Chromebook Discussion

thatotherdude24

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For some reason Chromebooks are a highly debating and argued about item. You see articles about them growing in market share and in businesses/schools, example 1 and example 2. A local school system here just ordered 250 Toshiba Chromebooks. I too was one in the beginning that saw no use for Chromebooks and said I would never have one, I am getting very very interested. I have been looking through the Chrome extensions and if you need it...there's an extension for that. The Chrome web store has so many more useful things in it than people realize and to be honest the first thing most people do when getting on a computer is fire up the web browser....I do. Now I do have a system that is strictly for VMs/media/gaming that runs Windows and I understand ChromeOS will probably never be a suitable replacement for it. But to do what most people do on a computer it can be done through Chome and it's offered extensions.

My concern is that more and more Chromebooks are coming out but their prices are creeping close to the $500 mark. The price is what made Chromebooks so mainstream I just hope that since they are gaining in marketshare that the price doesn't go up because of that. If Microsoft/OEMs release decent products in the <$300 range than Chromebooks are pretty much done for I think, people know the Windows name much more than the Chromebook.

My questions/items to discuss:
1. Do you use a Chromebook and like it? Is it enough to be your daily device?
2. How is Google Docs for daily use?
3. Do you think they will continue to grow in the business world?
4. In a podcast I watch somebody said Google and business should never be used in the same sentence, is Google bad for businesses?
5. Will future Chromebooks be released in the $200-$250 price range?
6. Can a Chromebook be used for Android app development?
 

B. Diddy

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1. Do you use a Chromebook and like it? Is it enough to be your daily device?

I first tried a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook about a year and half ago, and it was underwhelming. Returned it, but recently became interested in them again after reading various reviews on the improved performance of the newer units with the Haswell CPU. So I got an Acer C720 last week, and have been quite impressed so far. Nice and lean, but still speedy enough for my needs (web browsing, Google Drive productivity, responding to threads in this forum and writing Guides). Not sure if it would be my daily device, because the main gap is games--but if my day will mostly be about productivity, then I will gladly bring my Chromebook along (I can always play games on my Nexus 5 anyway).

2. How is Google Docs for daily use?

I find Google Drive apps more than adequate for my needs, but I'm not doing very detailed documents or spreadsheets. I think it's perfect for a college student or a writer.

3. Do you think they will continue to grow in the business world?

I think they'll continue to gain in popularity, but more in the educational and personal world. Chromebook makers need to be cautious about price creep--you'll notice that the newest Samsung looks more luxe, and the price tag is accordingly higher. But the thing is, the people who are going to buy Chromebooks are looking for a cheap laptop replacement, so they won't be that interested in shelling out upwards of $400--they'll probably spring for a Windows laptop instead.

5. Will future Chromebooks be released in the $200-$250 price range?

The Acer Chromebooks seem to be selling pretty well, and they range from $200 to $300. As discussed above, I think Chromebook makers need to keep the prices low to stay relevant.

I don't have good answers for your other questions.
 

thatotherdude24

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I first tried a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook about a year and half ago, and it was underwhelming. Returned it, but recently became interested in them again after reading various reviews on the improved performance of the newer units with the Haswell CPU. So I got an Acer C720 last week, and have been quite impressed so far. Nice and lean, but still speedy enough for my needs (web browsing, Google Drive productivity, responding to threads in this forum and writing Guides). Not sure if it would be my daily device, because the main gap is games--but if my day will mostly be about productivity, then I will gladly bring my Chromebook along (I can always play games on my Nexus 5 anyway).



I find Google Drive apps more than adequate for my needs, but I'm not doing very detailed documents or spreadsheets. I think it's perfect for a college student or a writer.



I think they'll continue to gain in popularity, but more in the educational and personal world. Chromebook makers need to be cautious about price creep--you'll notice that the newest Samsung looks more luxe, and the price tag is accordingly higher. But the thing is, the people who are going to buy Chromebooks are looking for a cheap laptop replacement, so they won't be that interested in shelling out upwards of $400--they'll probably spring for a Windows laptop instead.



The Acer Chromebooks seem to be selling pretty well, and they range from $200 to $300. As discussed above, I think Chromebook makers need to keep the prices low to stay relevant.

