I think chromebooks are awesome. SO much so that I now have 2 Chromebooks and a Chromebox (desktop version). I still have a WIndows laptop, but I only use it for 2 things… To connect my Ipod periodically to it, and to use the Turbotax program (I like to buy the CD version, instead of the online version).
A Chromebook comes with Google Docs (their word processor). Initially, I resisted it and used Word. But now, I tend to use it. Also, you can use a FREE online version of MS Word. There is a website and Chrome extension.
I also installed the Android version of MS Word, but I found I preferred the online version more. So, I only use that. With the Chrome extension for Word, I just click a button up at the top left side of the browser, and it brings up the Word website.
It is nice that I can access documents from any of my Chromebooks or any other computer, since it saves on the cloud. You can install the Word Chrome extension on any Windows PC you periodically use, and you have access to all your documents as well.
I tried all the different photo apps. I wanted something close to the old Photoshop 5.5 that I use on my WIndows laptop. I found that I liked Pixlr Editor the best. Install the Chrome extension. It works great. It is very close to a clone of Photoshop. The only negative is that you deal with some small ads on the right side of the screen. I would pay for the program, but I do not use it enough to justify $6 a month. Even with the ads, it works fine. Leo has recommended another one called Polarr Photo Editor, but I found I liked Pixlr more.
Youtube/Netflix… Works fine on a Chromebook.
It is so, so nice to have the computer start up in 5-6 seconds. You also load apps instantly - like it does on a tablet or phone… NO more waiting a while for stuff to load, like on WIndows.
The real reason I went with a Chromebook was so I didn’t have to deal with various antivirus software and anti malware programs. When I found that out, I started to give them a serious look at the end of last year.
I do use the SD card as a hard drive. I try not to save any data to the built in storage. Either save it online or to the SD card. That way, IF you ever have an issue - you powerwash the Chromebook and you are back in business in a few minutes… EVERY app you had installed gets re-downloaded in a few minutes… By saving on the SD card - you do not have to remember to back anything up before you nuke the computer and have the operating system reinstall. It is nice that you can do all of this in just a few minutes…
One REALLY cool thing I like is that all 3 of my Chrome devices are clones. Any bookmark I make in chrome gets transferred to the other 2 Chrome devices. Any app I install or uninstall - the other 2 get it too.
I have the Dell two in one 14" Chromebook. It is probably the nicest laptop I have ever owned. I like the metal (aluminum) body. You can fold it back like a tablet if you like. The screen is beautiful. The keyboard has backlighting. It’s really nice.
Unless you need something that is Windows specific, the Chromebook is the way to go. And even if there is a WIndows program you need - quite often there is an Android substitute. I found a substitute for Quicken - to keep track of my checkbook. I found an Android program. Works great!
Be aware that Best Buy lowers the prices regularly. RIght now, the HP is on sale for $399. The Dell was just on sale before that. And, it will be again.
The color of the HP and the color of the letters on the keyboard are too close to me. To me, it makes the letters harder to see. But, my son wants the HP. He says that the aluminum Dell is too heavy for him. To me, the Dell is awesome.
I looked at the Samsung ones. But, they do not seem as sturdy. If you press on the keys hard, the whole body of the laptop seems to flex.
As for the 128GB of space and 4GB of RAM on the Dell versus the 8 GB of RAM and 64GB of space on the HP… Honestly, it is a wash…
You are not going to fill up either “Hard drive” with apps/web extensions. And, you really aren’t meant to save data locally anyway on a Chromebook. And, if you do - you are better off using the SD card for that. That way, you do not loose anything during a powerwash.
And, 4GB vs 8GB of RAM. All 3 of my Chrome devices have 4GB of RAM. I have never had an issue, and I can open a lot of Chrometabs. I was about to upgrade my Chromebox from 4GB to 8GB. But, I saw that it was never really necessary. And, that is my main PC.
So, some people swear that you need more than 4GB of Ram on a Chromebook. I say it is not necessary unless you are opening a TON of browser tabs at the same time. I typically do not do more than 10 or 12 at a time.
thank you for the in depth knowledge and laptop manufacturer recommendation.
Since there is no bestbuy in my country, i’m going to check the closest that i can get here as Chrome OS ain’t that well known.
I might get one when i visit San Fran in two weeks. I’m a bit curious are the warranty from Dell / HP US an international warranty ? In my country, it is usually local and becomes international when you get pay an add-on.
How’s the key travel for your chromebook ? Currently i am using a Dell Latitude E4310 and i love the travel. Most of the new laptops doesn’t have the travel i like.
I would imagine that any computer you buy here would only have a USA warranty - whether you buy a Chromebook or a WIndows PC. Sorry. I do not know for sure - but, that is what I think.
I put my Dell Chromebook in a laptop backpack when I carry it to my girlfriend’s apartment. I use it for streaming shows on the internet when I am there - I hook it up to the TV via HDMI.
The Chromebook I take around the most is a HP Chromebook X2, though. It is just like a Microsoft Surface. The keyboard it comes with is removable.
And, I actually only use it as a tablet. I take it to work everyday. It is a 12" table (but it is a ull Chromebook - not an android tablet), but it is pretty much like carrying around the largest Ipad when it comes to weight/size. It is very light.
If you want the lightest that works like a normal laptop, then maybe you do want to look at either that particular HP I mentioned above - or, a Samsung. The Samsungs are smaller and lighter.
To me, portability is not an issue for the Dell - I have that HP Chromebook X2 for that (as a tablet). So, I do not mind the heavier Dell. It is more damage resistant with the metal body.
I was talking about this topic with a student of mine on Tuesday evening. He uses a Chromebook for his classwork and besides the need to import/export in docs, he actually prefers to use his Chromebook for productivity. He did say he has a full gaming rig computer, but only works on classwork with that PC if the software required for the class needs Windows.