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Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Welcome to the Chromebook Megathread, dedicated to the devices that run ChromeOS! This thread will focus on the laptops (Chromebooks, which I generally abbreviate as “CB” from here on) but Chromeboxes, Chromebases, and even the Chromebit are open for discussion!

What is ChromeOS? It’s a Linux-based OS, developed from the open-source ChromiumOS, and focused around the Chrome Web browser. Being a Linux system you can use a set of scripts known as Crouton to add a full Linux environment (generally Ubuntu or Debian) to your device and switch between the two at will!

What can and can’t ChromeOS do? It can do most of the general-purpose tasks that most people spend most of their time doing. What it can do outweighs what it cannot. You can obviously browse the Web, but also use productivity apps (e.g. Google Docs, office.com, and now the official MS Office Android apps on compatible devices,) stream music and video (Plex works excellently!), use any Webmail service, and in general do anything that you could do in any other browser window, which is a lot these days. You can print, although not as freely as you might from another OS to any old printer (see below.) You cannot install applications meant for another OS, with two exceptions: first, you could switch to your aformentioned Ubuntu chroot and pretty much install whatever Linux package you like, but keep in mind some CBs have ARM CPUs and require ARM-compatible packages. Second…

What about Android apps? Android Runtime for Chrome is progressing nicely and is available in the Stable channel (i.e. the wide-release version of the OS) for many devices going back to 2015 (like that year’s Google CB Pixel) and should be available for all devices from 2017 on. The apps generally work very well, or not at all; pretty much all mainstream apps that you’d want to run on your CB work as expected, while some fringe apps of dubious necessity (e.g. the Anomaly Benchmark) just don’t work, although I’ve found that that app in particular doesn’t run on some native AndroidOS devices. Many apps run in a phone-sized window mode and can’t be resized, although this is something likely to be improved upon in the near future. You can keep an eye on this page to see where a given device’s ARC support stands. With this in mind, between some must-have Linux applications that you could install should you go the Crouton route, Android apps on a supported device, and browser extensions, you can actually run a wide variety of software on ChromeOS. Speaking of that last item…

You can add extensions to ChromeOS, and they work like they do on any other installation of Chrome. In fact, if you sign into your account it will synchronize your environment so your Chrome experience will be the same on your CB as it is on your Chrome installation on your Windows desktop. These have practical applications, like blocking ads, translating between languages, and managing your tabs.

How about Windows software? Well you can’t install it, but if you have a spare Windows system at home you can install the Chrome Remote Desktop server on it and use the client on your CB (or Android device!) to control it. While you won’t be playing games remotely, this works quite well for anything not too graphically intensive.
Update: CrossOver (for Android) is in development and can allow you to potentially run Windows software on a compatible ChromeOS device. Your mileage will definitely vary, but it looks promising.

What about working offline? You do need an Internet connection to use a majority of a CB’s services; then again, you’d need an Internet connection to do the same tasks on any other OS. There are offline options, like editing in Google Docs or working in your sync’d Gmail, but most of the things you do daily require a connection anyway, so this isn’t a direct criticism of ChromeOS itself.

What's that about printing? ChromeOS isn't designed to print directly; it doesn't have any local printer drivers. The system used is Google Cloud Print. You either have a specific model of printer on your network that is compatible (it receives print jobs directly from the service) or you can use a PC as a print server. I use the latter method; I have a desktop that I use for Plex and other stuff, and because it's always on I have GCP enabled and it's connected to a networked color laser printer. On the rare occasions I need to print something, the print job goes from the CB, over the Internet, back to the Windows PC, then over the LAN to the printer. It sounds complicated but it's really as simple as printing directly to a printer (the software does all the work.) If you have an older printer and/or don't want to buy a new GCP-enabled one, and don't have or want another device running a different OS (anything that can run Chrome), you're still in luck because you can turn a Raspberry Pi into a GCP server!

What are Chromebooks? What about other ChromeOS devices? Simply put, a CB is a laptop built to run ChromeOS, with hardware very similar to any other laptop running Windows or another OS. A ChromeBox is, similarly, a small desktop running ChromeOS; often these have user-upgradeable RAM and storage, which are commonly soldered-on in CBs. There are also ChromeBases, all-in-one machines built into a typically large display. Finally, there’s the Asus ChromeBit, the sole example of a ChromeOS-on-a-stick. Only these “official” devices can run ChromeOS as they do that out of the box, however there’s another option:

A company called Neverware maintains a ChromiumOS distro known as CloudReady. You can download it for free and create a USB flash drive-based installer to run on almost any existing system. Upon booting it runs as a live OS, letting you try it out before installing it locally. This is perhaps the best way to try out the OS to see if you can live with it, but it also allows you to repurpose some old hardware to get some more life out of it. Without going this route, you could also just install Chrome on an existing computer to see if you can do whatever you need to do with the browser before committing to a CB purchase.

Why get a Chromebook? Simply, because and if it works for you. As mentioned above you can test it out to see if you can live within ChromeOS. Broadly, simplicity, security, speed, and price are more specific reasons to consider a CB. First of all, ChromeOS works the same on any device; it just works, and it works well. As mentioned above in the extensions section, you sign into your Google account and it synchronizes your work environment, so after a few minutes your new Chromebook looks and feels like the one you just used, or just upgraded from; you’re ready to get back to work almost immediately. Next, as it’s a Linux-based OS, it’s not vulnerable to Windows-specific exploits, has layers of security built in including a TPM, Verified Boot, and encryption, and Google frequently issues updates. Also, as it’s a very stripped-down OS, being largely based around a Web browser it runs well on modest hardware. While there are some low-end configurations (more detail below) that you should avoid, running Chrome on Windows, because of the latter’s higher overhead, requires higher-end (and more expensive) hardware to run as smoothly. Leading to the third major point, mainstream CBs with acceptable hardware cost less than an acceptable system based on another OS, like Windows or especially MacOS. You can certainly find a new Windows laptop in the $200-300 range, but you generally have to settle for low-resolution displays, insufficient amounts of RAM, and laughably inadequate local storage; have you tried running Windows on a 32 GB eMMC with 2 GB of RAM? If not, don't try it, trust me, you'll regret it. You can of course spend more money on a CB if you want better hardware…

So why would you spend more than [insert $ amount here] on a CB? Because you want more features or better quality than an entry-level system. This point is applicable to any computer or electronics, not just CBs. Spending more money will get you better, higher-resolution displays, backlit keyboards, glass touchpads, faster hardware, better build quality, and more RAM/storage. Generally, the more time you spend using a device, the more you should probably afford to put into the initial purchase. There’s no sense in working on a device 8 hours a day if it has a crappy keyboard and display.

A note on local storage: Most CBs have historically shipped with 16 or 32 GB eMMCs. The Acer C710 had a 160 GB HDD option, some devices have m.2 SATA storage, and within the past year devices have been released with at least 64 GB of storage, including the new Google Pixelbook, which has between 128 and 512 GB, the top option being NVMe. The initial reason for the limited storage was because it simply wasn't necessary. ChromeOS itself only takes up perhaps <1 GB of space, and zRAM can use up to around 6 GB the last time I checked; the rest is available to the user as more or less temporary storage, as you’re intended to utilize either remote storage (ChromeOS is natively connected to your GDrive account, with a minimum of 15 GB and often new devices coming with 100 GB or more for a period of time) or removable local storage like SD cards or USB flash. There are, however, good ways to utilize local storage. The first is via the aforementioned installation of another Linux system; the OS and additional packages would have to live in whatever local storage you have remaining. The second way is with Android apps, which are entirely restricted to local storage as they currently can’t see any removable media (although this could change any time with a system update.) The proliferation of ARC is the primary instigator of increases in local storage.

Recommended Extensions

*A note on h264ify and video codecs: Google is trying to push VP8 and VP9, which are open-source video codecs roughly comparable to AVC (H.264) and HEVC (H.265), respectively. The problem is that while AVC has been supported in hardware (dGPUs and even Intel iGPUs) for quite some time, support for the other codecs has been much slower. By default, Youtube in particular will push video in VP8 unless you request AVC, which is what that extension does. Without the extension, the end result is that the CPU has to decode the stream in software mode which drastically increases utilization and power consumption. There’s really no reason to let your system receive VP8 unless it has hardware support.

