Why I sold my MacBook Air and bought a chromebook.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Airforcekid, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Airforcekid, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I have been using the macbook air since rev a (To include latest model) up until a week ago and loved it, but it never met all my needs, and I required an iMac to do some of my work as well. I have also used an Ipad along with it too i've never cared for large touchscreen devices mainly using it to check things online if I had free time. Chrome was my main web browser on my air, and when working away from home I found myself often using the remote software tool to accomplish tasks on my iMac as time went on I found 99% of its use was to remotely log in to another computer and the simple tasks were being delegated back to my Ipad.

    Using a Chromebook I could:
    .Accomplish same amount of work as on my air.
    .Do the same things as on my Ipad in the same amount of time.
    .What little maintenance I needed to do is now gone.
    .I can relax more with this computer if its lost or stolen EVERYTHING is backed up and I can replace it several times before hitting the cost of replacing an air.
    . Local storage on the machine allows me to access my content offline and still do just about the same amount I could do with an air offline.

    Tasks my Chromebook handles:
    .Remote pc logins
    .Basic video and picture editing.
    .Between iWork google docs and office all my spreadsheets and papers.
    .Torrents and http downloads
    .Games such as angry birds and up to Battlefield (Haven't had a chance to try it yet.)

    What I miss:
    .Apples build quality (At $150 it is still good)
    .A backlight keyboard
    .Battery life ( I can get 7 hours on mine but could get even more on my air.)
    .I'm not a big Google supporter and your often pushed a little to use their services though alternatives are easy to set up.

    Overall I am glad I made the switch and would highly recommend this laptop if you have an iMac or desktop to remote control or if your looking for something hassle free to recommend to someone with simple uses (I know 2 people who use it as their sole computer.) Worst case if you truly hate it you can dual boot Linux and you can resell it without losing too much money.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    For simple tasks and those who aren't afraid of not really having local storage, a Chromebook is awesome. I completely agree.

    A few points. If you have not tested Battlefield then saying your Chromebook handles angry birds up to Battlefield isn't quite true. It could handle it, but you don't know yet. I don't know either FWIW. I would be surprised if it did though.

    Also, your title should include that you went from a REV A to a Chromebook. A Rev A MB Air was indeed awesome from the beginning. In spite of lower memory (and the need to really watch your processes) to the heat issue where people were inclined to reapply thermal paste like a human instead of an overgrown gorilla, the MB Air Rev A was a performer for the most part. I owned the MB Air Rev B myself and have worked on a Chromebook for about a week.

    I would no move from a MB Air current gen to a Chromebook today unless my tasks really would only include surfing, e-mail, perhaps some streaming radio and possibly Pixelmator or something similar (if not available for the Chromebook) and capable of running with the specs of a Chromebook.

    Again, if you have an aging MB Air and feel you don't need much, the Chromebook is something I would look at even though I truly prefer OS X. Also to your point, the price of a Chromebook makes it a lot less gutting if lost or stolen.
  3. Mockenrue macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2013
    I actually made the opposite switch recently... mainly because I liked the Chromebook so much. Confused?

    I had always been a Windows PC and laptop user, and generally was fine with their operating system upgrades. I didn't even hate Vista! But when I put Windows 8 on my laptop, I found it so frustrating that I pretty much stopped using it and did everything on the Win 7 desktop or iPad. I've been a technology professional for 20 years and have been using Windows since the days of Trumpet Winsock on Windows 3.1. But I hate Windows 8, and don't. want. to. use. it.

    On a whim, I bought the Samsung Chromebook. I was shocked at how good it was for the price. Thin/light, instant on, good battery life, runs cool, no moving parts (loud fans are a pet peeve), great trackpad/gesture support, and best of all... dead simple to use. I found myself grabbing that thing constantly, and it was perfect for my simple "around the house" needs. I couldn't believe how much I was using a $250 netbook with an arm processor, when my $1k laptop was collecting dust. The Chromebook is fantastic for the price...

    ...however, there are some big limitations. The screen is horrible, no back-lit keyboard, and the performance sometimes bogs down. Also, it doesn't support my USB DAC very well, and Spotify's web client doesn't have HQ streams yet. Music is big for me, so those were setbacks too.

