From Windows 10 to Chrome OS Day 1:
I bought a Chromebook
What Chromebook did I buy?:
I bought a refurbished Acer R13 running Chrome OS with 64gb of storage. I bought this specific Chromebook because I felt it was a good mix of price to performance and it had every feature I wanted to try in a Chromebook. The model I found was $271 on Newegg and due to a faulty unit, I got previously I was able to get it down to $230 with tax in New Jersey. The price to specification combination was perfect in my opinion.
Why did I choose this Chromebook?
It has the perfect mix of price to performance as well as all the features I wanted. It has a Mediatek 8137c with 4gb of ram. Think of this as the Mediatek equivalent of the Snapdragon 821. It is completely usable but not spec powerhouse. It also has a 1080p 2 in 1 design. I felt this was important for the best viewing experience while being able to use all the Android apps I want to the best of their capabilities. The only thing it does not have is a backlit keyboard. Overall though, I feel it has everything I need to move from Windows at the price point that many people who are looking for a Chromebook will be looking at.
Why Chrome OS?:
First of all, I have been using Windows as my main operating system since I was in Pre-school. I can vividly remember playing Spy Fox and Putt-Putt on a computer running Windows 95 then upgraded to 98. Don’t ask me what the specifications were, I was 4.
I used Mac OS way back in Elementary school and as I’ve learned just trying an Apple product demands a moderately high cost of entry. Working in a school as well I was interested in what the students I would be working with were using. Although I’m not involved or have credentials to be involved in the technology-based operations of the districts I still thought it would be fun. Lastly, I wanted to try something new!
What was I coming?:
I was coming from an Asus Vivobook SN510UN. This is a Windows 10 based device which had a 15.6 inch 1080p non-touch display, i5 8250u, 8gb ram, Nvidia MX150, and a 250gb and 500gb SSDs. This device was purchased from Microcenter for about $650. The device held up well, and could even play some games, however, the battery life and larger form factor made it difficult to travel with. Overall, I don’t dislike the laptop at all and will continue using it, however, I wanted to try something new.
These thoughts are just on the operating system itself. Stay tuned to my full review of the R13.
As for the operating system I’m running on the beta channel of OS version 75, The OS works smoothly, for the most part, even on such limited hardware. It’s not perfect, however, it does boot up and shut down quickly. It also did not crash on me often. There was one situation where I was downloading some apps, browsing the web, and had an app or two open in the background and the OS just couldn’t hold up with the only 4gb of ram. I do not think Windows would have held up much better than that so I don’t have an issue.
Likes and Dislikes:
I enjoy the way Chrome OS integrates with not only Google services but supports applications such as Microsoft Word and Onedrive through the Google Play Store. Although not many Android apps aren’t optimized for Chrome OS at least you have the options. Sometimes, I even like the Android app better, such as with Google Photos and Facebook. This may be the first time I’m excited to see Chat Heads! They actually work great on a big screen! I’m not sure why no one has written about this yet but they look and function amazingly on this screen! If you can give them a shot. One thing you need to know when moving from Windows to Chrome OS is what you lose in traditional programs Chrome OS tries to make up in the using the Google Play Store. Ensure you don’t require too much fancy software for your job and have fun experimenting!
One thing I haven’t liked so far, which I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the beta channel or something else. However, keyboard strokes occasionally lag behind and don’t pop up and I end up pressing a key twice only for the letter twice. You also cannot change the on-screen keyboard. I can’t even change the keyboard to Gboard! I want the extra customization such as changing the background of the keyboard that comes with Gboard and I want that to make an appearance.
Thus far I like Chrome OS. I haven’t used it long enough to review the operating system and I don’t think I will give is a formal review. This operating system is ever changing just like Windows 10 and Mac OS are. What is here today may change tomorrow. This article may become outdated and that’s why as time goes on I’ll continue to write more articles that discuss Chrome OS and my transition from Windows. I will still use my Windows 10 laptop, however, I don’t think it will be as often as I thought, both due to the OS and the device I chose to purchase. Time will tell, however, please let me know what you would like to see. I bought the device, I want to know what questions you have if you’re looking to switch.
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