Chromebooks

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neema_t

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I notice there's very little discussion about Chromebooks around here, but I thought I'd start a thread anyway...

My 2013 MacBook Air is getting old, it's a bit warped because I stepped on it, the screen is covered in bright spots and the 1440x900 resolution doesn't cut it any more, not to mention the battery life is now about half or less than it was on day one. It was great when I got it but today it's less great.

My laptop use case is very simple and I honestly think I solely use Chrome (and through that, a 2TB Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Photos and Music), Parsec client for game streaming, Splashtop client for when Parsec is being unreliable (this also has the added bonus of working outside my flat with zero setup so I can connect to my PC from work), Terminal for making tweaks where necessary and SSH access to my PC or Raspberry Pi-based VirtualHere USB server, Steam with the following list of games and that's it.

Screenshot 2019-02-03 at 16.11.34.png

Many of these are available on Android and those that aren't can just be streamed from my PC anyway if I was really that bothered, and I'm not really in most cases as these are just distractions for the rare occasion when I'm away from home and want to play something.

I have an Android phone and obviously my PC is Windows 10, so I can't really see why I'd buy another MacBook Air to replace this one. I also don't really want two Windows computers to have to deal with - one problem child is enough - so that has left me looking at tablets and Chromebooks.

I don't think a tablet is what I want so I'm currently dead set on the yet-to-be-released Asus C434 Chromebook Flip, provided the price in GBP is comparable to the expected MSRP of $569 (IIRC), due in March. The main reasons for choosing it are Android app support, Linux app support, the possibility of just installing Ubuntu on it should Chrome OS not work out for me, the dimensions and weight being on par with the MBA, 1920x1080 screen (good balance between pixel density at 14", wringing a bit more performance out of the limited GPU and battery life, while also being the ideal resolution to stream games to), USB-C charging, a USB type A port, SD card slot and the dual-purpose nature of being able to use it like a good laptop or a heavy and awkwardly-shaped tablet with a laptop keyboard on the back.

In case you can't tell, I can't see how it would be anything but a heavily compromised tablet when folded all the way over, but since I also can't envisage myself using it as a tablet I don't really care. Then again I'm quite aware that I've thought similar things about other tech and have ended up being surprised that the reality was the opposite, so a C434 may well be a gateway into tablet ownership if I get fed up with the compromises.

The main thing is that in all the research I've done so far, most of what I've read is a few months old and probably out of date and it all seems to vary a lot so I'm especially interested to hear any anecdotal reports of the current state of a few features I'm pretty sure I'll use like the "Better Together" integration between Android phones and Chromebooks, the Android and Linux app support (mainly what it's like to actually use and rely on those on a daily basis) and Bluetooth audio, as I use BT headphones a lot.

So how about you, do you use a Chromebook? How do you feel about the OS compared with macOS and Windows 10?
 

JohnBM01

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One time, I was curious as to what a Chromebook has to offer opposite of what a netbook or any average laptop can provide. I saw a video once about what Chromebooks do and why you'd want one. I don't seem overly convinced, but I kind of see the appeal in getting one.
 

neema_t

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One time, I was curious as to what a Chromebook has to offer opposite of what a netbook or any average laptop can provide. I saw a video once about what Chromebooks do and why you'd want one. I don't seem overly convinced, but I kind of see the appeal in getting one.

For me I think the main thing is I already use Google's ecosystem (Google Drive, Music, Photos, and I have an Android phone), I don't want to have to deal with maintaining another copy of Windows and I don't want to pay Apple prices for an aluminium-bodied laptop (I also definitely don't want a plastic one). The C434 seems like it'll be and do everything I want a laptop to be and do for a decent price. I'm not sure that I'm right, obviously, but I do know I'm not buying another MacBook Air now that there's nothing tying me to their ecosystem.
 

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I purchased an HP Chromebook four or five years ago and was overall very happy with it. I used it only for web browsing and Google apps. I was somewhat miffed, though, when about a year ago a message popped up from Google saying that they would no longer supply updates due to its age. Planned obsolescence sucks.
 

neema_t

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Planned obsolescence sucks.

