiFi to connect with my house network, but how would that work with Bluetooth? Does that mean something like a smartphone, which I do not have?
Last edited by jztemple2 on Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

JCC
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:07 pm

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chrome Book?

Post by JCC » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:50 am

The Asus has full Wifi 802.11.ac capability. It also has Bluetooth capability which is standard for most tablets/laptops/etc. The bluetooth means you could in theory connect it to your phone. Also you could use it with bluetooth headphones/speakers for better sound quality for movies, music, etc. if you desire.

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:17 am

I found the source of my confusion. The version with Intel Core m3 shows "Wireless Compatibility: 802.11.ac" down in the specs table, while the Intel Core m5 version shows "Wireless Compatibility: Bluetooth". But I downloaded the spec sheet in PDF for both and they have the same wifi and Bluetooth specs. And I got the user manuals so I can check them out in detail. Again, thanks! :D
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 8224
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Rumpy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:21 pm

My Mom had originally been using a Windows 7 Netbook, but found the experience frustrating at best. In my opinion, when someone isn't as technologically competent, sometimes it's best to streamline the experience. I began looking into alternatives and realized a Chromebook was the perfect thing. She basically just does email and internet searches and didn't need a bloated OS. Chromebooks are very minimalist. They're lean and pretty quick. The downside is that it's attached to your Google account and you pretty much can't do anything Google doesn't want you doing with it. She's been very happy with it though. Netbook screens which are normally 14" or so can be frustrating to use, so when we were shopping around, she ended up getting an Acer Chromebook with a "20 screen. It makes all the difference, really.

That said, It should be a good experience for you as long as you know what you're getting and know what to expect. When my Mom got hers, the pool of apps were limited as the Chromebooks had their own API, but they've recently opened it up to using Google Play which opens the door considerably.
PC:
Intel i5 660
8GB RAM
Asus ROG 4GB 1050Ti

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:37 pm

Rumpy wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:21 pm
That said, It should be a good experience for you as long as you know what you're getting and know what to expect. When my Mom got hers, the pool of apps were limited as the Chromebooks had their own API, but they've recently opened it up to using Google Play which opens the door considerably.
After having to deal with an Amazon Fire 10" tablet and its limited store (yes, I know there's a workaround, I ended up having to use it) I now have a Lenovo Tab 4 Android tablet which has full Google Play support and I'll never get any Android item without. I'm assuming (yes, that's dangerous!) that the ASUS Chromebook mentioned above, which has full Google Play support, will pretty much look and function like my Lenovo Tab 4. Is there anything especially restrictive about a Chromebook different than my tablet?
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 8224
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Rumpy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:57 pm

Not as long as you're used to a tablet environment. It's just that if one looks at it from a regular PC standpoint, one would find it limited. You should be able to plug in any mouse too. A wireless Microsoft mouse works fine.
PC:
Intel i5 660
8GB RAM
Asus ROG 4GB 1050Ti

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 7199
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:36 pm

Rumpy wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:57 pm
Not as long as you're used to a tablet environment. It's just that if one looks at it from a regular PC standpoint, one would find it limited. You should be able to plug in any mouse too. A wireless Microsoft mouse works fine.
...hence my suggestion of installing Linux on a Chromebook. You get much more out of it that way, along with much-improved privacy against Google.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

JCC
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:07 pm

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by JCC » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:38 pm

I would suggest to go into with the mindset that is a Chromebook first and able to use Google Play apps second.

You will find you can do a LOT of things on Chromebooks with Chrome and its apps that you would do on a PC without using the apps from Google Play.

User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 22917
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by RunningMn9 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:06 pm

As long as you are actually going to use it as a Chromebook, I think they are great. If you are expecting it to be a desktop replacement, well you will be disappointed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39904
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:37 pm

Shows how much I've been paying attention. US$500 for a chromebook seems expensive. I have no idea why I think that.

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:47 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:37 pm
Shows how much I've been paying attention. US$500 for a chromebook seems expensive. I have no idea why I think that.
It seemed expensive to me too, but I guess having a touch screen, keyboard, decent processor and a decent amount of storage kicks it up.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 7199
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:11 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:37 pm
Shows how much I've been paying attention. US$500 for a chromebook seems expensive. I have no idea why I think that.
As observed in The Wirecutter's Chromebook recommendation, "At around $500, it’s more expensive than we’d like, but unfortunately all good Chromebooks are expensive right now—and the Flip feels more like a $1,000 ultrabook than a $500 laptop." So while you can certainly find cheaper models, they're likely to differ in terms of specs and build-quality.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 22917
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by RunningMn9 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:23 pm

Cheaper options are usable but in more limited circumstances. My daughter has a sub-$300 model and it works for her, but she was looking for something light that she can use to do her Google Classroom stuff in high school. It works for that just fine.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39904
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:49 pm

Yeah, my point was that I have no idea how much these things should cost so it's weird that I would think that I do.

A pixel tablet is like a grand so...yeah.

