Chromebook

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I believe the age of the Chromebook being enough for most people is a thing and once you give android apps it becomes a better option than Windows for someone who only writes, Facebook and light photo-editing with LR CC.

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90 responses to “Chromebook”

  1. Avatar

    Paul Thurrott

    Absolutely. That said, expect some negative feedback here. Sorry in advance.

  2. Avatar

    Minke

    A Chromebook has a lot of advantages for most people. I recently switched my 87-year old father to using Google's Docs etc. in a browser instead of Office programs. Like most people, virtually 100% of what he does on a computer is handled beautifully in the browser and Google Docs. Very few average people need more than that, and as a bonus they don't have to deal with time delays and hassles around updates. Personally, I find desktop versions of Office get worse and worse with every new version due to the feature creep issue. Word and Excel are huge overkill for most people and even most business uses. Sure, if you need that stuff, knock yourself out and get them and be prepared to deal with all the usual PC and Windows hassles. But, for stress-free, cheap, secure, and fun computing a Chromebook is just about ideal for most people.

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to Minke:

      It's not as if Office is the alpha and the omega of Windows computing. I suspect that most 87-year-olds would do fine with notepad or equivalent anyway.

      • Avatar

        Minke

        In reply to skane2600:

        My dad does a lot of writing, email, and web stuff. He's a scholar and still publishing books, articles, and giving lectures. He needs word processing, but Google Docs is plenty for what he needs. It's plenty for what most people need.

        • Avatar

          AnOldAmigaUser

          In reply to Minke:

          I worked at a University, and when the Central IT group pushed the academic departments to Google Drive and Google Docs, I asked about the terms of use and if they were similar to the consumer terms. I was assured they were not and there were no privacy issues. Within three months the new policy was to not use Google Docs and Google Drive for anything that was remotely confidential or sensitive. I am not sure if the reason was due to Google's "use" of the data, or the users accidentally granting permissions too liberally, but it was a fairly hasty retreat.


          If he is still publishing papers and books, you might want to have him use the Office Web Apps instead.

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            Minke

            In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

            I don't know anything about the privacy/security issues of ordinary Google Docs vs. ordinary (free) Outlook.com and online Microsoft stuff, but an educational institution would have different requirements than most ordinary users. Some people worry about storing everything in the cloud but I have personally seen so many problems with local storage that I think the cloud is better for most people. Just for example, I have had several hard drive failures on laptops while traveling that were only saved by having physical backups. The ordinary person is not disciplined enough (including me) to perform regular backups, and/or the cost of purchasing a reliable backup system and configuring it is beyond them. Computer failure is a huge problem for ordinary (not the people here) users. And then they take it to Best Buy and the techs wipe the drive or replace something and the person has lost everything.

        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to Minke:

          Obviously your dad isn't like "most 87-year-olds" so good for him. 

      • Avatar

        Paul Thurrott

        In reply to skane2600:

        The words you're looking for are Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. They are both free and good enough for anyone without highly specialized needs. e.g. everyone.

    • Avatar

      Sprtfan

      In reply to Minke:

      You say that a Chromebook has a lot of advantages, and the only one you mention is the time to install updates. What are the other advantages for a home user?

      • Avatar

        Minke

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        Cheaper, easier to use, more reliable, long battery life, instant on, no hassles. I personally have morphed into mostly using nothing but online apps in a browser, but I occasionally need some installed program to do something like burning CDs (believe it or not). Most people can live in a browser-based environment.

        • Avatar

          wright_is

          In reply to Minke:

          Chromebooks are 30% more expensive than equivalently specced Windows devices over here - I can get a Core i3 Windows notebook for the price of a Celeron or Pentium Chromebook.

          Compared to the past, I've had to do nearly no extra support for family or friends, since Windows 7 and even less with Windows 10.

          My Lenovo ThinkPad gets 15 hours of battery life under Windows, my HP Spectre X360 enough to get me through a working day on the move.

          I would say that around 10% of my work is done "on the web", my employer is a security company and all documents have to be encrypted and stored on-site.

