Yesterday, I ventured out and bought another Chromebook. My prior device, an Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111) had just 2GB, and carried me well over the past two years. It’s a remarkable device considering I paid only $180 CAD for it! (It was on sale, and an open box.)

Alas, I came to a point where my Acer just couldn’t keep up with the demand. I’ve come to a point where I need more tabs/windows open than usual, and this included several “heavy” pages. In my case, I’d like to keep open Telegram, Discord, WordPress, reference windows, and Google Play Music. Unfortunately, doing this resulted in many of tabs/windows crashing when I’d return to it. I knew the 2GB RAM had caught up with me. Time to upgrade to 4GB.

An upgrade didn’t mean taking apart my Chromebook and adding more RAM. No, that would be too easy. The RAM is soldered in, and as geeky and mechanically inclined as I am, this wasn’t an option for me. So, I shopped for a another Chromebook, and found the cheapest 4GB Chromebook I could find locally; an HP Chromebook 11-v010nr. I think this the Canadian equivalent to the HP Chomebook G4 in the US, but I’m still trying to get confirmation on this. If you happen to know, please inform me in the comments below!

So, why a Chromebook? Again?

HP Chromebook

I’m still asked this question often. Why would anyone spend money on a laptop that is literally just the Chrome browser? If you’re on a budget, why not buy a cheap Windows 10 Notebook?

A browser is all I need.

The main answer to this all came down to realizing just what is it I do on my home computer. I learned quickly I was in my browser well over 90% of the time. What other things I did, I could easily find the equivalent as a web app.

At home, I write, go on social media, watch YouTube and Netflix, and surf Reddit. Why would I need anything more? If I do run into the need for something more, I have access to the Adobe suite and more at my workplace.

Virus? Not likely.

There’s very little concern with surfing the web and getting a virus. Between Chromebooks running only the Chrome browser, and that it’s an OS based on a flavour of Linux, you can really just go where you please and you should be just fine.

Cheap!

This new HP Chromebook of mine only cost me $275 CAD, taxes in. As said, my prior Chromebook, albeit an open box, was only $180 CAD. A decent laptop that runs Windows 10 would have cost me least $400-$500 CAD. Why break the bank if you’re not using your laptop for more than just internet browsing?

Battery keeps on going!

Due to the simplistic nature of these Chromebooks, most of them have exceptional battery life, averaging 9 hours of use! That would certainly last during most people’s travel time!

On my Acer, I’ve easily watched several hours of Netflix when running a marathon of shows. (I finished watching The Defenders in no time.) I’m certain my new HP Chromebook will perform just as well.

The little things…

While Chromebooks vary between each other, most will come with other perks, such as USB 3.0, an SD card reader, full size HDMI out, a port for a lock, front-facing camera, microphone, speakers, and even a headphone jack.

The keyboard is also customized for use with Chrome OS, including back and forward buttons, refresh, and full screen. There’s even a key with a search icon in lieu of the caps lock key (which can be set to a caps lock key in settings).

Would you use a Chromebook?

What about you? Are you a Chromebook user? Have you considered purchasing one? Let me know in the comment section below!



8 COMMENTS

  1. Ask me this 3 years ago and I couldn’t even begin to consider doing my job with a chromebook. But now and moving forward absolutely. With services like azure and aws gaining a lot of popularity and let’s face it. Cloud computing is here to stay. And what do I need to get access to these management portals. Yep a web browser. Definitely considering one.

    • Yeah, more and more is accessible through the browser alone as time progresses.

      Would you opt in for a cheaper device like mine, or maybe one with more to it – larger screen, better processor, better screen, etc?

      • What I’d be looking for mainly is form factor. I’d like something ultra portable to supliment carrying a 15″ gaming grade notebook around. I have horsepower if I need it. Something sleek and portable will be what I’m looking for.

        • If you just need the basics and want portable, check out something like the Acer R11 or R13 – I’ve got the R11. I don’t need to be mobile with it very often (it’s actually my main computing device) but when I do it’s so easy to toss in my backpack

  2. I _could_ use one … most of the time. But if I’m only rocking one system at home, it has to handle everything I need it to do, and the Chromebooks still can’t. I still regularly use Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom. Yes, there are web-based versions of Office, but sacrifice some things I use – like Publisher. We use it for product labels, and it’s the most consistent options I’ve found. Sure, there are web-based code editors – but I haven’t seen a browser-based version of Atom yet. It’s kind of the same reasons I’m not using desktop Linux these days. I want to use the tools I’m accustomed to, and the Creative Suite is my big letter X for linux – even if my bases would be otherwise covered.

  3. I’m still loving my Acer R11 I picked up this spring. 4gig/32gig model. Mostly I use it in true laptop form, but occasionally the tent and tablet forms have been very handy to have! From fully powered off to login (including manually typing in my PW) to “ready” – under 25 seconds. Try THAT with a $400 windows rig!. Honestly my biggest complaint would be there are times I wish I’d gotten the R13 – but trading off a larger screen for a 2gig/16gig model (for the same price) didn’t seem worth it. But I love the light weight and portability which I enjoy more often than I’m bothered by the 11″ screen

    I’ve had issues getting tethering to work properly, as well as smartlock – but that appears to be more on the end of my phone than the fault of the Chromebook – at least from what I’ve read. Either way, those are not features I rely on with any regularity, so it’s not a huge deal.

    Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with a chromebook – here are my ideals.
    1) Take my R11 and just remove the keyboard – that’s right, just a thin tablet (and yes, have the bezels wide enough to rest your thumbs on), and
    2) Take the r13, and up the specs to the latest processor/GPU. 4/32, maybe 4/64 configuration, keep the touchscreen 1080p (although maybe have higher resolution as a model option)?

    Now that I’ve used one for several months I can see why they’re such a feasible option for many people, especially those on a tight budget

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