Hardware Considerations
CBs have a variety of hardware ranging from very cheap, very low-end to well-equipped models in the US$1k and above range. I have some advice when looking at Chromebooks:
  • RAM - You can find systems with 2 to 16 GB of RAM, the latter being rare, but the former being unfortunately fairly common. Avoid any ChromeOS (or Windows, for that matter) system with less than 4 GB of RAM. Just do it, trust me.
  • CPU - Any Core-based CPU will be fine, from i3 or m3 and up, but also any of the xxxxU Celerons, like the 3205U, which is actually a Broadwell part. The older Bay Trail-M parts (especially the dual-cores) are very weak and should be avoided, especially the N28x0 ones, although the N29x0 denotes quad-cores and are passable in older systems like the Lenovo Yoga 11e. The successor series, Braswell, is slightly better, although you should still avoid the dual-cores (N30x0) whereas the quad cores (N31x0) are OK. Beyond that, there are some ARM-based CBs, and they’re comparable in performance to between the Atom-based Celerons and the Core-based ones; they’re all 4+ cores and are passable at least.
  • Storage - As detailed above, most CBs don’t have more than 32 GB of local storage currently. This amount only matters if you’ll definitely be using either Android apps (on a compatible system) or a Crouton-installed Linux system, and your options are limited at the moment.
  • Display - Not counting Chromebases, displays range in size from 10-15.6”. Resolutions range from WXGA (i.e. 1366x768 and similar resolutions, sometimes referred to as “HD”/”720P” although not exactly equivalent) to well over FHD (1920x1080), up to the 3200x1800, 5.8 MP panel on the HP CB 13 (“G1”.) WXGA is fine on panels up to ~11”, however it is unfortunately still found on displays as large as 15.6”; avoid these as they look absolutely terrible, and your smartphone most certainly has a higher resolution. You can always use zooming/scaling on higher resolution panels to facilitate readability.
  • Convertibles - There’s quite a selection of laptops in general nowadays that have 360° hinges that fold all the way back to allow simulated tablet use; this is largely for media consumption rather than creation, and may be quite handy for your use case. They also have “tent” or “stand” modes, the latter being like the former but upside-down with the keyboard facing the surface. Note that in tablet mode, these devices are larger and heavier than any regular tablet, with the keyboard on the bottom in a somewhat awkward position. You have to specifically want a convertible and intend to make use of their capabilities, otherwise you generally end up with a device that’s bigger, heavier, and more expensive than a traditional laptop.
  • Touchscreen (non-convertible) - Some laptops that are not convertibles (i.e. they have hinges with up to about 180° of travel) have touchscreens. These are by no means necessary and aren’t as useful as they are on actual tablets/convertibles, but they can be handy. While it’s a bit unnatural to reach over the keyboard to touch the display, you do eventually get used to it and it becomes quite helpful with general browsing and navigation, so much so that you might miss it when switching to a non-touch system. This is probably not a feature that you should seek out, or spend more for, but it’s nice to have (e.g. on the Google Pixels.)

Software Support (the "Auto Update Policy")
Official ChromeOS devices are guaranteed support (OS and security updates) for at least 5 years from their launch. Beyond that time the devices themselves will still work but updates are not guaranteed.


Update 2/8/2018: Added info on Google's Auto Update Policy
Update 12/15/2017: Added section about Google Cloud Printing.
Update 11/23/2017: Added info about MS Office Android apps.
Update 11/16/2017: Added CrossOver description.
Update 11/2/2017: Added VLC extension.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2018 around 08:40

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Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


I have some specific CB recommendations, which should enable anybody to find something that suits them. A preliminary note: Acer in particular makes multiple variations of seemingly every laptop they release, regardless of OS. You can expect to find a single model with every variation discussed thus far, including CPU, RAM, storage, and display resolution. Pay special attention to the model/part numbers to make sure you don’t end up with a device with a worse display or less RAM than you intended. Also, the model name often indicates the nominal display size. Don’t shy away from used/refurbished CBs, as preparing them for a new user is as simple as a Powerwash and they have few or no moving parts, so there’s basically nothing to fail on them as long as you don’t drop or step on the thing. There are significant deals to be had through the secondary market (including some now-discontinued but still great models, and discounts of up to 50% of MSRP!) Note that these are all recommendations for the US market, as I can’t control or keep track of what models are available in other countries. The recommendations are still sound, you just have to do some more homework to find the models you’re interested in and possibly import them. Prices can vary wildly, however, so a model that’s a good deal here may not be so even if it is available in your country.

This is a spreadsheet tracking most of the models I discuss. It doesn't reflect all the variants, but rather typically the highest-end model for each; often hardware is shared between several CBs so you can extrapolate performance from a different model. This will mostly be useful for ascertaining properties like size/weight/portability and relative performance.


Beyond that Zipso has perhaps the most detailed, easy-to-read, and mostly up-to-date chart listing most or all CB models through around mid-2017.

General-Purpose, low-price, traditional
  • The Acer CB 14 is a “nice,” cheap CB. It’s what I often recommend as an entry level CB because it has decent performance, a decent FHD display (it has a WXGA/HD option that you should avoid, however!) and a very nice-feeling, pseudo-Mac aluminum build. It’s something that would make you happy if you wanted a non-plasticky device (not that there’s actually anything wrong with that) and it’s a very nice package for the money given that you can find the highest-spec model for as low as $200. This will probably be a gateway device towards nicer CBs for many people.
  • The Toshiba CB 2 (13”, 2015) is one of the best all-around CBs, but unfortunately it’s discontinued as Toshiba got out of the laptop manufacturing business. Be very aware that Toshiba released a “Chromebook 2” in both 2014 and 2015, and the latter is by far the better option; avoid the former. The 2014 version most notably has a terrible CPU (N2840) although tragically most of the rest of the hardware is great; again, avoid this even if you see it in the $100-200 range as it’s slow as balls. The 2015 revision has a 3215U Celeron which is actually a Broadwell part, with an i3 option, 4 GB RAM, a gorgeous 13” FHD display, great speakers, and a great backlit keyboard; the touchpad’s even good for a non-glass one. This is what you should be looking for, although you’ll probably have to scour eBay or other second-hand markets.

General-Purpose, low-price, convertible, most portable
  • The Acer R11 is an early convertible CB that still holds up today. That’s partially due to the facts that CBs all work the same and are continually updated, plus the R11 is one of the first devices to receive support for Android apps, which work well on it. This is one of the smaller CBs, with a black or white plastic build, and a decent WXGA IPS 11” panel. There have been multiple configurations as per Acer’s style, but you’re mainly looking for either a N3150 or N3160 (both quad-core) CPU (plus 4 GB RAM.) It’s worth the $200-300 price, even new.
  • The Asus Flip C101 is the smallest, most portable CB. The main downside is that the keyboard is necessarily a little cramped, so this is more of a media consumption rather than creation machine. Beyond that, the rest of the hardware’s fine, especially since this is a refreshed version of the first-gen C100; the difference is largely in that the C101 has a faster ARM CPU, although it also has USB-C ports and there may have been slight upgrades to the display (still WXGA, 1280x800, which is fine for 10”) and speakers. The C101 is an excellent buy at $300 (or less, when available) and while the C100 is still a capable device, I’d recommend against it. The new version is just better enough, plus the C100 would, in my opinion, have to be under $200 for the 4 GB version to be in consideration. Also note that that means there’s a 2 GB version, which I don’t think is worth it even at the $150 price point I’ve seen recently. The CPU performance with 4 GB RAM is just borderline as-is. The C100 was also one of the first three devices to receive support for Android apps, although some demanding games like Vainglory are a little sluggish on this hardware, but should run much better on the updated C101.

Large Display
  • Currently, Acer makes the only CB with the largest display on a CB, a 15.6” panel. It has been through three generations thus far, with the first having generally the best hardware and the last having a faux-premium build (partial aluminium panels.) The 2nd-gen was released with weak hardware (Atom-based CPUs) to save money, and the 3rd-gen has only improved slightly in this respect. You want one of the first-generation (CB5-571) with the Celeron 3205U at a minimum, although there are i3 and i5 (ULV) models. Something like this or this with the FHD panel and 4 GB of RAM would suffice (those differ only in internal storage, 16 or 32 GB.) Note that there are either black or white plastic versions if you look hard enough.
  • As far as large-display CBs go, there’s a greater selection with 14” panels. HP has made them and I used to use one as my 3rd-ever CB, but within my recommendations the Acer 14 (both the regular and the “for Work” version, detailed above and below) could work if you need something a little more portable.

Professional/Durable/EDU
  • The Dell CB 13 (7310) is a beloved-but-discontinued CB. Built like a tank, it’s a business model available with a solid selection of CPUs and RAM options, glass touchpad, excellent backlit keyboard, and excellent FHD display, comparable to the one in the Toshiba CB 2, but with an optional touchscreen. The highest-end model was around US$800 new, and if you can find one at a decent price this is still totally worth buying. Heavy, but durable, with excellent components all around.
  • The awkwardly-named Acer CB 14 ‘for Work’ is a surprisingly nice and powerful ruggedized business CB. Available with up to a Skylake i5 and 8 GB of RAM, it has impact-resistance and a spill-resistant, draining keyboard! With a Type C port and a satisfactory 3855U Celeron as the base CPU with a decent 14” display, this is perhaps the best current alternative to the discontinued Dell 13, as long as you go for the FHD display because like I’ve said, Acer makes several variants of everything including this CB with a substandard WXGA display!
  • The Lenovo Thinkpad 13 CB is another acceptable business/rugged CB, with components (and prices) very similar to the Acer For Work. The base WXGA display is unacceptable, so look for the FHD panel, and touchscreen is an option. Otherwise, the most notable difference between the Acer & Lenovo are the fact that the latter has a Thinkpad design and scalloped (non-backlit) keyboard, which is rare for a CB. You can see the different versions here and even if you filter it to the US models note that there are still seven listed, with variations including 3 different CPUs, 2 RAM capacities, 2 storage capacities, 2 display resolutions, and a touch option. Realistically if you ignore the non-FHD models you get down to 4: 1 each of the 3 different CPUs with touchscreen, and an i5 non-touch variant. Any of those are worth it though.
  • Acer has released yet another 11” CB, the C771, (ignore the models with the N2840, those are a lovely, unrelated model) which is apparently an education-sector-targeted device. It’s actually more or less the 14” CB For Work above squeezed into an 11” body. While it only has an WXGA resolution (which is, again, fine for that size,) it has a touchscreen option, plus the “CB For Work’s” enhanced durability and water-resistance with the same draining keyboard, and most importantly the same hardware options including a top-end Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM. Also, a USB Type C port!
  • Lenovo also has a smaller ThinkPad CB, the Yoga 11e. On its 4th generation now, it’s a durable convertible with 11” WXGA display and familiar Thinkpad design & keyboard. The current model’s N3450 CPU is an Apollo Lake, and is sufficient at the low end. Previous generations of this CB are also still fine, as long as you get 4 GB of RAM and avoid the lowest end CPUs I warned you against above.

