Recently, I purchased a Google Chromebook. I was looking for a light, portable system to write a book on. I purchased the Samsung Chromebook. The Samsung Chromebook is a decent product, my main complaint is that in Canada, I can only purchase the “international version”, which has a very funky return key. In fact, I end up hitting “\” instead of the return key on many occasions.
Google Chrome OS is ok. Chrome OS is very limited, but for people that live in the browser, it is a perfect environment. Since I am using it to write a book, I use Google Docs, which provides an very nice word processor for writing in. Is it good enough to produce a book? I do not know, but it is good enough for what I need to write the book.
So far, all my writing has been where I have been able to get network connectivity. I have not tried to work offline with the Chromebook at this point. I am finding that the system works best if I log in and out of the system versus just suspending the system. I am not sure what happens when I do this, but I have a hard time opening documents when I have suspended the system for a day or so, but after logging out and in again, the documents open quickly.
What did I look at before I bought a Chromebook? I did a quick look at the low end Windows laptops in the same price range as the Chromebook, but I am not a Windows fan and was looking for something more light weight and Chrome OS fit that spot.
At the other end of the scale, I look at the MacBook Air. Yes, I have a MacBook Pro 15″, but felt that was too heavy to carry around to write on. As much as I would have loved to get a MacBook Air, at $999 Cdn versus $299 Cdn for a Chromebook, it was bit steep for a system I was only going to use to write on.
What about a tablet? I have an iPad and use it every day. I gave it a try for a bit and got a Logitech Ultrathin keyboard for the iPad. I love the format of the keyboard as the keyboard becomes a case for the iPad, but my fingers felt cramped on the keyboard. There is just not enough spacing between the keys for my comfort. I could have bought a normal keyboard and used it with the iPad, then I could not fit the keyboard in the small 11″ laptop bag that I am using today.
Would I recommend a Chromebook? It depends on what you are looking for. If you live in a browser for all you activities, then yes, especially if you want something light weight from a system and OS perspective. If you need applications more than your browser can support, then you need to look somewhere else.
Finally, if you are interested in the book I am writing, you can check out my personal blog. I post excerpts from the book there.