          My previous employer was a manufacturer or manufacturing plants and their contracts with their customers usually insisted that all information regarding the projects was securely stored on-site and not sent per email and not stored on online platforms, without the customer's express permission.

          • Avatar

            Tony Barrett

            In reply to wright_is:

            Where is 'over here'? In the UK, you can get a Chromebook from <£200, but ChromeOS is blinding fast on even very low spec hardware. While I'm sure you could get a Windows laptop for little more, it would probably run like a dog with three legs, and be prepared for hours of watching those 'Windows is Updating' messages.

        • Avatar

          Sprtfan

          In reply to Minke:

          As has been mentioned in this thread, they really are no longer cheaper. I haven't had any reliability problems with a Windows PC for a long time but I would say that the Chromebook would be much faster to recover from if you did have problems. Easier to use is subjective at best, you can live in a browser just as easily on a laptop. My parents had some difficulties adjusting when the tried a Chromebook. If you have never used a PC before I could see the easier to use argument. For most people though it is easier to use what you know. Long battery life and instant on are good points and would definitely say that has been and advantage for a Chromebook. Windows on ARM might even the playing field but that is yet to be seen.

  3. Avatar

    Brazbit

    Well this should be interesting. My 70 year old mother just went out and bought herself a Chrome book. She's been needing a new laptop as her current one was a decade old Centrino, so it was beyond time for a new computer.

    She asked for assistance with setting it up, which was fairly simple since the answer time and again was that the thing couldn't run any of her software. I set her up with whatever the modern Chrome book equivalent was, when such a thing existed anyway.

    She's not thrilled with all the changes and lost features. The salesman apparently told her about limited storage but didn't make it clear that it didn't run Windows.

    She's going to give it a try and I will help her as I can, but so far the shiny new toy isn't quite as shiny in her eyes after one day. We'll see if she ends up making it work, returning it or using it as a secondary machine. Currently my money is on that last one, it does enough and is light enough for her to use around the house but she'll probably want something more for her desk.

    • Avatar

      Brazbit

      So it is a month later. After initial configuration I have not spoken with her about her computing situation so I am not introducing my own biases into her decisions.

      I stopped by the other night and found that the Chromebook has been Relegated to being her secondary "kitchen" computer (used for light browsing and some Facebook) and most of her time is spent on her old Core Duo laptop. It has her preferred mail client and enough storage for her photos. The Chromebook just doesn't work with her core requirements for a computer.

      At least for now. It will be interesting to see how she gets along with it as time goes by. I have a feeling that we will be buying a new Windows laptop when that 12 year old one finally gives up on her.


  4. Avatar

    funnyjokes

    Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. I visit regularly. Hope to have more quality items.

    flip diving


  5. Avatar

    curtisspendlove

    When my father’s old Windows laptop finally died, we talked about how to replace it.


    He has very basic “retired people” needs. Finances, email, web sites.


    I suggested that he try an Android tablet. (I had been priming this switch for a few years. I hated fixing that stupid laptop every few months.)


    I thought through a chromebook and I think it would also have been fine. But I felt a tablet would click a bit better once he played around with it long enough to get familiar.


    He he has done so. There were a couple of challenges. We had to upgrade his printer too, to one that better supported WiFi printing from Android.


    I’m quite happy with the result so far. And my kids have been teaching him Facebook and some other ways to keep up with them. It has been pretty fun.


    For anyone curious it was one of the Galaxy tablets, I think a 10”. I’m more a iOS guy, so the full details escape me. I’m pretty impressed with that thing though.


    We are fairly rapidly movin outside the era of traditional computing.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      I found it interesting how well the new printer works with android. He doesn’t have a single windows machine in the house anymore. I figured I’d need to install drivers on an old laptop of mine to manage the printer.


      I was was able to manage everything from the printer and to a lesser degree the tablet. Printer even handles it’s own diagnostics online (shows ink levels and such on a small onboard display).


      The time for needing Windows to run all your stuff is slowly fading.

