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So, I Totally Forgot How Amazing Chromebooks Are

chromeos error screen

Turn that frown upside down: i finally have a new Chromebook

I’m in love with Chromebooks all over again. 

Why?

I’ll explain.

Chromebook-Free For Too Long

Despite being at the helm of (arguably) the most popular Chrome-related blog on the web, I’ve been without a Chromebook to track changes, test apps, or flip flags on for quite a while.

(So, if you were wondering why this site has gone from having 3 new articles a day to barely 3 new articles a month, now you know).

Unlike some similar sites we don’t get loaner devices from OEMs, review units, nor have the (enviable) benefit of Google sending us freebies.

But last week I managed to snag a brand-new Acer Chromebook R11 (the 2GB, dual-core Celeron model — welp) at a very attractive price.

The Acer R11 is not the fastest Chromebook on the planet, and the limited amount of RAM probably means I won’t enjoy the full fruits of the Google Play Store on Chrome OS — but it’s a Chromebook!

Rolling through the initial set gave me a renewed appreciation of how simple, streamlined and straightforward the Chrome OS experience is, from box to backpack.

But it was only as I logged in anew to the desktop that I remembered how amazing Chromebooks are.

Series 5 to R11 — The Difference Is Like Going from VHS to HD

The Acer Chromebook R…otatable

My new Chromebook is the R11

I’d previously been using a Samsung Chromebook Series 5. Yup, I was seriously using something that old to track and cover Chrome OS for this site.

A first-generation device with an anaemic Intel Atom chip, I never appreciate how much of the Chrome OS experience over the last couple of years, particularly as Material Design elements like the Polymer-coated file manager arrived, that I’ve sort of been missing out on.

I’d gotten used to not using Google Drive, force-quitting Google Now as soon as I logged in, and disabling extensions.

Without the workarounds the Series 5 is very much a device designed for Chrome OS as it was back when it was literally just a browser with some web-panels tacked on — and with them it was barely any better!

So I was in for a pleasant surprise as I powered up my R11.

Seriously (Re)Impressed

‘Experiencing Chrome OS on a modern Chromebook has seriously (re)impressed me.’

I’ve been using my device for a little over a week now.

Experiencing Chrome OS on a modern Chromebook has seriously (re)impressed me. The difference between it on this device compared to my old one is like night and day, or switching from VHS to HD (and not just because the sumptuous IPS display is wonderfully crisp).

The R11 has helped to give me an all new appreciation for Chrome OS and what it can do.

Firstly, how fantastic is it to be able to get up and running in just a couple of minutes? This part of Chrome OS really doesn’t get enough love.

Unlike Windows where there’s endless reams of updates to install, wizards to walk through and “now what?” questions to ask yourself, Chrome OS remains reliably familiar.

Sign in, and all your apps, wallpaper and settings are there, exactly as you left them on your old device.

Secondly, the OS flies.

Now, I have to be straight with you: I don’t use a ton of extensions, and I don’t tend to browse with more than a handful of tabs open. The way I use Chrome on any device, be it my MacBook or a Chromebook, isn’t by any stretch the same as “power users” or the like.

It’s a bittersweet appreciation of how well the parts work together what with the limbo Chrome OS currently sits in, a limbo rung lower by Google’s decision to — controversy klaxon — kill Chrome apps (though they’ll keep running on Chrome OS, there’s next to no incentive for developers to make them).

Chrome OS feels so mature, so well oiled, and so responsive on the R11 (I can’t attest for other devices as I haven’t tried them). I hope Google’s plans for it don’t mess things up (cough, looking at you mash, cough).

How’s Chrome OS holding up for you? What device do you use it on? Are you a new user? Share your own experiences and impressions in the comments space we’ve carved out below. 

  • Niklas Olaisson

    I totally agree I dual boot on my dell 13 with galliumOS, sure it’s nice to have linux as well but I boot chromeOS for most of the time cause it works as a charm in all different situations.

  • welcome (back) to the Chrome side. we’ve got Material Design AND cookies!

    • Samuel Horne

      What KIND of cookies? *looks at you stern in the face*

  • Conny Wickström

    I’m using an Acer c720p and is as happy as can be. In the beginning I was considering dual booting but gave it up because I never needed it. It is just as simple and smooth as you say. I compare it to a book on my bedside table, as soon as you open the cover, it is there for you to use without any fuss.

  • Russel Brooks

    Still loving my 2015 Chromebook Pixel (i5) and hoping any plans to merge with Android won’t water down the experience and reduce how secure the platform is. I been a user since I bought the Acer AC700 when they first became available. (Tried to get a CR-48 but couldn’t.) I also work on trying to convince others to try chromebooks; I’ve made 8 or 9 converts so far. I usually run with 8-15 tabs open all the time; glad I have 8GB ram.

    • Jason

      I have a Pixel as well, although I opted for the i7/16GB. What a workhorse. I absolutely love it. I don’t miss windows at all. I have a Dell Chromebox (i7) for a desktop station as well.

      Google killed it with the Pixel.

  • Twelk

    Err.. is that not a Series 5 Chromebook? The Series 3 had an ARM processor..

