Google Chromebook Review

mikeler

Moderator
I bought an Asus Chromebook Flip for Father's Day 2 months ago. Up until 4 years ago, I was purely a Microsoft Windows guy since Windows 3.1 (dating myself I know). For the record, I think Windows 7 is excellent but I find Windows 8 and 10 incredibly frustrating without third party shells.

I've been primarily using a MacBook Air at home for the past 4 years and absolutely love it. So again, this purchase was not a need. I just wanted to see what it was like. It should be noted that I'm writing this from Google Chrome on my Mac which is my browser of choice. I prefer the Mac when I'm doing a lot of typing over the smaller Chromebook since there is better keyboard spacing on the larger Mac.

I was debating about paying $269 for something I didn't need but when the price dropped to $249 I pulled the trigger on the 4 GB model. One of the best things about the Chromebooks is the low price versus Apple.

I bought the Chromebook flip for several reasons. It's a combined laptop and tablet (I don't currently own a tablet). I also prefer a hard key board that is attached. The Google Play Store and all its Android apps will be coming this fall. They are already there in OS Developer mode (more on this at the end). but I'm too chicken to try that out.

So I mentioned the keyboard earlier. I have fat fingers and can still type just fine on it. When you put the Chromebook into "flip" tablet mode, the keys deactivate and are now the bottom of your tablet. It's kind of weird at first but then you trust the keys won't work in tablet mode after awhile.

If you allow no password required on warm up, you have instant access to the machine. No wait at all. You do have to use your Gmail/Google Accounts password to login. Bootup is super quick after a power down. It takes me longer to enter my password.

Until the Google Play Store becomes available, you are limited to Google Chrome browser only apps. So if you need word processing or spreadsheets, then Google's online office suite or Office 365 are your main choices at the moment. Once Android apps become available, I think this machine is going to put major pricing pressure on Apple and Microsoft.

If you don't have an internet connection, I don't see a reason to buy this machine. It's just a nice stable product to browse the web until Android apps arrive. Like many Google products, it just stays out of your way and works. I haven't had a crash yet. I setup my "task bar" with all my favorite short cuts. Each one just opens up a Google Chrome tab.

Pros: Inexpensive, stable, fast bootup time, simple, light, both tablet and laptop, secure, quick OS updates, super long battery life (10 hours)
Cons: A slightly larger keyboard would be perfect. No apps until the fall, you really need internet for this to shine. If Google Chrome browser doesn't work for your specific needs then getting another browser requires going into Developer Mode of OS which erases all your settings in the stable version of the OS. Sometimes the wireless signal does not get picked up as well as my other PCs.

I'll update this thread when the App Store goes live in the stable version of the OS. Until then, feel free to ask me any questions.
 
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BarNotchky

Semi-Pro
I bought an Asus flip a few months ago (4GB, model C100P). I have one major complaint: Compared to all my other wireless devices the Chromebook has much less range connecting to my wireless router. To get it to connect I have to walk it to a particular "hot spot" in my house. Once connected I usually can walk back to a more comfortable location. I'm curious if you've noticed this on yours.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I bought an Asus flip a few months ago (4GB, model C100P). I have one major complaint: Compared to all my other wireless devices the Chromebook has much less range connecting to my wireless router. To get it to connect I have to walk it to a particular "hot spot" in my house. Once connected I usually can walk back to a more comfortable location. I'm curious if you've noticed this on yours.

I'm glad you brought this up so I can add it to the review. I also have a 4 GB model. It does not seem to pick up a wireless signal as well as my other PCs at times.
 
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Deleted member 688153

Guest
I have no experience with chromebooks, so the only view I am willing to take on this (and it's one that I've rarely changed on for anything over the years), is that you get what you pay for.
My opinion could change upon using one, but I suspect that it wouldn't.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I have no experience with chromebooks, so the only view I am willing to take on this (and it's one that I've rarely changed on for anything over the years), is that you get what you pay for.
My opinion could change upon using one, but I suspect that it wouldn't.

If all you need is a web browser, then it is worth the price. Once the Google Play Store comes with all the Android Apps then I may change my mind about "just a web browser".
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have no experience with chromebooks, so the only view I am willing to take on this (and it's one that I've rarely changed on for anything over the years), is that you get what you pay for.
My opinion could change upon using one, but I suspect that it wouldn't.

It's a tool for a particular use scenario. It works for some people and not well for others.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I have no experience with chromebooks, so the only view I am willing to take on this (and it's one that I've rarely changed on for anything over the years), is that you get what you pay for.
My opinion could change upon using one, but I suspect that it wouldn't.