    Despite having a bunch of other Apple stuff, I never owned a Mac. But the Haswell Air was everything I liked about the Chromebook (cool, quiet, "forget about it" battery, great track pad, simple OS interface, etc.), without the shortcomings. I also looked at the rMBP, but didn't like the battery life, price, heat, and fan noise.

    My 13" Air is not perfect (especially file management), but I'm ramping up my OS X knowledge for professional reasons anyway, and this machine has been a lot of fun to use.
  4. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    This is how these threads should be written.

    Macs and iPads are great, but because of the limited configurations, they don't always meet people's needs. I'm glad you were able to find something that works for you.
  5. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Since I like having only 1 computer for everything, I could never go with a Chromebook (or Windows RT): way too many limitations.

    To avoid clutter and wasteful electronics scattered around the house, I simply bought the 13" macbook air to take care of all my needs.

    Still, I'm glad Chromebooks are available as an option for those who can use them.
  6. Airforcekid thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I meant to say I've used every MacBook Air since the Rev A I had the newest model for a few weeks when I realized it was too much for me but at the same time cant replace an iMac.I do miss the battery life though...


    I tried a surface before the Chromebook it was a horrible experience if your running windows 7 in a VM or on a pc do not upgrade.


    If I could get by with just an air I would do the same thing maybe a few more revisions and it can be my sole computer.
  7. beautifulcoder macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    I recommend you learn the command line. OS X is radical for the same reason UNIX is radical. It is appalling to me the number of "IT Professionals" that haven't figured out that a buggy and convoluted GUI only gets in the way of real productivity. For me, all my data management dreams come true through the command line. Even on Windozed I find myself busting out cmd in spite of it being vastly inferior.
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I totally agree. The UNIX underpinnings are what really makes it for me. For my work, I need access to a *nix type command line interface, but I also need access to major apps like Adobe CS and MS Office to handle the documentation and other files that colleagues are generating (and that I need to generate for them). So, a windows environment doesn't cut it, and neither does a linux environment. OS X owns it.

    And yes: once you get really immersed in the UNIX command line, dealing with cmd on Windows is like trying to work with one hand tied behind your back.
  9. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Most of us actually live outside a browser. So using a Chromebook as a sole computer isn't even an option.
  10. radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2008
    i dig the samsung chromebook.. but like some of you.. i wish it had a better display and backlit keyboard.. and it's the little things that truly do count.. i wish every laptop had magsafe. it's one of the main reasons i can't switch back to a windows notebook.
  11. Spacial macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2013
    Making a broad assumption like this is overlooking the millions of people whose usage occurs within the browser. To validate that all one has to do is look around and notice the millions using Google docs/drive, SkyDrive, iCloud, Amazon Cloud, and others like Evernote, Simplenoteapp, Box and many more. All of which require a browser centric approach. Considering the number one selling computer on Amazon every month for the last 14 months has been Chromebook, I believe that's an interesting indicator of their usefulness. Even more impressive is how little marketing Google has done. For only $249, the most popular Chromebook is quite nice.
  12. Compile macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2013
    As much as I agree with this, there are tools that bring the functionality of a *nix shell to Windows effectively.

    It's called Cygwin and I use it over cmd/poweshell as it's a much much better tool. There are even ways to make it default so any shell command will open a Cygwim prompt instead of cmd/powershell.
  13. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    I sold my chromebook and bought a Nokia.

    no no, just kidding. It's good that OP knows what he needs and didn't fall victim to marketing hype and pay an extra $900 for something he doesn't need.

    Every time I see someone posting about "going to college, what should I buy for browsing and ms office"

    Like seriously, buy a chromebook. Don't use $2000 of your parent's money unnecessarily, or likewise - don't save up $2000 just to spend it on a laptop so that you may be recognized in college as one who carries an Apple.

    I agree with OP - the chromebook is a perfect machine for a light user, and at that price it should be a steal for anyone who simply needs a basic computer device.

    When I say basic, it is still even faster than what I had to use in college. And I think the Samsung chromebook has a 3.0 usb port as well? That's insanely awesome for a device that price.

    And if I'm not mistaken, it comes with 100GB online storage?

    I was very happy to read your take on the situation OP. I'm glad you pulled the trigger and saved all that money, which I'm sure will be used in other productive areas. I wish more people had the confidence that you had, rather than buying a macbook air to use as a browser.

