Chris J Powell

To Chromebook or Not to Chromebook

I have played around with the ChromeOS a few times by installing it both on a 7″ Asus eeePC and on an 10″ Acer Aspire but I did not really get the concept behind the OS itself.  There are several manufacturers out there now building dedicated Chromebooks and I really wonder…is it worth the investment in a Chromebook?

Over at the Chromebook homepage there are 4 distinct models featured and they range in price from $199 US to $449 US and I wonder how much of a difference there is for a spread of more than $200?

Looking at the specs:

Samsung ChromebookAcer C7 ChromebookHP Pavilion ChromebookSamsung Chromebok 550
Display11.6″11.6″14″12.1″
Resolution1366×7681366×7681366×7681280×800
Battery6.5hours4hours4.25 hours6  hours
ProcessorExynos 5 Dual Core ProcessorIntel Celeron Dual Core ProcessorIntell Celeron Dual CoreIntel Core Processor
Storage16GB SSD +100GB Google Drive320 GB HDD + 100 GB Google Drive16GB SSD + 100GB Google Drive16GB SSD + 100GB Google Drive
Internet802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi802.11  a/b/g/n WiFi and Ethernet802.11  a/b/g/n WiFi and Ethernet802.11  a/b/g/n Wifi and Gigabit Ethernet
PortsUSB 3.0 x1, USB 2.0 x1, HDMIUSB 2.0 x3, HDMI, VGA and Memory Card SlotUSB 2.0 x3, HDMI, Memory Card SlotUSB 2.0 x2, DisplayPort++ and Memory Card Slot
Price$249$199$329$449

There really is no clear winner but based on Price and Storage, the Acer C7 does have an appeal of the best price and biggest storage but because of that old school HDD, the Battery Life suffers greatly.

Looking at the OS…well I am still not convinced that an always connected internet computer would work all to well.  I have tried a few Linux flavors that tried to emulate this concept and became frustrated the second that I stepped out into the real world that did not give me Internet Access.

Now the use case for these devices is compelling though. In Schools they would be great as they are affordable and easy to manage and I will say that the Chrome Web Store has some very interesting Apps that I have used for some time with the Chrome Browser but would it be worth it for a Road Warrior or Adult of any kind to make the leap?

Stay tuned this Sunday as I will be putting the latest version of the ChromeOS through its paces on my slightly modded Acer Aspire 10″ Netbook (I say modded because I have replaced the Drive with a 60GB SSD and upgraded the RAM to 2GB).  It will not be the “official” ChromeOS but it will be the Hexxah Vanilla Version.

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

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