I’ve always been a fan of smaller laptops (my 13″ Macbook is a personal fav) so when Google released their Chromebooks, they had my attention. I eventually couldn’t resist and picked up the Samsung, arm-based Chromebook XE303 for the extremely reasonable price of $249.
After having a couple weeks on it, I must say I really REALLY like it. It’s been shockingly easy to abandon my Macbook in favor of my smaller, lighter Chromebook. In fact, there’s very few things in my daily (non-work) routine that I can’t do on the Chromebook… Chrome Remote Desktop solves the rest.
- The keyboard and trackpad are great and responsive
- Battery life – @4.5 hours video; @6.5 hours surfing/etc…
- Small and light
- Boots in seconds; wakes instantaneously
- ChromeOS is simple, intuitive and impressively powerful
- Chrome Remote Desktop bridges most gaps
- Overall design is very “Mac-like”
- Many great, free apps/extensions
- Setup. If you use Google/Chrome, once you sign in, all your stuff is already there
- The screen is kinda crappy… though certainly servicable
- Lack of AirTunes equivalent… Google, please make this happen!
- Lack of full *nix shell is bothersome
- Power adapter is clunky; wish it was micro usb
One thing that might put ChromeOS over the top for me (and I’m sure I’m not alone) is to allow access to its underlying Linux distro. Like OS X, ChromeOS is just a window manager on top of unix (in this case Linux). I would love to see them continue the trend and allow access to it’s Linux underbelly. In short, give me a full shell!
Long story only slightly longer, this Chromebook is a keeper and has me thinking devious thoughts about selling the Macbook and in its stead, getting a Mac Mini server to command via CRD! And I guess I’ll need a new signature… something like:
Written on my Chromebook… or maybe not (even if it is true).