Mid-range, semi-premium, convertible
  • Samsung has made quite a few CB models, but the only ones of note are the newest Plus and Pro, which differ only in the CPU, with the former having a 2+4 hexa-core ARM SoC and the latter having a Core m3. (Also, I guess they have different colors but who cares?) The m3 is faster, but more expensive, and the Plus is probably performant enough for most people. Notably, these are convertibles with Android app support. They also have an excellent 3:2 display at a 2400x1600 resolution, ideal for reading/browsing as opposed to viewing video. They are among the more expensive CBs at $450 & $550 MSRP, respectively, but can currently be found for less and I’ve recently seen them refurbished on Woot for $350 and $400, which is a nice discount. They also have an included digital stylus for drawing, which is a nice bonus. At this point (late October 2017) it is rumored that both the Samsung CBs and the Asus C302 below will receive higher-end configurations to better compete with the newly-released Pixelbook. Expect pricing to reach the $1k area.
  • The Asus Flip C302 is the big brother to the original Flip C100, and it’s actually more comparable to the Samsung Pro above, with nearly identical hardware. One major difference is that it has a better, backlit keyboard; the other is that it has a more traditional 16:9 FHD display. This makes the Asus better for watching video, and worse for browsing/reading/typing as there’s more wasted space on the sides of the display. Like I mentioned above, the C302 should have higher-end versions widely available in the near future; these actually exist already, although not everywhere. Information and availability are fragmented, although in the UK there’s apparently the m7 version with 128 GB of storage and 4-16 GB of RAM at a steep cost.
  • Acer made a bigger brother to its R11, the R13, although it’s more like a bigger Asus Flip C100 in construction (metal body) and architecture (ARM.) It uses a decent MediaTek ARM SoC with a 13” FHD display and 32 or 64 GB of storage, and these are available refurbished on eBay for $300 or less. The R13 isn’t as high-end as the Asus or Samsungs above, but it’s similar in functionality at a substantially lower cost.

Premium, highest-end, most-expensive
  • The Google Chromebook Pixel, over two generations, was the ultimate CB. Unfortunately they’re both discontinued, but should you be able to find one at a reasonable cost they’re still a joy to use. Both generations had roughly the same peripheral hardware (high-res 3:2 touchscreen display, backlit keyboard, glass touchpad, upward-firing speakers, and metal chassis albeit with some different coloration between the generations) however the 2015 version is by far the better device. It was one of the first, if not the first device to charge over USB Type C, and it has a port on either side. It also came with either an i5 or i7 Broadwell ULV CPU, 8 or 16 GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 GB of storage. The 2013 version has a nominally-decent Ivy Bridge i5 and 4 GB of RAM, but three caveats that I believe are probably related. First of all, battery life was poor even when the device was new, at 4-5 hours at best when other new CBs were getting several hours, going up above the 10-hour mark; now a 2013 device is probably lucky to hit 3-4 hours on a single charge (and it does not charge quickly, either.) Second, the device heats up significantly in use, even when not under any apparent load; the heat is concentrated around the hinge, top & bottom of the main chassis (not the display portion) and also along the left side of the chassis. Of note is that both of these models exhaust through a slot under the hinge in the back of the device, so this isn’t that surprising, but just how hot (i.e., painful to the touch) the 2013 model gets is. Finally, performance of the 2013 Pixel while in use can be sluggish (particularly when the laptop is heated up,) most noticeably when doing something as simple as viewing a single Youtube video, opening the Stats For Nerds and noticing the dropped frames (even when using AVC!) which can exceed 50%! I’m hypothesizing that the original 2013 Pixel had some bug that prevented the device from going into a lower-power mode (clocking down, etc.) when appropriate, causing overheating, thermal throttling and subsequent decreased performance, and significantly reduced battery life. Note that both generations of the Pixel had the same nominal capacity battery and the TDP difference between their generations of ULV CPUs was only 17 vs 15 W, yet the 2015 version gets double the battery life or more! That being said, because the first-generation Pixel can be found fairly cheaply nowadays (there was a stash of UK-market “new old stock” versions for $400 a year or two ago) and this may seem like the first chance for many people to get their hands on a mythical CB Pixel, I have to strongly recommend against doing so for the aforementioned reasons. The 2015 update (either version) by contrast, is still fantastic, and is the final member of the initial three CBs with Android app support.
  • While Google did not release a direct successor to the 2015 Pixel (until now,) they did collaborate with HP on what could be considered the 2016 Pixel, the HP CB 13. A thin, metal chassis, 13” “QHD+” (3200x1800) display, backlit keyboard, 4-16 GB of RAM, and choice of 4 ULV Skylake CPUs make it a beautiful device. There are two USB-C ports (both on the left side) for charging although unfortunately battery life is modest at roughly 6-9 hours depending on the source; I haven't been able to find a controlled study of endurance between all the models although the FHD Pentium model supposedly lasts a little longer due to the lower-resolution display. I've never actually seen one of those models in the wild, however. You may be able to buy one new directly from HP (don’t bother) or even configure a model (definitely don’t do that, the prices are absurd) however all of the various QHD+ models have been available intermittently on woot.com refurb'd from around $250-550; you can keep an eye on this link and they’ll eventually be re-listed. Note that the m3 CPU is probably the biggest jump in performance between models, over the Pentium, as these two are generally both available for sale and are pretty close in price. The m5 and m7 are smaller (observable) jumps but boost RAM to 8 and 16 GB, respectively; the m5 + 8 GB is probably the sweet spot overall, with the m7 + 16 GB being overkill for most people (most of the time my RAM usage is in the 4-8 GB range, but with my typical tab load active and un-suspended that can indeed surpass the 8 GB mark.) The HP 13 is actually more or less a premium version of the Acer 14 described above, in terms of materials, size, and the fact that they're ultimately the same type of laptop, rather than one being a convertible or having some other special feature. This is what I was alluding to when I said the Acer 14 in particular could be a “gateway model,” because an owner of that one would like it and then eventually decide to upgrade to a nicer one like the HP. Beyond all that, the HP 13 is still a very nice choice even today, although it doesn’t have a touchscreen, which would be nice for possible future Android app support. Also, these Core M CPUs are all fanless, which is kind of nice but they do get hot on the bottom under load and thermal throttle a little. See the footnote below for more detail about pricing and model comparison between all 4 versions of the HP 13.*
  • The Google Pixelbook is the latest flagship CB, starting at US$1k for the base i5 + 8 GB RAM + 128 GB SATA storage model and going up from there; the base model should be enough for pretty much everyone, however. There’s also a nice digital stylus, sold separately for US$100 however. The Pixelbook is a convertible with what may be the exact 2400x1600 display used in the Samsungs above. It has a very thin, portable design, long battery life, and Google Assistant built-in, a first for a CB. The Pixelbook is a halo device for sure, but is also being widely marketed and may actually be many consumers’ first CB, oddly enough.

*A note on the HP CB 13:

HP Chromebook 13 posted:

As of November 2 2017 you can find the promised heavily-discounted refurbished models of this CB on Woot.com at the following links: Pentium, m3, m5; m7. These will eventually sell out, but here are their current prices (original MSRP in parentheses):

$330 ($500) - Pentium/4 GB
$370 ($600) - m3/4 GB
$470 ($820) - m5/8 GB
$530 ($1030) - m7/16 GB

(Note the original MSRPs - this is what I meant when I said you could get refurbished CBs at as low as half MSRP!)

The Pentium model is fine for most people (that CPU in particular corresponds to one of the more typical Core-based Celerons (e.g. 3205U) and at the other end the m7 is also probably overkill for most people. The m3 is probably worth the $40 bump over the base model; keep in mind everything is soldered on these (and most other) CBs so you're not going to be able to upgrade the CPU/RAM down the line even if you wanted to. The m5 isn't as big a boost over the m3, but it's complicated by the fact that the former gets double the RAM; that alone would probably justify jumping to the m5. However, the pricing further complicates the situation. Given the overall prices of the refurbs, the $100 bump between the middle models is more difficult to justify, especially when the top model is only $60 more and it gets both the fastest CPU and another double of the RAM. I'm not saying you should jump all the way from the Pentium to the m7, though.

Ultimately, the m3 is definitely worth the cost and the upgrade over the Pentium. If you use dozens of tabs at once, and especially if this is going to be your main machine, the m5 is worth that price, although it's only because of the RAM upgrade. In short, if you're considering the Pentium, the m3 is worth your extra $40, and if you're considering the m5, the m7 is worth $60; it's that $100 m3-m5 jump that largely depends on whether you're going to leverage the extra RAM.

Update 11/16/2017: Added spreadsheet.
Update 11/2/2017: Added HP CB 13 model comparison & pricing.
Update 10/29/2017: Added Zipso.net CB chart.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2017 around 20:13

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Android Central has an article about Chrome & Chromebooks that I feel is a good alternative introduction to the topic. I'd like to reproduce it here with forum-friendly reformatting, if that's OK with everyone. I believe that actually showing the text will get people to read it rather than including a one-line URL that will just get skimmed over. If pasting the article in its entirety here is not OK, I understand and will delete it. Again, this article is not my work; copyright is owned by the original author Jerry Hildenbrand and AndroidCentral.