    • Avatar

      Angusmatheson

      I’m curious why not an iPad? Given you are an iOS guy and they are famous for being very easy. My mother who could never actually use a computer, can function with her iPhone and iPad. We have some LG tablets at work, and they seem a little more complicated. I do think the future is fewer people using full computers. In reply to curtisspendlove:


      • Avatar

        curtisspendlove

        In reply to Angusmatheson:

        Dad isn’t an Apple guy. ;)


        Mom was, and if she were still alive, she would have won and Dad would have shelled out the cash for an iPad and learned to use it.


        As is, it’s just him. Also, he already had an Android phone and was looking for an upgrade with that too.


        So I figured maximize compatibility. He bought a new Samsung tablet and phone and I set them up nearly identically.

    • Avatar

      offTheRecord

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      Yep, my retired parents do most of their computing on tablets these days. My Mom still has a functioning laptop, but you're just as likely to find her using her tablet. My Dad's netbook gave up the ghost a few years ago. He then started to use a tablet full time (until recently, he was using a 2012 Nexus 7). They both use iPads, now, and love them.

  6. Avatar

    johnh3

    I agree that a Chromebook are a good option for many so called normal users. Not much can happend, like viruses, trojans etc..Very easy to manage updates and so on.

    But there is other options to. Dell sell some laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu that can be good choise also. They are installed with the LibreOffice as a alternative if you need a more advanced Office program than on Chromebook.


    I suppose if Microsoft get PWA apps to the store Windows 10 S or Windows 10 on ARM can be a secure and fine option to for most people.

  7. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    FWIW, I had reason to go to the nearby Charles Schwab office today, and I discovered that their kiosk machines in the visitor area are Chromeboxes and there was a Samsung Chromebook on the desk in the one office visible from the visitor area.

    And so it begins.

  8. Avatar

    Daekar

    I used to have to do pretty frequent tech support for my family. Ever since Windows 10, the only time anyone ever has an issue is when some kind of hardware failure occurs. They never need my help anymore. I think the call for "simplicity" in the form of Android, iOS, and ChromeOS might have some validity, but it is REALLY hard to justify spending what they ask for mediocre hardware when Window is SO good now, and usually comes with much better capabilities.


    I daresay, if you're afraid of Windows complexity, most of the time you're better off buying an inexpensive PC that comes with Windows and just put Linux Mint or Ubuntu on it. Grab whatever your family member needs from the repositories and let them at it. Linux is so opaque that they won't have a clue how to make any harmful changes (they'll never do anything on the command line...) and Linux desktop clients are rarely the targets of vulnerabilities because it' s so uncommon. Just get them setup to use Office Online or LibreOffice, get their email coming in via Thunderbird or whatever it is that comes in distros now, and let them go to town. When my PC had an issue with Windows this year (my fault, I messed with the MBR) I just shoved in another hard drive, installed Mint, and did all my business in O365 Online via Firefox. It never missed a beat and I didn't miss a deadline.

  9. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    I wholeheartedly believe if Google put all their weight behind ChromeBooks for 'everyone' and not just primarily education, they'd see a rapid rise in market share. Better advertising, better native apps, all Chromebooks from now with Android app support. Google is a household name, everyone knows it. The opportunity is there - they just need to take it. ChromeOS makes Windows look like a sloth. For example, from clicking 'update' in ChromeOS, I'm back up and running *and* logged on in <30s - something Windows can only dream of.

    • Avatar

      Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to ghostrider:

      There is a container initiative called Crostini that has promise and is in the dev channel. It could allow software (Linux, possibly Windows) to run in containers similar to how Chromebooks are running Android apps. That might mean Linux app support without having to go into developer mode and run Crouton. If it is implemented on a much larger scale it could also mean Win32 apps running within Chrome, maybe in a similar way to how Linux now runs on Windows.


      Still early but Linux apps alone would mean Chromebooks could be used by many developers.


      Win32, well, you can imagine what that might do for a lot of people.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Consistent pricing worldwide would also be good. They might be cheap in the USA, but when I can buy a Core i3 or Core i5 Windows notebook for the same price as a Celeron Chromebook, they don't have a cat in hell's chance of it catching on in a big way.

