Enter the Chromebook

I’m going to be testing and evaluating the Google Chromebook for the day job, so of course I’m going to take advantage and evaluate it as a writer as well.

The attached photos are of the Samsung model we purchased. It has an 11″ matte display, USB, HDMI, and SD card ports, and a full-size keyboard that, so far, is comfortable to type on. For comparison purposes, here’s a photo of the Samsung Chromebook sitting beside a first-gen iPad.

Light and portable

Light and portable

So far I like it. From first boot and setup, I had it fully up and running in just over 90 seconds. This includes the few seconds I waited for the text code from Google for my two-factor authentication. All of my desktop/laptop Chrome extensions and bookmarks showed up within a minute or so. I played a YouTube video full screen, and it looked and sounded fine.

My editor has one, and my first impressions upon seeing his and upon starting this one up are the same: this is a nice little machine. I’ll be hammering on it for the next couple of weeks to get a better idea of what it can and can’t do. Because it has offline storage for Google Drive built in, Google Docs will be my default text editor when I’m writing.

I’ll let you know how it goes in a few weeks, either way.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

9 comments

  1. Adam says:

    I like the idea behind Chromebooks. They are easy to use, easy to manage and start up very fast. They are a great option for education and casual home use, especially as a second laptop. I’m not even so bothered by the fact that they rely on having an Internet connection, because for many users, that’s what they use anyway.

    And there are even solutions for accessing Windows applications. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Server or VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications (like MS Office) or even full desktops in a browser tab. So even if you purchase a Chromebook for casual home use, you can also use it to connect to your work applications if necessary.

    Click here for more information:
    http://www.ericom.com/RDPChromebook.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom

  2. monkeycat says:

    Hey, Mike!

    My computer kids say it doesn’t have Java on it so they say it “sucks” since everything runs on Java.

    True?

    Take care,
    Troy

    • Mike says:

      I hear the Java complaint a lot, especially from my colleagues in tech education. However, aside from one website we use at the school, I can’t think of a time I’ve actually had an issue with—or even noticed—a lack of Java.

      • monkeycat says:

        Thanks for the heads up!

        I’ve been thinking about getting a Chromebook so I’ll wait on your analysis.

        Take care,
        Troy

      • Adam says:

        There is a workaround for using Chromebooks to access sites that require Java. The Ericom AccessNow product that I mentioned in a previous comment will allow you to open up an Internet Explorer session inside a Chrome browser tab, and then connect to any site/application that requires Java and run it on your Chromebook.

        If you want to try it out, go to:
        http://www.cloudinternetexplorer.com/?URL_ID=708

        Please note that the Cloud Internet Explorer site is for demonstrating the capabilities of AccessNow, not for production use.

        Adam

  3. I’m anxious to hear your report. Any idea which version of Linux they used for the OS?

    • Mike says:

      Jason: Not sure. I suspect it’s just the Linux kernel with a lot of Chrome stuff over top. It really is just a very basic GUI with Chrome and Chrome apps. There’s a simple GUI with desktop and task bar/settings manager, a very basic file browser, and a camera app, but just about everything else runs within the browser windows.

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