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Michael Webber
Insatiably curious.
Insatiably curious.

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Nothing beats a Chromebook for writing - totally smooth Google Docs experience, web browsing right there at your fingertips, background loading of web pages. Unlike most tablets, you can move rapid fire to new tabs, confident the background tabs will keep loading.

Using an adblocker makes Celeron N3050 (dual core) and N3150 (quad core) plenty fast (ok, plenty fast enough).

My preferred "beasts" are the Lenovo Thinkpad 11e and Thinkpad 13e. The "e" means Thinkpad for the education market (ruggedized, all-day battery life, but low-end processors and no classic Thinkpad "point stick"). The keyboards on the Thinkpads, even the 11e and 13e, remain typically Thinkpad-fantastic.

Watch out for some liquidators and eBay'ers trying to pass off non-Thinkpad 11e editions as "Thinkpads." Copy the model number they post and Google it - it will turn up the non-Thinkpad (inferior keyboard) edu (education) line. They aren't bad - usually 4 gb of RAM just like the real Thinkpad version - but if you love typing (if you are a good touch typist) its worth the slight extra price to get the real Thinkpad version - which are going, new on eBay, for well-under $200.

There are also Thinkpad Yoga 11e models with touch/IPS screens. These weigh more, cost more, and the IPS screen doesn't have any better colors - although the viewing angles are of course better. And they might run Android apps later (which aren't necessary in the writer's mode I describe), but with only 16gb of storage to share between dual OS partitions (Chrome swaps boot partitions to make operating system incremental updates painless and invisible) and Android, I don't think Android on a 16g machine will be a very pleasant experience - wait for 64gb if you want to run both ChromeOS and Android.

Folks act like Trump is the problem. Nope, it's Democrats losing control of the House and the Senate that's the problem. Bad Democrats! How can Republicans, everlasting friend of Big Business, be the new "people's party"?

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Fiendish cat.

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Nope, can't live entirely in the Cloud, but I certainly can live mostly in the Cloud (in other words, use a Chromebook extensively).

I can spend half the day at Starbucks with a Chromebook without ever noticing it isn't a Mac or Windows laptop.

I can travel half way around the world with a Chromebook and securely keep my bank account and credit cards up to date.

When I travel, I take along a Nexus tablet so I can Netflix; or an iPad for iTunes tv episodes. Some content providers require an app, not just a web browser, so a Chromebook isn't enough. Plus, the Nexus 7 and all iPad screens after the iPad 2/Mini 3 are superb.

Most posts like the one I am re-sharing assume we live in a "one device" world. For most of us, that is no longer true.

The real question should be: an iPad, a Macbook, a Windows Ultrabook or Cloudbook, or a Chromebook for your next device. The answer isn't as simple as you think - see my take in the first comment to this post.
Given how far cloud technology has come, how versatile is the cloud really? With internet-focused devices like Chromebooks climbing in popularity, the question begs to be asked:
Could You Live Entirely in the Cloud?

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Charbax makes a good point. An ARM-powered Chromebook can run Android apps in native mode instead of emulation mode. Easier on system resources, battery life, easier to update. Open question is whether the Chrome browser in Chromebook mode will run fast enough - I don't they they will ever hit Intel Pentium "u" speed levels, but I think it will be fast enough and work without a fan, which is still a huge benefit in terms of longevity (no "vacuum cleaner clogging" effect when there's no fan sucking dust through).

+Brandon Lall?

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This is a very accurate review of the Lenovo Thinkpad 13, recently on Amazon via Woot for just $180. You need to know: it has a superb keyboard with good travel, and the standard non-IPS screen is not nearly as sucky as Amazon reviews would have you believe.

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Spring is here (well we made it past the winter solstice, anyway), and although Fantastic Beasts is gone, strange things continue to make offspring - for example, I stowed my Asus Chromebit "Chromebook on a Stick" next to my Lenovo Windows Ideacentre Stick and they seem to have produced an Asus Vivostick "Windows on a Stick". The genes are pretty radical, an ARM-processor (RK3288) in the Chromebit and a Bay Trail quad core Atom in the Lenovo Stick seem to have produced a quad-core Cherry Trail Atom in the Asus Vivostick - which not only has extra GPU cores (meh) it also has hardware decode of HEVC/h.265, at last (yahoo!).

When I took the absolutely uninformative picture, I realized this is 2017, and we still haven't found a cure for cables.

I can't even scroll Google Plus in Starbucks today, thanks to the recent (last couple of days) infestation of extremely graphic porn images in my stream. People are dropping porn into legitimate Plus feeds and Google or the feed owners can't root it out in time to keep it out of our feeds. No, I don't subscribe to any porn feeds!

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I'm in a mood to bitch about ChromeOS and Chromebook shortcomings today (not about the lack of apps, but about basic VPN UN-security, and lack of Australian scrolling on desktop ChromeOS e.g. Chromebit etc), but here is proof of ChromeOS-ishness to forestall any complaints that I'm just a bystanding troll. Truth be known, I own too many ChromeOS devices, I really like the system but if you can't acknowledge it needs some improvements, you are drinking the Kool Ade instead of making it better.

2 Photos - View album

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EEK +Brandon Lall I just set up VPN on my Chromebook and discovered it DOESN'T allow OpenVPN except for certain limited enterprise servers - meaning my traffic at internet hotspots overseas is not encrypted. In other words, ChromeOS will let me use VPN to mask my location (good for continuing to get in English, US-based search results from Google) but WON'T safeguard me from a "sniffer". ARGGH.
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