Friday, 8 May 2015

From Mac to Chromebook... I made the switch!


About 6 weeks ago I was given a new Toshiba Chromebook 2, with a high resolution screen to trial.
Initially I was sceptical.... I have been a full MacBook Pro user for the past 4 years and while I love the Google tools I was not sure that a £180 device would match up to the finery of the Mac.

BUT...

I now live on my Chromebook and have turned my Mac on only once in 6 weeks when I forgot the power cord for the Chromebook. I have surprised myself.

Why did it work for me?

1. I am fully Google: All of my email, calendar, documents, spreadsheets and presentations (both work and personal) are now done in Google. I much prefer it to both Microsoft Office suite and the iWorks suite, I find it very simple to use and the ability to collaborate has become a daily occurrence. If you are a big Google Apps users then the Chromebook makes perfect sense

2. I am impatient: Its true, I HATE waiting for a computer to turn on or load things. My Mac was getting on a bit (nearly 4 years old) not sure what that makes it human years but it is definitely ready for its pension. It was often presenting me with the rainbow wheel of death! The Chromebook however moves faster than a toupee in a hurricane. From off its on in 7 seconds and the lid up going up and down is about 1 second until I'm going again. Brilliant for the impatient worker like me.

3. I am not doing any heavy lifting: I used to do a lot more video editing and sound creation, creating tutorials and presentations for my multimedia teaching, I do a lot less of this now and so the on-line tools of We-Video are sufficient... for now. However if I were to do more of this work, I may need to reconsider.

My Incorrect Misconceptions:

1. It's rubbish if you don't have a connection: I was on the train home from Birmingham last week and was able to create and access all the documents I needed. If you use Google Apps, using a Chromebook makes sense.

2. Lots of software won't work on it: There are of course many pieces of software which are not compatible with the Chromebook but as yet that has not affected my work. There are some good SMARTboard tools which work with the Chromebook and all the other tools I use now have a web interface.

3. Rubbish Hardware: Granted my Toshiba Chromebook 2 is not quite as nice as my Mac in terms of feel and probably durability but its still pretty good. Nice keyboard, great screen, nice feel, light, although a little plastic it even looks like a nice machine

Would I recommend a Chromebook?

Simply yes... If you all you mainly use is office tools and the web, want a device that is lightning fast, is under £200 and has a great screen then this is totally worth the investment.


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