      • Avatar

        hrlngrv

        In reply to wright_is:

        Just did a little price checking. Chromebooks are a good bit cheaper in EU countries which don't us the Euro, UK and Sweden in particular. Leads me to wonder whether the higher prices in Euro countries are Google's or OEMs' faults or those countries' faults. ADDED: The Euro doesn't explain it; Amazon Spain shows several for under 250 Euros. Maybe Germany really hates Google.

  10. Avatar

    Stuart Pearson

    I am a complete convert to Chromebooks for business. As a small non profit (around 100 staff/volunteers) the MDM stuff within G Suite makes Chromebooks the ideal device for remote workers who only use cloud based apps. Its just so much easier to deal with. They are cheap (the Acer R11 great value) secure and easy to use. I am in the process of looking what other x86 programs I can ditch and go full on Chrome OS. Obviously this wouldn't work for a lot of orgs but it working for us.

    • Avatar

      Bats

      In reply to Stuart_Pearson:

      Good for you!


      I believe that this is the future of computing. Maybe not exactly the way of ChromeOS, but something like it, where reliance falls more heavily toward cloud based apps. It's faster, it's universal, and it's native.


      Again...good for you!

  11. Avatar

    funnyjokes

    Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. I visit regularly. Hope to have more quality items.


  12. Avatar

    Jules Wombat

    Absolutely, once we get rich PWAs the value of a heavyweight and complex Client platform like Windows, MacOS and Linux becomes moot for the majority of users. Once mainstream Enterprise realise the benefits of PWA and thin clients, Windows will go the way of Windows Phone, just for the out of date fanboys and core developers.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      Many large enterprises have already realized the benefits of thin clients. How do you believe Citrix and VMWare survive?

      I can see complex workplace software becoming server-based in the next decade or so, with local machines becoming simpler. What I can't see is any need for Windows in that brave new world. OTOH, I can see a successor to Windows being the server OS under which that complex software runs.

      Windows won't die, it'll just cease to be a consumer OS.

  13. Avatar

    shameermulji

    Android apps on Chromebook is a "hack". What Google needs to do is promote Chromebook-optimized apps.

  14. Avatar

    GeekWithKids

    I've been tempted by Chromebooks for my kids, because I think you are right, for a lot of people they are good enough. For my family two things have kept me from getting them.


    First is that it's so limiting, chrome on windows would give you all the features of a Chromebook, of course with Android apps now on Chromebooks that's not true anymore.


    The second is my son's loves his games, from the Classic Minecraft (Java version) to games on steam, I don't think he'd be happy with a Chromebook.


    I also wonder if Chrome OS might be better suited for some of the low end hardware out there.



    of course the geek in me really wants to get one just to play with.

  15. Avatar

    skane2600

    If your needs can be met with Chromebook, that's fine. That's not true for everyone. I don't think Android apps add much value. The vast majority of them are designed for smartphones and once you're using a device with a real keyboard and a reasonable-sized screen web apps are just as effective if not better.


    I don't really see how Chromebooks are a better option than Windows except perhaps for those who are always getting viruses because they are easily fooled.

    • Avatar

      Paul Thurrott

      In reply to skane2600:

      Right. It's not true for everyone. It is true for most. :)

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        You may be right but the market doesn't support that argument.

      • Avatar

        Sprtfan

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        It was over a year ago, but I researched Chromebooks out and even had my parents test drive one. I read a lot of reviews that basically stated that Chromebooks would be perfect for most people but it wouldn't work for them personally or that the Chromebook worked great for them if made several major changes to their work flow and the programs that the use. Basically, it could work if you worked at it.

        I think a lot of people under estimate what an average user needs and does. Not on a daily basis, but on a monthly or yearly. On a typically day my parents would have been fine but there was going to be one or two things every once in a while that they wouldn't be able to do or would have to at least significantly change how they do it. I really don't think that thye are that unique in this.

      • Avatar

        VancouverNinja

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Paul,


        I don't think that mantra is actually true. Most people have jobs that use PC's; for most using the same platform they use for work is more advantageous to them. It is the reason Chromebooks have virtually no market share out the K-12 market.


        Simplistic or cheap doesn't mean better and the average user is not challenged by using Windows. Windows 10 is pretty easy to use.

