Why am I buying a Chromebook? Because they're like iPads with keyboards..
Since 2009, I've been a dedicated Mac user. I got a MacBook Pro, and its worked very well for a very long time. I frankly have no complaints against it. It remains a brilliant device. Mine, however, has started showing its age. Its hangs quite often, disrupting my workflow. Battery life is almost nothing.
I'm sure if I shell out the money for the latest one, or even buy a MacBook Air, I'd be extremely happy. Or, I could spend a lot less, upgrade to an SSD, add a new battery, maybe add more RAM, and extend the lifespan of the device by two more years.
And I almost did that. I didn't really want to move back to Windows. And Chromebooks really aren't an option for heave work. Or so I thought, till I read a few articles that pointed me in the opposite direction, kind of.
This article argues, very well, that the best thing about the Chromebooks is that it isn't a complete OS. The greatest feature of a Chromebook is that it doesn't have all the negatives any full OS brings.
It also doesn't have any of the positives, for now. Not too many apps. Very little storage. Low use for productivity. This was the reason I wasn't considering a Chromebook. But when I analyzed my usage, I realized there were specifically only two things I couldn't do on a Chromebook that I definitely needed:
1) Use Lightroom to convert RAW images. Today Google+ does that, but I still like the more granular control of Lightroom.
2) Use Word and Powerpoint for some heavy document and presentation editing that G-Docs and Office 365 can't really handle.
But almost everything else I used my Mac for was on the Browser. If I could excise that function alone, my current Mac isn't so bad simply because using word/powerpoint, or even light work on Lightroom, didn't overwork it quite as much as heavy browsing seems to. Further, these tasks are not constant. I can afford some slowness if it only happens at certain times, and I expect a lot less of it when my Mac isn't also browsing internet at the same time.
All this still wouldn't mean I'd get a chromebook except for the low price, and the guaranteed simplicity of the device. Its only a browser, and it delivers a great browsing experience. It is limited, but in a way that enhances it. Kind of like the iPad, except with a keyboard and without the huge app library:
I believe we'll get there on apps, but I don't need much of that for now. Basic productivity, and all the browsing in the world for 200-odd dollars is quite enough. Its even cheaper than souping up my Mac, comes with pretty fantastic battery life. Best of all, if I use it and find out it isn't for me, I only sank a little money into it. There is no commitment, since all my data and apps move with me anyway.
Not updating a computer is a choice a lot of people have been making. Usually, a tablet is the reason. But I think part of why Chromebooks are rising is that they offer an excellent compromise between a tablet and a computer. I think its little wonder Microsoft is running scared of Chromebooks. Its not because they're as good as Windows PCs. But in a world where you can use smartphones and tablets for so much, and your old computers are still there for those instances of heavy computing, why upgrade to an expensive device when you can spend so little to get a great desktop browsing experience, in pretty good hardware?
I'm going to soon be buying the Acer C720. I'll write a review once I've lived with it for a while. Meanwhile, anyone else got a Chromebook for similar reasons? And what do you think about my choice here. Is this something more people will start doing?