It’s been more than a year with Chromebook, I can believe it
Take a look at my earlier post for my first impressions. When I first got the Chromebook I tried to write about my experiences with it, but got to a point where I realized I needed to invest some time in just working with it. Time has flown and I can honestly say this was one of the best computing investments I’ve made in a long time. PC have become so “blah.”
Yes, I went on the cheap with the Acer, but even that was a good choice. I’ve had absolutely no problems with the C720.
So what have I been doing with the Chromebook over the past year?
My Couch Potato partner
When I shift to “couch potato” mode it’s goes with me. I grab my Chromebook before my PC. It’s lighter and has a much longer battery life. It powers up in under 10 seconds and I can be back online working while watching my favorite TV show.
Monitoring and working on website and all my social media sites has been quick and easy. Especially since I use Chrome as my default browser my favorites transfer to the Chromebook without a problem.
YouTube videos? Definitely a breeze. I can do some quick research and be off and running.
Word and Excel are a must for me. I’ve no problem using either with the Chromebook. I use Office Online and save my files in OneDrive which I can access from my Chromebook as well. Is it smooth? no, there is definitely some integration work that needs to be done, OneDrive does not play well with the file manager, but it’s usable.
Google docs and Sheets also work well.
What I really use the most is OneNote. I used to take my Dell with me to meeting, but OneNote Online is outstanding on the Chromebook. Its the default device I take to meetings..
The Chromebook supports most of the file systems I use, those I have issues with I can access through Chrome
- Google Drive – There’s obviously native support so anything I want to work on I try to save to Drive. Drive is available from the File Manager
- OneDrive – There is a Chrome application so I can get to my files here. Unfortunately, there is no File Manager integration so moving files between the Google Drive and OneDrive is problematic
- Dropbox – There is much more integration here
- WebDAV – With the right application or browser I can get to most of these other file stores including OwnCloud
What else am I using it for?
- Image editing – I found a number of apps I use for editing images. I’ve not settled on a single one, but for light editing.
- Google Webmaster & Analytics – I do a lot of monitoring of client websites. Chromebook and Chrome are an ideal companion.
- Secure Shell – I need to manage a couple of Linux servers. While a little cumbersome, this works well.
Would I buy another Chromebook?
Absolutely, but my current device is far from old and unusable. What really surprises me is the look and feel of the C720. For an inexpensive device its an amazing piece of hardware. The touchpad is responsive and navigation without a mouse is effortless. I wish I had the same experience on my Windows 10 PC’s.
What I hate about Chromebook
Would I totally replace my PC with a Chromebook? Not yet. There are still things I absolutely need a PC for and until I can find comparable applicatons and functionality in Chromebook I’ll use both devices. Some examples (yes, I’ve pointed these out previously, but it may be good to revisit:)
- Printing – It’s still hard to print without Google Cloud Print and getting that working consistently and successfully is problematic
- Word Processing & Spreadsheet – Sheets and Docs are not Microsoft Office. Yes, I can do some document editing, publishing in those apps, but without Excel and Word, I’d be lost.
- SSH – It’s hard to find a decent SSH app.
- KeepassX – I use this application to store all my passwords. Until recently I was unable to get to my password file from my Chromebook, but that has changed.
I really do like my Chromebook. I’ve had it over a year now and It’s still an active part of my life. It travels with me a lot and will continue to be my go-to device (yeah, I still do carry a tablet too) for every day use. It’s secure and light and as long as I can get to an Internet connection I can do most of my work.
Have you tried it yet. It takes some getting use to, but its one of the best investments I’ve made.