eightbitmatt
Technology

Why I swapped to a Chromebook as my main laptop

I don’t see anything wrong with Windows and I still use one of their laptops, although that will soon be swapped for a desktop. But for 2 years now I have been using a Chromebook for all my major tasks while I am out and about, on holiday or just catching up with social media/shopping/booking holidays. Here’s why I switched and why I recommend everyone else do too.

Chromebook’s start up really quickly

When I am out and about it helps that I can be up and running and editing documents quickly. An hour train journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow is perfect for me to catch up on emails, write a few documents and get some web design done on the blog. Windows laptops can be quite slow at starting up – my Chromebook starts in 8 seconds. Boom.

Less distractions

I don’t tend to keep games on my Chromebook and it’s mainly used for productive things. So there isn’t much that can act as a distraction. The only thing that can be a slight distraction is social media, although now ChromeOS comes with the ability for Android Apps, and it is rumoured Linux apps are coming soon, distraction levels might change.

Android Apps

As mentioned above, Chromebook’s now have the ability to install Android Apps, I’ve been very excited about this (although some are limited) because there are some great Android Apps on my phone that I’d wanted to migrate over like Adobe apps or Bamboo for quick scribbling (a touchscreen Chromebook helps here).  This may lead to more distractions down the line but memory on a Chromebook is limited so I’m not particularly worried about that yet.

Longer battery (in my opinion)

I’ve used a few laptops, a TOSHIBA brand being the most recent which I enjoyed, but they never seemed to have a battery that lasted. Just a few months into using them the batteries drop in space rapidly. I might be unlucky, who knows. But with my Chromebook and my other half, we’ve never had any major issues with them.

My first Chromebook: a cheap Acer which was good and light and easy to take around.

The main worry people have with them: can you still work on them

Yes, there is no other complex answer here. You can still work very well on them. I use my Chromebook almost all the time, I can do coding through cPanel or WordPress editor which are both great. Or if I want to make a website from scratch (like I did this one – on a Chromebook), then I use caret which is a great Google Chrome add-on.

Outside of coding with Google Drive and its word processing, spreadsheeting and slideshow making means I can edit and create documents on the go and export them to word when I get back into the office.  I can’t see any reason why I need a bulky laptop when I am out and about. 

I still have a place for Windows though, my main PC at home which is currently a laptop is a Windows machine and it’s excellent for when I want to update my external hard drive or play games and I don’t see myself getting rid of it anytime soon – I’ll likely just update it to make it better or upgrade to a new machine.

What Chromebook do I use?

I’ve got an Acer version of the Chromebook which I got at just over £200. I could have gone for a cheaper one but the version I have is nice and light, has a touchscreen (which is helpful for many things) and is a smaller version than a laptop. It’s a bit like this one. It runs really well and it’s light enough for me to carry in my bag without really paying much attention to it. 

I’m yet to have a problem with it or the battery, and it’s been through a couple of drops and scrapes already with no problems. You can go to town on these things though but I wouldn’t recommend paying over the odds yet, they are still in their infancy and Google’s development patterns don’t give much hope for amazing new features outside of the US. 

With the good and the bad all together though, I would still recommend you get one. Especially for running about town.

If this post interested you then I’ve got another blog on Google Nest Hub.