Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 15th Feb 2014 22:02 UTC
Google When my 3+ year old DELL laptop died a few weeks back, I decided to give Chromebooks a try. So the Acer C720, at just $199, became my new laptop. This is my experience with it so far.

The Acer C720 is similar in specs to other Chromebooks currently on the market. It's a Haswell architecture with a dual core Celeron, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB flash, HDMI-out, 3 USB, webcam, Bluetooth, and a 1366x768 px screen. It's 0.8" tall, and weighs just 2.76 lbs. Its battery life is rated for 8.5 hours but in real world usage rated at about 7 hours. You can view its specs in detail here.

The laptop feels very light, sturdy and of a good build quality. Its keyboard is easy to get accustomed to, and I had no trouble at all, coming from a radically different keyboard design on the DELL. The ChromeOS function keys are really handy too, e.g. to change brightness, volume etc. The touchpad has the right size, position and responsiveness too.

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RE: Comment by Luminair
by bassbeast on Mon 17th Feb 2014 09:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

My problem with the whole ChromeOS concept is simple...we went through this in the 90s, it was called thinclients and they are now nearly all dumpster bait.

I mean maybe its different where you are but I've been all over the so called "bible belt" and "flyover states" in the USA and there is a LOT of places where there is no free Wifi and as this article shows without Wifi? Its a brick, it can't really even do as much as your average $50 Android tablet.

So if you want cheap? They still make netbooks, they just don't call 'em netbooks anymore. Just picked up a "Discless notebook" for a customer, had 4Gb of RAM and an AMD Jaguar quad for $350, it works nice. Heck my 4 year old Asus EEE still works great for that matter and unlike the thinclient Chromebooks I can get all my work done without a net connection, I have even sat in the doctor's office and thanks to Audacity and Hydrogen I have been able to write drum tracks and edit my band's latest recordings no problem.

And does Google still cripple the hardware? I can take this EEE and install Linux (came with Linux based Expressgate, not bad for quick web surfing) or XP or BSD or make it a Hackentosh, pretty much anything I want. Last I checked you can ONLY run a couple of Linux distros and ONLY if they have a hacked bootloader for that specific model, honestly it felt like I was looking at a smartphone more than a laptop made of bog standard X86 parts. I'm sure I'll get hate from the Googleites for saying this but taking something as open as X86 and turning it into a cellphone is kinda douchey IMHO, even MSFT lets you set up dual boots or install any OS on the new UEFI systems.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by calden on Mon 17th Feb 2014 13:49 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

This is exactly what a person who has never used a Chromebook would post. Limitations, old idea, crippled hardware, etc. The Chromebook is an extremely useful tool, the amount of online apps and their usefulness is staggering. I am a programmer with 20+ plus years of experience and am currently working for one of the largest banks in the world, UBS. Our company deploys Chromebox's to almost all of our employees. As you say it's nothing more than a 90's style dumb terminal, except with this dumb terminal you can stream any OS from the server to the Chrome device in almost real time. Even without logging into a Windows environment I am still able to create all of my apps with a Chromebook or Chromebox using Codenvy, write my how-to’s and full manuals with MS's awesome online Office app through Skydrive, support calibration with other programmers, edit personal photos with Pixlr, read and write emails through a custom email client that is available online. There is an app for almost everything you can imagine and like it or not, this is where technology is moving towards, again. Dumb terminals, the perfect solution, no more updates, viruses, malware, always the newest version, fastest boot times, etc. I don't see the disadvantages especially in a work environment. Yes, those who treasure their so called privacy will be skeptics but let’s face it, there is no such thing as privacy anymore when you’re online. Get used to it.

Where I work, with my Chromebox, Samsung i5, 16GB Ram, 32GB SSD, I login into my development site, using a Remote Desktop app, login into the Windows 8 server, or Solaris server, there is absolutely nothing I cannot accomplish with ChromeOS. When I go home or travel I bring my white Acer C720P, 4GB Ram, 128GB SSD and can login to the exact same environment anywhere in the world. If I lose my laptop or if it's stolen, so what, all I have to do is replace it with another Chromebook (I have an HP 11 for backup) and once I log in everything is already setup. All I have to do is provide passwords (actually no, Chrome saves everything). There is no data for the thieves or person who finds the old Chromebook to steal. Well maybe for some videos which I have about 100 of. If I download an .MKV that doesn't have sound all I do is switch over to Debian, through the wonderfully awesome Crouton. Then just convert it to MP4 using a one liner command. While that's converting in the background I switch back to ChromeOS. Same thing goes if and when I need things like Skype or Photoshop running through Wine, which runs just fine, so does Office 11 but I prefer using the online Office version, it's awesome. All this for a low, low price of 350 bucks plus the 80 I spent on the faster, bigger 128GB SSD. What else is out there for this price, yes you can buy a used Lenovo T410 or X210 for the same but then your back to an unsecured OS that you'll have to maintain. Again there is nothing I cannot do with ChromeOS, mixed with a Crouton Debian (XFCE Desktop Environment).
The people who complain about the Chromebook have not used one or do not have the ability, patients to make it into the perfect Office laptop or home entertainment machine. A Chromebox connected to your TV is the perfect media machine, it can play almost every codec and if there is a problem, converting the media file to something the Chrombox can play is extremely easy to convert and fast. Spotify.com, Pandora.com, Youtube.com, Tubeplus.me, Icefilms.info, Zatoo.com, Hulu.com, Alluc.to, so many sites that look wonderful and are so entertaining.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by moondevil on Mon 17th Feb 2014 18:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Yes we have, it used to be called VT100 or similar.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 17th Feb 2014 19:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I agree with this! Chromebooks are good value for a thin client.

Google has subsidized the cost in one way or another, and so you can buy one off their back and never use Google services at all, extracting good value from Google's carcass. As long as you've got a remote desktop to log into.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by FunkyELF on Tue 18th Feb 2014 18:37 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

As you say it's nothing more than a 90's style dumb terminal, except with this dumb terminal you can stream any OS from the server to the Chrome device in almost real time.


Could you elaborate on this functionality?
What do you mean by "stream any OS"?

Reply Parent Score: 2