Chromebook...Daily Driver or Over Sized Tablet?

So, I share my birthday with the Internet and the Arch Linux OS. For my birthday, my wife and kids got me the HP Chromebook 14. It is a 14" CB with 4GB of RAM, 16GB of SSD (with a 128GB upgrade in the mail), free 100GB of Google Drive, wifi and 4G for internet connection. So far on day two it is turning out to be a viable machine for daily stuff. The apps from the Google Chrome Store are plentiful but you have to be choosy because some are just shite. Now for things like email, work docs/spreadsheets, and checking social media it has been a really good tool but as a hardcore machine…(not so much). Here is my suggestion for the BV community…Chromebook…Daily Driver or Over Sized Tablet. Do any of you have a true Chromebook? (and no Bryan, a Nexus 7 with a Bluetooth keyboard does not count) and if you do or if you have…how was the experience?

I’m curious about this as well. Are you using the 4G data much? I’m wondering how viable using one of these predominantly via 4G would be.

1 Like

That is an interesting question. I don’t have 4G myself because it’s ruinously expensive still in the UK, and I’m not at all sure what the coverage is like. But I suspect it’s faster than most home broadband? So you’d likely be fine with a Chromebook (assuming that you’re OK with having a machine which is a paperweight without internet, which I ain’t.)

1 Like

Bryan, my Chromebook came with a package deal of free 100GB of Google Drive (for 2 yrs) and free 4G by T-mobile for life. The only issue I have had with the 4G is that the T-mobile promotion is limited 200MB of 4G per month. Now granted, it is for life and it is free, but I am conscience that it is only 200MB so I don’t stream video but for email, getting driving directions, getting movie times, or just pushing out to my blog, it is responsive and it works. The biggest drawback is it’s only on the extended T-mobile network so it is slow. This is due to the fact that I live in Clovis, NM and we are in the middle of nowhere. Now, if I lived in a city that was larger than a breadcrumb on the map I am sure it would be a viable option and I would sign-up for more MB/GB per month, just for the convenience of always being online.

Seeing that wifi is just about anywhere here in the U.S. it makes this machine quite useful. The apps from the Chrome store are getting better and there is a bit of everything for everyone. Now what I can’t wait for is the SSD upgrade for this thing. I will go from 16GB of SSD to 128GB of SSD and that will give me all I need for storage seeing that I will still have another 100GB in the cloud. Once I get the larger SSD I am going to drop a Linux distro on it and then give it a true run for its money.

The only good place for 4G I’ve found, in the UK, is Reading. It’s rapid there.

Three do 4G free with all contracts, so you could get unlimited 4G LTE with tethering on The One Plan for £15 a month. Stick a phone that does tethering nearby (an iPhone 5/5c/5s, or whatever silly Android phone is doing LTE this week), enable WiFi tethering, and Robert’s your mother’s brother.

Granted, LTE in something other than a phone is a bit expensive if you don’t like data caps, but 3 are still pretty cheap. They hang off EE cells where they don’t have coverage, so YMMV dependent on what frequencies your device supports. Their coverage is increasing slowly but surely, and Birmingham was one of their launch sites last year.

Depends on what you define as “home broadband”. Regular ADSL2+, sure; VDSL2 (“Infinity”, et al) and FTTP, almost.

Now that 100GB of Google Drive is only $1.99 a month, that’s not really a mega-benefit :slight_smile:

Might not be all that much of a bonus to some but the fact I got 2yrs for free and that saves me 50 bucks that is now going towards my SSD upgrade. Worth it to me.

It’s an oversized tablet until you load a real OS on it.

It’s funny that you say that. I was thinking the same thing up until I switched my ChromeOS from “stable” to “Beta” channel. There is also “Dev” and “Canary”. I haven’t jumped over there just yet but just the extras in “Beta” is enough to give ChromeOS a second look.

I think it’s going to depend a huge amount on what your current device is, and what you currently do with it. For me, my home laptop is basically used (when I even have it on) for the odd email, surfing the web, maybe watching youtube/iplayer, and a bit of document editing, which I do in Google Docs. A Chromebook would almost definitely work in it’s place, although a tablet with a decent keyboard/stand might actually provide greater long-term flexibility.

What functionality exists when a Chromebook is offline?

I’m quite tempted by a Chromebook. But that’s purely as a web browsing machine. I’d like a small 12"-14" screen machine with a USB 3 port, light specs, long battery life and a reasonably high res screen. Chromebooks are about the only option for sitting in bed, posting on the web and watching stuff for a sensible price. Tablets aren’t an option as they don’t have keyboards.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.