It sure does, but three or four years out of what I assume was quite a cheap laptop isn't too bad - my MacBook Air was £1,400 if I remember correctly and is entering its sixth year so if you got your Chromebook for less than half of that, you got the better deal (although you probably never got to play Escape Velocity: Nova on it). That's not to say either of us got a good deal, though.

I'm hoping an i5-equipped C434 will last, though, as Intel hasn't made any significant changes to their Core range for... Well, ever, but if you compare a Skylake i5 to a Sandy Bridge I guess there's a fair difference. And if Google do the truly Google thing and decide to kill Chrome OS, I guess there's Chromium OS and Linux to fall back on... Right?
 

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I been wanting to get a Chromebook for a while now but I just can't pull the trigger cause it feels like a Android tablet ( I'm not saying I don't like Andriod. I have always had an Android phone and have a android tablet) and there is so many to choose from I don't know which one to get.
Have you ever used an Chromebook?
I used 1st gen (which a friend had)and latest gen(which tried out in a store), the newer ones are nicer and better then the 1st gen.
 

neema_t

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Have you ever used an Chromebook?

No, I don't know anyone who has one, which might be a sign... Then again most people I know only look at Windows or Mac OS and would never consider straying. I might swing by PC World on my way home and see they have any.
 

neema_t

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So I stopped by PC World tonight, had a look at the Chromebooks they had - all six, mostly Acer but a couple of HPs too. The OS seems fine, I couldn't really test them properly for obvious reasons but it just looks and feels like any other OS. The hardware also seems like any other cheaper Windows laptop (there weren't any aluminium-bodied ones on display, but that's a must for me, it's one of the things I really like about the MacBook Air) - decent keyboards on most of them and the one I played around with the OS on had a nice trackpad too. They had one with a similar 360 degree hinge to the one on the C434 and while it felt wrong to fold a laptop that way at first, it actually makes a lot of sense and I expect all laptops will have that option someday.
 

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One thing I heard about Chromebooks is that you have to have them constantly connected to Google. Otherwise, they aren't going to work outside of being connected. It is almost like a Chromebook can be like its own Android or iOS device. Some of them are priced cheaper than a lot of budget-priced laptops. I don't know if I would want either a Chromrbook or a cheaply-priced laptop if I were trying to make a shopping comparison. The allure of both respectively are there.
 

neema_t

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One thing I heard about Chromebooks is that you have to have them constantly connected to Google. Otherwise, they aren't going to work outside of being connected.

This was true once, isn't true now.

Amazon's listing for the C434 (m3/4GB/64GB model, and I reckon that'll be the only SKU we get here as the C302 was only available in the same spec) is up but it's not released yet, £600's more than I was hoping for but still reasonable from what I can tell.
 

neema_t

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Having watched some generally positive videos from Chrome Unboxed I've now got a C434 on order. Currently the UK only gets the m3/4GB/128GB version with no news regarding better models and I think it's safe to assume there will never be better models of it available here, we only ever got the base spec C302 after all. I'm looking forward to trying it out, the Chromebooks I've played with in shops seem fine except for their flimsy build and this is apparently quite well-built by comparison. It's pretty much the same size as my outgoing MacBook Air but with a 14" screen instead of 13", too, although I doubt the trackpad will be as good since it's not made of glass.
 

neema_t

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I got my Chromebook! It's built better than the ones I tried in shops, the keyboard is especially nice in my opinion (I actually like it more than the one on the 2013 MacBook Air it's replacing) and the trackpad is far better than I was expecting, but the build quality is still trailing behind Apple's - the panel gaps and the relatively rough fit and finish in general are lagging behind even the TiBooks Apple were producing in the late '90s, but there's nothing especially bad that I don't like. The speakers are better than in my 2013 MacBook Air, the tiny bezel is really nice too, brightness isn't as good as the MBA though but I rarely used that at full brightness anyway so I doubt that'll make any difference to me.