Android Central posted:

Chrome: Everything you need to know!

BY JERRY HILDENBRAND Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm EST

Chromebooks, apps, browser extensions, you name it. If it's about Chrome, here's the place to start for anything and everything you need to know.

You know Google Chrome. It's on your phone, on your computer and might even be powering your laptop. It's one of Google's most ambitious projects and it plays a big part of their strategy for the web and mobile. Chrome is everywhere.

In typical Google fashion, Chrome also encompasses a bunch of things that we normally don't think of as being related. Google likes to unify stuff. Unifying things is good for development and is a great way to force innovation — making things do something new and work with other things is usually a good idea. But that can get confusing for people who just use products and services and don't need to know — or care — how the sausage is made.

That's where we come in. We love knowing how the sausage is made and we use Google's products and services. We can help you know everything you ever need to know about Chrome.

Chrome is a web browser

Google Chrome is the most popular web browsing software worldwide. Desktop and laptop computers use Chrome 60% of the time when they are on the internet. Mobile and tablet devices also use it 60% of the time. Even folks using an iPhone love Chrome.

Chrome is using a special version (known as a fork) of the WebKit engine developed by KDE in 1998 known as Blink. Apple Submitted major changes to the original in 2002 that were needed to allow the rendering engine to run on OS X and weren't fully compliant with the software license KDE required and this forked the project. Google had been a major contributor to Apple's version of the WebKit engine until they forked off Blink. With Chrome using the Blink engine, all Chrome-specific code — javascript hooks, platform code, build system tools and the like — has been removed from WebKit. Opera uses the same codebase as Chrome, and they too use the Blink engine. Amazon's Silk browser and Android also use the Blink engine for HTML rendering. Blink is just a refinement of the WebCore component of WebKit, and few if any issues are likely to arise for developers. All versions of Chrome on all platforms use the Blink engine except for the iOS version which uses Apple's Safari-exclusive version of WebKit.

Chrome's biggest draw is the way it syncs with your Google account. You can share bookmarks, open tabs, form data and more across every device that uses Chrome. This was a boon for mobile use and a big part of the adoption numbers.

Chrome is secure and Google sync works on every platform.
The Chrome browser also has support for sandboxed instances. Things you see or type in one tab are not normally visible to other tabs or other applications. Browser extensions work through the main Chrome instance and can affect every sandbox, but generally, things are kept separate. This can cause a high memory footprint as each tab occupies its own space in your RAM. It's a security feature that we depend on even if we don't realize it's there. The internet is not a very safe place, and every security feature helps. Other security features include a blacklist of sites that are potentially harmful and warnings when visiting sites that use a non-secure connection method.

Chrome is standards compliant, has a familiar and user-customizable interface and offers support for browser apps and extensions. This, as well as synchronization and security features, help make it the most popular web browser available.

Chrome is an operating system

Chrome is also a popular operating system for laptops, mini-PCs, and HDMI stick computers. Chrome OS includes the Chrome browser as a major component but it also has a long list of features of its own.

The Chrome browser runs better on a Chromebook that it does on more expensive computers. It was built from the ground up to be this way.
Chrome OS was designed from the ground up to be very lightweight. Like Android, it's a Linux-based system that Google has adapted to perfectly fit their needs. Chrome OS is responsive and capable on computers with specs that will barely support other operating systems, yet is scalable to take advantage of the most powerful components available. Using specially tweaked versions of standard Linux memory and process management tools like zRAM and a task scheduler, Chrome OS can take advantage of everything inside the computer it's running on for user tasks instead of operating system overhead. We still recommend you buy a machine with as much RAM and storage as you can, but it's important that the requirements are low. This is especially important now that Android applications can run on Chrome OS, since certain applications like Netflix and Plex will let you store videos offline. More storage means more movies, and more movies means more fun.

Besides running well on inexpensive hardware, Chrome can do everything most people want a computer to do.
Chrome is a complete operating system with platform support for third party applications. Multimedia features, GPU acceleration, human input device standards and more mean you can code applications specifically to run on Chrome and take advantage of the same hardware the system itself has access to. Security features and sandboxing also apply here, and applications are unable to directly interact with other applications or collect their data. The Chrome browser is a major component of Chrome and offers the same features available on Windows or Mac with a better performance to hardware ratio. This has to do with how the operating system handles the main Chrome process as well as child instances from tabs and other applications. In Chrome, things were designed with this in mind while the Chrome browser on other platforms has to work with the system calls and APIs exposed to it. The Chrome browser is a native application on Chrome OS, and it shows when you're using it.

Android and Google Play was recently introduced to Chrome OS. Running in a standard Linux container, Android is in its own sandbox while an abstraction layer handles communication between Android apps and the operating system. In layman's terms, you can think of Android as a separate section of Chrome with equal access to resources. There are very few Android apps that do not run on Chrome, and outside of things like launchers or icon packs most cases are because they aren't enabled by the developer. No changes to existing code are needed to run an Android app on Chrome, though developers are encouraged to be sure they have a pleasant layout designed for a much bigger screen and that their apps work well with a mouse and keyboard.

Google Play support is available on select Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, and there is a long list of other models that have support in the works. Future devices should run Android by default and include hardware (like sensors or a gyroscope) that make Android apps run even better.

Chrome OS has many great native applications, and the addition of Android will fill in the gaps for many of us. This, combined with the inexpensive prices, security, and ease of use are why we think Chromebooks are a great tool for almost everyone.

Chrome is built from open-source code

Both the Chrome browser and Chrome OS are built from open-source code. The Chromium and Chromium OS projects are very much like the Android Open Source project.

Everything needed to build a complete and fully-functional browser or operating system is available for anyone to use as they wish. Commercial distributions need to adhere to software license requirements, but outside of that, the code is fully modifiable and very easy to build. Open source releases of the Chromium project happen monthly and the project fully supports Chrome applications and extensions. Many popular Linux distributions offer Chromium because it's open and doesn't depend on closed proprietary code or binary files.

Chrome and Chrome OS are not open source. Like Android, where Google uses the open-source version with additions to build the software for the Pixel, Google and hardware partners take Chromium and use it to create the Chrome browser and use Chromium OS to build Chrome OS. Unlike Android, where device manufacturers are able to alter the software in ways that harm the platform, Chrome OS is controlled by Google. Hardware partners for Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices help make sure things like the display and touchpad are compatible and extras like support for the ASUS cloud or HP device support can be added, but Chrome itself must ship as built by Google. This ensures a pleasant and familiar experience for everyone.

Chrome comes in a wide range of hardware

You can have a complete Chrome experience on an $80 Chromebit. You can also spend $1,700 dollars on an Google Pixelbook that has the latest hardware available. While one will handle more tasks at once than the other, the experience is exactly the same.

We're big proponents of Chromebooks around here. Unless I'm rendering a video or playing a game, there's a good chance I have my Chromebook in front of me when I'm on the computer. This includes my everyday work — I'm writing this post on my Chromebook sitting at a desk with a fully specced desktop that scores completely off the chart for Steam VR on it. Chromebooks are simple, intuitive and can do almost anything I need them to do. We think that for a good many people, the same will apply and a Chromebook is the best way to do computing safely and efficiently.

Chromeboxes are also pretty cool. Most are the same size as something like a Mac Mini and offer relatively high-end hardware at a very reasonable price. They make an excellent box in your entertainment stand that turns every TV into a smart TV, and when paired with a good monitor, mouse, and keyboard can offer a complete desktop experience for most everyone. They are also a great base for anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and set up a media server or stand-alone firewall and router box.

A Chromebit is awesome for a traveler or anyone who is doing a business presentation. All you need it a TV with an open HDMI port and a small USB or Bluetooth input device and you have the entire web available with zero effort. They are a great way to have full access to your Google Play library, Amazon Prime library, Netflix and any other web-based service in your pocket, and Google Docs makes projecting spreadsheets or slideshows on a big screen simple. They are also great for the bedroom or anywhere space is at a premium. The fact that they are inexpensive is just a bonus!

Something for everyone

Chrome is Google's way to get more people online and part of the internet age. Whether you use the Chrome browser on your phone or PC, or have a Chromebook as your primary computer, or even carry your Chromebit with you everywhere you go, Chrome is there to make things easy.

Chrome is powerful, secure and easy to use. While it isn't the best solution for every task, we think you'll find it's very well rounded and suits most needs. The future for Chrome looks bright, and we're all going to be part of it together!

Update November 2017: This page was updated to reflect the latest news and information about Chrome.

Update 11/16/2017: Added initial AndroidCentral article.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2017 around 21:00

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



Thank you for making this thread I plan on hanging out here a lot while I figure out which chromebook that i don't need but definitely want

and also probably after i've figured that out

and also I was looking @ the new pixel CB last night and I have to say it is....ugly

E: there should be an indication which models use the correct charging port imo

e2: how much difference would i notice between the M3 and the M5 on the asus c302 in ChromeOS? in ubuntu?

Statutory Ape fucked around with this message at Oct 29, 2017 around 12:25

mystes
May 31, 2006



You repeatedly use the term "ARC" to refer to running android apps on Chromebooks, but AFAIK the current system is not based on ARC which was the previous failed attempt to get Android apps to run on Chromebooks using a completely different approach.

(ARC was a chrome browser app using NACL or something to emulate android, wheres the current approach I think involved extending the kernel to support Android apis so they could be run directly in a chroot environment.)