    I'm not saying the Air isn't a good machine. It is simply amazing. I dare say the best overall laptop ever built. And many users can really make the most of it.

    But it is just those people that come here and say that they need 20tabs on chrome and hence bought an Air... and then others recommend they get i7/8 upgrade to be able to run 20tabs with no problems.

    Get what I'm saying? I'm happy for your decision. Please post some feedbacks on it's usage. I'm considering getting my lady 1 as well. She basically just needs a machine that can shop online, and skype :p
  14. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn

    what chromebook did you buy? I'm also thinking of adding one to my computer collection...I'm leaning samsung at 269cdn but could also get the acer at 230cdn (at bb and fs cdn)
  15. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
  16. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    #firstworldproblems. I just find it funny that people have "around the house" computing "needs".

    Okay, okay, I use a computer around the house, too, but it's a work computer (15 inch MBP). But, I think a lot of people 'round here confuse a need and a want. You don't NEED another computer if you already have one, you WANT one. These needs people make up are to justify the cost.
  17. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    My mid-2012 MBA is my first MagSafe device, and I'm sold. My wife's Windows laptop died because the power jack knocked against enough things that it finally shorted out, taking the motherboard with it. MagSafe eliminates that problem.
  18. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I'm really hoping for a Chromebook refresh soon. The $250 Samsung's been out about a year now. If they can release an update at a similar price, I'm in. Keep getting tempted by used Air's.
  19. Mockenrue macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2013
    It's a matter of preference. I have plenty of experience with command line, starting with my Commodore 64 in the mid 1980s. Yes, it's more powerful and flexible, but so were the exhaustive, complex network configuration files that I set up 20 years ago in for coexistent LAN cards. Today, I'd rather plug in an Ethernet cable and have it "just work". For my day-to-day home use, a simple, elegant GUI for file management would be preferred. I find the one in OS X to be lazy and poorly designed.
  20. Mockenrue macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2013
    You're right, but since you quoted me, my situation is a little different. My job is to manage the employee technology product strategy for a large company. We have a significant Bring Your Own Device program, so I have to stay up on operating systems, devices, and consumer trends. So when I mentioned my at-home "needs", it's just a way I differentiate my personal use from the more formal technical feasibility testing that I do.

    Sometimes the devices I test come at work from vendors (like the Surface Pro that I have now, and don't like at all), and some I buy them myself (like the Chromebook mentioned above). So in my case, consumer technology is tightly integrated into my job.

    Confession: I still spend more than I "need" to, so your first world problems accusation still applies. :)
  21. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    Google mailed me a Chromebook when they first came out. Without a doubt the most useless piece of hardware I have ever seen.
  22. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Enjoy Google having even more information about you to sell and turn over to the NSA.
    Very few people could replace anything with a Chromebook. Most, probably including the OP, would be far better off with a low end real laptop and use Chrome browser with Chrome apps if they really need them.
  23. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    PM me. I'll take it off your hands for the price you paid for it. :rolleyes:
  24. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    That's ridiculous.

    The chromebook is faster than what I had to use in college. And I got ***** done in college - html coding/front page, java, MS Word, Browser, torrent, irc...

    Yea... software companies keep releasing higher demands on their new programs so people like you will keep spending more money on it.

    Honestly, Microsoft Word 2003 was fine for me and got college papers done. There's no difference from the most recent version of Word except it pulls way more RAM and more cpu usage to implement unnecessary graphics.

    Flash on the whole is the most unnecessary thing in IT.

    But they put all of it out there so that you keep needing to buy a new machine to support the latest softwares.

    In all said truth, people like Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates got more done with 30 year old machines, than what people are getting done today. Graphics/3D design aside of course.
  25. Airforcekid thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I got 2 years 100GB of storage online and 100mb of data free through Verizon each month sounds perfect for the uses you have described.


    I can agree with that review if I couldn't remotely access my iMac I wouldn't be able to do a lot of my work, but it goes back to in this day and age do you need two powerful computers?


    I bought the Samsung for the ssd and arm processor (Instant boot and great battery). However intel versions such as the acer can dual boot Ubuntu and even windows the arm processors can run Linux but are more restricted. However,the Acer has a 320gb 5400rpm hard drive and less battery. Their is also an HP model I haven't looked into much.

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