  16. Avatar

    Sprtfan

    Steve Jobs said that a PC is a truck or something similar at least. The way I look at it is that 95% of the time I don't need a truck. When I do need a truck though I'm really glad I have it. The other side is what are the drawbacks of having the truck over a car? Not the best example because I think a truck has more drawbacks vs a car than a PC vs a Chromebook. At this point, I think I could do 95% of what I need to on a Chromebook but would have no option but to have a PC for the other 5%. The drawbacks of a PC compared to the Chromebook are not great enough compared to the inconvenience that would be created the few times that the Chromebook wouldn't do what I need. This is getting closer though and at some point maybe the difference will not be worth it. I just don't think I'm there yet.

    I remember thinking that Windows Phone would be fine if it had 1 or 2 apps that I needed. Chromebook is kind of the same way. If it had OG Minecraft or if my tax software would run it might meet 100% of my needs for example. At the very least I think a good number of users would potentially run into a situation where they can't do something they wanted to or at least would have to make some compromises to be able to. I could use different tax software or run Minecraft PE on a Chromebook (I think at least) instead but why would I want to and what would I really gain?

    • Avatar

      shameermulji

      In reply to Sprtfan:

      Steve Jobs' car / truck analogy basically boils down to using the right tool for the job.

      • Avatar

        Sprtfan

        In reply to shameermulji:

        Wasn't a great analogy and maybe a car vs a motorcycle would have been better. The point was though if you have something that can do it all with no major drawbacks, why wouldn't you get that? In a typical home I don't see any large advantages to a chromebook over a laptop. I get the reason why they are popular in schools but those reasons don't really translate to the home and there are some real drawbacks that could crop up at some point.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to shameermulji:

        I agree with "the right tool for the job" but IMO, that interpretation actually undermines Jobs' sales pitch. The eventual drop in iPad sales suggests that the iPad wasn't the "right tool" to the degree that Jobs suggested. It's a decent consumption device but didn't usher in a "post-PC" era.

        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to skane2600:

          “It's a decent consumption device but didn't usher in a "post-PC" era.”


          I think it is closer than anything else out there. I believe the future really *will* be the “huge transparent screen with direct manipulation” we see mostly in sci-fi.


          Although the mouse and keyboard have been the accepted standard for many decades now, they aren’t exactly the most efficient method for humans to interact with tech.


          They are are just the best we have with current technology levels.


          Phones and tablets are inspiring the next generation of input methods. Those will eventually kill the “PC”, and we will end up somewhere closer to Avatar / Minority Report. Honestly, I think once voice tech catches up, ultimately we will end up at Star Trek.

          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to curtisspendlove:

            I'd expect tired arms, tired voices and lots and lots of noise in your proposed future. I'm not sure how "huge transparent screens" are related to lightweight iPads. But I'm not questioning iPads in particular, but the entire "post-PC" concept as a contemporary reality. Computing will evolve in the future, perhaps in ways nobody currently imagines but trade-offs between usability, power, weight, size etc can't be eliminated through technology particularly since the human body is a key factor in the trade-off.

            • Avatar

              curtisspendlove

              In reply to skane2600:

              Humans talk. A LOT. We do. I used to talk almost non-stop for 8 to 10 hour shifts doing tech support. Somehow I soldiered on for years at that pace.


              Regardless all of that tech will be infinitely more powerful and intelligent by the time we move to new primary input methods.


              Touche on tired arms. I honestly kinda hate touchscreens. But apparently a whole lot of other people want them all over their computers.

              • Avatar

                skane2600

                In reply to curtisspendlove:

                It's great if you can talk that long, but my voice usually goes out before an hour is up.

                • Avatar

                  curtisspendlove

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I’m guessing you won’t be giving voice commands to your computer for an hour straight. But sure, humans have all sorts of individual issues.


                  For instance, 20+ years of using mice and keyboards has given me pretty painful tendons. Mice and keyboards aren’t perfect input devices either. :: shrug ::

                • Avatar

                  skane2600

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  I have a theory that people who discovered how to type their own way are less likely to be injured. Standard typing position is focused on efficiency while ergonomics were not factored in.


