Any Chromebook Users here?

YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
edited July 28 in General

Any Chromebook users here? Any experiences to share?

I have just tried a Chromebook hands-on in a store and while it comes with an Intel Celeron processor and only 4GB RAM along with 64GB eMMC storage, I was quite impressed by how fast it would power on and perform in general. It was quite light-weigth (there were different models, though) and looked decent enough. ChromeOS comes over as simple and elegant, like a cheap version of MacBook perhaps. The app-store and simplicity certainly remind me of that (although Ubuntu/Debian also have an appstore ofc). Battery apparently is good enough and the display was fine, too. The tasks I'd use it for would probably be to work with Word/Office for Uni, code some, watch YouTube/Flix and perhaps take some notes. The PlayStore/Android-Like environment seems good enough for that.
I also tried using Divi WordPress Builder, editing WordPress sites, Canva and other SaaS tools and could work online without any noticeable lags/issues.

The price is really affordable, too (229€).

I do have a small Windows Tablet which is, technically, more performant. However, somehow I feel like this simplicity of a snappy laptop with ChromeOS could be something I'd really love.

The guy at the store mentioned it can only be used online , but googling this I found that it actually (as expected) also works offline. I assume what the dude meant was I can still use Word, Flix downloaded episodes or other offline supported apps, but some may not work? Does anyone know if Internet is required to start-up the Chromebook and login?

The Chromebook I was looking at was this one:

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Comments

  • deankdeank OGOfficial Troll

    If it is anything like those netbooks I tried out like 10 years ago, it is a glorified tablet.

    The only difference should be that netbooks used underpowered CPU/RAM with Windows XP which made it struggle. Chromebooks should perform better, given better CPU and a more lightweight OS.

    Even so, I still think it is a glorified tablet regardless.

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  • The best thing about Chromebooks is that you can often put Linux on them (especially if they're Intel based)

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  • If you're looking for a laptop replacement then I would recommend a low-spec (DOS) Laptop over a Chromebook; DOS (or no OS laptop) because they come without Windows, and therefore cost lower for the same hardware than their Windows counterparts.

    Install a lightweight GNU/Linux distro and enjoy a full computer experience. Any Linux distro is going to be a better option than Android in the Netbook/Laptop form factor.

    There may be some benefits of choosing a Chromebook over laptop like better battery backup, but I don't know how much.

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  • I have one of these;

    https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/lenovo/student-chromebooks/Lenovo-CT-X636/p/ZZICZCTCT1X

    Basically a convertible tablet/laptop, although I quite like it and the OS. Seems snappy and easier to pickup & use than getting my larger Win laptop sometimes.

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @CamoYoshi said:
    The best thing about Chromebooks is that you can often put Linux on them (especially if they're Intel based)

    Not looking to do that but I can see why many people would be interested in that.

    MS said:
    If you're looking for a laptop replacement then I would recommend a low-spec (DOS) Laptop over a Chromebook; DOS (or no OS laptop) because they come without Windows, and therefore cost lower for the same hardware than their Windows counterparts.

    Install a lightweight GNU/Linux distro and enjoy a full computer experience. Any Linux distro is going to be a better option than Android in the Netbook/Laptop form factor.

    There may be some benefits of choosing a Chromebook over laptop like better battery backup, but I don't know how much.

    Thanks for chiming in! Not looking to really replace my current laptop. I have a desktop and a windows tablet already. The Chromebook would be something that could boost my productivity (for work/uni) due to its' simple&elegant design and less distractions. I also like the integration with the Playstore since I have purchased some premium apps for editing/design I may be able to use, too. Affinity Designer won't run, but that's okay. I will use my desktop/windowstablet for that anyway. The Chromebook would rather be smth that motivates me to more often fire it up and take some notes, or get some easy (uni) work done. Likewise watching Flix and YT for taking a break. Battery life seems splendid, the devices seem to age well (many people I asked already told me that their Chromebooks still perform almost like day 1). If going with touch, it could also be used as a tablet. But not really looking to do that.

    @ialexpw said:
    I have one of these;

    https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/lenovo/student-chromebooks/Lenovo-CT-X636/p/ZZICZCTCT1X

    Basically a convertible tablet/laptop, although I** quite like it and the OS**. Seems snappy and easier to pickup & use than getting my larger Win laptop sometimes.

    Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, those are some of the reasons I also considered getting one!

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  • Umm, can it code?