One thing, though, is the volume rocker is broken so I'll get it replaced, but I'll keep it a bit longer before I RMA it to make sure I want a replacement rather than a refund. By which I mean I want to make sure Parsec works well because if it doesn't I'll need to get something else. Apart from that though it seems like a good little machine for the money.
 

neema_t

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Parsec works well, I've just played FH4 and GT4 with it and found no noticeable decoder or network latency, it seems to run better than on my Macbook Air which had hitches every now and then. I don't know if that's because of improvements in hardware H.264 decoding, the Android app generally being better-written, the lightweight Chrome OS reserving less in the way of resources, a better network stack, improvements in the 802.11ac radio hardware... It could be loads of things, I guess. I wonder how the processors compare...

Anyway, assuming I can get it replaced and the replacement is all good, it's looking like a nice upgrade despite having a lesser processor, although maybe they'd bench at about the same - there's 6 years between them, after all, but one is a 20W-ish TDP (can't remember OTOH) and the other is 5W. Both are dual cores with four threads though.

Edit: Annoyingly, it looks like my Samsung Galaxy A8 won't co-operate and allow Instant Tethering, nor can I connect to my phone via Bluetooth to allow tethering that way, so I guess I'll need to get a cable - what is this, 2015? Maybe it's coming in a future update, maybe not, but I always have a cable for my phone in my bag so if I do ever take the laptop out I'm sure I'll cope. Maybe.

As this is my first laptop that charges via USB-C, I guess I need to... Buy some USB-C chargers. I'm thinking this for the living room and this for my bag to do both the laptop and phone in one. I do already have one of these in the living room but that's for charging game controllers and the occasional phone as well as opening up more ports to the USB server under the sofa, I tried plugging the laptop into that but it wasn't having it, I guess I can put this other charger on the other side of the sofa because that would also put it within reach of the dining table which would be useful, since that's the only other place (apart from the sofa) that I actually use my laptop when I'm at home.

I was going to get a USB-C Ethernet adaptor but frankly, the fact I was able to stream games over the 5GHz network here without hiccups (further testing to come, of course) has made me think twice about that as it was literally only to ensure smooth streaming for that.

Finally (for now) I had heard a lot of Chromebooks have poor Bluetooth/WiFi radios that mean you get booted off of WiFi when using Bluetooth or vice-versa, but I'm listening to Google Play Music on my Bluetooth headphones and haven't had any network issues yet... I might stress-test that along with game streaming because stuttering audio drives me mad - it's why I went as far as getting the £100 Deluxe Audio Strap for my Vive as my headphones would stutter like crazy when connected to my PC.

Last edit for today, I thought I'd try the YouTube Music app and, well, it attempted to Rickroll me:

Screenshot 2019-04-22 at 01.24.53.png
 
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neema_t

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I've arranged for my Chromebook to be replaced tomorrow, that does unfortunately mean I have to carry the box - which is too big to put in a bag - with me on the tube at rush hour, but what can you do?

In the meantime I'm still using the defective one, I'm writing this on it right now actually. I'm quite surprised by how easy it was to get used to the keyboard, usually it takes me some time to calibrate my fingers but this has been a really smooth transition. I think the only thing that still throws me is the @ sign being shift-' instead of shift-2 as I'm used to on my MacBook Air, I don't make that mistake when switching between Mac and Windows keyboards at work but as I haven't used a non-Apple laptop for any significant amount of time I guess my brain associates the shift-2 @ with being a laptop thing rather than a Mac thing, if that makes sense?

As I've mentioned about a billion times, one key thing I wanted from a Chromebook was the ability to use a remote desktop program to connect to my PC. While Parsec does work really well it doesn't quite work perfectly, and for some reason I can't make it work on the Chrome version, just the Android one (I have yet to try the Linux version but I'll save that for when I get the replacement). It doesn't pass trackpad gestures and the 'GUI' key (search key in ChromeOS, Windows key in Windows) doesn't make it across either, then if I move my mouse to the bottom of the screen to get my hidden task bar up in Windows it just brings up the hidden shelf (ChromeOS's equivalent to the task bar or dock) so Parsec never actually gets to follow the mouse all the way to the bottom row of pixels. That's kind of a pain so I might set up a batch file to toggle between task bar hide on and off.

