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MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Ok this is probably going to seem like a dumb question first of but important. Work occasionally requires me going to China (like once a year or so). Are Chromebooks totally inoperable there? Are there VPN options with them? It's rare enough it's not necessarily a deal breaker but couldn't find anything immediately online.

Secondly, my main use for something like this would be basic email, browsing, etc on the move. Previously I've used a tablet for this which is great for media and sooner browsing but I nearly always need to bring my laptop if I'll be doing any serious typing or even lots of emailing. I'm very envious of a friend's Macbook Air; are there similar lightweight, good quality Chromebook options?

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Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

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


MrNemo posted:

Ok this is probably going to seem like a dumb question first of but important. Work occasionally requires me going to China (like once a year or so). Are Chromebooks totally inoperable there? Are there VPN options with them? It's rare enough it's not necessarily a deal breaker but couldn't find anything immediately online.

Secondly, my main use for something like this would be basic email, browsing, etc on the move. Previously I've used a tablet for this which is great for media and sooner browsing but I nearly always need to bring my laptop if I'll be doing any serious typing or even lots of emailing. I'm very envious of a friend's Macbook Air; are there similar lightweight, good quality Chromebook options?

You can use a L2TP VPN with a Chromebook.

On bleeding edge Canary versions of the OS, you can even tunnel your traffic through any of the Android VPN apps like Strongswan (assuming of course your Chromebook runs Android apps). That'll make it to more main line versions soon enough.

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



As long as you have logged into the Chromebook once it will be fine. Generally the great firewall isn't blocking their authentication service just anything that can share data without oversight: Google Docs, Google Sites, sometimes Gmail, etc.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Ok well that sounds like it's not that much worse than another laptop. Any suggestions on small firm chrome books with good build quality then? I'd be tempted with a Macbook Air but I really don't want to get into the Apple ecosystem. Chromebooks all look somewhat bulky but is that just design?

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



MrNemo posted:

Ok well that sounds like it's not that much worse than another laptop. Any suggestions on small firm chrome books with good build quality then? I'd be tempted with a Macbook Air but I really don't want to get into the Apple ecosystem. Chromebooks all look somewhat bulky but is that just design?

C302ca is light and also good. Despite the xps13 im ordering next week theres a nonzero chance ill own that chromebook soon too


I have...a problem

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Is that the model with the M3 or m7 processor? Trying to figure if £100 extra is worth it for the higher spec processor.

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



That one is just the regular designation sans processor suffix. Ill probably grab the m3 version though id like to try it first. As long as its snappy for like 15 tabs thats all i care about

E: tho with that piece i have no problem waiting a bit if theyre likely to release a newer one soonish

Statutory Ape fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2017 around 12:40

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

I read the OP but I'm still at a loss as to what to get my 12 year old daughter. She has one issued by her school but wants one of her own. She takes good care of her devices, so ruggedness doesn't need to be a top priority. A larger screen would be good but I don't want to sacrifice processor power to get the the large screened ACER mentioned in the OP. Is a touch-screen useful?

Is this overkill?

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsun...ilver/5620405.p

Please help, thread. I'm drowning in options.

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



if i were choosing between that one and the other one i just recommended i would pick the C302ca

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Statutory Ape posted:

if i were choosing between that one and the other one i just recommended i would pick the C302ca

I see the Samsung is pictured with a stylus. Does this have that capability? I'm not familiar with what kind of touch screens these things use.

edit: Can't go wrong with a processor that fast I guess

Flash Gordon Ramsay fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2017 around 15:48

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

I see the Samsung is pictured with a stylus. Does this have that capability? I'm not familiar with what kind of touch screens these things use.

edit: Can't go wrong with a processor that fast I guess



it wouldn't have similar stylus support to the samsung, no, but it wasn't a consideration for me and you didn't mention it either so if it's not a big deal i'd still go with the c302ca

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Edit: I've added a CB spreadsheet to the 2nd post and a helpful AndroidCentral article to the 3rd post.

MrNemo posted:

Ok this is probably going to seem like a dumb question first of but important. Work occasionally requires me going to China (like once a year or so). Are Chromebooks totally inoperable there? Are there VPN options with them? It's rare enough it's not necessarily a deal breaker but couldn't find anything immediately online.

