So about a month ago I went out on a limb and purchased the new Chromebook, you know, the specialized netbook made by Google. Now, I am far too lazy to go into specs which have been thoroughly beaten to death on all major tech blogs. This is merely a highly biased user review by yours truly. Now overall I do like the combo of value and price. But some serious pain points:
- Screen brightness is on crack. About 20% of the time the auto screen brightness adjust is ADD and keeps changing. This is incredibly annoying and I’m not sure how useful this feature is anyway.
- The right hand scroll wheel (which comes into play everywhere, given the reduced screens size) is SUPER sensitive. Like on a hair trigger. The scroll bar should be like 2x wider and not as unforgiving.
- Scrolling in general is
touch and go. Annoyingly so in web apps like Adwords which combined with the underpowered CPU makes it basically un-useably laggy.
- Would it be too much trouble to have downloaded document files auto open in Google Docs? Apparently so. Also, where is my Google Drive integration, Dammit?
- Still trying to find reliable VNC software.
- Trackpad is set on “molasses” and cannot be adjusted without busting into the command line.
- Intermittent wifi issues and glaring lack of flush dns routine.
- As it ships you cannot download any applications, it is 100% Chrome cloud extensions only
- Instant Sleep Resume
- 8 Second boot
- 6+ hour battery life
- Google Apps Login out of box, it was about a 20 second setup process total
- Lightweight and sturdy design
- Keyboard is comfortable
- Lack of downloadable apps is mitigated by wide range of extensions (yes, even for coders)
I find myself wishing that I had sprung for an ultrabook, but for $300, this is an incredible value. But as I am finding, the small amount of RAM(not upgradeable) and screen size are a bit annoying to try to develop on for more than about an hour. Just not something you can do a full day’s work on really. Killer alternative vs. a tablet for just about any task I can think of. Wanting something low cost, low weight and long battery life I got exactly that, though it could certainly use some polish.
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