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    Be aware or Be next

  • @elliotc said:
    Umm, can it code?

    Sure - it has code editors on there and if you get one which can have Linux installed also then you can use Visual Code or others. I've used it a bit for this.

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited July 28

    @elliotc said:
    Umm, can it code?

    There are many code editors on the Google Play Store. DroidEdit and Dcoder come to mind. If they are supported that would work, I guess. If not, some cloud IDE? ;)

  • deankdeank OGOfficial Troll

    The famous question.

    Can it play Cysis?

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  • @Ympker said: I have a desktop and a windows tablet already. The Chromebook would be something that could boost my productivity.

    Then, it makes total sense to get one :)

    A lot of the YouTubers (affiliates) are recommending (shilling) the Chromebooks to students who don't have a PC/Laptop yet. In such a case, I say that a cheaper low-spec laptop is better than buying an Android Tablet with a Keyboard. With a laptop, they can easily add/upgrade Storage, add more RAM, run a variety of applications, etc. But, if a person has the luxury of having a Desktop/Laptop/Tablet, etc. then a Chromebook as a companion device is a fair option.

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  • I've bought one ten years old thinkpad chromebook for my sister who uses it for online classes (thanks to covid).
    As expected from thinkpad, it's a beast.
    Even with low spec, online activity is smooth enough, thanks to optimized OS (Browser). Battery life is great too.
    People saying its a tablet; I can't agree with them. I've upgraded RAM+Storage on my device. Celeron can serve good if you adjust your expectation. I don't buy devices just for the specs.
    Off-course it has lots of limitation. You can't do lot of things that you would expect from a laptop. But that is plus point to me. A simple and reliable device with very focused features will always be preferable to me.
    Currently I'm looking for another chromebook which I will tinker with Linux and other things, just for fun and profit.

    And yes, chromebook can be used offline just fine. But I would still request to try it offline. Maybe the guy at the store can help you?

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @PHP_Backend said:
    I've bought one ten years old thinkpad chromebook for my sister who uses it for online classes (thanks to covid).
    As expected from thinkpad, it's a beast.
    Even with low spec, online activity is smooth enough, thanks to optimized OS (Browser). Battery life is great too.
    People saying its a tablet; I can't agree with them. I've upgraded RAM+Storage on my device. Celeron can serve good if you adjust your expectation. I don't buy devices just for the specs.
    Off-course it has lots of limitation. You can't do lot of things that you would expect from a laptop. But that is plus point to me. A simple and reliable device with very focused features will always be preferable to me.
    Currently I'm looking for another chromebook which I will tinker with Linux and other things, just for fun and profit.

    And yes, chromebook can be used offline just fine. But I would still request to try it offline. Maybe the guy at the store can help you?

    I think this is pretty much in line with what I wanted to get out of it. It does not need to be a PC. It does not need to be a fully fledged laptop with every possible freedom and feature. I am interested in it because of it's clean & simple design and (limited yet) "focused features" like you said. When I buy this I am not looking for specs to beat my Gaming PC or i5 Windows tablet. I would want the Chromebook as an addition to help me focus on specific tasks to boost my creativity and work-efficiency while also having a good battery life and snappy experience. I'll want to use it for Word, Mails, casually browsing, editing WP sites, simple coding stuff, to take notes or just watching YouTube/Netflix or listening to Spotify. I feel like it will be a device I'd enjoy picking up and getting stuff done more than my Windows tablet and being more flexible than with my Desktop. I also dont think I will get a Chromebook with touchsreen since I already have a windows tablet and using the Chromebook (among other things) as a tablet would kinda stir me away from the original tasks I wanted to use it for as I will start thinking of it and using it like a tablet.

    About the offline thingy, I will double-check with the store guy ( Google gave me this: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3214688?hl=en) .

  • @Ympker said:
    About the offline thingy, I will double-check with the store guy ( Google gave me this: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3214688?hl=en) .

    If you want to know anything in particular, let me know and I can try it on mine. :)

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @ialexpw said:

    @Ympker said:
    About the offline thingy, I will double-check with the store guy ( Google gave me this: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3214688?hl=en) .

    If you want to know anything in particular, let me know and I can try it on mine. :)

    Will send you a pm later today/tomorrow! Really appreciate the offer :)

  • @Ympker said:

    @ialexpw said:

    @Ympker said:
    About the offline thingy, I will double-check with the store guy ( Google gave me this: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3214688?hl=en) .

