Over the last few months with the release of the macOS Sierra and Siri on the desktop I started to wonder about my aging iMac. I am using an iMac for 2012 with the retina display the machine runs well but I was thinking maybe it was time to get a laptop. Over the last month or so I have started using a Chromebook as my main machine for running my blog, advertising and web design business. The Chromebook just seems to be easier because of its tight integration with Google services.
The Chromebook was a cheap purchase for an impulse buy the Lenovo N21 11 inch which was a cheap enough buy off Amazon at $147 dollars and free shipping.
One of the things I really love about the Chromebook is how all of Google’s services are again native since Chrome OS is Google’s operating system. Chrome OS is pretty much a virus and spyware free environment because of the very limited and striped down operating system.
The Google Play Store for the Chrome OS is great and has tons of awesome apps for Chrome however not every app for Android is available for Chrome OS. Android app to Chrome OS integration is one of the features Google is currently working on to date to allow a more unified platform between the Chrome OS and Android OS. My Chromebook model is on the list below but I have not gotten them yet.
The one thing I noticed about the Chromebook is the speed. It boots up in record time I literally can boot the device and login in matter of two minutes. One thing that’s nice about Chromebook is if you need to reload the operating system it takes under 15 minutes. The whole system was designed for fast easy use.
I want to point out I still have my iMac as my desktop and I will explain why. First of all I love my Chromebook as a laptop it’s light and it’s durable and cheap the price point under 200 dollars but the device does have some cons.
First issue is the Chromebook needs to be connect to wifi all the time for things to work a few times at conference I noticed that I ran into an issue when I lost wifi signal I had to re save some of my documents. This was not a huge issue but a pain when I was in the middle of something. I know you can work locally with a Chromebook but it’s very limited you can tell product was designed to always be connected to the web.
My second issue was Skype. I love Google hangouts it’s the main way I chat with friends but I had few customers that wanted to use Skype for our meetings. I had to go back to the iMac and load Skype because there is no Skype for Chromebook. This issue might get resolved with the Android integration piece I am not sure yet.
The other issue I ran into was Microsoft office on the web. Office 365 does offer Word and Excel online but it’s limited compared to the full version I needed. I needed my iMac for that as well. I must say that Google Docs while powerful is not a replacement for Microsoft Office.
A few other issues I ran into was Java since Chrome has limited Java support I had to run a few Java developer tools on my iMac as well not a huge deal breaker again Android integration piece might fix this down the road.
Overall I have had a great experience on my new Chromebook. I think for a laptop that I use on the go the Chromebook is perfect. For a primary machine for me personally there are certain things that are to limited for me. I see the Chrome OS and Chromebook as a great tool and device in the right environment. I would recommend the device highly to anyone in need of an affordable laptop. I will continue to use mine for what I can.