- Any reason why I shouldn't buy a Chromebook?
I have the HP 11. Love it.Posted 3 years ago
As long as you’re happy using cloud storage and don’t want to store anything on it, it’s bang on. It does everything I want to it to (net browsing, word docs, PowerPoint, email and youtubing).
For £200 you will not get better (unless you want to go second hand).
Try not to think of it as a £200 laptop. If you want a £200 windows machine, you can find good refurb stuff at morgancomputers.
Treat a chromebook slightly differently
1) yes, you can store local files. Google docs and sheets will run locally. Google drive will sync locally all recent google docs and sheets. It will not sync Microsoft files stored in google drive. If you want to do anything properly, dont store and manage microsoft files. You can always convert to microsoft files if you need to send things out to somebody. You can also store any files on your SSD you like, saved from your email or downloaded from internet, or moved from USB stick.
2) Microsoft compatibility works very well now, except for some powerpoints that are badly put together, dont convert very well.
I would say 99% of the most commonly used excel functions are now supported in sheets
3) gmail is an excellent mail client, it will act as a POP3 client if you wish. It’s miles easier to work with than outlook IMO, and the way it integrates with the other google environment is fantastic and saves loads of time (gdrive especially)
Here’s a example:
Someone sends a Word file in an email to you
In gmail, you open the email. Hover over the attachment and in one click it is saved to your google drive.
Open the word doc in google docs and it will convert automatically, storing both the google docs and the original word doc on the google drive. AT this point I usually delete the word doc.
Do your editing.
If you need to send the file out to someone, you can email the google doc as an attachment from directly within google docs, telling it to attach it as a *.doc, *.pdf, *.rtf or a few others. It’s really simple.
However, all of that is to miss the most powerful bits of the environment, such as sharing documents with other users. Or working online on the same document simultaneously.
I built my business using Excel, I know run my business 99% in google, working with colleagues in google, and sending and receiving materials in microsoft format from clients without any issues. We run video calls with the team whilst simultaneously editing work materials, all editing the same doc or sheet at the same time. It’s fantastic.
Other things to mention, security. Chrome is encrypted, all of it. It also wont run unless it has an unmolested, signed version of chrome. It cant run a virus (I suppose I should say “yet,” but really it is a hostile environment for OS viruses).
I have 2 chromebooks, so Mrs S and I can use them at the same time, but it also means that if one dies, I can grab the other and in <10seconds be back up and running, in exaclty the same workspace with no (important) files lost (local file copies will be lost, but since all google materials sync, they are not lost)
The whole environment works and syncs seamlessly with android too, so I have access to all my materials on my phone or tablet, or on anyone elses computer with an internet connection. I know aim to have absolutlely no information anywhere but inside my google account so I dont have to think about hardware at all.Posted 3 years ago
itunes doesnt run on chromebook. It’s not a PC. It’s runs a lightweight linux build in which Chrome browser runs and delivers web apps.
but google music works great, is available across all your devices, no DRM bolleaux, and has an itunes migration process:Posted 3 years ago
Windows laptop has died and needs replacing. I have android phone and an iPad. Laptop was used for browsing (wife not so keen on ipad) Tesco food orders, occasional documents work like letters etc and access to work networks via Citrix. kids starting to use it a little more for homework and browsing (if someone already on ipad). Used to use it also for photo management but less so now as I tend to save photos to Picasa web albums. Laptop never really leaves the house.
Because of occasional use I don’t want to bust the bank buying a new one so leaning towards a Chromebook. Will this suit me and if so, which one for around £200ish?
Edit, forgot to mention. I also do occasional secretarial duties so need decent email client like outlook and ability to create PDFs from documentsPosted 3 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
If you’re already used to and happy using services such as Google Drive, Spotify, Gmail, Picasa Web etc then you’ll be sorted with a Chromebook since you’ve already overcome the biggest hurdle which is working in the cloud. If you’re still obsessed with keeping your files locally then you’ll be fighting against an infrastructure you’re perhaps not ready for.
If you’ve not yet done so, have a play with all of the Cloud services that do the tasks you need on your existing hardware. Most if not everyone I know who has tried stuff like Google Drive love it, making the transition to a Chromebook a doddle.
I bought an Acer 270 this week for £170. It’s a bargain, although don’t expect the build and screen quality of a dearer laptop. It has 16gb of local storage that I find handy for a first sort and basic edit of photos before I upload them to Facebook/Flickr and moving to my iMac for local “keeps” 😉Posted 3 years ago
Sounds good, thanks for t he feedback.