Secondly, my main use for something like this would be basic email, browsing, etc on the move. Previously I've used a tablet for this which is great for media and sooner browsing but I nearly always need to bring my laptop if I'll be doing any serious typing or even lots of emailing. I'm very envious of a friend's Macbook Air; are there similar lightweight, good quality Chromebook options?

I can't help you about going to China specifically, but Thermopyle probably addressed your concerns. I also linked the Hotspot Shield VPN extension in the OP.

For actual CB recommendations, see the 2nd post.

MrNemo posted:

Ok well that sounds like it's not that much worse than another laptop. Any suggestions on small firm chrome books with good build quality then? I'd be tempted with a Macbook Air but I really don't want to get into the Apple ecosystem. Chromebooks all look somewhat bulky but is that just design?

Please read the 2nd post. I spent several hours writing everything and have provided specific recommendations. I've even added a spreadsheet so you can see weights in particular (sizes are largely dictated by display size, also listed.) CBs actually tend to be fairly small; 11-13" displays are most common, with the Acer 15 being somewhat of an anomaly. If you want "Macbook-like" any of the ones under the "premium" sections would suffice (they all have nice metallic builds) in addition to the Acer 14. The Asus Flip C101 is also nice and super-portable but more difficult to type on due to the small keyboard.

MrNemo posted:

Is that the model with the M3 or m7 processor? Trying to figure if £100 extra is worth it for the higher spec processor.

In the 2nd post at the bottom I specifically discussed the Core M CPUs with regards to the HP 13.

Statutory Ape posted:

C302ca is light and also good. Despite the xps13 im ordering next week theres a nonzero chance ill own that chromebook soon too


I have...a problem

I think I have the same problem as you.

Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

I read the OP but I'm still at a loss as to what to get my 12 year old daughter. She has one issued by her school but wants one of her own. She takes good care of her devices, so ruggedness doesn't need to be a top priority. A larger screen would be good but I don't want to sacrifice processor power to get the the large screened ACER mentioned in the OP. Is a touch-screen useful?

Is this overkill?

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsun...ilver/5620405.p

Please help, thread. I'm drowning in options.

Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

I see the Samsung is pictured with a stylus. Does this have that capability? I'm not familiar with what kind of touch screens these things use.

edit: Can't go wrong with a processor that fast I guess



I suggest reading the 2nd post, but that Samsung Plus you're looking at is one of my recommendations. It does indeed come with the stylus, which it can use with Android apps (to which this CB has access out of the box.) Also, the touchscreen (plus convertibility) is indeed useful both with general ChromeOS navigation and especially with Android apps.

If she takes care of her devices I don't think the Samsung is overkill. She'll really like it, and it does as much as you'd expect from any CB. I'll note that I got one refurbished from woot.com for $350, and you can find it for well under $400 on Amazon if you look for used/refurb'd. At around that price the only other suggested alternative would be the Acer R13 (around $300 on eBay, refurb'd direct from Acer) which is a little bigger, without a stylus, and with a wider display.

Atomizer fucked around with this message at Nov 16, 2017 around 21:01

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017



I should say that the biggest reasons I prefer the c302ca to the samsung(s) is that the battery life is reportedly considerably better, and I actually do a ton of side by side multitasking so 16:9 is actually a much better aspect ratio for me. The 64gb storage of the c302ca doesn't hurt either considering I also wanted something to throw ubuntu onto potentially just to play around.

I really doubt your daughter gives a poop about literally any of that, tho if shes gonna be netflixin' on it then 16:9 is prolly better for her

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Statutory Ape posted:

I should say that the biggest reasons I prefer the c302ca to the samsung(s) is that the battery life is reportedly considerably better, and I actually do a ton of side by side multitasking so 16:9 is actually a much better aspect ratio for me. The 64gb storage of the c302ca doesn't hurt either considering I also wanted something to throw ubuntu onto potentially just to play around.

