My new chromebook is a real treat.

I was really hesitant at first to buy a chromebook, but after some research and pestering on the part of my dear Father, I reconsidered. I’m pretty glad that I did.

Three months or so ago, my apartment was robbed and someone stole all the laptops out of it. Luckily, my desktop remained (too cumbersome, I suppose) and I was able to finish school by floating between that desktop and the desktops available for use in the library.

After I graduated, though, I didn’t really want to be in the library constantly. I wanted to feel as though I had moved on from that sort of lifestyle, but I couldn’t get work done at home. I really wanted to be able to write, apply for jobs, etc while I was at a coffee shop–or, visiting family, traveling, and other delightful things. I am completely out of money at the moment, and I am *very* partial to Macintosh.

Enter, the chromebook phenomenon.

A chromebook is basically a laptop that ONLY does Google Chrome. It functions entirely with the Chrome browser as an Operating System. It does the internet, Chrome apps, and nothing else.

I bought the Acer C720, which is an 11.6in laptop without a touch screen. It goes for $199 dollars. That day Office Depot was having a sale on them, ten bucks off, and I bought the display model so it was 10% off of that. I basically got the laptop for 165$.

Here’s why I love it:

  • It’s tiny, lightweight, and does everything I need to do in the cloud. Word processing, spreadsheets, blogging, emailing, browsing…
After my macbook was stolen, I switched into using entirely chrome-based applications like Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets, because I needed to use multiple public-use computers at work and at the library.
  • The Acer C720 has speedy, high quality hardware that makes it a powerful computer for its minimal price. It plays video, browses, and computes with the same speed that my old laptop did.
Reviews of Chromebooks say that the Acer C720 is the most powerful and most reliable yet. I don’t think I could really get behind buying one of the sleek HP chromebooks right now. They’re good looking, but the reviews say that the processing speed isn’t up to snuff. The Acer, on the other hand, preforms well in most tests. It has a 1.4 Intel Celeron and 2GB RAM. That will not compare to another computer running a full OS, but see below for why that doesn’t matter.
  • A Chromebook is not running Windows 7 or Windows 8, or really ANY operating system. This means that it is limited in the kinds of programs that it can run, but this ALSO means that it is not bogged down by any heavy-weight processing tasks.
Sure, many cheap laptops have faster processors, more RAM, and more hard drive space. However, you are running an OS that requires a lot more work. In this case, the Chromebook can afford to be cheap because it doesn’t need to be running 20,000 security checks, updates, or background programming. Doing NOTHING but the internet, in this case, is a real benefit because it keeps it simple so you don’t have to pay for expensive processing speed. If you want to go dirt cheap, keeping it simple is the most important thing to do.

All in all, I find this little machine a really excellent supplement to my at-home desktop. It makes it possible to do work in a coffee shop, but didn’t break the bank, and requires minimal effort on my part. I’m pleased with my purchase.

There are a few drawbacks, though, but for a temporary, supplementary computer I find them pretty minimal.

  • The screen feels flimsy. I’m used to a Macbook that is metal, solid, and secure. A plastic body is something I don’t like terribly and it makes me nervous that I’m going to break it.
  • The trackpad is sort of odd, but I’m getting used to it. Also, the right click function has never worked properly. I think that may be because I bought the display model.
  • At one point, it forgot how to connect to the internet. I was really upset, obviously, because you can’t do anything with it if you can’t get on the internet. However, I did a power-wash (a feature of the mini-OS) and that fixed it. It was a total reboot to factory conditions, and it only took 5 minutes, and all my stuff got restored immediately because it’s all in the cloud anyway. I was pretty impressed, honestly.

All in all, I would recommend a Chromebook to anyone in my situation. My laptop was stolen and I was broke. I had a desktop at home that did the major tasks beyond the internet. What I really wanted was a machine that could go into the coffee shops and other public work spaces and keep me writing, working, and looking for jobs. It’s an excellent tool in that regard, and it isn’t weighted down by an operating system that is designed for more powerful computers (ie, Windows.)

I suppose, though, I’m spending the money I saved on expensive iced lattes. 😉

Most of the research I did prior to buying this was on Youtube. Here’s what I relied on to make my decision:

Review by “The Verge” (Price Quoted is more than it is now.)

This one compares the HP Chromebook 11 to the Acer C720. Not a super useful review, but it does help you figure out what the conversation about Chromebooks looks like.

(They quote the original price which was $249. The price now is $199.)

One thought on “My new chromebook is a real treat.”

  1. And did you know that your Chromebook has a solid-state drive where you can store documents and pics and music and video for offline use? You don’t need to be connected to the internet all the time to make it work!

Leave a Reply