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell


mystes posted:

You repeatedly use the term "ARC" to refer to running android apps on Chromebooks, but AFAIK the current system is not based on ARC which was the previous failed attempt to get Android apps to run on Chromebooks using a completely different approach.

(ARC was a chrome browser app using NACL or something to emulate android, wheres the current approach I think involved extending the kernel to support Android apis so they could be run directly in a chroot environment.)

I think this is correct.

A lot of current info on this subject confusingly continues to talk about ARC, but I think that's just people continuing to use an outdated term to refer to the new thing.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Also, are people really using chromebooks outside of education in 2017? I bought a cheap bay trail one a few years ago and since I have it lying around I'm using it with linux in situations (like if I'm going to need it to leave it in a locker at my gym) where I don't want to worry about my better laptop getting stolen. At the time, chromebooks were the only dirt cheap laptops that had solid state (although just emmc) storage, and they had better build quality than cheap windows laptops, but now there are more options on the windows side so I don't think it really makes sense to buy a chromebook just to install linux on it. Also, chromebooks now seem to be as or more expensive than equivalent windows laptops.

If you only need internet/word processing I can see chromeos working, but for the latter use the lack of Word or Libreoffice can be problematic. (I guess for kids writing reports for school they really only need the bare essentials so Google Docs would be sufficient.)

For people who are actually using chromeos without installing linux in whatever form, I would be curious to hear how they are actually using their computer.

mystes fucked around with this message at Oct 29, 2017 around 16:34

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010



mystes posted:

Also, are people really using chromebooks outside of education in 2017? I bought a cheap bay trail one a few years ago and since I have it lying around I'm using it with linux in situations (like if I'm going to need it to leave it in a locker at my gym) where I don't want to worry about my better laptop getting stolen. At the time, chromebooks were the only dirt cheap laptops that had solid state (although just emmc) storage, and they had better build quality than cheap windows laptops, but now there are more options on the windows side so I don't think it really makes sense to buy a chromebook just to install linux on it. Also, chromebooks now seem to be as or more expensive than equivalent windows laptops.

If you only need internet/word processing I can see chromeos working, but for the latter use the lack of Word or Libreoffice can be problematic. (I guess for kids writing reports for school they really only need the bare essentials so Google Docs would be sufficient.)

For people who are actually using chromeos without installing linux in whatever form, I would be curious to hear how they are actually using their computer.

I’m speaking as someone who’s in the market to buy a Chromebook.

I’m a publisher. I write and edit and publish books online. It’s my job. For the heavy lifting of making covers and publishing, I require photoshop and a mac (the best publishing program is mac only called Vellum). Considering any given month I’m juggling three of four releases, it also means I need Scrivener for the heavy lifting of editing and and all that. All of that I do on my 5k iMac. It’s the best tool for that job... however, my ancient (2009) MacBook Pro barely works, so for coffee shop writing, and for around my apartment as opposed to my office, I use an iPad Air 2 (which I’m writing this on,) and my iphone. That all being said, for traveling and coffee shops, I want a laptop again, if nothing else for the form factor.

So I look at the new apple laptops and go “I can pay a grand (or more) for a laptop that has a worse keyboard than the one on my laptop from almost a decade ago, for something that all I really need to do on it is write and listen to Spotify”.
Which lead me to chrome books. Now, a low res screen one does not appeal to me, but the Samsung pro, Or the one I most likely will get (HP G1 13 inch) has a screen that’s the equivalent of an apple Retina display. Now it does not have my preferred writing program, but for actual drafting all I really require is a black screen and green text. There’s a free google program (writer) that does just that, and syncs easily with my Imac. Copy paste over to scrivener, and it’s really pretty much seamless. Not to mention, even at it’s premium price ($650 brand new, and the refurbished knock it down to like $400) that beats any of the mac laptops I looked at.

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell


mystes posted:

Also, are people really using chromebooks outside of education in 2017?

Yes.

I mean I don't have any statistics at hand, but I see them all the time, so at least some people are using them.

New Zealand can eat me
Aug 29, 2008



mystes posted:

For people who are actually using chromeos without installing linux in whatever form, I would be curious to hear how they are actually using their computer.

This guide to setting up a development chromebook using Termux was what made it click for me: https://blog.lessonslearned.org/bui...ent-chromebook/

That + usb 3 gigabit ethernet adapter, yubikey, and a fast microsd and it's the perfect dev terminal

On the other side of things, I've also found that having one of these backstage is extremely useful for ferrying mp3s to/from thumbdrives/the internet. It's relatively cheap so it's not the end of the world if some piece of poo poo ganks it.

The new ones with the nice screens are tempting, but the $169 one still has HDMI out.

mystes
May 31, 2006



My original goal was basically just to do word processing, so your use case makes sense LionArcher.

I had sort of forgotten about the exact details, but I just remembered that my main problem was that I was mostly using the chromebook without internet access (I was trying to use it during my commute on public transportation). This caused additional problems that I hadn't anticipated:
1) I didn't have the option of using web sites instead of apps for some things I needed (mainly a dictionary program)
2) There turned out to be lots of additional limitations in Google Docs when used offline. I think even spellchecking didn't work, which was really frustrating? I don't know if that is still the case.
3) Syncing was more finicky than I was hoping. It took some time to actually sync when I got my laptop online again, and it wasn't obvious that it had completed, which was frustrating when I was trying to switch between using my desktop at home and the chromebook. This might also be better now.

I think if you always have internet access when you're using the chromebook it will be a much smoother experience.

Also, a lot of it effectively comes down to how tolerable Google Docs is for your uses. I ended up realizing that I was wasting time because of minor formatting issues when converting to word files.

Edit: Also, at the time, trying to use ARC for android apps was an absolutely terrible experience (really slow to start apps and you couldn't even resize them; they all were one of two fixed sizes based on phone or tablet dimensions). I can imagine that the new system combined with termux covers a lot more use cases.

It still seems like you have to spend a lot of working getting back to where you would start on another operating system if your requirements are at all complicated, though.

mystes fucked around with this message at Oct 29, 2017 around 18:07

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell


mystes posted:

My original goal was basically just to do word processing, so your use case makes sense LionArcher.

I had sort of forgotten about the exact details, but I just remembered that my main problem was that I was mostly using the chromebook without internet access (I was trying to use it during my commute on public transportation). This caused additional problems that I hadn't anticipated:
1) I didn't have the option of using web sites instead of apps for some things I needed (mainly a dictionary program)
2) There turned out to be lots of additional limitations in Google Docs when used offline. I think even spellchecking didn't work, which was really frustrating? I don't know if that is still the case.
3) Syncing was more finicky than I was hoping. It took some time to actually sync when I got my laptop online again, and it wasn't obvious that it had completed, which was frustrating when I was trying to switch between using my desktop at home and the chromebook. This might also be better now.

I think if you always have internet access when you're using the chromebook it will be a much smoother experience.

Also, a lot of it effectively comes down to how tolerable Google Docs is for your uses. I ended up realizing that I was wasting time because of minor formatting issues when converting to word files.

Edit: Also, at the time, trying to use ARC for android apps was an absolutely terrible experience (really slow to start apps and you couldn't even resize them; they all were one of two fixed sizes based on phone or tablet dimensions). I can imagine that the new system combined with termux covers a lot more use cases.

It still seems like you have to spend a lot of working getting back to where you would start on another operating system if your requirements are at all complicated, though.

Office 365 online is a thing that is good. Better than Google Docs in some ways, worse in others.

I always have internet so I don't know the answer to this, but I wonder how Office's offline features compare to Googles.

Xeras
Oct 11, 2004

Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

I got directed here from the Laptop thread so. I'm looking at this chromebook as last time I was recommended an Acer 15. this seems to fit my needs of a big screen, backlit keyboard and not a flip/convertible. After reading the OP this seems like a better option, though?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010



mystes posted:

My original goal was basically just to do word processing, so your use case makes sense LionArcher.

I had sort of forgotten about the exact details, but I just remembered that my main problem was that I was mostly using the chromebook without internet access (I was trying to use it during my commute on public transportation). This caused additional problems that I hadn't anticipated:
1) I didn't have the option of using web sites instead of apps for some things I needed (mainly a dictionary program)
2) There turned out to be lots of additional limitations in Google Docs when used offline. I think even spellchecking didn't work, which was really frustrating? I don't know if that is still the case.
3) Syncing was more finicky than I was hoping. It took some time to actually sync when I got my laptop online again, and it wasn't obvious that it had completed, which was frustrating when I was trying to switch between using my desktop at home and the chromebook. This might also be better now.

I think if you always have internet access when you're using the chromebook it will be a much smoother experience.

Also, a lot of it effectively comes down to how tolerable Google Docs is for your uses. I ended up realizing that I was wasting time because of minor formatting issues when converting to word files.

Edit: Also, at the time, trying to use ARC for android apps was an absolutely terrible experience (really slow to start apps and you couldn't even resize them; they all were one of two fixed sizes based on phone or tablet dimensions). I can imagine that the new system combined with termux covers a lot more use cases.

It still seems like you have to spend a lot of working getting back to where you would start on another operating system if your requirements are at all complicated, though.

You’re issues cover my past fears and why I’ve held off. However I’ll be in wifi spots basically always, and on top of that, nolvr is web based and has a great offline mode. I’m going to test if more thoroughly during nanowrimo to see if it’s worth the price. (Its basically a web based scrivener).

