It’s a Laptop but not as we know it

What’s a ChromeBook

Acer C720 on the trainSo it’s day one with my new ChromeBook. I’ve never used one before and bought it on the recommendation of some fanboys I heard raving about them on a podcast. My old netbook, a poor little thing, had been running the now expired XP. I’d been looking around for an alternative Operating System (OS) to install to try to extend the netbook’s life. I eventually installed one called Peppermint, which is a really great OS optimised for netbooks. And it worked great apart from the slight problem that the netbook’s processor is so slow. It ran like a dog. A dog with one leg. So then I started investigating these ChromeBooks. Very affordable laptops that run a very efficient OS on humble hardware. Their entire purpose is to run (pretty much) just Google’s Chrome browser as smoothly as possible – without all the complications of a Window’s computer.

Why Not Windows?

Windows is a big, heavy OS that must support lots of different programs and devices and peripherals. It has the burden of having to continue to run software written tens of years ago. It needs constantly updating and fixing, and needs protection from viruses and spyware. Would you like to update Java? And because it’s so heavy, you need faster processors to run it, and more memory, and more electricity – and so shorter battery life on laptops (or heavier, bigger batteries). And the processors get hot and fans are blowing and my lap is getting burned whilst I’m being deafened. Now I’m one of the seemingly few people that actually likes Windows 8, and I have a nice big machine to run it on. And it runs great. But when it comes to surfing the web from the sofa, I just don’t need it. Or the tray to protect my lap.

First Impressions of my Acer C720

“But it looks just like a laptop…” said a friend of mine.

OK, so what have I found.

  • The Chrome browser is excellent! It truly is desktop quality, as claimed.
  • And it’s fast. Using the browser really is very fast.
  • Two finger scrolling is cool.
  • There are many apps, although still discovering them.
  • The C720 has a nice keyboard
  • and a good screen.
  • It starts up faster than I can open it and put my hands on the keyboard.
  • There are many guides online with hints and tips of how to use a Chromebook.
  • There are lots of keyboard shortcuts which is great for productivity (press ctrl-alt-? on the device for a guide!).

Written with StackEdit, on the ChromeBook, of course 🙂

One thought on “It’s a Laptop but not as we know it

  1. Agree completely with the “Why not windows..” section. It’s for the same reason I started exploring alternatives. I checked ubuntu and osx and settled with a macbook pro (6years back). completely hooked. I do a lot of development on the same. If not I might have gone with the air or just the iPad. Great to see chrome book serves a common scenario for most people, lot of stuff in cloud, no maintenance hassle OS. Guess windows will turn into a niche market now with it’s schizophrenic UI (8).

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