I don't have good answers for your other questions.

I touched on a little of what you said. I do think the manufacturers are starting to get a little to confident with their pricing. If you have a $400 Chromebook and a $400 Windows laptop side by side the consumer is going for Windows.

Although Samsung as of now is the only manufacturer going past $300 and they do have a premium price on everything they make. If Acer or HP went to the $300+ mark without having a cheaper model that would be cause for concern.

Sent From My Woven Black and Yellow Moto X
 

B. Diddy

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I touched on a little of what you said. I do think the manufacturers are starting to get a little to confident with their pricing. If you have a $400 Chromebook and a $400 Windows laptop side by side the consumer is going for Windows.

Whoops! Sorry, I was concentrating more on your questions. But we came to the same conclusion, so you know what they say about great minds ...:cool:
 

JeffDenver

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My questions/items to discuss:
1. Do you use a Chromebook and like it? Is it enough to be your daily device?
I looked at them as a potential replacement for a laptop. I am the go-to tech guy for my office and among my friends. They don't suck at what they do, but what they do can generally be done better by a tablet or Laptop. So I have been recommending to friends and co-workers that they buy cheap laptops instead. A $300 Win8 laptop is fast and flexible.

They do fill a niche, but a narrow one IMO.

2. How is Google Docs for daily use?
I love it. I use it as an ad-hock intranet for my office. So long as your internet connection is reliable, it is very reliable. You can import and export in many standard formats...I can store PDFs on it for example and download them at will or just display them. I use excel sheets for tracking grids on my files at work. All of it is sharable and all of it can be restricted or secured. The share option is a big deal IMO and makes this product automatically more flexible than normal office suites.

The options are not as robust as a real office suite like Open Office or Microsoft Office. But if your needs are basic (and most people's are IMO) it works well, and you can access the documents from anywhere. It doesn't suck that it is also free.

3. Do you think they will continue to grow in the business world?
Probably. It is not near mature enough to replace Office, but it is gaining ground every year.

5. Will future Chromebooks be released in the $200-$250 price range?
They already are. I have seen them as low as $199 before.

6. Can a Chromebook be used for Android app development?
Doubt it...You will need a real PC for that. Even if there is an Android SDK for Chrome OS, you'd still need real peripheral apps like Photoshop or whatever.
 

B. Diddy

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They don't suck at what they do, but what they do can generally be done better by a tablet or Laptop. So I have been recommending to friends and co-workers that they buy cheap laptops instead. A $300 Win8 laptop is fast and flexible.

I used to think this, but I've become increasingly annoyed with my $300 Toshiba Windows 8.1 laptop when it comes to startup and bulk. It actually has decent specs (Pentium 2020M CPU and 6 GB of RAM), but when starting up from sleep and firing up Chrome, it often takes about 10-15 seconds before it's ready to access anything. Chromebook is ready to go in about 2 seconds. And a sub-3 lb device is so much nicer to tote to the local cafe than the 5 lb laptop (and I basically have to bring the charger with the laptop, but not with the Chromebook).
 

thatotherdude24

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I used to think this, but I've become increasingly annoyed with my $300 Toshiba Windows 8.1 laptop when it comes to startup and bulk. It actually has decent specs (Pentium 2020M CPU and 6 GB of RAM), but when starting up from sleep and firing up Chrome, it often takes about 10-15 seconds before it's ready to access anything. Chromebook is ready to go in about 2 seconds. And a sub-3 lb device is so much nicer to tote to the local cafe than the 5 lb laptop (and I basically have to bring the charger with the laptop, but not with the Chromebook).

About 9 days ago I bought a Lenovo U430 from Best Buy. It's stacked, 4th gen i5, 8gb ram, 500gb hdd and I notice the startup time too on this thing. Yes I have disabled startup programs, even did a clean install. I get what you're saying, when I push the power button I want my stuff to be there and just work. For a long time and still Macs were/are the definition of 'they just work' by many people. Even more so now Chromebooks are truly the device 'that just works' and if it dies you don't lose everything and you go buy a new one for $200-$300. I have even seen too that the HP 14 Chromebook has upgradable RAM, to 16gb.

I think I just talked myself into buying one.
 

Geodude074

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Chromebooks will always be a secondary device. It will never be a primary device where any serious work needs to get done.

