I am a full-time Mac, iPad, iPhone and yes iWatch user, but spend most of my time using Google Apps on those devices. They are my go to apps, the functionality they provide are really unmatched in my opinion (… putting aside any privacy issues).
I was thinking recently about how I could become more integrated with the Google Ecosystem. I know, one could argue that if I spend all my time in those apps then I am already integrated, but I felt I was missing something, or it was just an excuse to get another toy (… it was likely the latter).
Jumping into the Cloud with a Chromebook
I thought I would get started with a Chromebook. As many of you know, Chromebook’s runs Google’s Chrome OS, and it’s primarily a system that is used most often when connected to the Internet so you can access all your cloud services. I know WiFi is not pervasive, but most places I go have free WiFi, so I thought this would not be a drawback.
I was not sure what I was expecting, but my next step was to go online and find a good Chromebook. My default is always to see what Dell has to offer; they had one model – the Dell Chromebook 11. They had different configuration options, but I was looking for most affordable, I went with the default model, and it happened to be on sale, Bonus!
Chromebooks are friendly on the budget
Here are some details on the configurations of the Chromebook I purchased, all for $340 CDN (I know I could have found something cheaper with ASUS, etc. – but as I mentioned earlier I default to Dell for most equipment – I really just like their products). I also watched several video reviews on YouTube and review sites like CNET. BTW – The price point on Chromebooks also make it attractive for school’s to begin offering them to students.
Here are my ChromeBook details:
- 11.6″ HD Non-Touch LCD
- Intel Celeron CPU
- 4GB RAM
- 16GB SATA SSD Storage
I’ve been using the Chromebook for a couple of months now, but not as my primary system. I tried, for the first two weeks, but it was hard. I attempted to look for alternative apps that were on my MacBook in the Google Chrome Web Store, but many were just not polished. One app that I needed was VMware Fusion – and I could not find a substitute.
There is a place for Chromebooks
My experience with the Dell Chromebook 11 was surprisingly good (… aside from the items I needed from my MacBook). I felt the battery life was very impressive, I could go all day without having it plugged in. The Chromebook felt light, 2.74 pounds – even with its rugged design. It was zippy as well, but I noticed the more Google Chrome tabs I had opened, the system began to slow down. I’m sure the Celeron CPU did not help.
Overall this was a good experiment and gave me a chance to explore Google Chrome OS. As far as “becoming more integrated with the Google Ecosystem.” not sure I learned anything new. The experience on the Apple platform is just fine for me. If you are wondering if this Chromebook will just sit on the shelf – It’s not a loss; I plan on giving this laptop to my niece who I suspect will just use it for email, word processing and surfing.
Have a Chromebook – I would love to hear about how you are using it, let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!