I really doubt your daughter gives a poop about literally any of that, tho if shes gonna be netflixin' on it then 16:9 is prolly better for her

It basically comes down to:
Samsung Plus: Price, stylus, 3:2
Asus Flip: 16:9, maybe battery life?, maybe more storage

I don't doubt the concerns about battery life, although I've found that it's difficult to get reliably comparable numbers between different models, plus actual longevity will widely vary based on individual usage. Also, the Flip has the potential for more storage because there are more variants, like the Samsung Pro, whereas there's just the one Plus (which is going to remain that way, AFAIK.) The display aspect ratio is also not a huge difference (compared to, say, an ultra-wide.) I still think the Plus, at a good price, is going to be the best option for a 12-year-old.

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Thanks for the advice folks!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



The China thing does have me wondering, I may take the Acer with me on my next trip to provide a...uhh... Trip report for the thread.

I mean, my Google Pixel on Project Phi works fine (Phine), so I imagine Chromebook functionality will have been worked out also?

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


Deal alert: The Acer CB 14 "for Work" is $390 for the i3/8 GB version. That's a decent price for a rugged, fast CB with a backlit keyboard (but no touchscreen.)

Rubicon
Dec 16, 2005
Al bisogno si conosce l'amico

Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

I read the OP but I'm still at a loss as to what to get my 12 year old daughter. She has one issued by her school but wants one of her own. She takes good care of her devices, so ruggedness doesn't need to be a top priority. A larger screen would be good but I don't want to sacrifice processor power to get the the large screened ACER mentioned in the OP. Is a touch-screen useful?

Is this overkill?

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsun...ilver/5620405.p

Please help, thread. I'm drowning in options.

I had bought a Samsung Chromebook Plus and it suffered from phantom touch issues and I returned it. Seems like it's still somewhat of an issue.

Bought the Flip C302 as a replacement and love it.

LochNessMonster
Feb 3, 2005

I need about three fitty



I hope we poor Europeans get some sweet black friday deals as well. Id really like to get a chromebook and hopefully I can get a 15-20% discount on that 14 Acer.

Marx Headroom
May 10, 2007

AT LAST! A show with nonono commercials!

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.

Edit: Whoops misread your question, don't think I've used ChromeOS for more than 3 minutes in my entire life

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Thanks to atomizer again. Sounds like problems with a Chromebook behind the great firewall won't be too different from any other device and there are VPN options, so that's cool.

I've looked through the second post and am leaning towards a c101 for price and portability. That said I'm wary of the size as I had one of the early eee notebooks years ago and it was a pain to use. From limited testing the keyboard on this did seem a lot better. I also recall that notebook becoming unusable after about a year due to is bloat and not being able to reformat the drive partitions.

The c301 and r13 were both definitely too big but the shop I had a look in didn't have a c302. I am bad at judging size without a physical thing so will try and find somewhere I can actually hold one and make up my mind. If it feels too big to be really portable I'll go with the 101.

Thanks again for all the info!

Sauer
Sep 13, 2005

Socialize Everything!

Fun Shoe

I bought an Acer c720 years ago but never actually used ChromeOS for more than a few minutes when turning it on for the first time. I thought everyone with an Intel based Chromebook blew away ChromeOS for their Linux distro of choice. Its honestly been one of the best lightweight laptops I've ever used aside from the crummy screen and is still my "working in bed" device.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


MrNemo posted:

Thanks to atomizer again. Sounds like problems with a Chromebook behind the great firewall won't be too different from any other device and there are VPN options, so that's cool.

I've looked through the second post and am leaning towards a c101 for price and portability. That said I'm wary of the size as I had one of the early eee notebooks years ago and it was a pain to use. From limited testing the keyboard on this did seem a lot better. I also recall that notebook becoming unusable after about a year due to is bloat and not being able to reformat the drive partitions.

The c301 and r13 were both definitely too big but the shop I had a look in didn't have a c302. I am bad at judging size without a physical thing so will try and find somewhere I can actually hold one and make up my mind. If it feels too big to be really portable I'll go with the 101.

Thanks again for all the info!

Yeah, I haven't been to China and have no idea what technical difficulties you'll encounter, but it'd be the same situation if you were running Windows or MacOS.

