Chromebooks

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by raqball, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. raqball macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Anyone here using a Chromebook?

    I picked up an HP Chromebook 13" G1 with a core m7 and 16GB RAM the other day from Amazon and it's a pretty sweet machine..

    I missed my Chromebook Pixel and wanted another Chromebook so I went with this one. Got a killer deal on it @ Amazon! It was only $620 tax free and 2 day shipping...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M29N9BR/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Changed channel to Beta and the Play Store is there and working. Also put it into developer mode and added Crouton..

    It's not going to replace my other machines but it sure is nice to have the lightning fast boot and a worry free machine to play on..

    Anyone else rocking a Chromebook? If so, what do you have and how do you use it...
     
  2. krause734 macrumors 6502

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    Chromebooks are a bargain. I am trying to get rid of my Mac and switch to Chromebook. The biggest thing was uploading my iTunes library to Google Play. I also just ordered a Chromebox for my TV.
     
  3. raqball thread starter macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Yeah I think most people could probably get by with a Chromebook especially the newer ones that have Google Play Store support..

    The only issue I still see with Chromebooks is the tiny storage space they come with. But most do come with a certain amount of Google Drive space for free. I have a TB of Google Drive space so I just keep everything there and then since I also have a TB of OneDrive space, I just keep the 2 synced up..
     
  4. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #4
    I had an HP Chromebook 14 w/lifetime free data. It was quite a nice device. I gave it away to someone who needed something to get online. But I missed having a Chromebook in my gadget stable, so I just ordered an Acer R11 Chromebook. It has a touchscreen (folds back for tablet mode) and support for Google Play store. It should arrive Friday and look forward to putting it through its paces.
     
  5. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #5
    Best Buy has an early access sale on the Acer R11 Chromebook... $219. I just paid $269 so I'll try to get a price adjustment.
     
  6. raqball thread starter macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
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    California
    #6
    The R11 is a very nice Chromebook.. That's a really good price too..
     
  7. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Northern California
    #7
    Had A Dell 11.6" Chromebook for awhile. It was a good machine. I paid extra for the 4GB of RAM at the time. Gave it to an elderly couple I was supporting so they could get online without the hassle.
     
  8. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #8
    The Acer R11 arrived. Had only a few hours to play with it.
    Initial response: I'm impressed.

    4GB RAM / 32GB storage, 11.6" IPS display, full-sized ports (USB, HDMI, SD). Despite it's mostly plastic construction, build quality is solid (no body flex). The inset metal on the lid is a nice touch that gives it a nice look.

    In addition to my simply wanting a chromebook as part of my tech gear, I wanted the Acer in particular as a replacement for my Surface 2. The Surface 2 was great for productivity (near-full MS Office suite with a permanent license), entertainment (watching videos onscreen or attached to a projector/HDTV), using USB peripherals, as well as working with files from removable media.

    Performance and screen quality are terrific. The trackpad is actually surprisingly good considering the pricepoint for this device. Far, far better than the Surface TypeCover trackpad and about on par with mid-range windows notebooks.

    Of course, Google apps simply "just work"... and work well. I was able to get MS Office (online version) working. I cobbled together a chromeOS launcher for Apple's iCloud website so that I can edit my iWork files. It works fine from the Chrome browser itself, but I like to have individual apps/launchers.

    There are a lot more ChromeOS apps that have offline capabilities than in the past. I installed a few of those. (I toggled wifi on and off in my testing to confirm what I could and couldn't do with no wifi connection)

    Google Play Store support is a welcomed addition. I want to make as much use as I can of "native" ChromeOS apps but there are some "holes" in the software that I use so having the option to install the Android version is very helpful. The only 3 that I installed were: Logos Bible Software, Simple Mind Pro (cross-platform mindmap), and ES File Explorer.

    The greatest limitation to Android app support on Chromebooks at this point in time is the sandboxed storage. Storage used by Android apps is hidden from ChromeOS apps (and vice versa)... the only exception is the "Download" folder which is accessible by both. Android subsystem doesn't "see" the SD card or USB media. So if I have files on my SD card that I want to use with an Android app, I need to copy the file to the "Download" folder, fire up an Android file manager (ES File Explorer in my case), move the file from "Download" to a folder needed by the app. I tried this with my cbz/cbr reader, Komik, and it worked ok.

    That's a bit cumbersome, so for now I'll restrict my use of Android apps to those things that don't require local storage (make use of cloud syncing and file access).

    Ran a few games (both Android and ChromeOS). It recognized my USB game controller.

    I tried the R11 in its 4 different modes. Great flexibility. This will certainly be handy for travel... even on cramped plane seat-back trays. It functions very well as a tablet. Obviously heavier and thicker than a dedicated tablet, but works well and even supported my powered capacitive DotPen stylus for drawing/writing.

    I still have much more exploring to do and sadly very little time. I'd like to hear from others who are using chromebooks and how they're pushing the boundaries on it.
     
  9. raqball, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017

    raqball thread starter macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #9
    If you want some additional functionality then check out Crouton. I am a pretty heavy Linux user and added it on my Chromebook to cover for ChromeOS's shortcomings.

    It's pretty easy to install and setup. You just go into Developer Mode (not developer channel), install Crouton and configure it how you want at the install. After that, and depending on how you have it installed, you can easily switch back and forth between ChromeOS and Linux or run Linux in a Chrome browser tab..

    Also check out PushBullet ( https://www.pushbullet.com/ ).. I use it on all my Android, PC and ChromeOS devices. It's sort of, kind of like Continuity / Handoff for iOS. It's free (and ad free) unless you need the power features then I think they charge a fee..
     
  10. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #10
    Thanks for the suggestion. I had installed Crouton on my previous chromebook. I already have Linux on my Dell 14 Inspiron... I switch between Mint MATE and Peppermint. It has made a system that was nearly unusable with Win 10 (even though it was preloaded with it) and made it a surprisingly good option. That Dell with Linux could easily be a daily driver for me.

    I won't be installing Linux on this chromebook because I like the Mobile OS nature of ChromeOS.

    Some additional testing this afternoon revealed that ChromeOS supports my Targus wireless presentation remote and my external USB microphones. Those were pleasant surprises. It's going to be quite a capable presentation device and podcast recorder.

    It is way too early to draw any hard conclusions yet, but this Acer R11 is shaping up to be much closer to what I was hoping for than the iPad Pro was able to deliver.
     
  11. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #11
    I have a gen one ChromeBook Pixel running crouton and Ubuntu 14.04 and it's the single best laptop I've ever owned, I don't see myself ever buying a traditional laptop again.
     
  12. raqball thread starter macrumors 6502a

    raqball

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I had the OG LTE Pixel and the got the LS when it was released. I foolishly sold both and wish I had not. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a 2015 Pixel (non-LS) and if I can find one at a decent price and in mint condition I'll probably snag another.
     
  13. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #13
    I have a 2015 pixel. It is an awesome device. Solid, fast, ports, battery life, touch screen when needed, and now google play makes it a great item
     

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