Minimalist design and software
fast, fast, fast
The amount of web apps out there now is MINDBOGGLING
Good battery life
Much better than average touch-pad
If you're not already in the cloud (i.e. you're still using Microsoft Office, iTunes, keeping your photos and videos on a hard drive, etc.), this will be a headache to set up to say the least
Not the most innovative build quality in the world
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I have to admit, I was apprehensive about this purchase. Even though I'd had plenty of experience with the Chrome web store and the browser itself, and even though I've owned an Android phone for several years and have long had my documents, calender, ... Read full review
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I have to admit, I was apprehensive about this purchase. Even though I'd had plenty of experience with the Chrome web store and the browser itself, and even though I've owned an Android phone for several years and have long had my documents, calender, and contacts all stored safely in the cloud, and even though I love Google with all my heart (don't ask me why... I guess their marketing has worked its magic on me), I wasn't sure I was ready to forsake the world of hard drives and programs and, generally, the monotony that has become of the computer world and move towards the cloud.
But am I ever glad that I did.
I've been looking for a good mobile solution forever. I tried an iPad, but was disappointed in its lack of multitasking ability. It walked the plank of eBay. Then, I tried Honeycomb tablets, specifically the Thrive. While this was a more productive and generally better experience than the iPad, the glitchy-ness of Honeycomb on what was, honestly, insufficient hardware was unbearable, and it too fell by the way side. So I settled with my beloved Android phone and Ubuntu laptop.
My brother received the Macbook Air for his birthday, and for a while, I thought I was in love. It was sexy, it was sleek, it was powerful, and it was really darned beautiful. But it was overpriced, and I discovered quickly that there's a reason that they look so nice: they cost so much. I'm not saying it's not worth it (even being the devoted Android and Linux fan that I am, I hold no ill will toward those who prefer OSx or Windows), I'm saying I couldn't afford it.
Then, the screen on my laptop had finally had it. That was it. I was stuck with my phone and the webtop accessory it came with (Droid Razr, by the way), and I needed to decide fast what I wanted to replace it. So I thought long and hard about what I do on the computer. Internet... Internet... and, oh yeah, internet. I literally spend 99-100% of my time on the computer, on the internet. Not only that, but since I've had an Android phone and been using Chrome for such a long time, I was already well acquainted with all things Google cloud. I decided, then and there, that the Chromebook was the computer for me.
A month later, I've put the Chromebook through it's paces. The first thing I did was install Ubuntu on 9 gigabytes of the SSD, just in case I decided I couldn't live in the cloud, but honestly, I've never used it. Chrome OS (particularly the beta channel with its new desktop, Aura) easily fulfills all of my needs. While I'm certainly not able to do any gaming, photoshopping, or the like on Chrome OS, you wouldn't be doing the like on a netbook like the Chromebook either. I need to surf the web, take notes, play some games, keep up with my social life, listen to some music, watch movies, write documents, make powerpoints and all that fun stuff, and the chromebook does it all wonderfully, quickly, and none of that stuff ever touches my hard drive. It's all saved to the cloud, for easy access on other computers, my phone or practically anything that has an internet connection. I've read so many complaints about what the Chromebook can't do, but honestly, could a $300 netbook run Photoshop, play Battlefield, or render 3d models for the next Elder Scrolls? Hardly. The Chromebook fills the role of "netbook" better than any device I've ever used. Never before have I had such an enjoyable and seamless internet experience.
Sure, I may have fallen into the hype. I my have made an impulsive buy that I end up regretting. But truthfull, I think the real reason that Chromebooks have been met by so much resistance is because they are so different. Computers have been behaving in more or less the same fashion for over a decade now. Sure, they've improved exponentially, but they've barely changed in their form-factor and function. Chromebooks represent the opposite of the kind of computing that is cherished in this day and age: no expensive programs and applications that take skill and time to run, the forsaking of powerful processors and excessive graphics cards for hardware that just works (I used to have the Alienware mx18 before an unfortunate incident with a dog, a cat, and a whole lot of urine), and willingness to trust in other people to keep your data safe. You may say these are bad changes, but I say that the advent of true cloud computing is a glorious thing indeed. Once everyone is able to access the power of the internet in the simple, intuitive way that Chrome OS presents it, the quality and variety of the material will increase exponentially. We've come to the same crossroads that stood before those of the last technological generation, when the GUI stuck it's foot in the door of DOS' house, and demanded to be let inside. There were plenty of people who were unhappy; people who didn't want to see their training and possibly even their livelihoods go down the toilet. But look at us now: hardly a DOS based computer exists anymore, and due to the perseverance and ingenuity of people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, we've come as far as we have today, and it is a wonderful thing. But it's time to take that extra step, and move towards the NEW horizon of personal computing (as melodramatic as that sounds, I do believe it's appropriate).
If you want to stick with the dusty, musty, and rusty old past, then by all means cling to your giant desktop with it's i7 processors and it's AMD graphics cards. But if you're one of the few who recognizes that it's time to move on, then join me, on the dark side.
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