Would I be better off with a Chromebook or a tablet?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GanChan, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm one of those folks who could go either way on the subject. I do most of my serious work on my home desktop, but my ancient iBook (yes, iBook) can't run any secure, updatable browsers except TenFourFox, and that is horribly slow even with maxed-out RAM. So I need a modern mobile solution -- but which one?...

    Budget: Less than $300.
    Occupation: Writer, so I'd really prefer a physical keyboard (an added expense if I go with a tablet).
    Applications: Writing, email, web research and that's about it.
    Special considerations: I tend to write and research simultaneously, so I need to be able to switch tabs between word processing app (software or cloud-based) and 2 or 3 websites.
    Storage: Doesn't matter. I can store to the cloud, email docs to myself, transfer files to thumb drive, whatever.
    Performance: Better than a iBook G4. :eek:
    Multimedia usage: Minimal. I'd be using my trusty iPod for music etc.
    Portability: If it'll fit safely in a backpack, then I'm happy.

    Any thoughts on which option makes more sense for me?
  2. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    As I have no experience with a Chromebook, my advice is not that valuable, but my natural inclination would be to go with an iPad as a very handy supplement to a traditional laptop. The Chromebook looks like a regular low cost laptop, but the question is what apps does it run and what apps do you need?
  3. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    I researched the chromebook a while ago, it's underpowered for any real performance and much pricer than they should be. A tablet can add a inexpensive physical keyboard for 10-40 dollars. They offer a good sized processor, and great speed 1.5GHz or more, with a inexpensive price.

    This like will help:

    I recently bought a Nook HD+ because they are better processor speed and become more affordable. The keybrd is easy to use even though I prefer my physical keyboard. It's very fast with email, and web browsing. I got it for 100$. It does not have a camera, but it's pretty nice.

    Either way, for your needs either is great, but the chromebook is limited in functionality.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nook hd+&sm=3
  4. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    Since your occupation is writing, I'd go for whatever has the best keyboard. Might be the Chromebook.
  5. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I would get a Chromebook mine was able to replace my Macbook Air its one of those devices you can read about, but wont appreciate until you use it. An example a lot of people I know still argue tablets are pointless just have an iPhone or Android phone however they have yet to try on. You can always dual boot Linux if you hate chrome os too much, but it sounds perfect for you.
  6. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    Tablets can be quite useful , it just depends on which one you use.

    For example , a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is more useful than an iPad since it has an active digitizer.
  7. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    If you look at Geekbench scores, the Nook HD+ falls behind the Exynos 5250 in the Chromebooks, and that's the slowest one. So the Nook is slower than all recent Chromebooks.
  8. rillrill macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2011
    New York
    i've tried both the iPad and chrome book 720, along with MacBooks. the mac, obviously, is the nicest for multiple windows and multitasking. the chrome book is almost there. if you can deal with a **** screen, then its the better buy. the rumored 2014 samsung chrome book might solve the screen problem...we'll see.
  9. PageSeos macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2014
    :DHello, chromebooks are highly compatible, full range of feature and functionality including USB and HDMI. Chromebooks also less expensive than laptops. Thank you.
  10. 321estrellas macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2007
    My vote goes to Chromebook even though I've never tried it. Why? You're a writer - for best productivity, you're going to want a good keyboard.

    I have an iPad with keyboard and since it's not the size I'm used to, it's mistakes galore. Also, a second thing to worry about charging once in a while and mine has no battery indicator besides a two-color LED.

    For most navigation, I would also prefer a mouse or trackpad over the iPad touch screen. Copying, pasting, and double clicking the home button to multitask has become a bit cumbersome.

    Stretch your budget a bit more and perhaps an i3 or i5 PC laptop will be within range. Perhaps just try a Chromebook out in the store first and make sure your word processor and apps work out for you.
  11. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    I'm a writer, too. I bought the iPad 1 in the hope that it could serve as a laptop, but it couldn't. Even with a physical keyboard, a tablet is best for content consumption rather than content creation. A lot of basic abilities that you take for granted on a laptop or desktop are a chore on a tablet, such as because of the iPad's lack of a file system.

    One of my colleagues recently blogged about traveling abroad on business for a month with only an iPad and that the experience was so great that he saw no reason to carry his MBA on future trips. I found that amusing because during that trip, he'd often ask me to do certain things with documents so he could handle them on the iPad. He also often said that this or that task would have to wait until he was back at a computer.

  12. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    My suggestion is to get a small, low-cost laptop like the ASUS X200. It's the same price as the lowest cost Chromebook and more functional. If you get tired of Ubuntu, you can install Windows on it. The only bad thing I can say about this machine is the un-upgradable 2GB RAM. Still it's enough for writing and web browsing.
  13. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    My humble and not-very-significant opinion: I'd get a low-cost laptop (like the aforementioned Asus) rather than a Chromebook. Although a Chromebook will have a decent keyboard, it will be a virtual brick if you're not in a Wi-Fi spot.

    If portability is paramount, you might want to look into a used/refurb Microsoft Surface with the Type Cover. The built-in Microsoft Office will allow you to write and edit when not in Wi-Fi range, and you'll have a modest amount of local storage as well.
  14. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    After owning an iPad and a Nexus 7, I'd say go for the Chromebook. Tables don't have full fledged browsers, and are limited as far as plug-ins, etc. I'm seriously thinking about buying one myself..
  15. kelon111, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    Of course tables don't have full fledged browsers. They are just tables...

    If you are talking about tablets , many of the premium ones can use full fledged browsers. You can use some of the ancient tablets (i.e. the ones that came out before the iPad) , and actually install stuff on them.

    Example of ancient tablet

    I'd take that over any iPad any day of the week since iOS and the iPad hardware isn't cut out for much work . Even the newest iPad doesn't use Wacom technology.

    Here are some upgrades that can be done (if you have extra money):
    Upgrade RAM to 8 GB
    Replace the tiny HDD with a 1 TB SSD
    Upgrade the wireless card to a more modern one
  16. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    You should research the Chromebook extensively. I've had two and they're extremely limited in what they can do. It's basically just a glorified web browser. My iPad 4 has more functionality.
  17. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    And a 5+ year old Windows tablet PC has more functionality than your iPad.

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