Profile

Cover photo
Brad Thomas
Lived in Fulton, MS
25 followers|102,083 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Trip to Gatlinburg
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

▶ General Discussion  - 
 
Chromebook - First Impressions
I received a Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-B3340) for Christmas. As someone that is an IT enthusiast, I was excited to see what all I could do with this nifty device. I’ll try to keep my thoughts on this related specially to ChromeOS, and not much so on the Chromebook model (although, I must say the display is absolutely amazing!).

I wanted to provide my thoughts on what I believe are the biggest strengths, but also, what the biggest weaknesses are of Chromebooks. I’ll try to keep things in perspective on what this device was actually designed to do, but also on things that I think Google missed out on.

What Google Got Right
ChromeOS as Designed
I believe that the design behind ChromeOS is a nice refreshing take on most consumer needs. When I’m not doing any actual work, my use of a computer at home are fairly basic:
Surfing the Web
Checking Emails
Listening to Music
Watch Videos
In those basic needs, I find that ChromeOS excels. The OS is lightweight enough in that all of your Internet based needs are snappy and responsive. I would normally have just used my Galaxy S5 if I were sitting on the couch and wanted to look something up. Since I got my Chromebook, that is no longer the case. Having a physical keyboard with a larger screens adds an additional convenience to those basic tasks. The device is lightweight enough where it’s not a burden to take it from room to room. 

Battery Life
I would have never dreamed of taking my laptop to work without a power cable. Whenever I take my Chromebook to work, the power cable stays at home. This is due to how very lightweight the kernel is and how apps are managed. Unless I am streaming video all day at work (which would surely result in finding myself in the unemployment line), the battery will easily last me all day long.

Features
As a long time Google fan, and someone that has tried to leverage the most out of Google’s offerings, I am very familiar with Google Docs, Drive, GMail, and all other offerings. I am able to create documents easily in a very familiar environment. The Web Store has a pretty solid offering of “apps” that seem to address most basic needs. 

As a software developer, I have found that I really like Chrome Remote Desktop. Although, there is a bit of a pain in connected to my work computer that has multiple monitors. Instead of adjusting the display to a single monitor, and allowing me to scroll to my other display, I have 1 ½ displays showing at one time. This is a bit frustrating in that it makes it an annoyance and isn’t nearly as convenient as using RDP on my Windows based laptop. The RDP “apps” that I have found for Chromebook aren’t up to par with the Windows RDP client. But, I can live with that.

The touchpad gestures are awesome and is something that I really love. I was a bit confused at first with only having a single button on the bottom of the touchpad, but I quickly figured out all of the neat things that I could do and find myself wishing my laptop had the same functionality. Two fingers for scrolling, two finger tab for a right click, three finger tab for opening link in new tab, three fingers down for showing all open windows, etc… This was a brilliant design by Google’s developers and offers a really level of productivity boost and convenience. 

The ChromeOS launcher also has more functionality that I initially thought. I can use it as a calculator, currency converter, or show off by using “OK Google”.

Other items that I found are a nice touch are the notifications (which I have seen in Chrome on Windows), setting up multiple accounts (including using the Guest account), and the extra storage you get with Drive are all really great features. 

What Google Got Wrong
I may be off base in this area, but I feel it’s important to take a look at things that Google can (and should) do to improve upon this great product. And really, I only have two gripes about ChromeOS. Your mileage may vary………

Linux Kernel
Yes, I love Linux. I started off with Madrake/Mandriva, then to SuSE, and then Ubuntu. So, I really am glad that ChromeOS runs on a lightweight Linux kernel. However, I think Google could have taken this a step further (I’ll address Crouton shortly). 