I don’t use iTunes, fully signed up spotify so that is fine, I use amazon for buying music that I want to keep.
Already use gmail, google calendar, contacts and Picasa web. Docs and stuff On Dropbox so although not using google drive, happy with the idea.
Seems like it is no problem to create a word type doc and email out as PDF so that is good.
Hp 11 seems to tick the boxes, struggling to find a reason to not hit the buy button!Posted 3 years ago
Was in town yesterday meeting up with colleagues, one of which had left his Chromebook in Scotland last weekend. So he wandered up to PCWorld Oxford street and bought an Acer C720. Plugged in charger, logged in, gave it 20minutes to sync all his files and apps and he was back up and running as if nothing had happened. When he does retrieve the old chromebook it’s going to a new colleague, so not really a waste, but the ability to get back to business quickly with no fuss is priceless.
As an aside, the Acer 720 from my quick play on it is a nice bit of kit. Well put together, feels a little sturdier than the Samsungs but a touch fatter too. Same hardware performance as far as I can tell though – 7s boot, fast performance, possibly slightly brighter screen.Posted 3 years ago
you MAY be able to support garmin, but I think it comes down to the age of the device. You cant install communicator on the chromebook, but as along as the garmin mounts on USB you can manually upload files via the USB connection to your garmin account. But you need to do some more research first to check it’s possible for your set up.Posted 3 years agoallthepiesMember
The chromebook won’t support seamless integration with Strava and your Garmin but it should be possible to manually upload tracks i.e. plug the garmin into the chromebook and see it like a USB memory device. Then in Strava select manual upload and browse to the garmin “disk”, find your recorded track data and upload it.
Do some research before buying however 🙂
Edit: snaperoo with Stoner.Posted 3 years agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
If I get one, I’d need to install Crouton, which lets you have both ChromeOS and Ubuntu (or other Linux) in parallel (ie not even dual boot), and you can switch back and forth between the 2 as quick as switching between 2 tabs.
That ought to get around any legacy Garmin etc. devices (I hope). On my normal PC/Laptop I use gpsbabel to copy routes/tracks to the device (Vista HCx) via USB. That would need a proper Linux I expect?
Recorded tracks, and OSM map images transfer to the SD card just like any other USB key / SD card. Think newer devices transfer everything this way?
I think Citrix is sposed to have some kind of RDP plugin for chromebook?Posted 3 years ago
Will crouton apply more USB drivers than ChromeOS can?Posted 3 years agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
not so much the drivers, but the ability to run “real” linux apps from the ubuntu (or wherever) repos.
Indeed, in the case of Garmin, there is a Garmin USB driver, but you don’t want it installed (or have to black list it)! (May have been removed from later Ubuntu? I didn’t need to kill it when I installed Mint the other day)
GPSbabel and a cable is all you need.
edit: and in my case, it should also allow Java to run, for a completely unrelated app that I really need to make use of (and I cba to totally re-re-write it in to a chromeos app)Posted 3 years agogofasterstripesSubscriber
I thinking should point out that my just over a year old Samsung ARM Chrome book has now developed issues with the screen, all the dark colours show nasty artifacts like its in 8 bit or something. It does get a beating, but I think its the display connection fraying.Posted 3 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
The HP ones look a bit more interesting than the dull grey of the Acer, but the reasons I chose the Acer were:
1. Better battery lifePosted 3 years ago
2. An SD card slot (handy for backing up photos and basic editing when on holiday)
3. All the reviews I’d read regarded it as the best performer. Seems good to me too
4. Cheap as chips. Several big brand stores have them on offer at the moment.spooky_b329Member
I bought a Toshiba Chromebook about a month ago.
Its bloody fantastic, lightning fast, silent, battery lasts ages, it turns on in seconds and wakes up from sleep in about 2 seconds. Perhaps its a glorified browser, but thats all my old Windows machine was. Also the SD slot can be used to boost the storage by 32Gb if needed.
My old Windows machine; three times as much, slow, hot, noisy, addicted to its power supply (lucky to get an hour on battery even when new). Every now and then I pop back to it for a file and as it labours into life and screams to be plugged in I remember how irritating it was, its heavy and then I get the usual alerts to say Avast is updated, yet another Java update prompt.
The main negatives for the Chromebook is I need to replace my printer with a cloud compatible one, and I was underwhelmed to find most of the Apps are merely shortcuts for the browser rather than a standalone app like you would expect on an Android phone. Oh, and my NAS drive isn’t compatible but it seems to be on its last legs anyway so will probably just get a portable drive to backup the cloud stuff.Posted 3 years ago
I’m typing this on my nexus 7 on the sofa in front of BBC4.
