Author Topic: Anyone use a Chromebook  (Read 1508 times)

saijoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Anyone use a Chromebook
« on: October 24, 2017, 12:18:15 PM »
I have a nice work computer that I use at home, but my company is clamping down on superfluous internet use.  I use the work PC (Dell XPS 13) with a Thunderbolt Dock.  I am thinking about a Chromebook and I'd like to use that Thunderbolt Dock as it's pretty handy with a wireless keyboard / mouse and bigger monitor. 

Can anyone that's used a Chromebook let me know your thoughts?  Can anyone recommend a Chromebook with a Thunderbolt port? 

Rubic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 12:41:34 PM »
We issue Chromebooks to our clinical staff.  We're very happy with
the cost/value of using Chromebooks.

I bought one for Mom a couple years ago so she doesn't have to
fool with Windows anymore.  And my brother's public school now
provides Chromebooks in the classrooms to their students.

I use mine with an external keyboard and trackball.  For a discussion
of compatible devices (which varies by model of Chromebook):

http://plugable.com/2017/03/22/chromebook-compatibility-with-plugable-usb-docking-stations-and-video-adapters-2017/

We've also had good luck buying cheap Chromebooks on ebay.

Orvell

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3297
  • Location: Wisconsin
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 12:53:51 PM »
I've had a chromebook for the last (2) years and have been overall really happy. I had to disable some add-ons to deal with a slow-down issue, but other than that-- no problems!
I use it for the majority of my writing, internet browsing, Netflix watching, etc.
It's sturdy, I don't have to worry about it much when I travel, and it's all backed up data since everything is Google Drive.

Only caveat is make sure a chromebook will actually work for what you need to be doing. I.e. it's not going to have software, really. It can't play DVDs even with an external disc drive because it doesn't have the native capabilities-- it really *is* just an internet box with a keyboard and a screen and a direct feed to some Google stuff.

It works great for me, but if you're hoping for a cheap *computer* it might not fit the bill.
My Journal where I talk about money and writing and art and things.

dcamnc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 05:07:19 AM »
I used one for a couple of years as my main computer. It worked fine in this role, if you know it's limitations. In the end, it couldn't do a couple of things that I needed, so I had to switch back to a pc. One of the main things I had problems with at the time, was lack of remote desktop, which I use a few times a week. Google may have fixed this issue now though. I will say I had fewer problems/glitches with the chromebook than with any of my pc's. I've noticed lately that chromebooks seem to have jumped pretty dramatically in price over when I bought mine; not sure if they are still a good deal compared to a windows laptop like they used to be.

Wings5

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 03:37:04 PM »
My wife and I have had Chromebooks for 3 years now. We were looking at getting Macbooks, but instead of spending close to $3,000 we spent under $300 total.

There's nothing they haven't been able to do, and I've made some pretty complicated spreadsheets in Google Sheets. I've also linked it to my TV with an HDMI and used Microsoft Office 365 for larger Excel spreadsheets. The cost:benefit is enormous.

Still works, does everything I need. One of our best purchases ever.

AccidentialMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 05:26:39 PM »
I'm not aware of any chromebooks that have TB3. You'll find a lot sporting USB-C connectors, but beware that that is not the same thing as TB3. TB3 implies USB-C. USB-C does not imply TB3

I've seen "references" on the net that suggest some do, but I've also seen those contradicted. Do some deep research before you jump on this one!

NathanP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 08:08:10 AM »
I believe that all Chromebooks use USB and not Thunderbolt. Sorry.

I have owned two Chromebooks and love them for their simplicity and the auto update feature that requires no user input. I would recommend looking for one with a high quality display (1080p or higher) as this makes a huge difference (as it does on all laptops). There also seem to be lots of good deals on refurbished models since many people return their new Chromebooks once they realize they can't install Windows software.

I found my current Samsung Chromebook on Amazon and bought the refurbished model for a $50 discount. It was spotless.

jamaicaspanish

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 08:53:05 AM »
Another vote in favor of chromebooks.

My wife and I have used them almost exclusively for three years.

We do most of our "work" in Google Docs, and chromebooks work flawlessly for all we need.

We travel frequently, and the portability is a huge bonus.

Easy updates is a big bonus. And so far . . . no worries about viruses.

All for under two hundred bucks -- for us, it's a no-brainer.