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Statutory Ape posted:

and also I was looking @ the new pixel CB last night and I have to say it is....ugly

E: there should be an indication which models use the correct charging port imo

e2: how much difference would i notice between the M3 and the M5 on the asus c302 in ChromeOS? in ubuntu?

The Pixelbook design is indeed a little...different. I'm not in love with that Pixel-smartphone-style glass panel but I understand it's there to improve antenna reception.

Most new CBs (i.e. anything from 2017 onward) charge via USB Type C PD; in fact, I don't know of a model from this year that uses a proprietary charger.

Those mobile/fanless Skylake chips from the 4405y to the m7 are basically just increasingly faster versions of the same thing; it's not like you're going from a dual-core, to 2C4T, to 4C, to a desktop 4C8T. For reference, the Passmark scores are roughly 2k, 3k, 3.3k, and 3.5k, respectively, so that's why I said the jump from the Pentium to the m3 was bigger than the jump between the subsequent Core m options. Those are synthetic benchmark results, but nevertheless those are again basically just the same CPU so they're among the closest-possible items to compare. The Octane results are around 15k, 23k, 29k, and 31k, respectively; that's a commonly used CB benchmark, and indicates the diminishing returns as you go up the model line. Plus, the bigger performance boost may be from going between 4 & 8 GB of RAM, as those amounts tend to be tied to those m3 & m5 CPUs, respectively, as in the HP CB 13.

So getting back to the C302: jumping up to the m5 version would probably not be particularly noticeable and only worth it if the price increase was modest (although the probable RAM doubling would be worth more, as you can't upgrade it yourself even if you wanted to.)

As far as performance in Ubuntu? That would totally depend on what you were running in it, but I still expect the performance difference to be barely noticeable. If you were doing some video transcoding or something CPU intensive on your CB in Ubuntu, then maybe you'd be able to benchmark the transcoding times and a faster CPU would be worth it, but these are all dual-core fanless CPUs, and I don't think many people are doing such activities on their CBs.

mystes posted:

You repeatedly use the term "ARC" to refer to running android apps on Chromebooks, but AFAIK the current system is not based on ARC which was the previous failed attempt to get Android apps to run on Chromebooks using a completely different approach.

(ARC was a chrome browser app using NACL or something to emulate android, wheres the current approach I think involved extending the kernel to support Android apis so they could be run directly in a chroot environment.)

Thermopyle posted:

I think this is correct.

A lot of current info on this subject confusingly continues to talk about ARC, but I think that's just people continuing to use an outdated term to refer to the new thing.

Even if technically correct, most people just refer to it as "Android apps on my Chromebook" anyway. I'd be fine changing the terminology to whatever is the least confusing, however.

mystes posted:

Also, are people really using chromebooks outside of education in 2017? I bought a cheap bay trail one a few years ago and since I have it lying around I'm using it with linux in situations (like if I'm going to need it to leave it in a locker at my gym) where I don't want to worry about my better laptop getting stolen. At the time, chromebooks were the only dirt cheap laptops that had solid state (although just emmc) storage, and they had better build quality than cheap windows laptops, but now there are more options on the windows side so I don't think it really makes sense to buy a chromebook just to install linux on it. Also, chromebooks now seem to be as or more expensive than equivalent windows laptops.

If you only need internet/word processing I can see chromeos working, but for the latter use the lack of Word or Libreoffice can be problematic. (I guess for kids writing reports for school they really only need the bare essentials so Google Docs would be sufficient.)

For people who are actually using chromeos without installing linux in whatever form, I would be curious to hear how they are actually using their computer.

I use a CB every single day. Most of my PC usage is in ChromeOS. I can do nearly everything on ChromeOS aside from obviously Windows-specific applications like games. You could technically install Ubuntu and run less-demanding Steam games on your CB, though. I also have a Windows machine running Plex Media Server, which again could technically be run on a CB.

The Bay Trail CBs are what I try to help people avoid buying. As minimal as ChromeOS's requirements are, Bay Trail is in my opinion inadequate for comfortable usage in that OS or Windows. The cheap (say, ~$300) CBs do indeed have better quality than similarly-priced Windows laptops; that was and still is the case. Check the cheap "Amazon Recommended" laptops for examples. Good CBs still run cheaper than acceptably good Windows machines; sure, there's a $350 Windows laptop that I recommend that requires about $100 in upgrades to turn it into the most acceptable new & cheap Windows device, and something like the Asus ZenBook is a reasonably priced entry-level Ultrabook in the $700-800 range. But most real "premium" Windows laptops like the XPS models or X1 Carbon run $1k and well above that. The point is not, as I already wrote in the OP, "you can just buy a Windows laptop for the same price as a CB!" It's "you can get a CB, if it suits your needs, and you won't have to deal with any Windows overhead or drawbacks."

Most people do Web browsing, productivity, streaming; all the tasks I wrote in the OP. Those are tasks at which CBs excel. Sure, I also play Windows games, but only a couple of days a week; I do all the basic tasks on a daily basis, and I don't need to fire up my gaming desktop to browse the Web or type on SA when I can just do it with my CB Pixel.

You can use office.com if Google Docs doesn't suit your needs. You could also do the thing with CRD and use your CB to remotely access a Windows desktop running the full Office suite if you absolutely needed to.

I did use Crouton on most of my devices, but eventually stopped using Ubuntu and even updating the chroots because it was unnecessary. There was nothing I needed to do on a PC that ChromeOS couldn't but Ubuntu could, because those were basically the aforementioned fringe Windows applications.

LionArcher posted:

I’m speaking as someone who’s in the market to buy a Chromebook.

I’m a publisher. I write and edit and publish books online. It’s my job. For the heavy lifting of making covers and publishing, I require photoshop and a mac (the best publishing program is mac only called Vellum). Considering any given month I’m juggling three of four releases, it also means I need Scrivener for the heavy lifting of editing and and all that. All of that I do on my 5k iMac. It’s the best tool for that job... however, my ancient (2009) MacBook Pro barely works, so for coffee shop writing, and for around my apartment as opposed to my office, I use an iPad Air 2 (which I’m writing this on,) and my iphone. That all being said, for traveling and coffee shops, I want a laptop again, if nothing else for the form factor.

So I look at the new apple laptops and go “I can pay a grand (or more) for a laptop that has a worse keyboard than the one on my laptop from almost a decade ago, for something that all I really need to do on it is write and listen to Spotify”.
Which lead me to chrome books. Now, a low res screen one does not appeal to me, but the Samsung pro, Or the one I most likely will get (HP G1 13 inch) has a screen that’s the equivalent of an apple Retina display. Now it does not have my preferred writing program, but for actual drafting all I really require is a black screen and green text. There’s a free google program (writer) that does just that, and syncs easily with my Imac. Copy paste over to scrivener, and it’s really pretty much seamless. Not to mention, even at it’s premium price ($650 brand new, and the refurbished knock it down to like $400) that beats any of the mac laptops I looked at.

This is exactly a CB use-case. You don't need to spend a goddamn grand on overpriced Apple junk (I really hate Apple, for many reasons, but will try to limit such discussion and focus on the main topic here) to type text and stream music! CBs offer a perfect mix of price, portability, and functionality, and the HP 13 is indeed one of the better ones. I've typed a lot on the HP 13's keyboard, and it's perfectly comfortable for me despite not having mechanical key switches, plus being backlit is a huge bonus. I can't actually recall a bad keyboard on a CB; the C100/C101's keyboard is the closest thing because it's cramped, by necessity, but otherwise the only other consideration you'd have to make is if you'd like the Thinkpad-style scalloped keycaps.

As I've mentioned, the HP 13 is frequently as low as half-MSRP refurb'd on Woot, so I'll post here the next time they're up.

You might also consider the Dell 13 (7310) as described in the 2nd post, because even though it's discontinued it's still one of the best CBs ever, all-around, even if it's one of the heavier ones. Check eBay, you can find them quite reasonably priced!

mystes posted:

My original goal was basically just to do word processing, so your use case makes sense LionArcher.

I had sort of forgotten about the exact details, but I just remembered that my main problem was that I was mostly using the chromebook without internet access (I was trying to use it during my commute on public transportation). This caused additional problems that I hadn't anticipated:
1) I didn't have the option of using web sites instead of apps for some things I needed (mainly a dictionary program)
2) There turned out to be lots of additional limitations in Google Docs when used offline. I think even spellchecking didn't work, which was really frustrating? I don't know if that is still the case.
3) Syncing was more finicky than I was hoping. It took some time to actually sync when I got my laptop online again, and it wasn't obvious that it had completed, which was frustrating when I was trying to switch between using my desktop at home and the chromebook. This might also be better now.

I think if you always have internet access when you're using the chromebook it will be a much smoother experience.

Also, a lot of it effectively comes down to how tolerable Google Docs is for your uses. I ended up realizing that I was wasting time because of minor formatting issues when converting to word files.

Edit: Also, at the time, trying to use ARC for android apps was an absolutely terrible experience (really slow to start apps and you couldn't even resize them; they all were one of two fixed sizes based on phone or tablet dimensions). I can imagine that the new system combined with termux covers a lot more use cases.

It still seems like you have to spend a lot of working getting back to where you would start on another operating system if your requirements are at all complicated, though.

I think offline implementations have improved over the past few years, but to be honest I don't really ever make use of offline services because nearly everything I do needs Internet access. Even creating this thread (in Google Docs) over a period of several hours required going back and forth in Chrome to get product links.

