Three months with a Chromebook computer

In today's open source roundup: How well does the Chromebook stack up after three months of use? Plus: Debian dumps SPARC hardware architecture. And Ubuntu MATE drops the Ubuntu Software Center

Three months with a Chromebook computer

Chromebooks have become incredibly popular among some users, as you can see from Amazon's list of bestselling Chromebooks. One user decided to use a Chromebook as his primary computing device for three months, and found that it worked extremely well for him.

The Mozzi blog reports on three months with a Chromebook:

Can I survive 3 months using only a Chromebook as my main computing device (besides my phone)?...we settled on the Toshiba Chromebook 2 which was retailing @ $279.

It is awesome! Prior to this, I was using a retina macbook pro 2013 before trying this month experiment. Sure, the Toshiba can’t do everything the macbook can, but at less than a quarter of the price. It’s a steal.

No worries about sleep, hibernation, shutdown, etc. Simply close the lid when you’re done and open the cover when you’re ready to use it. Wake time is AMAZING. When you wake up by opening the cover, it only takes a second (literally) before it’s ready to bring you anywhere you want to go online.

Never had a system crash/blue screen/etc all these time. Completely silent due to the fan-less design. Did not get crazy hot (just slightly warm) even after hours of streaming videos. Chrome OS is FAST! System updates download and install really quickly (due to the size of the stripped down version of linux), reboots never took more than a min- more like 20-30seconds most of the time.

Battery life is pretty impressive. If you’re not doing anything intensive, it’ll easily last an entire day with spare juice left by the time you get home. That beautiful IPS screen! Still hard to believe you can get quality like that under $300. It’s not as good as the Retina display (I would say it was ~70% of the quality), but WAYYYYY better than the TFT / TN low quality displays you see on the cheap Windows laptops and other Chromebooks).

Sound quality was really good too. Not a Bose (and i hate that Skullcandy logo), but definitely a couple of notches up from what you typically get under $800. I actually enjoyed watching Netflix on the Chromebook more than my retina Macbook Pro (see #5) because the Macbook’s fan would start spinning up after a while.

Implementation Touchpad & Gestures are really good. My favorite was the 3 finger swipe left/right to switch between tabs. In fact, I didn’t even miss having a mouse.

More at Mozzi

The Mozzi blog entry about three months with a Chromebook spawned a thread on Reddit and redditors had their own thoughts to share about Chromebooks:

Ikeelu: "I'm about a month in and love my chromebook. What sold it for me was taking it on a trip with me. I kind of want to try to get my mother on one, but one key thing that prevents me from recommending it for her is Skype. Right now there doesn't seem to be a great way to use it and she does skype video calls a lot. I side loaded the app which is slow and the mic quality seems to be horrible this route. I've done the mobile version, but can't do video calls. She is looking to replace her ipad right now and all she uses it for is for slot games, web surfing, paying bills, skype, videos, and showing off images. The Skype is the only thing that makes me tell her to go buy another ipad instead of a chromebook to her."

Abr797: "Good article. I've never understood the fascination with aluminium. I'd rather have the lighter weight plastic. It's not like I'm concerned about my lid falling apart because it's plastic."

Ikeelu: "My brother just got a new job and was given a lenovo laptop the same size as my chromebook. He handed it to me and holy crap I was caught off guard by the weight of it. That's not to see just adding aluminum to a chromebook would be comparable, but it made me love just how light my current chromebook is."

Trwy3: "I find it funny how he praises the wake up time, since a whole second as on the Toshiba 2 is actually pretty bad for a Chromebook. A lot of the ARM ones wake up in less than half of that. The screen is literally on by the time you have fully opened the lid."

Chrisa: "...for the long time Chromebook users... If Google were to grant you 3 wishes for improving Chromebooks/ the Chrome OS, what would you like?"

MNTwins: "1. Backlit keys
2. USB type C
3. Metal/aluminum body

Slip: "The ability to upgrade ram and ssd. I could care less about a super ultra-slim design. These things can probably last way longer, from a practical standpoint rather than being "disposable" and contributing to more e-waste and worsening the environment.

Back-lit keyboard. A lot of us would like this feature especially those of us who use this as a daily driver for schoolwork. I'm on this (my chromey) everywhere trying to get schoolwork done."

Panda: "1. VLC support
2. Backlit keyboard
3. Better screen

I would probably have my chromebook on me at all times if it had all of these features. I've had a Dell CB 11 for a while and it is absolutely perfect for school but is lacking in the media viewing department. Gonna wait to purchase the next gen Toshiba Chromebook. I really like the Pixel but not at that price point. Would gladly pay about 400-500 for a Chromebook with all of these features.

More at Reddit

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