    If you want to know anything in particular, let me know and I can try it on mine. :)

    Will send you a pm later today/tomorrow! Really appreciate the offer :)

    Sure thing, not a problem.

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  • Not_OlesNot_Oles Hosting ProviderContent Writer
    edited July 28

    @Ympker

    Hey! Typing this on a Chromebook. Have been using Chromebooks for some years along with Apple.

    A few points to consider:

    • Display Color It won't make a difference to most people, but the Chromebook displays can be quite . . . colorful. One of mine is quite blue, and another is quite yellow. I bought and returned a third with a display that was quite green. Unless something new has happened since I last looked, Chrome OS offers no facility for display calibration.

    • Display Resolution One Chromebook that I have came with a big HDMI label. It had HDMI output for an external display, but -- despite the prominent HDMI tag and the external interface -- the laptop's built in display was something like 1360x768 instead of something like 1920x1080. An external monitor, however, did seem to work at 1920x1080.

    • EMF The Chromebooks seem to have less EMF than the Apple laptops.

    • Linux Within the Chromebook ecosystem there are offered chroot based Linux, container based Linux, and bootable Linux as the base OS. Both of my Chromebooks are Intel based, and I imagined that both of them would boot Linux. However, apparently both are among the Chromebooks that do not boot Linux from USB.

    • Android Apps Some of the newer Chromebooks run Android Apps. However, unless I failed to find it, the apps require a touchscreen Chromebook to function as expected, even though they will "run" on some non-touchscreen Chromebooks. Maybe, if you want to run Android Apps, you might need to get a touchscreen Chromebook.

    • Auto Updates Well, there are advantages and disadvantages to auto updates. My experience is that the background download which precedes an auto update slows the Chromebook enough to disturb my workflow. Only when I decide I need to quit working and switch to troubleshooting does the Chromebook finally popup the little flag advising me that a new update is available upon reboot.

    • Model Numbers Sometimes it has seemed that the full model numbers might differ on two apparently identical Chromebooks. For example, one might see "the new Chromebook XYZ" at one store, and also at another, but the full model numbers might be quite different. And the features might be different, such as different screen resolutions.

    In summary, yes Chromebooks are great, cheap, and mostly trouble free. But, one needs to be super, extra, doubly careful to make sure not only that some particular Chromebook actually is what you think it is but also that it actually does what you think it will do. For example, I bought two Chromebooks thinking they would boot Linux, and neither does. I bought one Chromebook thinking it was HDMI, but only the output was HDMI whereas the screen itself was not.

    I've used Chromebooks for years, and the best part for me is that they're inexpensive enough so I don't need to worry as much about breaking them or them getting stolen. I haven't mentioned developer mode, but I've had a lot of fun with developer mode, too. :) Hope this is helpful! Best wishes from New York City and Mexico! 🗽🇺🇸🇲🇽🏜️

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @Not_Oles said:
    @Ympker

    Hey! Typing this on a Chromebook. Have been using Chromebooks for some years along with Apple.

    A few points to consider:

    • Display Color It won't make a difference to most people, but the Chromebook displays can be quite . . . colorful. One of mine is quite blue, and another is quite yellow. I bought and returned a third with a display that was quite green. Unless something new has happened since I last looked, Chrome OS offers no facility for display calibration.

    • Display Resolution One Chromebook that I have came with a big HDMI label. It had HDMI output for an external display, but -- despite the prominent HDMI tag and the external interface -- the laptop's built in display was something like 1360x768 instead of something like 1920x1080. An external monitor, however, did seem to work at 1920x1080.

    • EMF The Chromebooks seem to have less EMF than the Apple laptops.

    • Linux Within the Chromebook ecosystem there are offered chroot based Linux, container based Linux, and bootable Linux as the base OS. Both of my Chromebooks are Intel based, and I imagined that both of them would boot Linux. However, apparently both are among the Chromebooks that do not boot Linux from USB.

    • Android Apps Some of the newer Chromebooks run Android Apps. However, unless I failed to find it, the apps require a touchscreen Chromebook to function as expected, even though they will "run" on some non-touchscreen Chromebooks. Maybe, if you want to run Android Apps, you might need to get a touchscreen Chromebook.

    • Auto Updates Well, there are advantages and disadvantages to auto updates. My experience is that the background download which precedes an auto update slows the Chromebook enough to disturb my workflow. Only when I decide I need to quit working and switch to troubleshooting does the Chromebook finally popup the little flag advising me that a new update is available upon reboot.