Spellchecking in Docs probably does require a connection; the application is not installed locally like you'd traditionally have Office or whatever so there's most likely no local dictionary to check against. I'm not sure about all syncing, but for individual file sync between Drive there are notifications with a progress indicator in the bottom-right corner.

I can see how spending time re-formatting in Word would be frustrating. You could potentially just type everything first, then paste into Word and do all the formatting there, which should approximate the total time you'd spend typing and formatting simultaneously in Word from the outset.

Android app performance is largely smooth now, although it's device-dependent (as in the OP, I find the C100 to be a little sluggish,) but you can otherwise run apps up to and including intense games (Vainglory, WoT Blitz, etc.) on an appropriate CB. Resizing is still an issue, although not necessarily a permanent one. Keep in mind some apps are portrait-mode only so you couldn't really take them full-screen, but I do agree maximizing their height on your CB would be nice. I do use most of my Android apps on actual Android devices, however, rather than on a CB.

Ultimately, ChromeOS isn't for everyone, but I stand by my statement that most people can use it for the general-purpose tasks they actually spend most of their time on.

Xeras posted:

I got directed here from the Laptop thread so. I'm looking at this chromebook as last time I was recommended an Acer 15. this seems to fit my needs of a big screen, backlit keyboard and not a flip/convertible. After reading the OP this seems like a better option, though?

I did reply in the main Laptop thread, but just to reiterate the Acer 15 does not have a backlit keyboard. Both of those models you linked, however, appear to be identical, just with white vs. black plastic.

FistEnergy
Nov 3, 2000

DAY CREW: WORKING HARD


Fun Shoe

oh hell yes

Uncle Lizard
Sep 28, 2012


I'm looking to get two of my kids Chromebooks for Xmas. They are about to go into high school, so they'll need something to do school work on, but I'm sure they'd like to play games also. I'm looking for the cheapest, yet still decent, Chromebooks that runs Android apps. Refurbished if perfectly fine, and one that converts interested a tablet would be a plus. What are my options?

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Uncle Lizard posted:

I'm looking to get two of my kids Chromebooks for Xmas. They are about to go into high school, so they'll need something to do school work on, but I'm sure they'd like to play games also. I'm looking for the cheapest, yet still decent, Chromebooks that runs Android apps. Refurbished if perfectly fine, and one that converts interested a tablet would be a plus. What are my options?

Note this list from the OP and the recommendations in the 2nd post. I could probably highlight the ones that have Android app support in the stable channel....

Anyways, the Acer R11 at up to $300 or the Asus C101 at $300 would work, although the latter is small with a cramped keyboard so it would make typing more difficult unless they hooked up an external keyboard. The Lenovo Yoga 11e (3rd or 4th generation) would also work; it's a bit chunkier but more durable than the R11, and you can probably find examples in the $300-400 range if you don't look for brand-new current-gen ones. These are all 10-11" models, however, which means the display is a bit small to work on for long periods of time.

The Samsung CB Plus is totally worth it if you can find the refurbs on woot.com at $350, but they've only been sold twice and sold out within a few days. I'll post a link here the next time I see some good deals.

Your best bet is the Acer R13, which has nice hardware, an easy-to-read 13" FHD display, a good ARM CPU, Android App support, and you can currently find the 64 GB version refurbished directly from Acer's eBay store for around $300 (and they have 3 available at the moment!) I did see the 32 GB version for $250 a month or two back but they're not currently available for that price. Still, 64 GB of storage gives them more space for Android apps. Get this one, it's the best currently-available option for the price and it looks & feels more expensive than it is.

Mental Hospitality
Jan 5, 2011

This is a front row seat to the greatest show on earth.

The 14in metal Acer Chromebook I bought over a year ago might be the best sub-$300 gadget I've ever bought. Wonderfully sturdy, 10+ hour battery, and great IPS display. Complaints are minor; I wish it had a backlit keyboard and the CPU is just this side of adequate (but for a passively cooled SoC it really isn't too terrible). It is an excellent couch machine.

And now I can install Play Store apps... that's so frickin cool.

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell


Mental Hospitality posted:

The 14in metal Acer Chromebook I bought over a year ago might be the best sub-$300 gadget I've ever bought. Wonderfully sturdy, 10+ hour battery, and great IPS display. Complaints are minor; I wish it had a backlit keyboard and the CPU is just this side of adequate (but for a passively cooled SoC it really isn't too terrible). It is an excellent couch machine.

And now I can install Play Store apps... that's so frickin cool.

Chromebook manufacturers seem to hate backlit keyboards.

Uncle Lizard
Sep 28, 2012


Atomizer posted:

Note this list from the OP and the recommendations in the 2nd post. I could probably highlight the ones that have Android app support in the stable channel....

Anyways, the Acer R11 at up to $300 or the Asus C101 at $300 would work, although the latter is small with a cramped keyboard so it would make typing more difficult unless they hooked up an external keyboard. The Lenovo Yoga 11e (3rd or 4th generation) would also work; it's a bit chunkier but more durable than the R11, and you can probably find examples in the $300-400 range if you don't look for brand-new current-gen ones. These are all 10-11" models, however, which means the display is a bit small to work on for long periods of time.

The Samsung CB Plus is totally worth it if you can find the refurbs on woot.com at $350, but they've only been sold twice and sold out within a few days. I'll post a link here the next time I see some good deals.

Your best bet is the Acer R13, which has nice hardware, an easy-to-read 13" FHD display, a good ARM CPU, Android App support, and you can currently find the 64 GB version refurbished directly from Acer's eBay store for around $300 (and they have 3 available at the moment!) I did see the 32 GB version for $250 a month or two back but they're not currently available for that price. Still, 64 GB of storage gives them more space for Android apps. Get this one, it's the best currently-available option for the price and it looks & feels more expensive than it is.
Thanks for the info. I found some ASUS C100PA-DB01 Chromebook Flip 10.1" for $189 refurbished. Is this a decent Chromebook and does it run Android apps? I have the Samsung Chromebook plus and I like it, but I'm not getting careless children a $450 anything haha

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



The Acer Chromebook R 13 is nice but is it a lot heavier than expected, especially say compared with one of the first Samsung Chromebooks.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Mental Hospitality posted:

The 14in metal Acer Chromebook I bought over a year ago might be the best sub-$300 gadget I've ever bought. Wonderfully sturdy, 10+ hour battery, and great IPS display. Complaints are minor; I wish it had a backlit keyboard and the CPU is just this side of adequate (but for a passively cooled SoC it really isn't too terrible). It is an excellent couch machine.

And now I can install Play Store apps... that's so frickin cool.

I like that, "just this side of adequate," is an excellent way to describe the N3160 (and similar Braswell chips.)

Thermopyle posted:

Chromebook manufacturers seem to hate backlit keyboards.

Well I mean they're not that common on cheap Windows machines either, but they're becoming more popular overall. Remember, backlit keyboards haven't been around for all that long; before they existed IBM had that ThinkLight thing on Thinkpads that shone an actual light from the top edge of the display onto the keyboard, as sort of a ghetto lighting solution; that goes back over a decade. I do agree that actual backlit keyboards (and mechanical keyswitches) should be universal, however.

Uncle Lizard posted:

Thanks for the info. I found some ASUS C100PA-DB01 Chromebook Flip 10.1" for $189 refurbished. Is this a decent Chromebook and does it run Android apps? I have the Samsung Chromebook plus and I like it, but I'm not getting careless children a $450 anything haha

That's the one with 2 GB of RAM. Avoid it. Performance on the modest ARM CPU is barely passable as it is, and that's coupled with 4 GB RAM. Also, this exact device was just on sale refurbished on Woot.com three days ago for $150 so that's not even a good deal. $200 for the 4 GB version would be OK. Even still, like I said the 10" Flip is not that great as a productivity device because of the cramped keyboard, so if your kids are trying to type papers and get actual work done it will be more difficult for them. Realistically you're looking at an 11" or bigger device.

You should really expect to end up purchasing one of the devices I recommended in the $300 range, even if it's one of the rugged/Edu models like that Yoga 11e. If the kids are clumsy enough where you expect them to drop & break these things eventually, keep in mind spending the bare minimum on a cheap device and then having to replace it will be more expensive than buying them a tougher device in the first place that is specifically built to survive the kind of beating kids can deliver to it.

MrMoo posted:

The Acer Chromebook R 13 is nice but is it a lot heavier than expected, especially say compared with one of the first Samsung Chromebooks.

This is true, but that's to be expected since it's a larger device, 13.3" vs. 12.3". Approximately 3.3 vs. 2.4 lbs, nothing surprising about that. For reference the Dell 13 7310 is 3.6 lbs. and the Acer 15 is the heaviest at 4.9 lbs. The C100/101 are the lightest at 2 lbs. I have numbers on basically all of the devices I recommended, but in general many of the ~13" devices average a little over 3 lbs.

RISCy Business
Jun 17, 2015

bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork


Fun Shoe

chomebook!!!!!

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



chrome to butthead

Uncle Lizard
Sep 28, 2012



Thanks for the advice. I was hoping to keep it at $200 per device (I need two), but maybe we can stretch it a little, or maybe some deals will pop up before Xmas that will make it a sweeter deal.

Uncle Lizard fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2017 around 01:35

Da Mott Man
Aug 3, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Oh, no!

I'll put in a word for the Dell Chromebook 11.

Pros:
I have beat the hell out of mine and it still looks brand new. Seriously, mine has taken a tumble off the top a moving car (don't ask, work stuff) and didn't even get a scratch.
You can pick them up for under $200 from Dell scratch and dent.
Keyboard and trackpad are of higher quality for the price.
Battery life is really good.