                  I've also noticed that ergonomic keyboards such as the ones MS used to make, aggravate mouse problems if you're right handed since the mouse is moved farther away to accommodate the wider keyboard. I also thought those keyboards would be more ergonomic if they eliminated the numeric keypad and thus reduced the width.

        • Avatar

          shameermulji

          In reply to skane2600:

          "It's a decent consumption device but didn't usher in a "post-PC" era."


          In hindsight, that is true. It's pretty clear that it's the modern smartphone that ushered in the Post-PC era. But big picture, I think what defines the Post-PC era is the gravitation by users towards mobile operating systems that are simple, as Paul Thurrott puts it.

          • Avatar

            skane2600

            In reply to shameermulji:

            Smartphones are even less qualified as the "right tool" for doing the kind of tasks that PCs traditionally are used for then tablets. IMO people mistakenly link smartphone sales with PC sale declines. Many people who own smartphones never owned a PC, and they're not doing PC things on them.


            Smartphone OS's are simpler both because their purpose is more limited and because their form-factor demands it.

    • Avatar

      VancouverNinja

      In reply to Sprtfan:

      You have nailed it. A Chromebook's differentiating points are less for less....I do not agree that using Windows is difficult. It is very easy to use but people unfortunately, primarily IT or developers, are mirroring their professional use cases as being the same for a consumer. It just is an incorrect lensing. Just try to use a Chrome Book seriously for scalable business needs...a waste of time.


      Windows provides simplicity while being able to support more complex needs should they be required. It is a win-win situation for any user. For the majority of PC users in the world - trying to move them to a less capable platform is going in the wrong direction as technology is really starting to take off in our daily lives.



  17. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    One interesting thing is that Chrome OS is an approved OS for some media sites for which Linux is unsupported. For example, Xfinity (a cable TV provider in the US). FWIW, there's also a Citrix client, so those working for large enterprises which use Citrix to provide remote desktops could use Chromebooks/Chromeboxes to work from home (or in the office).

    It all depends on what one wants/needs to do. In my own case, photo editing with Pixlr Express or Editor have been sufficient. As for writing, there are lots of online editors, and some decent if not thrilling offline plain text editors for Chrome OS.

    At the risk of less security in exchange for greater functionality, Chrome OS devices can be put in developer mode, crouton installed, then minimal Linux distributions installed which run in parallel with Chrome OS. Via xiwi, a Linux desktop would be just another Chrome OS app.

    Only people who need desktop Windows Office, Visual Studio, full versions of Adobe's products, graphically intensive games, and a smattering of other Windows software with no Linux or online equivalents would be unable to use Chrome OS machines.

  18. Avatar

    wright_is

    It depends on where you are in the world. In Europe, especially Germany, they are anything up to 30% more expensive than a Windows equivalent (same processor and RAM, but more storage) device, so it isn't really a wonder that they haven't taken off over here.

    The $199 (in the USA) ARM Chromebook from Samsung a couple of years back sold for around $499 - $699 on Amazon.de at the time! As you can imagine, it never sold in great numbers here!

    For me, the web accounts for a small percentage of what I do and most of what I do has / requires local data storage. I have also yet to find an employer who would be happy storing data "in the cloud", it has to be on premises, or at the very outside on a hosted, firewalled server in a co-lo.

    Then there are the problems with PII, any PII stored must be stored within the EU and any finance data (tax relevant) has to be stored within the German borders, or you need to go to the Finanzamt and get special dispensation to store it in the cloud.

    Things like the T-Systems run German Azure cloud should make things a little easier, but most companies I've met still don't trust cloud services as far as they can throw their racks.

    • Avatar

      Paul Thurrott

      In reply to wright_is:

      Price isn't the central "why" for Chromebook. It's simplicity. And I mean that broadly, like simplicity in all things. If you can use a web browser, and you can, you can not only use Chromebook, you can control/manage it too.

      • Avatar

        hrlngrv

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Price is a damn good reason for not.

        • Avatar

          cayo

          In reply to Sprtfan:


          This! I can't understand why everyone is talking about Windows and viruses as if the current version is XP and the year is 2003!?


          I used to be a tech support guy for friends and family then, as I am now. The difference is I was so busy then...and now I only hear from them if their hardware fails and they need advice what to buy.