Rubic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 09:50:09 AM »
We do most of our "work" in Google Docs, and chromebooks work flawlessly for all we need.

We travel frequently, and the portability is a huge bonus.

One caveat (from a big Chromebook supporter):

If you travel to mainland China, don't bother taking your Chromebook, because it
won't work behind the "Great Firewall".

KBecks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 09:51:16 AM »
I use one all the time.

msheldon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 09:36:39 PM »
I love the Chromebook life too.

Regarding the comment about "remote desktop", the are remote desktop client apps you can use to connect to Unix and Windows systems. https://support.google.com/chromebook/forum/AAAAmKCdEusXB8QAo4NesI/?hl=en. I used to connect to work this way, and back to my home Windows computer. Things are probably more flexible now: Chromebooks can run Android apps with the last update, so any Android remote desktop client should work too (but I haven't tried that).

I'm not aware of any way to connect *to* a Chromebook from afar, but there really isn't any need: the cloud life has everything always backed up all the time. Just switch computers and keep editing whatever you were working on. So easy.

If you need Microsoft document editing, their cloud works just fine on Chromebooks-- my kids use that for for .DOC and .XLS editing for school.

The only reason I turn on my desktop these days is for YNAB. (I haven't switched to their web service yet...)

Cheers!

KBecks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 06:36:10 AM »
I use a cheap Chromebook.  We got one once for "free" when we bought my husband a car.   When my mac started acting up I started using the Chromebook all the time.  It's fine, very functional.

Check out the screens and keyboards to make sure both are comfortable for you to use. 

Kl285528

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2017, 06:55:51 AM »
sitting here browsing on my son's chromebook that we bought through his school program - a smaller screen HP version for around $150 - works like a champ - good for almost everything I need to do - highly recommend for general tasks, including using google docs and sheets, browsing, netflix - I did buy a cheap windows laptop to run turbotax (downloaded version) for a specific set of tasks, but I like this little chromebook better - runs fast and smooth, without asking to update the computer everyday like a windows machine

urover

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Location: Toronto, ON
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 07:48:26 AM »
May I suggest buying a refurb Dell laptop for ~200$ instead? Much more utility and the ability to install whatever software or even change the OS. I've bought multiple laptops from dell's official refurbished store and even their B grade laptops are incredibly like-new and work wonderfully.

However, Dell's laptops may not be as lightweight as most Chromebooks, if that's what you're looking for.

narrative

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Location: Longmont, CO
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 01:41:38 PM »
We have three Asus Chromebook Flips. I use one and my kids use the other two. I have found very little that I need to pull out my (older) MacBook Pro for anymore. Chrome OS is lightweight and speedy. It boots super quickly and with the addition of android apps can do almost any task (or time wasting surfing or game) you want.

We went with this model largely because of the price. There are cooler/faster/bigger/better models out there but these cost about $150 each (from Amazon via Warehouse Deals if I remember right) which was an amount I was okay spending. They feel solid and so far have been very durable, especially for the price.

The Flips work well as tablets also - with the keyboard flipped to the back - especially with android apps. They are relatively small (10 in screen) so they fit well into a small bag if you need to travel with it. I use a bike messenger backpack and they fit where the hydration pack normally goes. I love the keyboard, but I have small-ish hands, so that may be a consideration. Battery life is easily 9 or 10 hours which has been amazing.

I don't know about the thunderbolt dock. I do use a mini HDMI to regular HDMI cable from Amazon to connect it to a larger monitor along with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

I wrote a post about using them for homeschooling, though most of the info probably isn't relevant to your situation there are a few pictures to give an idea of size.

http://chromeschoolers.com/homeschooling-10-inch-asus-chromebook-flip
My ProjectFi Referral Link (Gives you a $20 dredit after 30 days) - https://g.co/fi/r/FMN2DU

dcamnc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2017, 08:50:52 PM »
I love the Chromebook life too.

Regarding the comment about "remote desktop", the are remote desktop client apps you can use to connect to Unix and Windows systems. https://support.google.com/chromebook/forum/AAAAmKCdEusXB8QAo4NesI/?hl=en. I used to connect to work this way, and back to my home Windows computer. Things are probably more flexible now: Chromebooks can run Android apps with the last update, so any Android remote desktop client should work too (but I haven't tried that).

