Chrome OS ... not rubbish at all!

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9,123
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
My trusty (and quite ancient) Netbook is practically dead. It's been on just about every holiday/trip for the last few years, big enough to hold a few films to watch on the plane and really just a browser to ... well browse ... for anything and everything.

As the years have gone by, more and more is web based ... in fact, very little is not. Many hotels we stay at now, we can just plug in an Amazon FireStick or output from phone to TV.

Finding something that runs Windows 7 now is just about impossible. Windows 10 is utter pap, so that puts practically everything out. Apple MacBook Air would be lovely, but I just can't justify that money to run a simple browser.

I tried Android ... and I'm impressed enough, almost jumped in for that Huawei Media Pad M3 with the HK speakers, but the tablet (even with a keyboard) is not quite right for me - I like typing a lot and I like a laptop, not a tablet with a keyboard. An iPad with a keyboard is just not quite right either.

I want something in the middle ...

Which left me with Android's slightly older and slightly less slick sibling: the Chromebook. Leaps and bounds over the last few years and a good number fully supporting the Google Play store for Android apps!

So ... all the apps of the tablet and a dedicated browser environment on a laptop?

Perfect!

After playing around with a few at Curry's, I'm sold. I've downloaded Chromium OS (from the curiously named Arnold the Bat) and tried out Neverware's CloudReady, but neither support the Google Play store.

Heart set on one now ...

Acer R13 is the frontrunner.

Anyone with direct experience, thoughts or otherwise is welcome to share.

Cheers!
 
OP
pjgh
Messages
9,123
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Play Store is on official Chromebooks - it’s the open source installations of Chromium OS that don’t (yet).

I’be long said that Apple are missing a trick not merging their smaller laptops with elements of iOS and there we have google doing just that! Laptop proper with apps ... and not merely a tablet with a keyboard.

Sadly, I keep talking myself up to the nicer aluminium ones with touchscreen and ending up with a figure twice what I want to spend. Typical!

Then make the mistake of going to John Lewis and having a hands-on with the google Pixelbook ...
 
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3,503
Chromebooks are fantastic for those who don't need particularly involved 'apps'/programs. I suggested my younger brother gets one as he lost his cheapy laptop whilst travelling and he came back and said nope, it doesn't run ChemDraw - a program for drawing molecules and mechanisms for chemistry students/graduates/lecturers/professors/etc... 'Of course', I replied.

Where Chromebooks are holding their own now is in a schooling environment. An easily-monitored system coupled with cheap hardware trumps Apple products hands down. For the price of one base-level MacBook, you can get perhaps a few base-level Chromebooks. Job done!

P.s. haters' gonna hate but I quite like Windows 10, it's been absolutely without flaw for me.
 
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3,375
Location
Cumbria, England
Sadly, I keep talking myself up to the nicer aluminium ones with touchscreen and ending up with a figure twice what I want to spend. Typical!

Then make the mistake of going to John Lewis and having a hands-on with the google Pixelbook ...
I really can't see the appeal to a touchscreen on a laptop, apart from the fact that I hate having marks on my screen it's just easier and more accurate to use my pointing device of choice with my fingertips than to have to move my whole arm in order to mash my fingers into the screen.

The thing is once you start looking at the higher-end Chromebooks you get perilously close to the £799 it'd cost you for a MacBook Air which would be the better buy IMO. Fair enough when you're looking at an Acer that's half the price, but I don't see the value at the higher end. Actually a quick Google reveals that you can pick up the previous generation 13" MacBook Pro in Argos for the same price as a Pixelbook.

IMO a Chromebook is a sensible as long as you're wanting to do things on a budget but once you're looking at dropping big bucks on one you may as well go for something with a full desktop OS instead.
 
OP
pjgh
Messages
9,123
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
I hear you @chris.hale ...

My reason for looking into all this is that my aged Windows 7 netbook is packing in. If I'm going to go anywhere near £400 on a new laptop, it'll be a 2012 MacBook Air, which is of a spec that would do all I want it to. Including running a browser :D

If I was going to drop £800 plus on a Chromebook it would probably be after google has aligned their products a little more fully, which I gather is likely early this coming year - removal of the Chrome App Store, introduction of Progressive Web Apps and completion of support for the Google Play Store.

As an unashamed Apple fan (since 1994 when I was given an original Macintosh to do my Degree on), I must say I am mighty impressed with the Google Pixelbook - it really is a cut above. Very well done and the right thing to do for a flagship hardware product. Expensive, but so are Porsches.

FWIW @Missoni , I read that Microsoft have unveiled Office for Google Play a handful of days ago: https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/27/microsoft-office-arrives-on-chromebooks-via-google-play-store/

Now, if Apple could give us iOS apps on top of macOS that would be just perfect. Note to Apple: You're falling behind!
 
Messages
3,375
Location
Cumbria, England
Any of 'em really ... I find working through an app to be a much nicer thing than merely in a browser.
Ah, but with a Mac you don’t need to work through a browser. There is a Mac App Store but you can also download and install software from the internet. It’s rare that I use my browser for anything other than browsing and watching Netflix etc.
 
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