I Love My New Chromebook, but …

As we prepare to offer Chromebooks to schools and SMEs, our first unit has arrived.  Never has setting up a new computing device been so simple.  Once you power up, the OS walks you through connecting to your wireless network and downloading the latest Chrome OS updates.

Enter your Google Apps username and password, and you are up and running.

We are using the Samsung 5 WiFi edition.  The keyboard is fine, but compact.  Performance is superb as is screen, audio, and video quality (through the built-in camera).  Boot up takes ~8 seconds and coming out of sleep is instant.  A far cry from the coffee break required when returning from Standby on my Windows laptop.

I love it, but ….  it does take some adjustment.

ChromeOS is an OS in a browser.  There is no “closing” the browser to see your desktop.  Your “desktop” is the new tab screen, with your applications listed in a logical order.

There is local storage, about 50GB, and the ability to use USB and SD cards for more space.  The local storage is not like a traditional hard drive.  There is no letter, it is simply accessed through the browser.

Google could make moving to Chromebooks easier with a few changes to Google Apps and Gmail in particular.   When composing emails, Gmail has an “Attach File” link that assumes you are loading a file from local storage.  I suggest that Gmail should also have a “Share Doc” link that lets you browse your Google Docs collections and select links to include/attach in the message.  If I am moving to the cloud, make sharing content from the cloud the default.

Aside from that, I find the Chromebook more useful for working on the go than my iPad, as I prefer the Chrome browser interface to the mail, calendar, and ‘mini browser’ interfaces on the iPad.

Let me know what you think.
–Allen

5 replies
  1. Tedd Fox
    Tedd Fox says:

    I have been using a Chromebook exclusivly for about a month. My feedback:
    Pros:
    Dead Simple setup
    no frills access tot he web
    fast as all get out
    LONG LONG battery life
    3G access for as much as it costs for an iPad
    usable out of the box
    Cons:

    no File Type association to Google docs Dragging is a bit on and off
    No dragging files to USB
    weird nomenclature for local files
    no VPN access (we use juniper)
    Plugging in an Android phone for photos, etc is hit and miss

    I will keep using it as a main for another couple of months. Hopefully there will be updates and fixes to support the “needs” I have to fully transition onver

    Reply
      • CyberPine
        CyberPine says:

        Has anybody tested that with a Juniper VPN firewall/host? Has anybody been able to then RDP in through that VPN to a windows server? If it were not for those two MAJOR issues Id be testing one right now. Looking for something with as little client as possible. Just need to be able to Surf and RDP.

        Reply
        • Allen Falcon
          Allen Falcon says:

          Getting through the firewall is a function of the ports and protocols you allow through. While we have not tested through a Juniper specifically, we know that our traffic transits Cisco and other routers/firewalls without a hitch, provided the ports are allowed. The goal of the HTML5 client is to avoid the need for a resident client application.

          Reply
  2. Allen Falcon
    Allen Falcon says:

    Tedd,

    I agree that some of the features are hit or miss.

    I have submitted a feature request to Google for an “Add Link to Google Doc” feature in Gmail, much like “Attach File”, so that you have the same one-click ability.

    It will also be nice when more devices have Chrome OS versions, including 3G and 4G USB modems.

    — Allen

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.