I'm not aware of any way to connect *to* a Chromebook from afar, but there really isn't any need: the cloud life has everything always backed up all the time. Just switch computers and keep editing whatever you were working on. So easy.

If you need Microsoft document editing, their cloud works just fine on Chromebooks-- my kids use that for for .DOC and .XLS editing for school.

The only reason I turn on my desktop these days is for YNAB. (I haven't switched to their web service yet...)

Cheers!

Yeah I tried the available remote desktop app at the time (a couple of years ago), and it didn't cooperate with my work's network. It may now, however.

Indexer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 04:07:12 AM »
Another vote for the Chromebook.

I bought the original Chromebook back in 2011. They set expectations back then that you should need to upgrade computers less than once every 5 years. Recently bought my new Chromebook. Old one still runs fine, but it couldn't handle the most recent update so it prompted me that it might be time for a new one.

My chromebook is my only computer. I have ran into approximately zero instances where I needed to do something it can't do. You can't download programs, but either a Google program or an App can normally fill the role you need. It won't run computer games, but computers that do that are more expensive.

For me, Chromebooks aren't even about price. I would rather use a Chromebook than a PC or Mac. My PC at work freezes at least once a week. Chromebooks= 6 years, no issues. One of my favorite things about the Chromebook is the built in virus protection. No need to download or pay for protection. IMO a Chromebook out of the box is far more secure than a PC with the best virus protection. How the computer treats programs is philosophically different. PC's look for known malware. What about unknown malware? Programs are innocent until proven guilty, and if a new type of malware doesn't draw attention to itself it could be on millions of PCs running undetected. Chromebooks are the other way around, treating every program as a suspect with limited functions. For starters, they run on Linux so the vast majority PC and Mac malware isn't an issue. Chromebooks also sandbox(light quarantine) all programs so those programs can't interact with other programs and especially not with the OS itself. The Chromebook also cleans itself when you restart with a verified boot. It compares its code to what Google says it should have and fixes any errors. Since Chrome OS is light and cloud based this happens very quickly. Even if malware got on your computer, a simple restart would fix it. Since restarting only takes a few seconds I do it anytime I've been web browsing and I'm about to log on to my financial websites.

Rocket

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 06:06:04 AM »
Yet another vote for a Chromebook.  I switched over a couple of years ago and love it.  My father and sister also recently switched when their windows laptops needed replacing.  They both were malware magnets, so I suggested a Chromebook.  Both love how the Chromebook is instantly on.  No waiting for windows to intitialize and update.  It does exactly what they need, email and web browsing.  Newer ones support android apps which is interesting.

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 07:27:42 AM »
I had a chromebook that I got on sale for 35$.


Worked great to be able to pop it out anywhere and tether it to my phone.


I recently gave it away to a family member, but I didnt have a single trouble the entire time I used it.

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4976
  • Location: BC
Re: Anyone use a Chromebook
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 12:27:26 PM »
I have been using my chromebook for about 3 years now.

The key benefits are the cost (of course, under $300 for mine), but also the lightweight and "instant on".  It originally would last for 11 hours between recharging the battery, which took less than 2 hours for a 100% charge.

The negatives:
1)  My cheap chromebook has a lower resolution screen.  Nicer ones are available.
2)  The college I teach at as an adjunct -- their new security verification software will not work for me on the Chromebook.  No wifi possible at the school other than their restricted guest mode.  This is because you need to download a small program and run it, but that program is only designed for MAC and PC.
3)  My college -- the course delivery using the on-line system also uses "Blackboard Collaborate" -- their version of skype, to hold group meetings.   This also requires a mini software download to initiate each session, so will not work on chromebook.  However, this stupid software also has troubles with my Windows 10 Home and half broken PC laptop, and about 20% of the students also can't use it.
4)  I do go back to the desktop PC for full features for Word (very heavy editing / formatting tools), some Adobe programs, heavy features in Power point such as narrate&record, if I want to use MS Project, Solidworks or AutoCad, etc.   If you are a "super user" for software, be aware.   BUT - laptops that can run this software tend to be very expensive and / or very heavy with short battery life.

 Chromebook handles 99% of my tasks, anything on the internet / cloud and that includes a programs from tax software to video editing.
It turns on in under 10 seconds and I am off to the races.   

:-)