Cons:
The screen has bad viewing angles. Unless your looking at it straight on everything is washed out, lower quality TN screen.
Bulky, but this I give a half point because of the battery size and the ruggedness of the casing.
Tinny speakers.

I don't have a touch screen on mine so can't really comment on that.

FistEnergy
Nov 3, 2000

DAY CREW: WORKING HARD


Fun Shoe

Thanks for everything, Atomizer. I decided on the Acer CB 14 at the top of your recommendation list. Since I've never owned a Chromebook I figure I'll go with a nice looking/feeling entry-level unit. I've owned Acer Windows laptops in the past and they held up well and were a good value.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Da Mott Man posted:

I'll put in a word for the Dell Chromebook 11.

Pros:
I have beat the hell out of mine and it still looks brand new. Seriously, mine has taken a tumble off the top a moving car (don't ask, work stuff) and didn't even get a scratch.
You can pick them up for under $200 from Dell scratch and dent.
Keyboard and trackpad are of higher quality for the price.
Battery life is really good.

Cons:
The screen has bad viewing angles. Unless your looking at it straight on everything is washed out, lower quality TN screen.
Bulky, but this I give a half point because of the battery size and the ruggedness of the casing.
Tinny speakers.

I don't have a touch screen on mine so can't really comment on that.

The Dell 11 is one of those low-end, rugged/EDU models. It's comparable to, say the Lenovo 11e, but the Dell has a worse, dual-core N3060 (and it sounds like other low-end components, although CB keyboards and touchpads are generally universally pretty good at worst.) Its main advantage is being cheap and durable; otherwise, it's not a model I'd recommend, although of course it works just like every other CB.

FistEnergy posted:

Thanks for everything, Atomizer. I decided on the Acer CB 14 at the top of your recommendation list. Since I've never owned a Chromebook I figure I'll go with a nice looking/feeling entry-level unit. I've owned Acer Windows laptops in the past and they held up well and were a good value.

Da Mott Man
Aug 3, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Oh, no!

Atomizer posted:

The Dell 11 is one of those low-end, rugged/EDU models. It's comparable to, say the Lenovo 11e, but the Dell has a worse, dual-core N3060 (and it sounds like other low-end components, although CB keyboards and touchpads are generally universally pretty good at worst.) Its main advantage is being cheap and durable; otherwise, it's not a model I'd recommend, although of course it works just like every other CB.

I agree its not a great Chromebook but I would say its the best in its class of beating the poo poo out of it and if it breaks you don't really care because its so inexpensive. If your not beating the hell out of your laptop or looking for something with better specs I would definitely go with something else.

Doctor Party
Jan 3, 2004

Doctor Party Woohoo!

Guys I got the New Chromebook Flip ASUS on Atomizer's recommendation.

I had the previous model, and loved it. Only problem I dropped and broke it. Now this one is way faster, just as light, only like 50 bucks more and amazing. It is less than 2 pounds, touch screen, full flip to tablet mode, great keyboard. The keyboard is small, but actually my favorite keyboard to type on. It's perfectly sized.

Anyway thanks to Atomizer for all the help and the new chromebook thread.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Woot has refurbished HP CB 13s on sale right now! Gogogogogogo!!!!!

Edit: I can offer my opinions if anyone's unsure on which of the 4 models to get.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Nov 2, 2017 around 08:28

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010



Atomizer posted:

Woot has refurbished HP CB 13s on sale right now! Gogogogogogo!!!!!

Edit: I can offer my opinions if anyone's unsure on which of the 4 models to get.

Oh come on. I’m not ready to buy this till December. Grumbles. Okay, M3 or M5?

FistEnergy
Nov 3, 2000

DAY CREW: WORKING HARD


Fun Shoe

Those look tempting but I have $200 in Amazon GCs tabbed for my Chromebook selection so

kimcicle
Feb 23, 2003



I've been toying with the idea of buying a Chromebook as my secondary laptop when I travel for work (to separate work from personal). Is there a way to load up the chromebook with video files to watch while I'm on a plane, or is this a device that's better suited for streaming media off the internet instead?

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



The majority of them at any price range have micro-sd slots

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


LionArcher posted:

Oh come on. I’m not ready to buy this till December. Grumbles. Okay, M3 or M5?

Ok, so here are the models at the current prices (original MSRP in parentheses):

$330 ($500) - Pentium/4 GB
$370 ($600) - m3/4 GB
$470 ($820) - m5/8 GB
$530 ($1030) - m7/16 GB

(Note the original MSRPs - this is what I meant when I said you could get refurbished CBs at as low as half MSRP!)

The Pentium model is probably fine for most people (that CPU in particular corresponds to one of the more typical Core-based Celerons (e.g. 3205U) and at the other end the m7 is also probably overkill for most people. The m3 is probably worth the $40 bump over the base model; keep in mind everything is soldered on these (and most other) CBs so you're not going to be able to upgrade the CPU/RAM down the line even if you wanted to. The m5 isn't as big a boost over the m3, but it's complicated by the fact that the former gets double the RAM; that alone would probably justify jumping to the m5. However, the pricing further complicates the situation. Given the overall prices of the refurbs, the $100 bump between the middle models is more difficult to justify, especially when the top model is only $60 more and it gets both the fastest CPU and another double of the RAM. I'm not saying you should jump all the way from the Pentium to the m7, though.

Ultimately, the m3 is definitely worth the cost and the upgrade over the Pentium. If you use dozens of tabs at once, and especially if this is going to be your main machine, the m5 is worth that price, although it's only because of the RAM upgrade.

FistEnergy posted:

Those look tempting but I have $200 in Amazon GCs tabbed for my Chromebook selection so

If you weren't specifically interested in the HP 13, that's fine. Otherwise it'd make sense to save the $200 on Amazon for other stuff and buy the heavily-discounted CB from Woot.

kimcicle posted:

I've been toying with the idea of buying a Chromebook as my secondary laptop when I travel for work (to separate work from personal). Is there a way to load up the chromebook with video files to watch while I'm on a plane, or is this a device that's better suited for streaming media off the internet instead?

In short, yes you can load videos on either internal storage or external (SD or USB) flash storage, and you can use the VLC extension for Chrome (although it hasn't been updated in awhile, it should still work) to play them. You should also be able to download video to watch offline on Netflix, Plex, and even Youtube, but in my preliminary investigation it looks like you'd need the Android apps for these, rather than being able to download directly from the Web pages. I'll investigate this a little later for you after I get the software updated. I've actually never used these "offline viewing" features because whenever I use any of the aforementioned video services it's always via streaming over a network.

Edit: To expand on the above, yes, you can use the download/offline features of relevant Android apps to save streaming content locally on your CB. This worked with Youtube and Plex, however the Netflix app didn't run on my C100; I hadn't even installed the latter because all of those services work just fine via their Web interfaces. I'd have to assume that the Android Netflix app works on some other CBs. The downside of all this is that the apps still can't see external storage; I'm not sure why, and this may or may not be something they resolve in a future update, but the end result is that if you want to save streaming content it has to be to the CB's local storage currently. You can still add flash storage and your own media and play them outside of any Android app, however.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Nov 3, 2017 around 02:44

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


I wanted to share this deal alert story from Chrome Unboxed because a couple of the devices I recommend are going to be on sale. Starting 11/17 at Costco, you can get either the Acer 14 or the Acer R11 (the best models of either) for $200. That's a good price for a refurb of either of those, let alone a new one. It looks like, when active, the deals will be here and here.

incoherent
Apr 24, 2004

01010100011010000111001
00110100101101100011011
000110010101110010


cross post from /r/sysadmin re: HP 11 chromebooks

quote:

4 have caught fire after being plugged in for 15 seconds or less. Charred the port and the power adapter. Faulty part was the charge port had an excess amount of solder on the wires casing 2 red, 2 black and 1 brown all to connect to each other. All 4 serial numbers were exactly the same up to the last 2 digits. I'm assuming this was a batch issue.

383 with bad track pads. Most of them were fine at first but they dropped like flies. Most failed within the first 2 weeks of use. Probably only a dozen were bad out of the box. This number is increasing an average of 2 per day. That's 10 a week. HP refuses to recognize a manufacturing flaw, I keep demanding they ship me a box of 50 trackpads at a time instead of ordering 1 at a time. Still a work in progress.

100+ with serial/product numbers printed so poorly they can't be read. Literally just looks like a stamped white blotch.

74 had bad ribbon cables. After removing the shielding wrap, most cables just got twisted causing them to pull al the ends out of the connectors. Only 2 were bad out of the box, the other 16 failed within 2 months.

15 with static speakers. The speakers worked but there was a loud static to them. This is out of the box.

7 had broken displays out of the box. Not cracked, just either solid black or solid white. Replacing ribbon cable did not resolve the issue.

3 had bad keyboards out of the box. Not sure what causes this though. This actually is a pretty average number for a batch this size.

1 with bad network interface card.

1 with bad camera

0 bad chargers. Every single charger worked out of the box. So at least I have that going for me. HP G1 and G2s had failing chargers like it was the black plague. HP was nice enough to replace them even out of warranty for awhile.

4,000 deployment in 1 year with a 15% failure rate is pretty spectacular.

incoherent fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2017 around 21:22

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Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



incoherent posted:


4,000 deployment in 1 year with a 15% failure rate is pretty spectacular.

please don't bring your xbox hate into my chromebook thread!

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