So I've been in the mood to get some new gadget for some sort of mobility. The choices are endless. Should I go tablet which is all the rage? Should I get an iPod like device? Laptop? With all the Windows 8 brew ha ha, it turns out the choice was at least 70% easier than I thought it would be.
Any Windows 8 device was right out.
Now I must admit I was very interested in those Win RT Arm devices. Unfortunately, they're running Windows 8! Yeah, yeah they all say you need to use Win 8 for awhile and then you'll get used to it. You don't like it now, but trust us, you'll like it later! It's like settling for second best. Not really what you were wanting. They're hoping Windows "Blue" will help solve that problem. But I just can't bring myself to it. I had the consumer preview Win 8 and I hated it. I keep going into the stores and trying it, and I hate it. I think it comes down to two things:
1) I want to know what I have running with a single "gesture". And I'm not talking task manager.
2) I want to be able to kill a program easily.
3) Ha! And a number of other things, like power down easily, Normal menus. Mouse aware hover. Normal capitalization in menus, that list goes on and on.
I keep hoping they'll fix things up but I think I'll just have to hang out until June to see what they do. Probably not much. It's their "big bet" oohhh woooahhh!
So no, I didn't get a Windows tablet, or any other tablet. I still wanted a keyboard. Writing small emails or journal entries and etc is way better with a keyboard. Of course, browsing was going to be first and foremost and tablets do that well. I could always get an iPad with an accessory keyboard, but Steve Job's vision of web browsing is weird. Now with all the web standards it shouldn't be a problem, browsing on a different platform. But there's always the legacy Flash issue. Tho' to be fair it seems I'm encountering Flash less and less.
But wanting a keyboard also eliminated the Android tables too. I just felt tablet + keyboard = clunky. Why not just get a laptop. It won't fall apart like the new dynamic duo.
And lastly there's price. I've always been way price sensitive. I mean, I've gotten along without a laptop/tablet/cellphone for my entire life up to now! The price points seemed too high before. But that was before Windows 8 and the whole PC imploding thing! Now prices are getting very competitive!
So what did I get? Why a Chromebook! Chromebook does 90% of what I wanted a mobile solution for. It can't play native games. But that's a non-starter. I have zero interest in mobile gaming. It can't do Skype. That's a bummer. But not the end of the world. It's like the Windows 8 thing and being second best. If I've got to settle for second best at least I'll do it on a $250 priced laptop! Wow! There's even a $199 Acer Chromebook but that's a Celeron and that's a lame processor. So I took a chance and bought the Samsung.
It's an amazing device! So right now I'm typing this article using my Atom 230 Zotac Mobo with Linux Mint. And the Chromebook easily out performs this system. It plays video extremely well, and feels every bit as good as my Phenom Quad Core main desktop! It's 11 inch screen is perfect for mobile browsing and whole package looks like a Macbook Pro! No surprise since Samsung is getting it's ptuties sued by Apple! Personally I'd like sculpted keys. But there's a lot to like about the machine. Great battery life. Wifi works really well. Multi-touch pad. It's light and very thin. It's like an Ultra book without the ultra price!
Now there's no way a Chromebook can replace a standard desktop. Linux or Windows. For development, I like Visual Studio and you're not running that on a Chromebook. Or any other native development system. I have seen a few web based solutions, but I'm not ready for that. But it's a great kitchen machine and travel mate. Hell now that I'm so in love with my mobile device I'll probably get a tablet. I'd love it for home automation projects. But the Chromebook got me started. It was a small "bet" that payed off nicely!
It's also a gateway drug to all the other Google services. Like Google Play where I'm putting my music these days. And Google drive, where the shopping list goes, so I can access it anywhere. I'll set up Google Voice (or hangouts as it's called today) at some point.
So I highly recommend Samsung Chromebook. 99.9% of you probably have a Cellphone and so the voice communications issue is probably not an issue. And if you don't need games in particular which 99.9% of you probably do, the Chromebook is a great second machine. Again, it's not going to be a main machine. I still have my desktop for that. It's my morning coffee browsing machine and mail companion. It's an amazing machine at an amazing price. Foolproof and easy to use, unlike my Linux Mint setup. But that's a different journal entry!