Chromebook ?

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  • Chromebook ?
  • wife has a laptop with Windows 8 which we hate.

    We both use android phones [HTC] and the Google Play / Cloud.

    Why shouldn’t I consider a Chromebook ???

    All help appreciated !

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    You need to talk to Stoner, he’s a Chromebook evangelist…

    grievoustim
    Member

    I got my daughter one for christmas

    it seems great so far

    as long as you are happy using Google docs for any office type stuff (and I would say only a “power user” might have problems)

    If you need iTunes to manage music for an iPhone/ iPod then a chrome book won’t work – but if you are a google play user then perfect

    The good thing is they are relatively cheap – so worth a try to see how you get on

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    Get one…

    For just general browsing and the odd document etc best thing I’ve had to be honest .

    Much faster than a cheap laptop and under £200 (Acer 720)

    sharkbait
    Member

    I got one for christmas (Acer 720) and it’s brilliant:
    Light
    Long battery life (7-8 hours)
    Instant on or 7 second boot from cold (only done this once since xmas to for an OS update which installs completely in the background)
    Plenty fast enough (plus it won’t slow down over time)
    16Gb SSD for downloads/files, etc
    HDMI, usb and SD card slots
    I can easily connect/use/control my work PC or the iMac at home using Chrome Remote Desktop.
    Google apps are very good.

    We have iPads and Android tablets in the house and I think the Chromebook is the best by miles if what you’re doing involves any typing whatsoever.

    allthepies
    Member

    Bought my Mum an Acer C720 for Christmas and she loves it. As above, very light, long battery life, super quick startup, no virus b*llox to worry about etc etc.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    They are amazing, frankly. They are limited in what they can do, but that allows them to be optimised for it. Hard to describe how fast it is! £200 and it’s at least an order of magnitude faster than my work laptop which is a quad core i7 that cost 11 times as much! Ok so it does more, but that is a double edged sword – a lot of the junk my work PC had to load is anti malware and corporate spyware yo make sure I haven’t installed anything bad.

    Mac fanbois keep saying ‘it just works’ but really that applies to Chromebooks far better. Open, surf. That’s it.

    We bought an Acer C720, only slight imperfection s the screen is budget looking. But it’s perfectly usable and for £200 you can’t complain!

    Oh yeah, the other thing to consider is that it will never slow down over time like Windows can. So it could easily be just as good in 10 years’ time.

    And something else to consider – the Microsoft webapps also work, but not in demo mode when they are in the shop. So you have a choice of google docs or MS.

    Spot on, c720 it is then.

    Cferg
    Member

    Molgrips, can you use Word/Excel/Powerpoint with the Chromebook using Webapps then? Lack of MS office is all thats putting me off.

    Google Docs takes care of office afaik…

    AdamW
    Member

    You can also use outlook.com to edit MS Office apps, and the latest ChromeOS release has the Kingsoft (or whatever it is) MS Office compatible app installed.

    And you can always use GDocs and export to MS if you want.

    I am typing this on my Samsung Chromebook series 3. I use it far more than my mac or a PC. I wish I had an Acer though as the Haswell would add a little extra oomph.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Molgrips, can you use Word/Excel/Powerpoint with the Chromebook using Webapps then?

    Yes but there’s little point generally. If you were using Skydrive and Office elsewhere it might help, or if you are using say Windows phone like I am. I am pleased that I can use OneNote.

    clubber
    Member

    We’ve had an HP chromebook 14 for about a month now. £250 which gives a nice big screen and performance that would cost several times more from a windows (or heaven forbid, apple) equivalent.

    The ms office issue is just something you need to get your head around rather than a real problem and as has been mentioned you can use the online ms office products if you really need to.

    Very happy with it and more importantly Mrs Clubber is happy with it too.

    cynic-al
    Member

    How come the performance is so good for the money?

    Why won’t it slowdown over time?

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    We were early adopters with a mk 1 Samsung.

    Treat it as a secure internet surfing tool and it is fabulous. Totally hassle free and foolproof. Battery and speed same as the day we bought it. Cold start to surfing in about 15 seconds.

    If you have other devices, then I’d 100% say get one – much faster and easier than kid’s Samsung tablet, with no issues about anti-virus software etc.

    But…..As a total laptop replacement it is pretty useless. Very slow with photos, very limited apps, half the google stuff cannot work on it, printing a faff, documents a faff, some pdfs don’t work (e.g. couldn’t fill in a downloaded bank form last week) problems with listing stuff on ebay etc etc.

    clubber
    Member

    Because it’s not running anything other than a browser in effect. As such updates happen when the app or website you’re using updates.

    It is slightly disingenuous to say that it won’t slow down though as what we do increasingly uses more performance so in reality, it will seem to get slower though less than a windows computer which is allowed down over time by patching, etc.

    samuri
    Member

    Got one for my son for christmas. He seems to like it and it does exactly what he wanted.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    How come the performance is so good for the money?

    Cos it’s optimised to run just one thing, Google Chrome. You can’t install anything else on it, which is the reason why Windows can get slower with time. The OS is also a dedicated OS that doesn’t allow you to do anything either hence is stripped down.

    It’s a cloud terminal, in reality. It’s never going to replace Windows obviously, but it offers a real alternative to the concept of the PC. Modern PCs are phenomenally powerful, a complete waste just for looking at pictures of cats and insulting people.