For non-gaming use, though, Chrome Remote Desktop works perfectly - it passes all inputs to the host so the Chromebook's shelf never comes up instead of the task bar. Gestures all work and it seems totally fine, so that's great and it's good to know there's a backup option in case Parsec breaks. Splashtop also works but has all the issues of Parsec with added latency and less configurability.

I've also tried a couple of Android games out, unsurprisingly all the ones I've tried run fine but like all Android apps, a) not all are available on x86 platforms like this and b) they're often unresponsively designed around a narrow portrait orientation so they can look really weird on a big, landscape screen like this. I have yet to try Ridiculous Fishing, easily my favourite Android game, but Super Hexagon and #Drive work - they're still weird, for example pressing space or enter in Super Hexagon just makes the screen go a solid colour for as long as you hold the key down, but they are playable.

One thing I can't work out is the whole using your phone to unlock your Chromebook thing. It seems that by default, closing the lid doesn't put the Chromebook into a low-power state or anything like that, it just turns the screen off. That alone is... Weird, but fine (I guess), but if you set the Chromebook to sleep when the lid is closed (which extends the idle battery life by a lot, of course) it breaks the ability to unlock it with your phone, presumably because the WiFi radio turns off (rightly so) so it can't see your phone. So, unless I'm missing something, that doesn't seem super useful! Maybe there's a setting I need to change or an update Google needs to release.

Oh and setting the scaling from the default to whatever I've set it to was really useful - I was a bit worried that the 1080p, 14" screen of the Chromebook felt more cramped than the 1440x900, 13" screen of the MacBook Air rather than less, but it was because the scaling options were set to "feels like 1366x768 (or something)" - at "feel like 1080p" things are obviously quite small but not uncomfortably so. I do sometimes struggle to tell the difference between an i, l, 1 and I, though!
 

neema_t

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So I got my defective C434 replaced with another of the same, it all seems fine so I'm happy with that.

I've been struggling a bit with getting Parsec running how I'd like it so it's currently falling a bit short of being usable. The issues are:
  • There's no ChromeOS daemon so the web version doesn't work.
  • The Android app works but has latency in some games that wasn't an issue on my MacBook Air, I don't know if that's an app limitation or hardware but it seems odd to me since even Raspberry Pis can run Parsec. It also doesn't handle USB properly, but I can bypass that with VirtualHere so it will at least play Gran Turismo 4 (via PCSXE) and Forza Horizon 4 with a controller, but Borderlands 2 just enough latency to make aiming impossible with any input device.
  • Crostini (aka running Linux apps in ChromeOS) doesn't have hardware acceleration, so although I did install Parsec, I couldn't get it to start for this reason. If they do add hardware acceleration I'm pretty sure it'll be the best solution.

So my next thing to try is installing Ubuntu with Crouton, which I have just done but haven't started up yet. I've read it's not actually dual-booting but is instead a separate windowing environment so it can be run alongside ChromeOS and you can swap between them on the fly, but you have to run your CB in dev mode which is a bit scary but also not. More annoying than anything because it resets everything, but obviously it's all backed up so it just takes a little while to download your apps again.

Edit: Well, installing 16.04 is easy, but Parsec wants 18.04 and that's a bit less easy. Hopefully I've figured it out now, and by that I mean I asked the ChromeOS Reddit and they said "search for that error message on GitHub" which never actually occurred to me.
 
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neema_t

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I'm not having much luck getting Parsec to run with hardware acceleration in Ubuntu 18.04 via a Crouton chroot on my Chromebook (now there's a sequence of words I'd never say out loud) so I'm giving up for now, I think it's something that's going to require someone more well-versed in Linux than me to have a go at. My CB is the first Rammus device so I'm sure as things mature it'll require much less effort, and between the Chrome client running in experimental web mode and the Android client it does work well enough as it is.

