Anyone considering a Chromebook?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by Partron22, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #1
    I've got Macs and Pads and Win 10's/Linux and Androids, Raspberries and Arduinos. Any reason I'd want a Chromebook?
    The schools are buying them like hotcakes, but that internet/cloud dependency is a turn off for me.
    I hear that now, or soon, they'll connect to Google play for Android Apps.
    Is there anything else about them that might make one of these fun to have around the house?
    Perhaps it's best to wait a year?
     
  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #2
    I have an Asus Flip (the 4GB model.) It's very nice in its portability, and its battery life puts my Mac and Windows portables to shame. It's a decent screen & touchscreen and the keyboard/trackpad aren't half bad...still a far way from Apple but, considering it is an aluminum-cased laptop for under $240, I can't complain.

    The addition of Android Apps and extended offline functionality has turned the platform into something of far more capability than what it once was. For general usage & multi-tasking capability, I feel it is inferior to Windows 10 and OS X but superior to iOS and Android. It doesn't really do anything that Win 10 and OS X can't do.

    For general word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, basic photo editing, browsing, remoting into a Mac or Windows PC, streaming, and email, it's outstanding, in my opinion. If there are people in your household who are not computer people, it's a great platform to learn on, and I find it works especially well for Seniors with little-to-no prior computer experience.
     
  3. kazmac, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #3
    Sort of. I just have to figure out how to get all my ripped movies from my Mac onto one without spiking our WiFi or cellular bills. If there was an adapter I could plug my Mac external drive into and then plug that into the Chromebook ports so I could port the movies over, yes, I'd jump right now.

    a part of me would love to simplify...and not be reliant on Mac or Windows OS so much.
     
  4. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #4
    @kazmac Just reformat one drive to exfat and transfer your movies like any computer.

    There also isn't as much cloud dependency as you think there's enough offline apps to be productive without a connection.
     
  5. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #5
    I was wondering if exFat reformatting would work, thank you.
     
  6. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I can't answer for you, but for me, I wouldn't. The software I need to use, isn't on a Chromebook, and I think for the most part I'm better off with a PC or a Mac. My kids use them in school and don't like them at all, so that's another knock. I could have considered a Chromebook for them, but since they hate them, why waste the money.
     
  8. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #8
    That's what I wanted to know.
    No point getting a machine I'll likely hate.
    I'll stick w Mac/Win/Debian/Android for now.
     
  9. vrBrew Suspended

    vrBrew

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    #9
    I bought one for my daughter. She went back to using an old used Lenovo T430 that I bought on ebay for 150 bucks.
     
  10. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #10
    I bought 60 of them for school. They're a perfect fit there, cause the kids can't do much with them. They can run web apps and Office 365.

    For personal use, I wouldn't bother since you can't really install anything useful on them.
     
  11. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #11
    What brand? What cost?
    Do you restrict the kid's downloads, or is Google Play open for business?
    If millions of kids are learning on these things, it might be worth getting one, just to see where their heads are going.
     
  12. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #12
    I got HP Streams. Mostly because they were the ones available to us on bid. The hard drives are almost nonexistent, so downloads are not an issue, besides - each student has his/her own user name to use a machine, and they may not use the same one twice in a row.

    Our internet is extremely locked down. With a student login, you can't access places where you might spend money, like Google Play. They can't even go to YouTube or Gmail.
     
  13. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #13
    I've decided against, considering my Google offline struggles (both with Android and on this Mac.) Am working on hitting a specific goal savings-wise and then I will move forward with replacing my current tech.
     
  14. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #14
    Wow. Sounds like resistance is futile with these Chromebooks.
    Were I still in high school, I'd spend weeks trying to overcome the restrictions.
    Probably end up with detention, suspension or arrested.
    Fortunately, I'm way too old for that game.:)
    -Thx again. Not being in primary Ed, I've no idea how these things are being deployed.
     
  15. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I hope this doesn't come across mean, but..
    I think you need to do some thinking on this one. In this thread, one person told you their kids didn't like them, so you said you were not going to get one. Another person said they're good in schools, so you got super interested again.

    I suggest you figure out what you would actually use one for, and then seek out reviews for those specific tasks.

    The nicer Chromebooks are a great way to surf the web and consume content. With Google Play, you can use them for some smart home apps, games, etc. They will not be a replacement for a Windows 10 laptop or macOS machine. They are more likely to contend with an iPad for consumption time.
     
  16. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #16
    Nah, doesn't sound mean, Dave. I just don't know much about the things, and figured this 'd be a decent place to ask.
    Sounds like they've got some decent usability, but are typically locked down hard.
    That later makes them no go territory for me. I've got iPads, and Amdroids I can hook up keyboards and mice when needed. Chrome seems as if it brings nothing special to the table except perhaps a small keyboard and increased weight.
    Maybe they'll improve in a couple generations.
     
  17. Systra72 macrumors newbie

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    #17
    If they could get these android apps to work properly, then I think a Samsung Chromebook Pro + memory card + a Linux desktop dist is very interesting.
     
  18. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #18
    I'd say there is no need for Android apps of you're going to use Linux
     
  19. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #19
    But there are so many handy and user friendly Android Apps already out there, lowendlinux.
    Seems to me that there's great potential here. It just hasn't been realized yet, and may never be.
     
  20. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I don't know, I think they're exactly what Google wants them to be. Very low maintenance consumption machines. I don't think they want them to be full laptop replacements, along with the headaches that come with. Chromebooks are easy to wipe/reset since everything is cloud based, and require little/no maintenance.
     
  21. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #21
    Could well be DaveOP.
    I like being an optimist, but neither Apple nor Google has exactly filled my heart with joy these past few years.
    Maybe I should just stick with Linux and Raspberry Pi's.
     
  22. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I don't think you're being a pessimist about that, but I do think you're hoping to use a Chromebook as a full laptop, which it really isn't. I think it's a good example of a potentially great product that just won't fit your needs, and there is nothing wrong with that :)
     
  23. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #23
    I use a chomebook as a full laptop, it's my only laptop
     
  24. Partron22 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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  25. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #25
    I've owned Chromebooks in the past. They were fun and surprisingly functional. But in the end there were some apps that I needed that didn't exist for it. I bought a Dell 14 Inspiron 3000 for $119 (Best Buy flash sale)... 2 GB RAM w/32GB eMMC. I upgraded the RAM to 4 GB for $20. It came preloaded with Win 10, and after tinkering with various Linux Distros on it (Elementary, Mint 18 Mate, and Peppermint) I went back to Win 10.

    I applied all of the updates to it, disabled Windows updates (*), and optimized it. I installed the handful of apps that I needed and then installed and configured Chrome so that is now essentially a Chromebook with a Win10 core. Battery life is terrific, and all of my apps and configurations from my Chromebooks carried over just fine.

    In the end, I use it as a Chromebook and can "drop down" into Win 10 to run those few apps. Yes, I know it technically isn't the same as a native Chromebook but in practical usage it works. :)


    (*) This is not for noobs or the squeamish. I've had Windows updates totally crash this system due to lack of diskspace. (started out with 32GB but crashed applying the anniversary update and had to rebuild) When all was said and done, there was only 2-4 GB free. I ran all of my typical space freeing tricks and got the free storage up to 13GB and disabled windows updates to prevent further crashes and disk usage.
     

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