Got Me A Chromebook


I have to take a step back from the political things for a bit. The worries of having a mentally defective criminal in the White House get to prey on your mind after a bit. Not healthy to dwell too much on it. So, in a break from that nightmare . . .

I’d been wondering for a while whether it would be a good idea to get a Chromebook. After all, probably ninety percent of the things I do on my laptop are done with the browser; that includes using Google Docs, Hangouts, and the other Google tools, as well as Twitter, checking email, blogging, reading the news, and so on. Very few things rely on installed software, and probably the most important thing I have for that is MS Word — and even then, I only really need that for editing, since it’s what my publisher uses. I can write new stuff in Google Docs and save it in Word format anyway, so that’s not a problem.

A few days ago I saw that my local Wal-Mart had Acer 15″ Chromebooks for $179 ($20 off the regular price) and I decided to treat myself.

I love it already. It’s thinner and lighter than my laptop. It boots in seconds (ready to use in ten seconds or less — unlike Windows, ChromeOS is built on a Linux kernel and so isn’t bogged down with a metric buttload of background crap I don’t need); the battery lasts something like twelve hours, even when I’m binge-watching Netflix; I can sign into all my Google accounts (I have four, for various purposes) and switch between them instantly. All my installed Chrome apps and extensions are there, and they all work great (faster than on my Windows laptop, in fact, but then the laptop is showing its age these days). And thanks to Chrome Remote Desktop, I can, if I want, control my laptop from the Chromebook — so if I need to edit using MS Word I can do that. (Well, at least in theory — I set it up, and it works, but I didn’t try firing Word up yet.)

Downsides? Well, all your stuff is in the cloud, so you need an internet connection. Having said that, it keeps local copies of Google Docs, Sheets, and so on — so you can still work on them if you don’t have wi-fi, and it’ll sync up when it can connect. Is not having a big hard drive a downside? The machine has a 16Gb flash memory that it uses instead — that’s part of the reason the battery lasts as long as it does — but so far I haven’t really used any of it, and I don’t know that I’d need more. So one possible downside is that I could eventually use all that up, and I don’t think there’s a way to add more memory. I’ll see how that goes.

All in all, I’m very pleased with it. I can do just about anything I’d use the laptop for, but thanks to the (slightly) smaller size, lighter weight, and significantly longer battery life, it’s a hell of a lot more convenient. In fact, I’m writing this on the Chromebook, in the bedroom — which is waaay more comfortable than dragging the laptop through.

Time for (late) breakfast. Until next time . . .

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