I'm hoping Crostini gets hardware acceleration soon (it was meant to happen at the end of last year but hasn't yet) so I don't even need to mess around with Crouton to do it, I'm also just assuming the Linux version is better than both the Chrome and Android versions which it may not be, but it probably is because the Mac OS version is better than those two.

Apart from that I'm happy with my decision to get a Chromebook, I've discovered it's not even remotely usable as a tablet because of the aspect ratio, tiny bezels that make it impossible to hold without touching the screen and its weight but I've flipped it over into stand mode a few times for watching YouTube while doing the dishes or for game streaming on my lap with better sound - the bottom-firing speakers get muffled when they're directly against my lap. The speakers are good, though, easily louder than the MBA's, I really like the keyboard and weirdly don't hate the smaller and recessed trackpad at all, the screen is more than bright enough for my purposes too. I guess the keyboard backlight is disappointing because too much light leaks out of everything that isn't a key legend so it's actually hard to see what the key legends even are! I don't need the backlight though because I can touch type and the layout isn't weird (unlike the Roccat Sova I've got which has a column of keys to the right of the enter key, which I'm not used to yet).

I love that it's passively cooled and entirely silent, I've never felt it get worryingly hot either. I'm a bit confused as to where the 100g of increased weight vs. the MBA comes from, maybe the screen glass, but as I don't intend to use it as a tablet and wouldn't have done even if it was >100g lighter that doesn't actually bother me.
 

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I needed a proper thread to discuss Chromebooks, and I found this old thread. I feel like my time with a tablet PC with Android is fairly over. It was great utilizing Android on a tablet PC. Now, I have been a bit more convinced in getting a Chromebook. I am very well aware that a Chromebook is not as advanced or as powerful as most proper laptops. Considering that a Chromebook could access and play native Android apps, I would be interested in using a Chromebook for app usage. I am also considering a Chromebook as my gateway to trying Linux. I began thinking about what kind of Chromebook I'm interested in. I have somewhat been into a Chromebook with a touchscreen and perhaps an HDMI port. I hear there are USB Type-C adapters that have a USB-to-HDMI cable or adapter, however, I still feel having a proper HDMI or mini-HDMI would be better. It would be cool if it was kind of a Chromebook you can easily adapt with- such as a convertible Chromebook. My price budget is about $200 USD. I realize I don't need a whole lot for my computer needs or for handling some tasks (such as blogging).

Previously, I had the idea of getting a Mini PC for which to serve as a second computer and especially as a gaming-specific unit. These days, I since have considered having a Chromebook and then down the road try to invest in a powerful mini PC or even a proper gaming-type PC. Assuming that native Android games can be played on a Chromebook, I wouldn't need a lot of processing power to get many of them to work. It would also help if I could possibly develop games for Android on Chrome OS.

For now, I have not considered what exact Chromebook I want to get. I am just going on considerations and just seeking what would be the best or closest Chromebook for my budget. It may as well be a simple one to get from a Wal-Mart/WalMart.
 

neema_t

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@JohnBM01 I don't know if I'd recommend using a Chromebook to try Linux for the first time, the "standard" way of doing it, known as Crostini, is kind of strange - most USB devices don't work, it virtualises the GPU and obfuscates a lot of things so unless you know what you're doing it can be a headache. There are other ways of running it - Crouton is one, or simply replacing ChromeOS with Gallium (or another distro, but Gallium is built for Chromebooks) is another, but those are even more advanced.

Also, you should be aware that Chromebooks still come in two key variants; x86 and ARM (which are cheaper). Both will run Android apps (and not all of them), but ARM won't run Linux, at least not through Crostini. Honestly, the Raspberry Pi is still far and away the best introduction to Linux, that is if you don't feel like installing it on an old laptop or dual booting your desktop. I guess the difference is the Pi has a ton of community support and the hardware configuration is very well understood at this point which helps remove a lot of uncertainty.

I still really like my Chromebook but I feel like there was a flurry of interest when I first got mine that has since died out. It looked like a great gaming Chromebook was right around the corner that would feature an AMD APU with Radeon graphics, someone said they were working with Valve to bring a proper port of Steam built for Chromebooks, Google were supposedly on the verge of working out Vulkan and gamepad support but it's been years now and none of it has really gone anywhere. If my C434 broke tomorrow i'd still replace it with another Chromebook though, they are excellent for day to day tasks.

