Intrigued by the new Chromebook

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jonomo, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. jonomo macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I have a 1st gen MBA.. I was planning on upgrading to a new 11 inch MBA soon... but now that the new Chromebook is out, I find it to be quite intriguing, especially at it's price point:

    US$249 - wifi
    US$329 - 3G

    I've only seen a few reviews of it on Cnet and Youtube.. and it seems quite good.. especially the price point and the 3G availability...

    First of all.. my office uses all Google Docs... so these days all I do is use Google... no MS Office or any other doc suites.. so I feel I can live with it... seems kind of pointless to pay a grand for something that's overkill for me...
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Yes indeed. If all u do is Google, the 3G part is really alluring. Doesn't have the cache of an Apple where people can spot it a block away, but think about all the dough ur saving. :)
  3. Beligerent macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2003
    Exeter, NH
    So am I. I do mostly web stuff and I think the chromebook would be ideal for me. Between the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean and this new Chromebook I am impressed with Googles latest offerings
  4. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I just recently bought the Nexus 7 as well and like it alot. The form factor is great, performance is good, and I think jelly bean finally offers something competitive with iOS. Not as polished as iOS, but close enough...

    Cheaper means you can upgrade more often..
  5. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    Has anyone seen this yet? It's not launching where I live :S
  6. MacPat333 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    Problem with the Chromebook is that it has no OS, it is running only with an internet connection!

    No internet, no working laptop.
  7. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    Well that's just not true. I'm not sure why you think you're informed on this issue, but there is certainly an OS.
    The issue lies with application use. It uses google web apps for nearly everything (in fact, the only offline stuff seems to be 3rd party hacks).

    In reality, it is an operating system with just an internet browser.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    You're correct that it is a operating system, but his point about having to be online to access your content is quite valid.

    On another note, I do like the idea of Chromebook, but it's one, potentially, fatal flaw is that many of the less savvy consumers will only see "Google Laptop" and "$249". There are still a ton of people that don't really understand what it is and who it's for. This COULD make for a netbook style return rate that I experienced first hand when I to worked retail during their first introduction. You explain the differences to the client over and over, but all they see is the laptop shape and price tag.

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that this won't happen, because I like the product and I think it has a place for a lot of people. However, there's too much room for confusion. Even Google's commercials don't really explain what it is and who it's for. Chrome OS is maturing in all the best ways. There just needs to be more info for consumers.
  9. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I too admit to be intrigued about the Chromebook more than I am about Android tablets.

    At this price I'm wondering if they will really be able to keep up with demand.
    I am excited though about the possibilities of ARM moving upstream and attacking Intel for these lower end notebooks.

    Give it a couple of years and we'll have 4x the performance for roughly the same cost (I'm guesstimating) and this market will take off and start supplanting the absolutely horrible low end Intel laptops of today.
  10. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Dog slow - it's a glorified tablet with a keyboard, and no touch screen.

    Remember, you can connect an 11" Air to a big-boy monitor and do real work on it.

    If you just want a cheap laptop, see if you can find a C2D Air 11" for $500 or less.
  11. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    Having used the Acer Chromebook and currently owning the Samsung 500 Chromebook (along with my 13' Macbook Air 2011).... Chromebooks are nice because of their battery life. That said they're slow as a netbook because that's basically what they are. Pages lag, often times it can't keep up with my typing, and just moving pieces on cause the fan to turn on and the whole OS to lag. Viewing my files on Dropbox is incredibly difficult... I've moved to Google Docs for my documents and that helped a little.

    The quality of the thing is terrible - creaks with plastic just by lifting it up. The Samsung screen isn't all that bad but the battery life is very impressive. I can get 9 hours pretty consistently without trying though I'd probably be described as a light user. I don't waste my time with flash games, I like to read.

    I'd recommend it to family that have 0 technical skills that don't want to spend $$$ on an antivirus, Microsoft Office, and ... several family members love the Acer Chromebook I gave them. For an IT person? You can get a full laptop with a real OS for a hundred dollars more and run the Chrome browser on it.

    I use it so I don't wear out my Macbook Air's keyboard (I'm a heavy typer) when I want to read/type out stuff on the couch instead of my desk.

    And yeah, it's pretty useless without WiFi but you can set Google Drive to download your most used documents so at least you can work on a paper with no internet till you get internet.
  12. potvkettle, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012

    potvkettle macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012
    Real-world test drive

    I picked up one of these units and have been using it since last week. I had been curious about Chromebooks since they launched, but I thought, even at the time, that they had missed their market by keeping the then-standard laptop form. I think I now understand that this was primarily a hardware issue (processor and batter according to this, if I'm reading it right), and this unit looks more like the Macbook Air I thought they should've targeted form-wise a couple of years ago.

    First things first, most Google Apps have an offline feature. You'll probably need to know before-hand which apps and files you're likely to need, but with a little preplanning, you're not left with an inert chunk of hardware if you don't have a connection.

    You do need to understand what kind of user you are and whether you have any higher-ability app needs, if this will be a primary machine for you. However, as a secondary machine, it's a champ. I use Google Docs quite a bit for personal stuff; however, we also recently switched to Google Apps at work. So, if I were out of the office, I could accomplish most of what I do at the office with this little piece of hardware.

    If you're like my wife, and just prefer a keyboard, despite having a tablet, this would also be a best-use scenario. It's great for couch web-surfing. However, I don't want to detract from it's ability to actually get things done.

    So, I can't use Scrivener or Handbrake on it, which means it wouldn't become a primary notebook for me. However, as something to take to the coffeeshop for a change-of-scenery work break, whatever, it's a great little piece of hardware. Log out and it's unlikely anyone is going to breach your work. Add in auto-updating and security from viruses, and it's a nice little computer.