The C101 is discounted to $270 new on Amazon now but you can find Warehouse Deals for about $230. The keyboard is definitely on the small side, though; my C100 is specifically nice for media consumption rather than content creation due to that, and because the whole device is so tiny/light it's easy to just throw it in a bag and take it with you. That being said, if you're at all concerned about the keyboard a larger device would be a good idea. The Samsung CB Plus is currently $350 new, which is what I just paid for a refurb about a month ago! The [base model] Samsung Pro is $450, which also isn't a bad price (the refurbs I saw on woot were $400.) These are ~12" devices and are a good compromise in usability vs. portability (not to mention performance!)

The fantastic thing about ChromeOS is that there's no "OS bloat" to speak of (that's a Windows thing) and you don't have to worry about reformatting or reinstalling. You can always do a Powerwash if you so desired (especially if you need to do that firmware update for the TPM vulnerability.)

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Atomizer posted:

It basically comes down to:
Samsung Plus: Price, stylus, 3:2
Asus Flip: 16:9, maybe battery life?, maybe more storage

I don't doubt the concerns about battery life, although I've found that it's difficult to get reliably comparable numbers between different models, plus actual longevity will widely vary based on individual usage. Also, the Flip has the potential for more storage because there are more variants, like the Samsung Pro, whereas there's just the one Plus (which is going to remain that way, AFAIK.) The display aspect ratio is also not a huge difference (compared to, say, an ultra-wide.) I still think the Plus, at a good price, is going to be the best option for a 12-year-old.

Best Buy has the plus and pros on sale this week, so I snagged a pro for her.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Problem I've discovered: the UK is not so great for Chromebook availability, definitely for Samsung. The pro and plus don't seem to be available here. I've discovered eBay based refurb models though so might look into getting the Asus c302 for around £400 after cyber Monday in case there's a good deal.

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



Ideally look for USB-C powered ones but retailers are a PITA in making that easy, then there is less hassle importing one.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


MrNemo posted:

Problem I've discovered: the UK is not so great for Chromebook availability, definitely for Samsung. The pro and plus don't seem to be available here. I've discovered eBay based refurb models though so might look into getting the Asus c302 for around £400 after cyber Monday in case there's a good deal.

I mention this in the 2nd post; for whatever reason CB pricing and availability is wildly inconsistent outside the US. I think some EU guys in the UK import from Germany (maybe Amazon.de?) Or else it's the other way around. Your best bet is probably going to be worldwide shippers on eBay.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Couldn't quite get PayPal Here card swiping to work on the Acer Flip, has anyone tried a similar thing on other models/payment processors?

LochNessMonster
Feb 3, 2005

I need about three fitty



MrNemo posted:

Problem I've discovered: the UK is not so great for Chromebook availability, definitely for Samsung. The pro and plus don't seem to be available here. I've discovered eBay based refurb models though so might look into getting the Asus c302 for around 400 after cyber Monday in case there's a good deal.

It looks like Samsung stopped sales of their laptops and CBs in all/most of Europe a few years ago.

I ordered the Acer CB 14 yesterday. Some pretty sweet pre black friday deal had it at 300 euros which is a 79 euro discount.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


The Asus Flip C101 is currently $250 new, its lowest price ever, with used/Warehouse Deals options at ~$212 (about $225 after tax.) That's a drat good deal on the smallest, most portable CB, and considering the increased performance and upgrades (e.g. USB-C) it completely obsoletes the original C100. The only downside is the limited storage, particularly considering that this gets Play Store access on the Stable channel. My C100, for example, which also has 16 GB of storage nominally, ends up being around 10 GB user-accessible. They may or may not come out with a version of this with more storage; I could see them not doing that considering there's already the C302 flip in multiple variants with 64+ GB of local storage. If you're just planning on installing quality-of-life Android apps and not huge games it should be fine.

You cannot currently access external storage (i.e. SD/USB) from Android apps, which may or may not be "fixed" in the future as it may or may not be a security "feature" of the Android implementation.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Well black Friday cometh and the c302 was down to £430 on Amazon, the flip was reduced to £300 so I figured I'd go with the bigger brother. Hopefully I don't discover I have the OS but it sounds like it can handle what I use my laptop for and most of my tablet too (except for taking dive log information off my dive computer, which is quite a niche use). Will give a report back in case anyone else is thing of the jump and would be interested in a first hand report.