          Always the same answer. Just buy a laptop you can afford, making sure it is a Windows or Mac device, and not a Chromebook...


          And then I again don't hear from them...probably until the next hardware failure...

        • Avatar

          Rick Foux

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          My $177 Acer Chromebook 14 begs to disagree. I use it as my daily driver.


          • Avatar

            hrlngrv

            In reply to RawkFox:

            See the top of this thread. US$600 in Germany for the exact same Chromebook which sells for US$200 in the US would tend to discourage sales of that Chromebook in Germany.

            Is low price the only reason to buy Chromebooks? Absolutely not. Is 3 times higher price for a given Chromebook in one market vs another a good reason not to by it in the higher price market? You tell me.

            Anything can be priced so high it ceases to have value.

          • Avatar

            wright_is

            In reply to RawkFox:

            Your $177 Acer Chromebook 14 is $495 on Amazon.de, in Germany... Is that still a good deal?


      • Avatar

        wright_is

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        But the big question I have received, when I have told people about Chromebook is: why am I paying so much more for a "lesser" product? It might be simpler to manage, but it has a 10th of the storage and all of the "built-in" software is missing, that the user is used to AND it costs 30% more...

        Price might not be the be-all-and-end-all, but when you can buy a normal Windows PC and install Chrome on it and have enough change to take the family out for a meal, it is a hard argument for Chromebooks to win.

        For some, a Chromebook would be a better solution, but when I have the choice between a Chromebook with 4GB and Pentium processor or a Core i3 8GB Windows laptop for the same price, it is hard to justify. And no matter the arguments I've used about simplicity (and therefore less support time for me), nobody was willing to fork out more for something less.

        • Avatar

          Sprtfan

          In reply to wright_is:

          Maybe my situation is more unique than I think, but my parents, kids, and sister all have Windows based computers and I haven't had problems with them getting a virus is years. I set up TeamViewer to have an easy way to help them if needed but it has not really come up.

          I was dead set almost a few years ago on getting my parents a chromebook because everyone talked about how much simpler they were to use. After having them use it, I realized the easiest thing to use is the thing you know. Don't try and teach a dog new tricks unless you have to.

          • Avatar

            Angusmatheson

            If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You are an angel for doing all that tech support for your family! ”In reply to Sprtfan:


          • Avatar

            wright_is

            In reply to Sprtfan:

            Support is way down on Windows, in most cases. My wife's laptop hasn't had problems since I gave it to her - I just had to install the 1709 update on it; it is a 2010 Sony Vaio. I haven't seen my daughter's laptop in a couple of years. My other daughter's MacBook Pro since I set it up for her last February (she managed to put the old one in a backpack with an open flask of coffee).

            On the other hand, my oldest brother-in-law calls up every couple of months with small problems (TeamViewer mostly) and the second oldest managed to completely ruin (over 50 viruses) his new laptop twice in 3 weeks! But he learnt his lesson about visiting porn sites and i haven't looked at it again in about 18 months.

  19. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    I've used Chromium OS (Neverware Cloudready and Flint OS) on a couple of pieces of repurposed hardware (Core i7 Mac mini, an ancient ASUS Netbook, an AMD Phenom X4 box, and various VMs) and always found it snappy and performant for the tasks that it's designed to do. I had to switch the Mac mini back to macOS Sierra because CBS All Access didn't want to play nice with Chromium, but worked fine with "official" Chrome.


    Hilariously we use Safari instead!


    But seriously, Chrome OS is an attractive option for a "kick back" PC. I can access OneNote and Word Online for brainstorming and writing, hit up YouTube and Netflix and Chromecast them. And it all just works, Apple-like in the simplicity of the devices working together.

  20. Avatar

    Sprtfan

    I actually looked into getting Chromebook for my kids and tried one for my parents and it didn't work out. Kids were a no go quick at the time because of Minecraft a few other games. Turns out that I was lucky I didn't go that route because my daughter is dyslexic and the software she uses to read books is not available on Chromebooks. This actually surprised me with the education focus on Chromebooks.