There are a few caveats to that, though; first of all, I have my gaming PC that I use for anything even slightly demanding. Secondly, I got one with PCIe storage, the majority of cheap models use eMMC storage which is slow. Finally, Android apps frequently don't work properly, as I found out on a flight to Hong Kong; I downloaded loads of stuff on the Disney+ app and tested to make sure that downloaded content worked ahead of the flight and it was all fine, but after a power cycle I found it failed to play anything. Netflix worked OK, so that was something, but you can't really rely on Android apps to actually work even if it does let you install them. That's kind of unsurprising when you consider you're using those apps in a (usually) completely unsupported way, but still. Oh and the filesystem is weird and I still don't understand it. It's supposed to back everything up to your Google Drive but I'm not convinced mine actually has.
 

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I still really like my Chromebook but I feel like there was a flurry of interest when I first got mine that has since died out. It looked like a great gaming Chromebook was right around the corner that would feature an AMD APU with Radeon graphics, someone said they were working with Valve to bring a proper port of Steam built for Chromebooks, Google were supposedly on the verge of working out Vulkan and gamepad support but it's been years now and none of it has really gone anywhere. If my C434 broke tomorrow i'd still replace it with another Chromebook though, they are excellent for day to day tasks.
I feel like this instead resulted in Stadia. A proper gaming Chromebook would be great though. That would probably help me get through some of my enormous Steam backlog.

I would agree that a Chromebook is great for day to day tasks. My HP x2 is still chugging along nicely. Battery life seems to be diminishing a little, but that is to be expected given its age.
 

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After doing my research, I feel the Chromebook I would like to try and get is the Lenovo Chromebook C340. It has a lot of the features and capabilities I can live with for a Chromebook. It's a 2-in-1 Chromebook. It can be used normally like a laptop, or you can fold it over to be sort of a big tablet PC. It has a touchscreen to it, and during my research, I also see it has some support possibly for using it for drawing. That is where I heard of being able to use certain pens to use it for digital art. I wanted to get a WACOM tablet for drawing, but I feel this touchscreen Chromebook with some extra programs could be better for digital art. Only negatives I've heard about it is that it is a bit flimsy, and its speakers are rather weak. I hope I could get one in silver and not that sand pink color. But if that is all in stock, then I'll live with the sand pink color Chromebook C340.

I've had some bad luck with Lenovo before. I was going to buy a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Android tablet years ago to be my main tablet PC; but when I asked the people at Wal-Mart if any were in stock, I didn't get one because they didn't have it. What they did have at the time was a more expensive Lenovo I wasn't interested in. Hopefully I'll have better luck trying to get a Lenovo Chromebook C340.
 

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I now have a Chromebook! However, it is not the Chromebook I wanted, because the Chromebook I wanted was both out of stock and discontinued. :( It was the Chromebook C340 I wanted to get. So I had to do some on-the-fly shopping. I came down to choosing between three Chromebooks at my preferred Wal-Mart. The three were within my budget. While I didn't get the Lenovo Chromebook I wanted, I ended up getting the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook. I was town between this and a Samsung CB4 Chromebook. The third option was an Acer Chromebook that had a 15-inch display and even a numeric keypad. I settled for the Lenovo in the end. I am now learning the ropes with a Chromebook. I do see the potential with this deal. I also bought myself a USB-Type C to HDMI adapter to connect my Chromebook to my Roku TV. I also bought a 64 GB microSD card to use with it. I am fairly happy with all of my purchases.
 
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I am nearing coming up on a week since using a Chromebook. Really, I don't seem to regret getting this over a proper laptop. I thought originally about saving up money to get a laptop PC or even a mini PC. Really, though, I changed my mind and decided to stay with proper tower PCs to hopefully have as a more-than-decent gaming PC or performance PC. I just feel like PCs are a better deal towards performance and gaming compared to a laptop.

