Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What the Chromebook is Really Meant For — No More Fighting Over the PC at Home

I was considering to get a writing device to work on my writing stuff on-the-go and while I was online searching for one, I came across the Google Chromebook.

Singapore Site for the HP Chromebook

I looked at the pros and cons of the HP Chromebook and saw that it uses the solid state drive(SSD) that I have been hoping to get my hands on for a long time. The latest HP Chromebook is stated to boot up under 7 seconds. It sure is great for beating impatience.

The larger 14" models come with full-size keyboards that are suitable for people like me with big fingers. The keyboard has been described by many to look exactly like the Mac keyboard.

It is quite obvious to any computer geek that the Chromebook as Google explains, is really meant for Internet usage and nothing much else. I shook my head at the reviewers who were brave enough to test them out for working on-the-go and then faced great risks of having their entire documents get wiped off from existence when they encountered many wifi-unfriendly zones.

Many others who reviewed the Chromebook felt that it is suitable for children and students whom they assume have much less things to do on the computer. However, I think they are totally wrong.

I don't think that young children should rely on the Internet but instead rely more on off-line software and games that can be more interesting and fun. The Chomebook is very vulnerable to spills that children are prone of doing, it also has pretty sharp edges that can injure them if they are not careful. These are already two big reasons why parents should not get the Chomebook for their children but instead get the tablet that is more resistant to spills and safer.

The Chomebook also does not come with a camera that is commonly found in a tablet, which can be used to take candid pictures. Childhood is really not fun and complete without plenty of opportunities to capture funny moments.

For students, they really should not be relying on a web-based computer that has so much limited functionality. Students nowadays face so much challenges in the classroom, relying solely on web-based applications is just not sufficient for them to thrive in such demanding environments.

Many reviewers have mentioned the Chomebook's low price tag to be suitable for less well-off students. However, second-hand computers are actually more affordable without the cons of so much limited functionality, and can be easily found at online buy-sell websites.

The Chomebook is after all meant for one main purpose — to resolve family disputes at home on who gets to use the computer.

If a family is large and many members often need to go online at the same time, then getting Chromebooks instead of full computer systems would be the much cheaper solution. Perhaps Google created the Chomebook with such a family scenario in mind? Or for all we know, they wanted more people to go on-line to look at more ads for them.

The Chromebook can also be a useful tool(or a backup) for writers who work long hours on their blogs at wifi zones such as cafes and libraries. But I feel that writers would prefer a keyboard that is more ergonomic.

Even though the Chomebook is affordable, lightweight and easy on the eyes, would I choose to get a Chromebook for my writing? I really don't think so, I would much prefer to get a more functional tablet to do my writing on the go. :)

Update: You can't play fun and free android games on a Chromebook such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Real Racing 3, Boeing Flight Simulator, 8 Ball Pool, and instantly take and upload pics on Instagram on a Chromebook.


  1. I'm sorry to say I found this is a very incoherent piece of writing. You start with considering chromebooks as writing devices, but end up saying your actually prefer the tablet form factor. This excludes ALL laptop form factors, regardless of manufacturer, and it makes the whole post inauthentic: if you know you want a tablet, why discuss a chromebook, or any laptop for that matter? In between, you hardly discuss the chromebook as a writing device, but you speculate a lot about what Google might be after, and give your personal opinions about what kids should be doing. All fine, but not informative of chromebooks, and totally unrelated to your search for a writing device. Your claim in the title is nowhere substantiated, and given the large rollout of chromebooks in education (of which you could have found evidence, if you can also access chromebook reviews) very, very disputable.

  2. You seem quite misinformed about the use case scenarios of a Chromebook. First of all, your documents don't "face great risks of having their entire documents get wiped off from existence when they encountered many wifi-unfriendly zones" because a) There is offline funcionality for Google docs, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings offline. And b) even if you didn't have this, all your work is synced every second to automatic cloud storage in Drive so you never lose anything.

    If you think children don't have plenty of games and educational software to keep them busy in a positive way online, then you must not have children. There is a vast array of both entertainment and learning opportunites for all ages online and really local kids' software is becoming obsolete--when my children were young I bought them many CD Rom games; this would no longer be necessary as so many of the
    same types of activies can be found online. And for the moments when there is no internet connection, there are a growing number of offline games in the Chrome Web Store.

    "Students nowadays face so much challenges in the classroom, relying solely on web-based applications is just not sufficient for them to thrive in such demanding environments." Tell that to the thousands of schools that have already adopted Chromebooks and online learning tools to enhance their curriculum. This adoption is growing at an incredible pace because schools appreciate the security, management tools and very low maintenance of Chromebooks. Educational software has moved online---again if you are out of touch if you don't realize this.

    The objection to a lack of camera is just silly, since no laptop has that kind of camera and people use their phones for this.

    I agree that tablets have their use cases and are preferable for some activities, and of course, people that require specific software for a particular purpose, such as video editing will want a traditional OS. But when the multi-tasking and writing capabilities of a laptop are needed, with, Chromebooks are a terrific option for most people.