I’ve been meaning to write about my Chromebook for a while now, but wasn’t sure if it would be worth a read or not! I can’t tell you any technical details about them, but I can tell you all about it from a non techy user point of view and how it works on a daily basis.When my last laptop started to literally FALL APART, I decided it was time to purchase a replacement. Whereas I do like my Chromebook as a laptop, don’t get me wrong, it’s not traditionally a ‘laptop’. It’s more like a fancy iPad or tablet but in laptop form. I wanted a Chromebook initially just for the price. They come in at around £200 so are a great option if you want something for more ‘on the go’ like if you’re moving away to Uni or want something light and small to pop in your satchel for a lesson or meeting. Even though they are web based systems, some models like my Acer Chromebook don’t have the option to use a 3G connection, which is a shame, but you can get ones which work in that way…. Like I said, they’re basically a fancy tablet style bit of technology in a miniature laptop form.
As it’s all web based you don’t have physical programmes stored on the device itself, it all runs with apps through the Google Chrome browser. So you can install a game like Plants Vs Zombies whilst using your Chromebook at home, then when you go to work and sign in to your Google account on the Chrome browser the game is there too! It does baffle me as to why the model I have needs a 160GB internal hard drive, as I can’t store anything on it as everything I save gets sent to Google Drive or stored directly – which is actually brilliant in some ways as I only need to sign in to the one Google Account on Chrome from any computer or device and can access all my bookmarks, apps and history anywhere. It also means that anything I do save is in the little technology cloud in the sky, so if it does have a problem and break then I know all my work is already backed up somewhere else. I can also sign in on my Google account on my Android phone so I can just access anything I save from anywhere.
All the programs you’d generally use on a regular PC or laptop, you will find there are app or web based versions of. Instead of Microsoft Office you have Google Docs, instead of Photoshop you have Pixl Editior. These apps come with some restrictions and are more simplified versions of the original programmes, but they still do the job. Perfect if you can’t afford the real software packages. It also means that if I’m working on a spreadsheet using Google Drive at work then I can simply sign in and continue working on it at home (brilliant for when you’re collecting bloggers for PR/outreach opportunities, as I’m always discovering new blogs here there and everywhere!). The other idea behind me getting a small Chromebook was just so I could sit in front of the TV on the sofa (like now) and pop a blog post out without a big hefty laptop or the awkward shape of a tablet to contend with, and it is absolutely brilliant for that being just the right size for comfort and the nice little keyboard makes typing a breeze. The one thing that does restrict my use of a Chromebook though is my shockingly bad internet connection speeds. My area is so awful for internet connection speeds that Virgin (who are my current provider) don’t even provide the area with the service I’m paying over the odds for right now!! I cannot wait for that contract to be over and actually release the true potential of my little cute ChromeyBookio!
The screen itself is so bright and clear, you can really tell the difference between this and my old laptop (which was a Packard Bell one, in case you were wondering which laptops you can buy which let’s screws fall out of the bottom). The aesthetic design of the Acer Chromebook is sleek and it’s super light and thin. It has an SD card slot at the front to simply pop it in and start editing images and of course it has all the regular USB cable sockets and a headphone socket, which I use for my ‘Bass Buds’ speaker, which by the way is a proper miniature power house of sound! The sound without that plugged in is very tinny and quiet, but a little speaker like this makes the sound 100x better and it goes loud enough to listen to anything without irritating your ears, haha.
Like I said, I can’t give you a full blown technical review of the thing, but I can tell you that for blogging, social media use and work it’s great. It suits my needs for sure. But for picture editing and such it’s not great right now for me, because of my internet connection. To put that in to perspective my ‘top speed’ is potentially 3MB and I currently get 1MB!!! That’s not even been registered as an internet speed since 1999. But on a better connection this little thing would be magic. For the price and the abilities of the Acer Chromebook (and Chromebooks in general) they’re great value for money.
If you’d like an actual full blown technical review try here instead.