Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shiny Chromebook?

So I bought a Chromebook...

I'm actually posting this from my Chromebook.

Now granted, I didn't pay as much for this Chromebook as most of my countrymen. The model I got, a series 3 Samsung pictured here still goes for near 300 euros in the Netherlands, which is borderline robbery! But on a recent trip to the USA I picked one up at the local Best Buy for what translates to a mere 180 euros. That's about 1/3rd of what I paid for my iPad.
And so far, I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I was planning to upgrade my Google storage for a long time already anyway and the Chromebook came with a free 100GB for two years which is great value.

If you're like me and have a grandfathered Google drive account (20GB for $5/year) then I can hereby tell you that you will keep this deal when you add the 100GB package, it just adds it on top of the total and you will NOT lose your legacy account status. For those like me this is probably the only way to do this without losing that status, short of getting a Pixel which..well...

For what it is, the Chromebook is a great bargain, it's exactly as advertised, a small, light, fast enough little laptop that runs the Chrome browser as its OS. Anything you do today inside Chrome save for hardcore gaming you can do on the Chromebook. And that is important to note that the more core games like for example Bastion do not currently function on the Chromebook. So if you're heavily into portable gaming you should look elsewhere.

Getting Internet on the go is also a piece of cake, the Nexus 4 I use can tether with the Chromebook through  WiFi, Bluetooth and even direct USB connection. The latter having the added benefit that it keeps the Nexus charged and doesn't add the battery strain of running two radios at the same time on it. Without the Nexus attached I got about 6 hours out of the Chromebook. With the Nexus providing 3G the whole setup lasted about 4.5 hours. With the Nexus 4 still being fully charged at the end of it.

After having used tablets exclusively while mobile for the past two years it's great to have a real keyboard and mousepad again. I would never have typed up this piece of text otherwise. The keyboard is actually better than that of most laptops three times the cost. And on par with that of the MacBook Pro I use for work (well, on par....close enough, the keys are a bit looser but in day to day use you don't notice the difference.)

For the price, it's a great buy if you understand what it is and isn't going in.