Thought I'd ask as I couldn't find an immediate answer online, the 302 can access the play store, can I use it for Skype through the android app?

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


MrNemo posted:

Well black Friday cometh and the c302 was down to £430 on Amazon, the flip was reduced to £300 so I figured I'd go with the bigger brother. Hopefully I don't discover I have the OS but it sounds like it can handle what I use my laptop for and most of my tablet too (except for taking dive log information off my dive computer, which is quite a niche use). Will give a report back in case anyone else is thing of the jump and would be interested in a first hand report.

Thought I'd ask as I couldn't find an immediate answer online, the 302 can access the play store, can I use it for Skype through the android app?

Welcome to the club, and I'm sure you'll like the Flip!

The dive logging thing is indeed niche, although if the software has a Linux version, you could take the extra step and install Ubuntu on your new CB.

Skype should indeed work via the Android app. I've literally never used Skype, but for the hell of it I installed the app on this CB (HP 13, which just recently got Play Store access) and it seems to run fine here.

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



Random Chromebooks are appearing on Amazon for as low as $134 as part of the hourly Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, last one was an 11inch HP.

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


MrMoo posted:

Random Chromebooks are appearing on Amazon for as low as $134 as part of the hourly Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, last one was an 11inch HP.

They're not all necessarily worth buying, though; $134 is a waste if it has a lovely display, CPU, or 2 GB of RAM!

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



idk, the < $200 seems surprisingly not terrible, 4GB ram and even matte screens. I think this was the model I saw on discount:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HHB8B9...1_t2_B010C93X5M

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


MrMoo posted:

idk, the < $200 seems surprisingly not terrible, 4GB ram and even matte screens. I think this was the model I saw on discount:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HHB8B9...1_t2_B010C93X5M

It's pretty much your generic 11" CB, but I recommend the quad-core N31x0 as opposed to the N30x0 CPUs. You could get the Acer R11 for about $100 more (or less) with the same display and RAM, N3150, and it's a touchscreen convertible with Android app functionality.

TenaciousTomato
Jul 17, 2007

Until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'


I am torn between getting the R11 for my dad as a Christmas gift, in the case he wanted to use the touchscreen / Android apps, or the vanilla CB3 on sale.

He would probably use the features of the former, but the Acer CB3-131-C8GZ is up for $129 and is slated to get Google Play Store access. Should bite the bullet and go for touch-screen/quad-core on the first go round?

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



FYI: Discounts on Amazon CyberMonday - https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3841883

Atomizer
Jun 24, 2007

Bote McBoteface. so what


TenaciousTomato posted:

I am torn between getting the R11 for my dad as a Christmas gift, in the case he wanted to use the touchscreen / Android apps, or the vanilla CB3 on sale.

He would probably use the features of the former, but the Acer CB3-131-C8GZ is up for $129 and is slated to get Google Play Store access. Should bite the bullet and go for touch-screen/quad-core on the first go round?

The R11 is far better in terms of features (convertible, touchscreen, better Android app integration) and performance (much better CPU.

As per those CBs on sale:

Dr. Eldarion posted:

Amazon has an Acer Chromebook Sale running.

Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ 11.6-Inch Laptop (Intel Celeron N2840 Dual-Core Processor,2 GB RAM,16 GB Solid State Drive,Chrome), White $99.99
Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6-inch HD, Intel Celeron N2840, 4GB DDR3L, 16GB Storage, Chrome, CB3-131-C8GZ $129.99
Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible, 13.3-inch Full HD Touch, MediaTek MT8173C, 4GB LPDDR3, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-312T-K5X4 $289.99
Asus Chromebook Flip C302 with Intel Core m3, 12.5-Inch Touchscreen, 64GB storage and 4GB RAM $386.99

The Flip & R13 are the only two worth considering, but they both seem to be sold out at least temporarily at those prices. The Flip is absolutely the way to go at <$400, but if you can't spring for that (if and when available) the R13 is good, but also fairly large in comparison to the trending 12" models.

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TenaciousTomato
Jul 17, 2007

Until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'


Went with the Flip (Used - Very Good) since I missed the original sale. Pumped! I'm going to unbox it before Xmas and make sure it's good to go. $350 shipped through Amazon Warehouse. Thanks dood!

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