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Anyone here use a Chromebook?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by wcarter4, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. wcarter4

    wcarter4

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    Feb 11, 2013
    Georgia
    I've been thinking about replacing my dad's aging laptop at home with a Chromebook.
    He doesn't need much more than a web browser and a document viewer. I was wondering if anyone here has tried a Chromebook? Are they worth it or should I just tell him to buy a cheap laptop?
     
  2. robrides85

    robrides85

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    Jan 4, 2010

  3. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I saw 3 models listed on Bestbuy's sight. The two Samsungs had small storage with either a flash or solid state drive and cost more. What would be the advantage to smaller storage with a flash/ssd? Is it lighter in weight or does it conserve battery power?
     
  4. SSD does conserve battery power (no moving parts) is lighter in weight, but most notably is exponentially faster. As in your SSD is driving a ferrari, and your old HDD is wearing running shoes (with a hole in one of them)
     
  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Thanks!
     
  6. I just purchased the Acer Chromebook directly from Google. $225.00 two day shipped. It will arrive on Tuesday or possibly Wednesday with the holiday. I am looking forward to checking it out. As Chromebooks go it does not have a small SSD drive but it does have a large regular drive. It also does not have bluetooth. It does boot in 20 seconds from the moment you open the lid and is not affected by any of the current known viruses and this is what I am most excited about. Also the Acer is the currently only available upgradable Chromebook. You can change out the harddrive for SSD and you can increase the RAM. The Samsung Chromebook is a sealed unit.

    /
     
  7. wcarter4

    wcarter4

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    0
    Feb 11, 2013
    Georgia
    Sounds like the Acer may be the way to go. Not having bluetooth is a non-issue. I can't imagine a scenario where my dad would need or use a bluetooth device with a laptop (or period for that matter).
    It's probably going to be at least another week before we buy anything. I hope you enjoy yours.
     
  8. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
    5
    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    I downloaded the operating system but I couldn't get it to work yet. I may try it on a different computer. The main advantage of a solid state drive is battery life. They do boot fast but most processes are limited by the interface. The other issue in a laptop with only one drive is, SSD speed is relative to their free space. With only one drive that has the operating system on it, a lot of space is already taken. If additional files are added to the drive it will slow down even more. To maintain speed with an SSD with a single drive system a fairly large and expensive SSD is required. An SSD can extend the battery life over a traditional hard drive though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  9. coceda

    coceda

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    Sep 2, 2011
    Alton, IL
    I have one of the no-brand Chromebooks shipped out by Google for evaluation. Not sure how the commercially-available models compare, but mine is awesome. Boots in seconds, unbelievable battery life, and light weight without compromising too much on screen size.

    For not being a "full-featured" laptop, I sure find myself using it a lot. With a decent internet connection and Google Docs, I am having trouble finding anything my "real" laptop can do that my Chromebook can't.
     
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Google seems to have a habbit of tracking user activity. Maybe they all do. Is the low price of these machines off-set by any revenue google gains by tracking what you do? Many seem concerned with various browsers tracking what they do, and these machines use an OS that comes from a source that is known for tracking. Is this an issue?

    Can this machine be used with a Linux distro instead of google's OS? Are there comparable machines that are cheap and don't have an OS or can have the OS easily replaced with Linux?

    I figure some day my dinosour laptop will die and I will be looking to get a $200.00 new replacement.
     
  11. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
    5
    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    A big difference between Google and most of the others is Google doesn't share or sell the tracking information. They only use it internally for their own marketing
     

  12. Does yours have a traditional hard drive or SSD drive?


    /
     

  13. Keep in mind these are Chromebooks. Basically the only thing that is supposed to be stored on the drive is the Chrome operating system. Everything else is on 'the cloud'.


    /
     
  14. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
    5
    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    Yes I know, but even the operating system takes up drive space. The main advantage of solid state drives is battery life. They can boot faster but that's not much of an advantage when web surfing. The Chromebooks aren't really designed for heavy computing though. Any additional speed of an SSD compared to a traditional drive relies on free space oon SSD. The larger the SSD is, the faster in can run in theory. Other hardware factors will restrict the speed though.

    Fairly large SSD's are expensive. Small ones don't run as fast but are easier on the battery.
     
  15. Something else I just recently learned is that some SSD based computers don't have or require any fans and some only have a fan for the processor. This makes the computer very quiet or even silent. One of the new Samsung Chromebooks with SSD does not have any fans at all and is totally silent. No fan noise and no drive noise. Seems like a small issue but fans have always been a problem for me. They get noisy or completely give out etc etc.


    /
     
  16. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
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    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    That's true. I have seen some netbooks without fans. There are also now the even smaller hard drives that are 1.8" I think.

    With Linux and using a solid state drive, it is desired to not have a Linux swap partition. This usually requires a good amount of memory to compensate for the lack of a swap partition.
     
  17. Dig a little deeper.

    The German confidentiality suit
    The suit in many EU locations over storing location data ( we must assume it is done in the USA as well)
    Google knows where you live.
    Google knows what you like.
    They know what websites you visit
    ( is that not enough to be wary?)

    Google shares information with the NSA and the courts have allowed the relationship to stay secret. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/google-nsa-secrecy-upheld/

    Don't forget to look into the seed money for a google and Facebook and where it came from...I suspect you will be surprised.


    Back on topic the Chromebook is nice, but I like the Amazon fire HD as much after playing with a demo unit. They both still are behind the ipad , but it may not matter depending on use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  18. coceda

    coceda

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    0
    Sep 2, 2011
    Alton, IL
    It is a 16GB SSD.
     
  19. I'm a teacher and our school has 1:1 Chromebooks for our students. They are really amazing machines for school environments. What they do they do well but there are limitations. If your goal is to have basic word processing, internet browsing, and the ability to use apps then they are great. They also have 8+ hours of battery life.
     
  20. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    4,037
    5
    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    The Chrome OS DVD didn't work for me. I'm downloading the USB drive version right now Maybe the current DVD version is newer than the one I tried some time ago. I might try the current version of the DVD and see if it is better for me than the last time.