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Chromebooks: A Few Months Later
So I've been using my Samsung Chromebook for a little while and for the past few days I used it exclusively. I wanted to see what it would be like. Here are my findings in Q&A format.

How is it?
So far, pretty damn good. I was annoyed by it in the beginning, but I've grown into it. The battery life is phenomenal, but that's expected. The trackpad rivals that of a Macbook, but lacks gestures (assuming it's mainly because of patents). It felt slow in the beginning but after a few updates it's gotten super speedy. It still doesn't run as fast as my other computer, but it would be kind of foolish to think otherwise.

Any Major Gripes?
More. Offline. Apps. Please. I'd expect majority of Google apps to be offline at least, but they're not. A few already are, like Gmail, Docs, and Calendar, but I also want to see Reader and - much more importantly, imo - Google Music.

Can it replace my PC?
It's so close. So close, it's unbelievable. I didn't realize how little I need anything other than a browser. Once they added the side-by-side option, my experience has gone up so many levels. The only thing it's missing is Eclipse. That gets added, I don't need to buy anything else. I'm not joking - that's literally all I need now.

Should I Buy It?
Not just yet. There's a lot more mobile form factors/platforms being released this year. It'll be the most important year for mobile computing and you'll want to wait until you get a clear picture of what's coming before you invest in something like this. Plus, I think that the pricing is still kind of ridiculous.

Did you have any questions/comments? Let me know!
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Daniel Reichert's profile photoNicolay Doytchev's profile photoJerrell Mardis's profile photoRadu Olaru's profile photo
13 comments
 
Been 2 months since I've used my Chromebook. Will boot it up again soon! Also, your impressions are similar to mine..
 
The lack of a viable cloud development option is what is steering me away from forgoing traditional mobile computers at this point. Not to mention, GDocs has never been my favorite place for word processing, and I tried to force myself into it once. The formatting doesn't even match up well with OO, which turns me off.

Steps to make browser-based computing a 100% replacement for business/dev users:
- Make Google Documents 100% compatible, powerful, and efficient as Open/Libre Office or Microsoft Office
- Full fledged IDE that in the least can be used for tracking down a bug and patching it when away from your primary computer
- Allow everything that's online to work completely offline should you be "off the grid" in some tiny little town for the night.
 
Lenovo X130e with Core i3. Runs your Chrome and your Eclipse. And anything else you may occasionally need. It's as small and as light and it's battery will last 8.5 hours. With this processor it's also as fast as your other computer (as fast as Core 2 T8300 and AMD Athlon II X2 @ 3.2GHz). Having a boatload of peripheral interfaces. Priced just above a Chromebook at $580. So my comment really is that in the presence of such competition would you rather opt for a subset of the functionality at a small discount?
 
And yes, I wouldn't spend money on a Chromebook, they're not worth it.
 
I guess you actually answered that already. No edit button on mobile web interface. :/
 
+Nicolay Doytchev I completely agree with you, which is why I said not to buy it just yet. The only reason I'm not ruling it out is because I see a lot of potential, but the pricepoint - like I said - is ridiculous. They need to sell these for $200 to make a bang.
 
+Anuj Ahooja Although Google Docs does have an offline mode, you cannot edit anything offline which befuddles me. Why is it not possible for Google to allow Docs to save edits locally?

Also you mention they added side-by-side, is that having two tabs open side-by-side so you can see the contents of both? How can I do that? I've been looking for that ability. Thanks!
 
Yeah, Google Docs is a mess everywhere except online mode, even on Android.

You can only put windows side by side, not tabs. Open another window up and hit the button in between Full-Screen and Lower Brightness. It'll overlap you windows, then you can resize them. The stupid thing is that they haven't implemented a way to separate a tab from it's current window >_< ...in time...hopefully.
 
Ok, but how about video files? I believe you can't watch movies online just like that. And of course you can't play movies from USB sticks either. I am waiting for an online IDE too but I figure it won't be just as useful as a true desktop equivalent.
 
+Jerrell Mardis I did too, but then I realized I had a bunch of useless extensions bogging it down. I got rid of a couple and now it runs really smooth. It does have it's hiccups here and there, but I've seen great improvement.
 
Yea the performance was greatly improved when I got rid of some extensions.
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