    Provided, again, that you understand it's purpose.

    I found the Chromebook to be plenty speedy for my needs, but I'm not one of those people who have a million tabs open. However, last night I had probably five or so, with Pandora streaming (Spotify still doesn't have it's web-app together :( ), and I had no slow-downs or spotty streaming.

    So, business-capable, if you use Google Apps and are fairly savvy with your work-flow. Or, a great alternative to a tablet, if you just can't seem to say goodbye to the keyboard.

    The only real negative is the hinge. It's very tight; wish it opened more like my 13" Air. Also, because someone might not get it, this is a very inexpensive laptop; it's made of plastic and feels like it. However, it looks like a more expensive unit at first glance. The keyboard is okay (again, admitting that it's a $250 computer), but I was pleasantly surprised by both it and the trackpad, which is actually quite good. The screen's not the highest quality, but it didn't detract from the experience either; I mean, I didn't expect hi-res or Retina, if you know what I mean.

    Let me know if I didn't address a specific interest or concern of yours, and I'll try to weigh in on it.
  13. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    so buy one!

    not wishing to appear rude but this is a Mac forum not a G-men forum
  14. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    Indeed. This probably would have been best in a Google forum. "G-Men?" lol. That said, people are realizing they don't need $1500 machines to check their email, talk with friends, and read the news. A lot of my non-it relatives are keeping their older computers, buying chromebooks, and looking at sub $500 solutions. Could be the economy but I think the whole mindset is changing (Tablets probably helped this more than ever). Computing devices in the mind of the average Joe orbit the $199 price range imo. Why pay more?

    Now for us IT folk, this doesn't apply.
  15. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    The Chromebook isn't even worthy of being in the same breath of a MBA.

    You may as well get a tablet.
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Of course it's worthy of being mentioned with the Air.

    I have an MBA. As of today, I also have a Chromebook.

    For development and app use, clearly the Chromebook isn't in any way like the MBA. I use the MBA or other Macs for those things. But for surfing, emailing (something tablets suck at), or simple games, the Chromebook is extremely comparable. Unlike (most) tablets, Flash works fine on it as well.

    I don't think most of us would tend to use one. But my kids? Yes. It's secure, it's not going to give me a heart attack to see them hold it, and it's capable of doing anything they need for school. My wife, who mainly emails, surfs, and plays Flash games, also likes it. And everyone has their own account.

    For them, for my parents should they visit, and for the average person, using a Chromebook is very, very much like using a MacBook Air.

    The MBA doesn't surf any better than the Chromebook. The MBA keyboard is clearly better but not so much so that you notice the Chromebook's being bad (unlike a lot of netbooks). The trackpad is damned good. And the weights are comparable.

    Yes, the build quality is less, and you can tell it's clearly plastic. But, hell, it's $250, and it is a lot better than 1/5 as good as my MBA. Half the time I'm on the MBA, I might as well be on the Chromebook. About 100% of the time my kids are, they might as well be on the Chromebook.

    It's worth discussing this in the MBA forum simply because it is a reasonable competitor to it - similar form factor, surprisingly decent build and screen, and competitive for web stuff, which is what most people use the MBAs for.
  17. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    I don't have any problems emailing on the iPad. In fact, I quite enjoy it.
  18. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I really hope folks at Apple are ignorantly dismissing Google as some of the people on this thread are... to tell people to bugger off of this threat just because we are not swooning over MBA is quite ignorant.. this is afterall a legitimate competitor to Macbook...

    IMO the Chromebook is a serious potential threat to Apple... I've been using alot of android devices these days and I'm quite impressed w Jelly Bean... most of all, i'm impressed by competing companies ability to shorten their hardware development cycles... iPhones are starting to feel so dated compared to it's counterparts as well as the iPad... of course they are of higher quality, however, price is always an important factor for most consumers..

    As for the Chromebook.. you can do some work offline.. there are official Google offline drive abilities... Second, even my MBA seems useless these days without internet connection.. what's there to do on a computer without internets?? even when I write, I always refer online for research, chatting & collaborating, etc..

    I think alot of people would be keen to own a cheap and portable second device that's akin to an MBA but w just the right amount of features...
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Really, I'm glad you enjoy it. I'm not saying no one can like it.

    I tolerate it, but I very much prefer a keyboard, easier text selection, etc. I just can't compose lots of paragraphs easily by typing on a flat glass surface, and scrolling isn't as good.

    For me, that is. I'm glad it works for you.
  20. jonomo thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I'll email with it when I'm in a pinch... and I've gotten pretty good at it.. but I'd much rather have a keyboard... my other gripe about email on iPad is the search function... anywho... back to Chromebook...
  21. hlkc macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    Can we use MS office such as MS Outlook, Excel and Powerpoint in Chromebook or we have to use Google app equivalent programs?
  22. MrMoore macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2006
    Arlington Heights,IL
    The Chromebook uses ChromeOS. No Windows. Can't run Window-based programs. Might be able to use the Office Web App versions though.
  23. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yes, but for a lot of people a situation where they have no internet and want to use their ChromeBook for something offline would seldom come up.
  24. potvkettle macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012
    Windows and no internet

    You can easily import documents written in MS programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) to their Google Drive equivalents, work with them, then email a link or the file itself to the recipient. Been doing this for several years in our office.

    Again, offline apps for productivity when you are not connected to the internet. As you say, though, for most people who would be using this device, the chances they won't be connected while they use it are slim.
  25. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    We have Goolge apps at work, I think it's clunky and a poor replacement for Office.

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