I use the n7 for content consumption but the chromebook is still my choice for anything I have to type.
I love being able to pick up any of my devices and have them all syncd
Bookmarks and history are syncd so you can pick up on one device from where you left off from another.
Adding in a decent Android phone and everything is coveredPosted 3 years ago
I was underwhelmed to find most of the Apps are merely shortcuts for the browser rather than a standalone app like you would expect on an Android phone
Let me clarify for anyone else who finds this thread (hopefully I’m right about this!). Chromebooks run Chrome browser. Chrome browser is a web browser, but it’s also an ‘app’ environment. So you can run rich apps inside it that are more than just webpages. The dsadvantage of this is that you need to be online to access the app, because it runs in a browser. However some apps can be mad available offline, like Google Docs etc. The advantage though is that you can access the same apps on any computer running Chrome and all your stuff will magically be there where you left off. Even if it’s not your computer.
This is what cloud computing means (to you). Chromebook is a cloud terminal.
Don’t think the apps are just webpages. After having seen the photo editor I am pretty impressed. Most people will be pretty well looked after I think.Posted 3 years ago
pretty much, yes.
Compared to the relative risks of alternatives (such as local hardware or multiple dispersed cloud backups) the google Apps infrastructure and investment in data security cant be matched by me as an SMEPosted 3 years ago
pretty much, yes.
Compared to the relative risks of alternatives (such as local hardware or multiple dispersed cloud backups) the google Apps infrastructure and investment in data security cant be matched by me as an SME
Or the more sensible (and zero risk) alternative, and one that IT folk have been running since pretty much since the year dot; a copy in totally different location… 🙄
Invoice in the post 🙂Posted 3 years ago
definitely not a zero risk policy IMO.
backups are out of date the minute they are made. Google syncs all data at all times. Google also automatically manages version histories for the life of the document so I can go back in time minute by minute if I want. No accidental version overwrites, no user conflicts overwriting each other’s work etc. Since there are no local sync copies you also avoid the risk of synchronized deletions – when a user “cleans” up a directory and ends up having the clean up synchronized over to the backup system.
Backup policies fail to be implemented (my brother is currently contracting at a high street retailers and has discovered that another team’s backup system has failed to run for the last 3 months…. 😯 )
Google data is located in multiple locations, passing the location redundancy on to me.
Im afraid you are not going to convince me that using a single supplier is as risky and akin to having a single file copy. 😛 And in fact I will always argue that the data storage redundancy built into the google apps product is far better than any local solution I could develop for a reasonable cost.Posted 3 years ago
Im afraid you are not going to convince me that using a single supplier is as risky and akin to having a single file copy. And in fact I will always argue that the data storage redundancy built into the google apps product is far better than any local solution I could develop for a reasonable cost.
I’m not. Just telling you that you’ve only access to one copy and are totally reliant on Google letting you access it – and on Google ensuring that they have that redundancy/protection in place.
That’s it.Posted 3 years ago
there’s more than “one copy”, it’s not a single file that they can lose.
But, yes, I am reliant on Google honouring the contract where I pay for them to let me get at my stuff. I am also reliant on EON keeping the electricity flowing to my house so I can get online too. Im not too worried about that one either 😉Posted 3 years ago
the data storage redundancy built into the google apps product is far better than any local solution I could develop for a reasonable cost
He’s right. However the risk is Google. If they change their T&Cs you are vulnerable, and you may decide that this is an acceptable risk.
If EON go bust, someone else will supply your power. If Google went bust, who knows what would happen to your data? If you wanted to migrate, could you?
Chances are, Google won’t go bust, so it’s a pretty safe bet. Becase so many people now rely on it. However there were a few relatively high profile internet services that went bust and caused trouble, weren’t there? Which was the photo one that lost everyone’s photos?Posted 3 years agomuggomagicSubscriber
am also reliant on EON keeping the electricity flowing to my house so I can get online too. Im not too worried about that one either
My only real concern about the cloud storage (as I believe it’s generally far safer there than on a back up HDD in a drawer) in terms of day to day usage for files is when the network goes down, and being a Virgin Media customer this is a fairly regular occurrence. Up until now I’ve been able to use unlimited data to tether via 3, but they are beginning to limit this to 2GB p/m on the new contracts.Posted 3 years ago
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