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    Main reason for saying won’t slow down is ssd. As no moving parts like a HDD that slow down as they get older/fuller. Obviously you can get ssd laptops but not for £200

    wow, some great advice, thanks…………!

    allthepies
    Member

    It will slow down over time but only because google will update ChromeOS to add more features/capability and reflect current day hardware capability and software protocols/technologies. *But* that timespan will be a long one 🙂 And I guess you have the option of not accepting new OS releases in the future if you’re aware that one might be a performance step too far for your current hardware.

    dh
    Member

    can they run flash on websites etc? thinking on one for my daughter but all those wee cbeebies/peppa pig etc websites use flash a lot iirc.

    clubber
    Member

    all those sites seem to work on mine. I did check beforehand 🙂

    •Playing Games: Depending on how you play games on your computer, you may be in luck or this may be a big speed bump. If you play web-based games in your browser, Chrome OS allows you to play the same Flash and HTML-based games. The Chrome web store contains some popular games, such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. However, you can’t install Windows software (or any local software), so you can’t play PC games. They can be ported to the browser via native client — for example, you can play Bastion on a Chromebook — but few games have been.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/161662/living-with-a-chromebook-can-you-live-with-just-a-chrome-browser/

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Main reason for saying won’t slow down is ssd. As no moving parts like a HDD that slow down as they get older/fuller

    Not true. HDDs don’t slow down over time, at least not until right before they fail. They do get fragmented – as you delete files and add new ones, files end up in smaller and smaller pieces all over the disk. However this is not such an issue these days, I think that Windows does some management of this as it goes along. This also happens to SSDs but it doens’t make it slower, ebcause it can access any part of the disk in the same time – with an HDD, the head has to move around on the disk.

    The real reason Windows slows down over time is because we keep installing more stuff. If you never installed anything, it wouldn’t slow down, or would only slow down slightly. If you do format and re-install Windows on an old PC it becomes as quick as new again – try it if you don’t believe me 🙂

    can they run flash on websites etc?

    As far as I can tell the Chrome browser is identical to the PC one (but faster!). So everything that works in Chrome should also work. Since I’ve been using Chrome for years on PC, it has the nice side-effect that all my bookmarks etc sync perfectly, and any apps I add on the Chromebook I can still use exactly the same on my PC!

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Are these wifi only or can you get them with 3(or 4)G? I’m guessing it’s a MiFi type dongle if you’re not in a wifi spot?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You can get them with 3G build-in yes, as an option. Just need a SIM card from your preferred mobile operator. Probably more convenient than a mifi type thing really – the mifi needs to have its own battery charged etc.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    I think that Windows does some management of this as it goes along.

    Win7 schedules automatic defraging for you, every time I check my work machine it always says 100% defragmented.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Of course, there won’t be much fragmentation as long as your HD isn’t nearly full…

    chvck
    Member

    Do chromebooks work with webgl? I’m guessing no but any real world experience would be useful.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Hmmm, thinking about it, it would probably be cheaper to pay for tethering on my existing 3 contract.

    It’s between one of these and an iPad mini (not a direct comparison, more of a budget comparison) – I want to be able to take something to work with me for online ordering from screwfix etc (phone does job but a proper browser is a bit more detailed) and inputting my daily business spends.

    We’re kinda apple dna’d here but I see no reason why one of these wouldn’t fit in as a standalone. It’s not a different OS, just chrome in a box, so to speak.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Of course, there won’t be much fragmentation as long as your HD isn’t nearly full…

    Amazingly mine is >90% and still completely defragged. I have a new, larger SSD drive sat by it ready to install, just haven’t got round to it…..

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
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    chvck- they do. Well my Samsung ARM machine does, so I am sure the Intel ones do too.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Hmmm, thinking about it, it would probably be cheaper to pay for tethering on my existing 3 contract.

    I pay I dunno, £5 or something for 2GB of 4G data on my phone. I’ll cancel my dongle SIM when I can I think. However, 2-3 hours of tethering use means my battery is dead by early evening, so it’s not ideal. Orange gave me 1Gb for £5/mo which may be worth it for the convenience of one battery and being able to open the laptop and go.

    As for comparing with a small tablet – we just got a hudl (Chromebook + 7″ tablet was the same price as a Windows laptop!) for family use, and it’s frankly difficult for surfing on. Typing is terribly inconvenient. Too big to type two-thumbed as on a phone, and on my lap it’s just too much hunching over.

    I’m a fast typist, so for me using the Chromebook is far better and quicker. Also, websites don’t have to be ‘optimised for touch’ since it’s standard mouse + keyboard.

    chvck
    Member

    Thanks gofasterstripes that’s good to know!

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Only thing that’s stopping me getting one right now is the need to run Java (runtime should suffice) and a couple of Java apps. Oh and need decent IRC client (must be a usable Chrome app?) and some way to ssh in to server (guess that’s possible by default).

    I know it’s possible to hack a bit, and get Ubuntu install on as well as Chrome, but if I do that, I may as well run stock Ubuntu or other Linux distro.

    If I ever get away from that Java dependency, then definitely buying Chromebook.

    chvck
    Member

    Hmmm, thinking about it, it would probably be cheaper to pay for tethering on my existing 3 contract.

    I just changed to the One plan for 15/month and that has unlimited tethering built in, was cheaper than my previous 3 contract + paying for tethering

    chvck
    Member

    Oh and need decent IRC client (must be a usable Chrome app?) and some way to ssh in to server (guess that’s possible by default).

    It has an ssh app which also means that irssi will work for IRC.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    SSH client is available, andy yes. Also RDP. If you don’t mind me asking what Java stuff do you need?

    You can do more than hack it a bit, you can wipe it and install your Linux of choice, and also apparently you can install Linux and ChromeOS side-by-side, have them both running simultaneously and hotkey between them!

    Why bother installing Linux? Cos the hardware is pretty good and only costs £200!

    sharkbait
    Member

    We’re kinda apple dna’d here but I see no reason why one of these wouldn’t fit in as a standalone.

    Same here DD, but as the macs all run Chrome the Chromebook fits right in.
    Whenever the iPad and Chromebook are side by side I always go to the chromebook now!

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