Well the first thing is you probably don't really know what you are actually paying for. It's a cloud device, so it lessens the need for a lot of the hardware that makes laptops cost more. The entire device is based on the Chrome OS, which is really all you need plus internet access and connectivity to a reliable cloud.

It would be like saying a Chromecast or Firestick isn't that great because it only cost $35.

A lot of people just don't really understand how cloud works yet, but it's going to be more and more common. The Chromebooks are awesome values, and huge in tech, where most people are sick of dropping close to a grand on laptops that they have to replace in a year or two anyway.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I forgot to mention that the battery life is about 10 hours. Pretty good for such a little machine.
 
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Deleted member 688153

Guest
Well the first thing is you probably don't really know what you are actually paying for. It's a cloud device, so it lessens the need for a lot of the hardware that makes laptops cost more. The entire device is based on the Chrome OS, which is really all you need plus internet access and connectivity to a reliable cloud.

It would be like saying a Chromecast or Firestick isn't that great because it only cost $35.

A lot of people just don't really understand how cloud works yet, but it's going to be more and more common. The Chromebooks are awesome values, and huge in tech, where most people are sick of dropping close to a grand on laptops that they have to replace in a year or two anyway.
Yeah I know a bit about them.
They're pretty useless without a reliable internet connection though.

I agree with what @movdqa said above that they're for a specific use case. I don't feel they'd be much use for me though, and that's okay.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Yeah I know a bit about them.
They're pretty useless without a reliable internet connection though.

I agree with what @movdqa said above that they're for a specific use case. I don't feel they'd be much use for me though, and that's okay.

Like I said in the OP, I've been Microsoft only for the previous 20 years until about 4 years ago. I bought the original iPhone which I like and that convinced me to try the Mac. Google Chrome is my favorite web browser, so I got curious about the Chromebook. They all have their place.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
If you wander from platform to platform, the Google system quickly becomes your best friend. You can even access it indirectly through Windows Phone even though they don't support it. Apple is an island unto itself.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I got tired of providing tech support for my parents and their friends. Got them all some refurbished chromebooks (they can be had for as low as $100) and I hardly hear from them any more. Best investment I've made.

If you wander from platform to platform, the Google system quickly becomes your best friend. You can even access it indirectly through Windows Phone even though they don't support it. Apple is an island unto itself.

I am forced to use an iPhone for work now . Apple does what they can to prevent google apps from being great on the iPhone but they still work well enough for most tasks. I really like the google ecosystem.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I got tired of providing tech support for my parents and their friends. Got them all some refurbished chromebooks (they can be had for as low as $100) and I hardly hear from them any more. Best investment I've made.

Yes, that is exactly what I did. It's perfect for that.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The main thing I dislike about them is that you have to rent Cloud space and rely on it over time. It's probably a better way for most, but I have a residual suspicion about things that have not been purchased outright.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I had a Chromebook. Basically it is a browser.

I now use a small Windows 10 notebook with detachable keyboard which converts it to a Pad. Much more functionality.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I'm a power user and self taught programmer. It took me an hour to get a family member's Windows 10 computer to print. She finally got fed up with it and got a Macbook Air. The printer setup consisted of pressing File - Print. I just don't get why MS made Windows 8 and 10 so different from Windows 7 which I think is their GOAT OS.

One thing I insist upon for family members is that if I'm their tech support guy, then I make a non-admin account for them to use day to day. This way they can't install most viruses unless they browse from the Admin account. Ironically, one major piece of software that you don't need Admin rights to install is...wait for it...Google Chrome.
 
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Deleted member 688153

Guest
I'm a power user and self taught programmer. It took me an hour to get a family member's Windows 10 computer to print. She finally got fed up with it and got a Macbook Air. The printer setup consisted of pressing File - Print. I just don't get why MS made Windows 8 and 10 so different from Windows 7 which I think is their GOAT OS.

One thing I insist upon for family members is that if I'm their tech support guy, then I make a non-admin account for them to use day to day. This way they can't install most viruses unless they browse from the Admin account. Ironically, one major piece of software that you don't need Admin rights to install is...wait for it...Google Chrome.
Thissssss.

Windows 8/10/whatever are lousy.
7 is where it's at - best OS I've ever used.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
They changed their browser philosophy to be cross-platform and touch-oriented, or so the story goes, and this resulted in massive compromises that the 7 avoided.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I upgraded three systems to W10 a few weeks ago and really haven't had any problems with those systems though my Mac is my main system.

Windows 8 and 8.1 were major problems because they were paradigm shifts in Windows and they tried to force major changes onto the user. It took me about two weeks to undo a lot of the crap that I didn't want in each case.

Of course the major downside in Windows 10 and Chromebooks is privacy. But that's the price that you pay for free software.
 
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