Speaking of which, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered my new PC build off NewEgg:

i7-4770k
GTX 760 with 4GB GDDR5
16 GB RAM
240 GB SSD, 4 TB HDD

All for about $1200. It's a pretty modest build, but I'm hoping the 8 threads will futureproof me for the next generation of games.

A Chromebook would never be able to do what my PC can.
 

abazigal

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As an educator, I can see the allure of chrome books in the classroom, having had my fair share of headaches and frustrations with windows laptops.

For one, since the laptops our pupils use are locked down with admin restrictions, the only things they can do is browse the web and use Office. For the latter, I am finding that google docs is simply more versatile for collaborative work. It is so convenient to have pupils work on a shared piece of writing without needing to huddle collectively over one laptop, or to simply share the document link with me rather than emailing it to me (and I still have to download and open it). Plus, I can make my own corrections and any changes will be reflected win real time automatically.

Fewer features is a good thing when this means that pupils can't email you essays with a black background and light blue font.

Second, chrome OS would actually mean we don't have to deal with all the problems inherent with windows (further exacerbated by all the security and administrative software preloaded on them). Fewer problems mean less time spent troubleshooting them (imagine doing this for 40 pupils), leaving more time for actually getting things done.

Third would be price. We can easily get 2-3 chrome books for every full-powered laptop.

In this context, I would argue that chrome books can actually suit the pupils' needs better. The biggest challenge here would be convincing old-fashioned school leaders who believe that we must use windows or Office for content creation.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

JeffDenver

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Chromebooks will always be a secondary device. It will never be a primary device where any serious work needs to get done.
I would never say never...but I agree it is nowhere close to that right now. Chrome OS needs a LOT of work before it is ready to replace a Windows machine for productivity.
 

B. Diddy

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Chromebooks will always be a secondary device. It will never be a primary device where any serious work needs to get done.

Speaking of which, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered my new PC build off NewEgg:

i7-4770k
GTX 760 with 4GB GDDR5
16 GB RAM
240 GB SSD, 4 TB HDD

All for about $1200. It's a pretty modest build, but I'm hoping the 8 threads will futureproof me for the next generation of games.

A Chromebook would never be able to do what my PC can.

Well sure, a Chromebook won't be able to do what your PC does, because that's not what it's intended to do. It will clearly never replace a powerhouse workstation. But I find it much more portable than a typical laptop (not counting ultrabooks that cost 5 times as much) and much more productive than a tablet. Google Drive/Docs is getting more and more powerful and versatile, so the definition of "serious work" might start to change.

Another advantage of Chromebooks that I just experienced is the security factor. I idiotically lost my Chromebook (derp advice of the day: Don't put stuff on the roof of your car and assume you'll remember it's there), but I'm not overly worried because (a) it was cheap to begin with, and (b) I don't have to worry about someone finding it and recovering sensitive information from the hard drive, or being able to hack into my account easily.

Posted via Android Central App
 

JeffDenver

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Well sure, a Chromebook won't be able to do what your PC does, because that's not what it's intended to do. It will clearly never replace a powerhouse workstation.
It won't replace a non-powerhouse workstation either. Even the cheapest Win8 Laptops will run Photoshop CS2 well (meaning without significant lag).

I could do all my work at my office on any cheap laptop being sold today. I could not do all of it on a Chromebook though.

Google Drive/Docs is getting more and more powerful and versatile, so the definition of "serious work" might start to change.
I agree, and I use Drive all day every day. If all you need is Google Drive, a Chromebook can fully replace a PC. IMO though, most people will use more.
 

Aquila

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I absolutely love my Chromebook. I'm a student and do statistical analysis and predictive mathematical modeling for my job. I use the Chromebook almost exclusively for school and I don't use it at all for work, currently. The barrier for work is not that it can't do the tasks (it can't do everything, but even with what I do it can do most of it - what it can't do is because of specific niche stuff like excel, mssms and SAS, etc), but because the rest of my business is not currently on Google Docs and it's easier to work on the same platform as they are. I do a lot of stuff with the forums from my Chromebook and it has essentially replaced my Nexus 7 as my favorite device to reach for, although I still like mobile gaming on the nexus more than everything else.

