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Anyone using a Chromebook?
Old 05-22-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
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Anyone using a Chromebook?

My old Dell laptop is on its way out, and I am looking for an eventual replacement. In the meantime my granddaughter wants a chromebook for her birthday as they use them in her school.
I would like any opinions, pro or con , if anyone here has one, as I may purchase one for myself also.
I have read many reviews and details on their limitations, etc, , but would appreciate and respect comments from this board.
Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
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I can't offer too much info. My brother purchased one a few months ago to replace a little netbook. His only computing need/want is surfing the internet and connecting the device to his tv to watch free shows. He also does not want to have to deal with viruses, malware, etc. Thus far the chromebook meets his needs.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #3
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Really depends on what you want to do with it. I would not buy one. It reminds more of what we used to call a dumb terminal back in the day. The dumb terminal connected to the mainframe and allowed you to interact with it, the chromebook connects to the internet and allows you to surf and that's about it as they have very little offline functionality.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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I have one. Printing sucks, otherwise its great. Fast boot time, does what its supposed to.

It is just a window to the web. We still have a full fledged (occasionally flaky) macbook whose battery needs to be replaced (cost almost what the chromebook costs) and whose hard drive needs some cleaning out. We use this for photoshop or any "real" stuff.

But most of what we do is the web, and we like keyboards. $250 its cheap enough that if my kids thrash it, so be it.

The other downside is the parental controls are lacking. We thought about adding a login for the kids. But the only way to add parental controls was via a browser app that didn't reload each time the kids login. There are other apps to be investigated, but for now the kids have to ask us to log them in and get permission to go to sites (ages 7 and to a much lesser extent age 4).
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Since probably 90% of what we do these days is on the web, it's a great fit. Love the 9 second boot, battery time, and how light it is. It also doesn't get hot like our older Dell laptop. Way easier to travel with too. We still have a desktop that we use for local apps.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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I have one. It's mostly to play with. I have a higher end system for real work. (and games). We actually have 3 times as many computer systems as we do people in our household. We span win7, linux, iOS, chrome and some old XP systems in storage in the basement.

If all you do is surf the web, do email, perform light document work and are mostly in a place where you have internet connectivity, it would be okay. Mine is the early version of the Acer C7, which is near the bottom end. It has a larger (for a chromebook) 320gig hard drive not a solid state drive. Still fairly quick boot time, but not as fast and the solid state models.

The bigger harddrive does let me dump a bunch of movies on it and use the chromebook as a player when we go camping and have no internet connection. Most chromebooks have both hdmi and vga outputs so you can connect them to a variety of larger monitors/tvs.

Printing is best if you have a web enabled printer. You are actually using google cloud print. If the printer is not web enabled, I think you have to hook it to a computer (not the chromebook) to make it work. In my house we have network printers. I would like to be able to print directly to them instead of having the document go out to google cloud print and come back. This is an area I would like to see improve.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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What I've seen surprises me about the relatively modest battery life given some of these have no conventional hard drive in them. They seem to be rated at 4-6 hours (would be interested to hear how "real life" compares to that) while the laptop I'm using now, an old Asus EEE netbook with a conventional 500 GB hard drive, regularly gets about 8 hours booting into Ubuntu and about 6 hours in Windows 7.

I can see this as a niche product if I just wanted to do a lot of web-based stuff but the lack of standalone applications could be a concern for some, depending on how you planned to use it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
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I bought a Chromebook a couple of months ago when my laptop died. I still have a desktop for running applications but my nightly internet browsing and email is all done on the Chromebook. It has a few limitations. You can't use Skype and it sucks at spreadsheets to name a couple. Other than that I love mine. The instant boot and long battery life are its best features over my old laptop.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #9
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I purchased one about 3 months ago. Other posters have spoken about them so I will not rehash those parts. I bought mine solely for the purchase of all my online transactions as Google takes care of the Internet security so I need no antivirus. I bought the Acer $199 version. If I had to do it over I would have bought the $250 Samsung one because the battery life is 2 hours longer, and it has no need for a cooling fan that my Acer has.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #10
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Does anybody know how much of your private information Google is reading from you when you use a Chromebook, or is that just a scare tactic?
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:35 PM   #11
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I got one last week. IF you get past that it looks and feels like a conventional laptop, it is a winner. Far easier to input text than on an iPad (which I have given up on for even medium amounts of input esp text).

This device is really on auto - backs up my documents every 5 minutes, keeps the chrome OS up to date, switches to offline seemlessly (like today when I traveled outside of WIFI range but lost nothing) -- the offline stuff synced w/ google drive in the background when I got back in range. It boots up in 5 seconds and is light and thin. Closer to set-up-and-go than any similar gadget I ever used.