As I mentioned earlier, I am a software developer. While I primarily write .NET applications, I do spend some time working on Android apps. Google needs to add the ability to run a full blown Linux kernel under ChromeOS to allow the local installation of applications (in my case, Eclipse, Java SDK, etc…). I had installed Crouton and setup the dual boot, but found it to come across as just a “hack”. By a “hack”, I mean it’s a pain to have to see the warning on boot up and the ridiculous keyboard combo for switching between ChromeOS and Ubuntu. While this isn’t being said to “slam” the work down to allow Crouton to work (I think it’s a great way to “force” a real Linux distro), I do believe it is unnecessary to have to do this. Google needs to include a true developer option with the ability to include a real package manager. Having said that, I understand that isn’t really the objective of ChromeOS, but I am hoping this is something that Google will really look into later on. 

Keyboard
Yes, I do have a single complaint regarding the keyboard. The lack of a Delete button is a bit silly. I know, I can use ALT + Backspace, but come on…..  :)  I know, this is a silly complaint, but it’s also something that I think should be included.

Conclusion
Having said all of this, I really am enjoying the Chromebook. While I do have some gripes, those gripes are based on what ChromeOS isn’t designed for, and I completely understand that. I do believe that Google’s approach to ChromeOS is rock solid, and I think that this is really only the beginning of this technology. I’m looking forward to what other goodies Google may give us down the road.
26
1
Stephen Hind's profile photoEric Darby's profile photoDaniel Futerman's profile photoLyndon Bredenkamp's profile photo
10 comments
 
Great review +Brad Thomas :) I'm also about to get the Toshiba Chromebook 2, so it was nice to read yet another positive review.
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Night riding
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
THIS is how a grill should look!
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Doesn't this look appetizing? Wine has been moved into secondary. In 10 days I'll add stabilizer and it'll clear up nicely.
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Taking the yerf dog for a couple laps.
1
Add a comment...
In his circles
35 people
Have him in circles
25 people
Gear Estudio's profile photo
Dony Ahmed's profile photo
Uyen Nguyen's profile photo
Edward Csaszar's profile photo
Pat Thomas's profile photo
Jennifer Csaszar's profile photo
Emily Smith's profile photo
Barry Turner's profile photo
Pat Thomas's profile photo

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Sunrise at Gatlinburg this morning from the deck of the chalet.
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Less than two weeks away till football season kicks off!
1
Pat Thomas's profile photo
 
Woohoo!!
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Help Me!  - 
 
So, I'm having problems with casting my screen to my TV, and I'm suspecting maybe it's just my router. I have a stock Galaxy S5 and my router is a Linksys E1000. I have a good bit of stuff on my wireless at the house. First time I tried it, it worked, then it got really, really slow and I disconnected it. Now, whenever I connect, it'll connect for about 5 seconds before it automatically disconnects. Anyone else seeing the same thing happening to them? Perhaps I just need to upgrade my router to a new dual band router. Thoughts?
1
Clément Estienne's profile photoJames Mosvick's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Brad Thomas If you have not resolved this issue, please Post a Question at
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!categories/chromecast

And answer the questions when prompted along with your issue.
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Leeloo is one spoiled doggy! +amber Thomas
1
Add a comment...

Brad Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
Uxmal Mayan ruins
1
Pat Thomas's profile photo
 
Wow!
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
35 people
Have him in circles
25 people
Gear Estudio's profile photo
Dony Ahmed's profile photo
Uyen Nguyen's profile photo
Edward Csaszar's profile photo
Pat Thomas's profile photo
Jennifer Csaszar's profile photo
Emily Smith's profile photo
Barry Turner's profile photo
Pat Thomas's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Computer Programmer
Employment
  • Software Developer, 2009 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Software developer by day, beer brewer by night..........
Introduction
I'm a software developer that specializes in the criminal justice system. I have written software that ranges from simple dashboard style applications to a complete paperless office system. I have worked in every role one could in the IT industry: software developer, support tech, tech writer, analyst, field technician, trainer, sales, monkey trainer, sandwich artist, and releaser of the hounds....
 
 
Bragging rights
I somehow managed to marry the perfect woman!
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Fulton, MS
Links
Other profiles