    My parents are pretty set in their ways and were not willing to learn a different program for photo editing. They also still use a point and shoot camera that automatically backs up to Onedrive when it is plugged in via USB. I'm guessing that something similar to this could be set up on a Chromebook but didn't want to work real hard at it since what we had worked.


    Maybe I should ask what the big advantage is at this point to switch to a Chromebook? Even if I could find different apps that were able to do what I need to do what would be the big gain that makes it worth the effort? I get why schools like them since they are easy to manage and deploy but don't see how that helps me at home. It was about 2 years ago that I tried to go down this path. Has anything really changed other than android apps that I'm missing?

    • Avatar

      Tony Barrett

      In reply to Sprtfan:

      To be honest, it's not all about the apps on Chromebooks. Yes, there are native ChromeOS apps, and now Android apps are appearing, that gives Chromebooks access to an immense library, but as most people spend all their time in a browser these days, that's where Chromebooks shine. Almost instant updating, very low security footprint, fast and lightweight - everything Windows isn't.

      • Avatar

        Sprtfan

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Basically the main benefit is speed and security then? I'd say most people spend most of their time in a browser but they can do that on Windows too. My kids and parents have never gotten a virus on their computer and both are set up as standard users. With an SSD the computer boots up pretty much instantly and speed has never been an issue. I'm sure the chromebook might be a little better in both regards but doesn't seem worth to at best have to adjust how we do things.

        I guess I look at it like this. For example, if Edge is as good as Chrome (or Opera in my case) I'm not going to switch. It has to be a reasonably amount better to be worth the hassle. Even if I could make a Chromebook work, I don't see the over all experience being enough better to be worth the hassle and see the potential for some frustration if I can't do something I want to do.

  21. Avatar

    Bats

    Chromebooks are more than enough for (i say.....) 90% of the people in this world. You can create documents, you can edit video, you can shop, email, talk, banking, Googlecast to a Chromecast. YOU CAN EVEN DO YOUR TAXES. Set yourself up with a Google Cloud Print printer and your golden.

    With Google leading the PWA front since Nov 2015 and Microsoft following (perhaps Apple too), computing will basically be universal.

    Chromebooks requires no training at all. LOL...ya know, they still offer training courses on operating Windows online an in schools.

    • Avatar

      Sprtfan

      In reply to Bats:

      Chromebooks are more than enough for (i say.....) 90% of the people in this world.


      I find this to be an odd statement. So then a Windows PC is more than enough for say 99% of the people in the world? Does that make it better? The question is not really if it is enough, it is if it is enough better in some aspects to out weigh any drawbacks. I don't see a real large advantage in a home for a chromebook over a Windows PC. In education I get it and it makes since but those advantages do not translate to a typical home.

      For my parents it means not using the software that came with their printer, and camera and having to change programs that they have used for years for something that would be similar but not the same. This includes that Tax software they are used to. What did they gain? They could probably adjust and make it work but why? (I'm actually not sure if they could make it work. It took me a week to teach my mother the difference between Google search and ebay)

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      shameermulji

      In reply to Bats:

      "Chromebooks are more than enough for (i say.....) 90% of the people in this world."


      So are iPads.

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      Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Bats:

      Bingo. This is something that Microsoft will have trouble overcoming because Windows is big and complex.

      • Avatar

        shameermulji

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Problem with MS is not the technology, it's the branding. I'm all for them wanting to make a "mobile" OS that's simpler like iOS / ChromeOS but they need to quit branding it Windows. Leave the Windows branding for those that want the power & flexibility that Windows provides and rebrand their mobile OS something else so as not create confusion.

        • Avatar

          skane2600

          In reply to shameermulji:

          I think it's too late for that strategy to be successful in mobile, but I agree that it would have been a better one. They had an opportunity for a truly fresh start as opposed to the kinda-sorta-new RT/Metro/Modern/UWP that now, as a practical matter, only exists on the desktop and has to compete with the more powerful legacy APIs.

      • Avatar

        maethorechannen

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        It's not just that Windows is big and complex. Microsoft have too much invested in Windows to release a lightweight OS that isn't based on Windows. Which is what I think is really needed if they want a Chromebook competitor.

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