My current device array is Moto X, Nexus 7, Chromebook and a mid-range gaming PC (alienware) that basically runs PC games and chrome canary in Windows 8 mode so it basically duplicates my ChromeOS. I do have Office on my home PC, although it's basically for playing around in VBA at this point since I use Google Docs for just about everything (that doesn't require macros or very intensive formulas, etc) because of the ubiquitous sync. All of those devices have wildly different use cases and generally all mix well with the Chromecast, Google TV and my wife's Moto X and Nexus 7 for sharing content among ourselves.

For a student, if you do not require software that you can only get on a Mac, there's nothing I'd ever recommend except a Chromebook UNLESS the person wanted to spend on a Macbook Pro OR if they were also going to use the laptop for gaming, etc. Obviously there is a big difference in a $200 laptop and a $2,600 laptop, but just about everything in between, to me, means the wrong tool is being selected. In the case of gamers, I'd strongly recommend a mid-range desktop and a Chromebook.
 

abazigal

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Because it is less functional and handcuffs the students. I totally agree.

That is also what makes it less appealing to everyone else IMO.

I don't deny that. Just thought I might share some scenarios where a chrome book might shine. People like to equate more features with getting more value for your money, but the problem then comes when you are not getting more of what you want, but instead more issues that you need to handle.

Not saying that a chrome book is for everyone, just in this case, I can argue about how it may not be inferior to normal Windows laptop in terms of what it allows the pupils to do. :)
 

thatotherdude24

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I got the Acer C720 today from Walmart and I am impressed. I haven't played with it much but I love how I out of the box I pushed the power button and there I was already working. The forward and back buttons on the keyboard are pretty nice, one of those things you don't realize how useful they are until you have them. I cannot figure out what the equivelent of the 'home' or 'end' button is on ChromeOS, anybody know?

The keyboard on the C720 feels very cheap and is hard to get used to but again I'm on a $200 device.
 

B. Diddy

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Home is Ctrl-Alt-Up, and End is Ctrl-Alt-Down. You can bring up a handy keyboard map by pressing Ctrl-Alt-/. With the keyboard diagram up, pressing Ctrl or Alt or the combination will bring up what functions you can perform.
 

CHIP72

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My questions/items to discuss:
1. Do you use a Chromebook and like it? Is it enough to be your daily device?
2. How is Google Docs for daily use?
3. Do you think they will continue to grow in the business world?
4. In a podcast I watch somebody said Google and business should never be used in the same sentence, is Google bad for businesses?
5. Will future Chromebooks be released in the $200-$250 price range?
6. Can a Chromebook be used for Android app development?

1) I own a chromebook (Samsung Chromebook Series 3) and really like using it. I probably use it more for internet browsing (except maybe my desktop with 23" HD monitor) than any of my other desktop/laptops/tablets.

2) I've only used Google Docs a couple times, but didn't have any problems with it and thought it worked well.

3) Yes, although I think schools will be their biggest sector for adoption.

4) It depends on how you view Google's "spying". If you view Google's data collection as spying, then yeah, Google is bad for business. If you view Google's data collection as analogous to free, commercial radio and TV station advertising but updated for the internet age, then Google is probably good for business.

5) Most chromebooks are currently being sold for under $300, and some of them are as cheap as $200.

6) I personally think Chrome OS will replace Android as Google's mobile operating system; in order for that to happen Android apps need to be created for Chrome OS.

I touched on a little of what you said. I do think the manufacturers are starting to get a little to confident with their pricing. If you have a $400 Chromebook and a $400 Windows laptop side by side the consumer is going for Windows.

Not necessarily if you are already a chromebook convert. I already have serious interest in buying the 13.3" version of the Samsung Chromebook 2.
 
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Aquila

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Not necessarily if you are already a chromebook convert. I already have serious interest in buying the 13.3" version of the Samsung Chromebook 2.

Not to mention that most $400 Windows (perhaps not an Asus, but most) laptops are going to be garbage, while a $400 is essentially top of the line (not including the Pixel) for Chromebooks. We covered this in another thread, but getting a laptop that runs Windows well and has the power to run well the few programs which are not easily replicated as web apps is not going to be $300 or 400, but $600-800 minimum.
 

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