    • Model Numbers Sometimes it has seemed that the full model numbers might differ on two apparently identical Chromebooks. For example, one might see "the new Chromebook XYZ" at one store, and also at another, but the full model numbers might be quite different. And the features might be different, such as different screen resolutions.

    In summary, yes Chromebooks are great, cheap, and mostly trouble free. But, one needs to be super, extra, doubly careful to make sure not only that some particular Chromebook actually is what you think it is but also that it actually does what you think it will do. For example, I bought two Chromebooks thinking they would boot Linux, and neither does. I bought one Chromebook thinking it was HDMI, but only the output was HDMI whereas the screen itself was not.

    I've used Chromebooks for years, and the best part for me is that they're inexpensive enough so I don't need to worry as much about breaking them or them getting stolen. I haven't mentioned developer mode, but I've had a lot of fun with developer mode, too. :) Hope this is helpful! Best wishes from New York City and Mexico! 🗽🇺🇸🇲🇽🏜️

    Thanks for chiming in there, mate! Will try to keep these things in mind! It's really good to hear from someone who has used Chromebooks for a while. Also the aspect about Chromebooks being inexpensive enough to not have me worry as much about breaking them/getting them stolen is a valid aspect. Perfect for me to keep me productive as it is one more factor to motivate me to take it with me :) The thing about HDMI seems a bit clunky but I do have a USB-C Multiadapter-kinda-thing. Will see where that leads me. One thing I also wanted to check is whether the Acer CB314 has Linux (Beta) feature ( https://chromeos.dev/en/linux ).

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  • I've been thinking about getting a Chromebook for a while now.
    I used to be totally against it until a colleague bought one and started using it for work. When I asked if he was completely nuts, he simply responded "how much work do you do on your laptop?". I was like "I do all my work on my laptop, what do you mean?" and he just said "no, I mean actually ON your laptop?".
    Then it dawned on me. I actually do extremely little work on my laptop. Almost all of the work is done on servers, via ssh or rdp, or via some webinterface or remote application. My laptop is nothing more then a terminal.
    I have never played a game on my laptop, and if I'm watching a movie I cast it to my tv. There is really no good reason for me to haul around a laptop with a big SSD, i7 cpu and a shitload of ram when 99% of my work can be done on a cheap, lightweight Chromebook with awesome batterytime. So I'm getting a Chromebook, I will try to update you when I've had it for a while. :)

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  • @rcy026 said: My laptop is nothing more then than a terminal

    Yep, tell us how you get on, then. :p

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    lowendinfo.com had no interest.

  • The ability to run Android NetFlix at native resolution is a thing now?

    I guess I shall take a look at ASUS new launches. Some 1080p screen with a srgb rating around 80% would be alright.

  • Typing this on a Chromebook - a Samsung Galaxy Chromebook that I picked up on the CDW Outlet for about $375 (yes, this model is overkill and quite expensive with a 4k screen and everything). It's an Intel model (i5-10210U), but I have never tried to boot it from Linux. I have just used the ChromeOS Linux (Beta).

    Above somebody mentioned Android Apps requiring a touchscreen. This Chromebook does have a touchscreen and you can install Android apps, but you can interact with the apps with the touchpad or mouse, you don't have to touch the screen.

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  • Yeah, running Linux (e.g. GalliumOS) on one is a breeze. Some smaller issues come along from time to time, but for surfing, ssh, office tasks and other lightweight use cases, most models work perfectly fine.
    I got one for a family member who mostly uses it for work/studying and netflix, and they're pretty happy. Every few months I have to help them with one problem or another, nothing out of the ordinary though.

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  • I am using chromebooks for some time now, mainly for browsing the web, streaming services and server administration.
    I only used arm based chromebooks but they perform like I want them to: They take their time starting applications but run them well. They have an awesome battery life. They are what macos was for me in the past, a system that just works every time I use it.
    I only used ones with touchscreen yet and would totally recommend getting one with it for easier navigation, especially in android applications. Works without it as well I am told but I would recommend it.
    For most tasks I try to stay in chrome, but also use some Android Applications and the google supplied linux subsystem crostini. This runs really well as a terminal but can also run X Window Applicaions if need be.
    I ran a chromebook with crouton for a while to get a full Linux System inside the ChromeOS Umbrella but have switched back to Crostini because it fulfils my needs. Great thing with chromebooks, if you have a simple setup they are powerwashed and reinstalled in minutes so you can test all of this our for yourself!