I probably am lamenting not getting the Lenovo Chromebook I wanted before it went out of stock and discontinued, but my Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook is really serving me well.
 

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In case anyone is pondering about getting a Chromebook, let me say this about them. Even though these are laptops powered by ChromeOS, I am starting to think of Chromebooks more as more productive Android tablet PCs. You can still run a lot of the same Android apps from your smartphone or tablet PC on a Chromebook. Some apps may even operate better on a Chromebook than on your smartphone or tablet PC. You also don't have to fiddle around with an on-screen keyboard like on a smartphone or tablet PC in these apps. I haven't thought of Android games on a Chromebook, but basic tasks shouldn't be a hassle. I am uncertain if RAM or processing power makes much of a difference. Some Chromebooks, for instance, have AMD Ryzen processors to them.

Another thing I have enjoyed about Chromebooks is that they are simple to use. There are no bloated units with all kinds of software attached to them, they don't run super-slow, and you can just turn them off or on in seconds. Chromebooks were not really meant to replace your desktop PC. However, as long as your computing needs aren't extreme, a Chromebook is all you need.

So basically, a Chromebook is like an upgraded Android smartphone or Android tablet PC. I am considering getting a better Chromebook in the future, preferably one with a touchscreen and is convertible. I may be unsuccessful at it, but I might even trade this basic Chromebook for a better one. I had enough money to get a basic Chromebook from my Wal-Mart. Though, I noticed prices dropped when I saw some prices on Chromebooks on the Wal-Mart app. So I could trade to get a better Chromebook. Or if Black Friday prices go ridiculously low, I may have just enough money to get a second Chromebook.

This post is kind of my testimonial post regarding Chromebooks. Hopefully I have swayed interest for you all. You're welcome.
 

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I have noticed that Chromebooks are big Android phones.

I did get a Lenovo 2-1 Flex 5 13.3" chromebook.
128GB SSD
8GB Ram.
i3 -10110U

For about 400.

I use my chromebook more to make it easier for sheets and other google related things that I cannot bother going through like 5 steps on a laptop.
I do like mine and I will be using it more at my work in the next week or so.

I don't use my chromebook outside of what I just need it for some other applications.
 

neema_t

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I totally zoned out of using my Chromebook for games, but it sounds like some things have changed on that front recently:

First of all, you can now (actually as of a few months ago) enable Vulkan support, I have no idea if my CB will support this but I'm going to try it anyway. The list of Vulkan games I've found is probably not complete, but Proton translates DirectX to Vulkan so it should open up a lot of possibilities, in theory.

Secondly, the native Steam client for Chrome OS is apparently still on the way, like @Brett I kind of assumed both Stadia and the Steam Deck had killed this but it's still progressing under the codename Borealis. I suppose this isn't something that's changed, rather it hasn't changed...

But there's the fact that USB/Bluetooth gamepads still don't work in Crostini, so that's an unfortunate bottleneck.
 
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Brett

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I have played the Stadia on my Chromebook for a short amount of time. Unfortunately, my time has been short on it, but it has seemed to go well.
 

JohnBM01

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I am becoming a bit surprised at what my Chromebook could play. I played a few 3D games on my Chromebook. Most notably, "Assoluto Racing" and "Gear.Club." I also played them using my aging PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller. I am going to be rather light with gaming on my Chromebook, but I am impressed with what I COULD play on it.
 

JohnBM01

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The latest build of Chrome OS really has pushed my patience. Some of the features in the update have compromised my Chromebook apps. I'll share a few things here. VLC, which I have used for media playing, sometimes skips when using both VLC and Chrome browsing. This rarely happened in the older version of Chrome OS. Nowadays, my YouTube app may stop completely and not play whatever I want it to play. So I am now using some services in the Chrome browser rather than using dedicated apps. It also doesn't help that apps not completely optimized for Chromebooks now has resizing options that only make things more cumbersome with apps.

So far- FAIL for the latest ChromeOS update.
 

Brett

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The new boot screen is much better than the old one. The old one was blinding.