For $250 (got mine for $170 on a penny auction at QuiBids.com) it is a steal.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailfish View Post
My old Dell laptop is on its way out, and I am looking for an eventual replacement. In the meantime my granddaughter wants a chromebook for her birthday as they use them in her school.
I would like any opinions, pro or con , if anyone here has one, as I may purchase one for myself also.
I have read many reviews and details on their limitations, etc, , but would appreciate and respect comments from this board.
Thanks!
I don't have a Chromebook, but like the flexibility of Nexus 10" tablet compared to my HP notebook. I think you will really appreciate the tablet, but would be limited by the Chromebook.

For your grandaughter, though, as the Chromebook is used in her school. I would get her the Chromebook, and go with tablet for self. I don't think that your having a Chromebook will greatly aid her. If you buy one Cbook and use it for a week, you'll know much more if it fits your needs. I think you'll end up giving her that purchase, and start a search for notebook replacement for self.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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I don't have one but I am tempted. I'm very google product integrated so it would be very seamless to move to the chromebook platform I assume. I hate using tablets for anything more than playing dinky games or sending a short sentence by email or instant message. So when I do mobile computing in my house or backyard, it involves lugging the 15" laptop around. While that solution works just fine, and the cost was about the same as a chromebook, it is a little heavy and cumbersome. I love our ~4 year old netbook that has a 10" screen but approximately full size keyboard because it is so light (2 lbs?) so I figure a chromebook will have similar ergonomic feel to my netbook.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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I love it. Have a desktop for work, but other stuff where just sitting on the couch surfing the internet it is great. It boots up as fast as a smartphone so things like checking details of a recipe or map directions is perfect.

Also do all my financial sites using it, since I don't have much fear or some keylogger or malware running in the background undetected.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dfarr View Post
I bought a Chromebook a couple of months ago when my laptop died. I still have a desktop for running applications but my nightly internet browsing and email is all done on the Chromebook. It has a few limitations. You can't use Skype and it sucks at spreadsheets to name a couple. Other than that I love mine. The instant boot and long battery life are its best features over my old laptop.
(emphasis mine) This little bit of information just killed any desire I might ever have for a Chromebook. I leave my laptop plugged in, and I guess I will just patiently wait for it to boot when that is necessary.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #16
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Would this work if all I want to use it for online banking, and brokerage house monitoring. No surfing, maximium identity protection.

I am not so savyy as most here, my electrical engineering was focused on the high voltage & power. Not so much on the 5 Vdc etc....

Thanks
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #17
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Would this work if all I want to use it for online banking, and brokerage house monitoring. No surfing, maximium identity protection.

I am not so savyy as most here, my electrical engineering was focused on the high voltage & power. Not so much on the 5 Vdc etc....

Thanks
That is the sole purpose I spent $200 to buy one a few months ago. Although I would consider using it for some Internet browsing, I never have, as I prefer my IPad.
I get on it a couple times a week to review my finances, or if I need to purchase something online. I am leaving the security to Google.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:12 AM   #18
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It has a few limitations. You can't use Skype and it sucks at spreadsheets to name a couple.
Quote:
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(emphasis mine) This little bit of information just killed any desire I might ever have for a Chromebook. I leave my laptop plugged in, and I guess I will just patiently wait for it to boot when that is necessary.
Depends what kind of spreadsheet work you are doing. For basic data layout, =sum(), =if() type stuff I find the cloud based google spreadsheets to be more than fine. You can try them out with a gmail account on any computer, and in fact access them anywhere since they are cloud. Very handy for folks who are still w*rking and want to access the spreadsheet in multiple places.

They also have the awesome =googlefinance() function for 20 minute delayed quotes and more which I have found to be FANTASTIC for my little portfolio tracker (not that I trade, but seeing daily updates of my mutual fund accounts let's me get all finance geeked out).

More here: GoogleFinance - Google Drive Help
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #19
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Depends what kind of spreadsheet work you are doing. For basic data layout, =sum(), =if() type stuff I find the cloud based google spreadsheets to be more than fine.
Oh, Brave New World. Sounds great but not for me since I prefer to store my financial spreadsheets locally only. Seems like we are moving more and more towards cloud storage of everything. If local storage of my spreadsheets becomes impossible in a few years, at that time I will go to paper spreadsheets.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #20
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Depends what kind of spreadsheet work you are doing. For basic data layout, =sum(), =if() type stuff I find the cloud based google spreadsheets to be more than fine. ]
I went 100% Google spreadsheets (and docs too) six months ago. Very similar to Excel with some minor differences; the learning curve isn't that steep.

Having lost a lot of spreadsheets after a crash (hadn't backed up for 2 weeks) I'm willing to trade a half-second lag time bringing the document up in exchange for 100% backup in the cloud.

Yes, it is (ever so slightly) slower in response time but I like being able to access it from anywhere (smart phone) and the aforementioned back up is worth it.

If I were a professional accountant, I might not like it but for my needs...sweet!
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