    If you want to know more general stuff about chromebooks I can recommend https://chromeunboxed.com/ .
    Also, the machine you are looking at is on sale with touchscreen as well: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0821Z3VJN

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited July 31

    @pr0lz said:
    I am using chromebooks for some time now, mainly for browsing the web, streaming services and server administration.
    I only used arm based chromebooks but they perform like I want them to: They take their time starting applications but run them well. They have an awesome battery life. They are what macos was for me in the past, a system that just works every time I use it.
    I only used ones with touchscreen yet and would totally recommend getting one with it for easier navigation, especially in android applications. Works without it as well I am told but I would recommend it.
    For most tasks I try to stay in chrome, but also use some Android Applications and the google supplied linux subsystem crostini. This runs really well as a terminal but can also run X Window Applicaions if need be.
    I ran a chromebook with crouton for a while to get a full Linux System inside the ChromeOS Umbrella but have switched back to Crostini because it fulfils my needs. Great thing with chromebooks, if you have a simple setup they are powerwashed and reinstalled in minutes so you can test all of this our for yourself!

    If you want to know more general stuff about chromebooks I can recommend https://chromeunboxed.com/ .
    Also, the machine you are looking at is on sale with touchscreen as well: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0821Z3VJN

    Thanks for the thorough Feedback and the links! Really nice to see so many chromebook users among us :)

  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer
    edited August 1
  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited August 1

    Seems like the Acer CB314 I was looking at comes without Linux Beta/Crostini so linux apps like VSCode are probably not doable, right?

    https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chrome-os-systems-supporting-linux

  • Not_OlesNot_Oles Hosting ProviderContent Writer
    edited August 1

    My Acer CB314 works with Crostini. Maybe the one you looked at just needs an OS update? However, there is more than one type of CB314.

    Mine is a "CB314-1H-C884". This has a Full HD IPS display. I have seen another CB314 with a different display. Maybe the other one(s) have different Crostini capabilities too. Apparently, just "CB314," by itself, is insufficient to identify the machine. I almost bought a different CB314 which was $100 cheaper -- it seemed like a great deal -- but it wasn't the same specs. With Chromebooks one must be really, really careful to make sure he is comparing apples to apples. Uh, did I really say that!? :)

    When I was looking around there was a Samsung Chromebook with an AMOLED display, but, at that time, it cost approximately double the one I bought. Plus it had less battery life. Maybe the AMOLED is cheaper now? Maybe there are different Chromebooks available now? It's been some months since I was looking.

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @Not_Oles said:
    My Acer CB314 works with Crostini. Maybe the one you looked at just needs an OS update? However, there is more than one type of CB314.

    Mine is a "CB314-1H-C884". This has a Full HD IPS display. I have seen another CB314 with a different display. Maybe the other one(s) have different Crostini capabilities too. Apparently, just "CB314," by itself, is insufficient to identify the machine. I almost bought a different CB314 which was $100 cheaper -- it seemed like a great deal -- but it wasn't the same specs. With Chromebooks one must be really, really careful to make sure he is comparing apples to apples. Uh, did I really say that!? :)

    When I was looking around there was a Samsung Chromebook with an AMOLED display, but, at that time, it cost approximately double the one I bought. Plus it had less battery life. Maybe the AMOLED is cheaper now? Maybe there are different Chromebooks available now? It's been some months since I was looking.

    Thanks for the thorough reply, my friend. Always happy to see your replies as you are usually going out of your way to help :)

    Yeah, I, too, noticed that there seem to be different kinds of CB314/CB315 and for whatever reason their capabilities seem to be very different. It's good to hear that your CB314-1H works with Crostini since the one in op is also the 1H variant. Still, the part after 1H, again, is different. Yesterday I wrote an email to Acer Pre-Sales as I assume they must (hopefully) know their product. Let's see what they will reply. Regardless, I don't know about other countries, but luckily returning stuff within 14 days as a consumer is quite easily done in Germany. Even easier if ordering from Amazon, which is what I will be doing. I have never had a problem returning stuff with Amazon so far, so I assume it will be safe to order&try it there.

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited August 4

    Perhaps an interesting FAQ about end of updates for people considering a Chromebook :)

  • Not_OlesNot_Oles Hosting ProviderContent Writer
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    The MetalVPS.com website runs very speedily on MicroLXC.net! Thanks to @Neoon!

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