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 Chromebook Acer C7 Chromebook HP Pavilion Chromebook Samsung Chromebok 550
Display 11.6″ 11.6″ 14″ 12.1″
Resolution 1366×768 1366×768 1366×768 1280×800
Battery 6.5hours 4hours 4.25 hours 6  hours
Processor Exynos 5 Dual Core Processor Intel Celeron Dual Core Processor Intell Celeron Dual Core Intel Core Processor
Storage 16GB SSD +100GB Google Drive 320 GB HDD + 100 GB Google Drive 16GB SSD + 100GB Google Drive 16GB SSD + 100GB Google Drive
Internet 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi 802.11  a/b/g/n WiFi and Ethernet 802.11  a/b/g/n WiFi and Ethernet 802.11  a/b/g/n Wifi and Gigabit Ethernet
Ports USB 3.0 x1, USB 2.0 x1, HDMI USB 2.0 x3, HDMI, VGA and Memory Card Slot USB 2.0 x3, HDMI, Memory Card Slot USB 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.


Chris J Powell

Posted on February 6, 2013 in Cloud Computing, Linux, Mobility

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