User avatar
Victoria Raverna
Posts: 3559
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:23 am
Location: Jakarta

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Victoria Raverna » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:34 am

jztemple2 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm
We have a Win10 laptop which is ok but heavy and takes a long time from power up till the drive stops sitting at 100%. I also have a Lenovo Android tablet which is nice but has no keyboard. I'm looking for a device to take on trips that powers up fast, has a keyboard and supports the usual popular Android apps. Is this what I can expect from a Chromebook? I know little about them. Also, what kind of specs should I be looking for?
The answer is SSD. Windows 10 laptop with SSD boot up very fast.

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:55 am

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:34 am
jztemple2 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm
We have a Win10 laptop which is ok but heavy and takes a long time from power up till the drive stops sitting at 100%. I also have a Lenovo Android tablet which is nice but has no keyboard. I'm looking for a device to take on trips that powers up fast, has a keyboard and supports the usual popular Android apps. Is this what I can expect from a Chromebook? I know little about them. Also, what kind of specs should I be looking for?
The answer is SSD. Windows 10 laptop with SSD boot up very fast.
Yup, I was seriously considering thatl. I picked up a cheap HDD/SSD enclosure so I could get a new SSD and image the drive, then swap it out. However, She Who Must Be Obeyed reminded me that it was her laptop too and while she has great faith in my mad skillz, well, she doesn't want me to screw up her nice laptop. So now I power it up every couple of weeks and let the Win10 updates go nuts. After a few minutes of that and a reboot or two, the machine isn't too bad, till of course Microsoft releases another mandatory Win10 update.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:03 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:55 am
Victoria Raverna wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:34 am
jztemple2 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm
We have a Win10 laptop which is ok but heavy and takes a long time from power up till the drive stops sitting at 100%. I also have a Lenovo Android tablet which is nice but has no keyboard. I'm looking for a device to take on trips that powers up fast, has a keyboard and supports the usual popular Android apps. Is this what I can expect from a Chromebook? I know little about them. Also, what kind of specs should I be looking for?
The answer is SSD. Windows 10 laptop with SSD boot up very fast.
Yup, I was seriously considering thatl. I picked up a cheap HDD/SSD enclosure so I could get a new SSD and image the drive, then swap it out. However, She Who Must Be Obeyed reminded me that it was her laptop too and while she has great faith in my mad skillz, well, she doesn't want me to screw up her nice laptop. So now I power it up every couple of weeks and let the Win10 updates go nuts. After a few minutes of that and a reboot or two, the machine isn't too bad, till of course Microsoft releases another mandatory Win10 update.
Ah, the hell with that, I've found a cheap, decent SSD and ordered it. I already have a 2.5" SATA Hard Drive/SSD to USB 3.0 adapter. Now, when the SSD shows up, what the heck do I do? :o

And should I start another thread for this? I've never mirrored/imaged/copied over (whatever the terminology is) a C: drive to another piece of hardware.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 5821
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by hitbyambulance » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:10 pm

get any imaging/partitioning software from AOMEI or EaseUS or Acronis or whomever, and it'll guide you thorugh the steps. even the SSD might have software preinstalled on it to handle this.

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:23 pm

hitbyambulance wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:10 pm
get any imaging/partitioning software from AOMEI or EaseUS or Acronis or whomever, and it'll guide you thorugh the steps. even the SSD might have software preinstalled on it to handle this.
Cool, thanks!
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 8224
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by Rumpy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:05 pm

I'll say one thing. The Acer Chromebooks have a real nice build quality.
PC:
Intel i5 660
8GB RAM
Asus ROG 4GB 1050Ti

User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by jztemple2 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:33 pm

My new SSD arrived today; 250GB for $46 including tax :D. There was a tiny instruction sheet that sent me to the Crucial website where I downloaded the Acronis cloning software. Cloning didn't take too long. I removed the old HDD which wasn't bad. The only tricky part was that the screw holes didn't quite line up on the laptop's removable frame for the new SSD. But ten screws later I had it all back together, turned it on and zoom, zoom! Holy crap it is so much faster than the old HDD, which I think was a 5400 rpm drive which probably tired out the hamster quickly.

My wife is finally getting over her resistance to Win10 as all this season's tax preparation laptops have to be imaged to Win10. And since she's the big tax prep kahuna for the organization she has to be familiar with it. The irony is that she now has to use Chrome as a browser as IE is actually locked out on the machines and no one wants to use Edge. She wants us to keep our Win10 laptop now that it is so much faster than before.

So we're passing on getting a Chromebook, but I do appreciate all the help folks provided and I'm keeping the posted info handy just in case :wub:
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 5821
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by hitbyambulance » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:06 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:33 pm
The irony is that she now has to use Chrome as a browser as IE is actually locked out on the machines and no one wants to use Edge.
poor Firefox, getting passed over

JCC
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:07 pm

Re: Would I Be Happy With A Chromebook?

Post by JCC » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:51 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:33 pm
My new SSD arrived today; 250GB for $46 including tax :D.
Yes an SSD does wonders for a PC. I envy gamers who can afford to only use SSDs even for all of their games.

Ironically, the laptop I bought this year as a NVMe SSD which is way faster than my gaming PC which has a SATA SSD boot drive. So despite it being a less powerful machine it boots up signficantly more quickly.

Post Reply