  • person

    Welcome back :)

    I went from the ARM Series 3 to the i5 Pixel (with about a year’s delay after the former broke) and I’ve never been so smitten. And now, with Android apps, I barely use any other device–my phone only comes out when I’m away from home and my Windows PC only gets booted up 3 times a month. Android apps added precisely the few efficiency gains I needed (hangouts, snapseed, native notifications, persistent music controls, etc.) and I am beyond content.

  • Southern Gal

    I am curious how you are using the R11, I am on a waiting list for the 4gb Asus Flip which is out of stock everywhere and supposed to be back in stock later this month … I am looking for a smaller tablet-size-like chromebook – I have other sizes of various ages (uh yes I do like them) but want one that is more tablet like and the R11 and Flip look interesting

    have a first gen Nexus that is dead (i tried everything to revive it but alas no go). and wanted to replace it – looked at the Samsung tablets but since i am going to upgrade to a iPhone 7 plus (from 6s) don’t really need another tablet and really love my CBs so was looking at FLIP and R11. this would be to carry daily to use at office and on commute, more portable. love iPads but would want an iPad Pro and no refurbished available at this time anyway

    • Jon E.

      Want my old Flip? It periodically has keyboard issues where certain keys will stop working until a reboot. I never found out if it was software or hardware related. I got too frustrated with it and its tablet-sized screen and longed for the R11. Now I’m in love with the R11 (secretly being tempted by the new R13 with USB-C though) and need to sell the Flip which has just sat in my backpack for months now.
      But I figure no one will want it if it’s keys mess up from time to time.

      • mrdavidpayne

        How much?

        • Jon E.

          If you’re serious about wanting it and you live in the US, have verified PayPal, etc., then reply again and let me take it out, turn it on, test everything out again, take photos for you, and all that jazz.
          It’s the 4GB model. I’d like $200 (maybe $215 shipped?) but I’d have to think how realistic that is if the physical keyboard is unusable for some of the time, seemingly randomly. It’s ideal for someone who wants one primarily for the tablet & touch side of things rather than laptop side of things, I guess. Virtual keyboard of course still works when the random physical keys decide to act funky.

          Let me know. Also, to be fair, let’s give Southern Gal first dibs & time to reply (perhaps by tomorrow morning), and if not interested, then you if you decide you are. Hope that’s alright :-)

          • mrdavidpayne

            no worries… i was looking for one for my fourth grader. Talk to you soon.

          • Jon E.

            Sounds good. 4th grader might be a great fit for it since they’d probably use the touchscreen way more!

          • Jon E.

            Hi David, she passed on it so if you are still interested, please email me at jDOTedgarjonATgmail, where of course the “dot” is a . and “at” is @ (don’t forget the “j” at the beginning).
            Boy, avoiding spam bots is hard lol.

            Then I can send you photos with more information and you can decide.

          • Jon E.

            Hi David, are you still interested in this?

          • Southern Gal

            thanks i just saw this – appreciate the offer, will pass on this.

            still thinking of the R11 or R13 but after seeing the iPhone party… may hold off since i am in love with the 7plus. and it seems to be more like a mini iPad Pro these days esp with more storage and better camer .. and that means updating from my 6s….

          • Jon E.

            No problem! iPhone party ? ? lol

  • Pete

    Whereas my Android phone provides notifications, alarms, tasks, calendar, and news; my Chromebook provides an onot the road Internet terminal, office applications, remote development and system administration using a remote terminal application. My on the go or backyard display and keyboard. My office has a 4k 120hz 40 inch TV as my main monitor and a wireless keyboard for an 8 core 4+ GHz VM workstation/server. The Chromebook is used far more unless I have a lot of serious work to do.

  • Kylie

    I don’t even use ChromeOS anymore.

    I mean I still use the hardware, but not the software. I use GalliumOS now.

    • how are you liking it? in what ways is it better?

      • Kylie

        Well, it’s a full Linux desktop for starters. and i love it.

  • John Hufnagel

    I moved from my first Chromebook, a HP11, to a Toshiba Chromebook 2. I’m NEVER going back to anything except the next gen Chromebooks. You said it best about being a “mature” OS. The start up alone is worth an entire article.
    Thank you.

  • Michelle Richards

    I have the ACER r11 (4g/32) been using it for a year now, I can do everything on it that I can do on my Windows 10. (Of course, my Chromebook is much faster and simpler)
    I recently got my son the ASUS FLIP (4g/16) and he loves it so much that he never uses his Windows laptop.
    It’s great to watch movies and write e.mails and create documents even when no internet is available.

    • Waethorn

      Has it been a year since the R11 first shipped??

      • Michelle Richards

        Technically, I bought mine 8 months ago. But it may have been available before then.

      • Andrew M.

        I believe January.

  • My first Chromebook was the Cr48. Although I requested it, I never expected to actually get it. I made good use out of it but now the software has outpaced the hardware and it’s running slow. I should be getting a new Chromebook later this year, though.

    • Ryan Johnson

      Does the Cr48 still have the latest software? I thought they dropped support for it years ago

      • Cr48’s end of life was December of last year. Though it was already starting to slow down, anyway.

        • Snowsky419

          Can you still access things like Google Drive, Gmail, YouTube, etc., even though it’s no longer receiving updates?

          • I don’t know. Last time I tried it it gave off a brief electrical static and I haven’t touched it since then.

  • Tim Bolin

    i managed to pick up two R11s (one for my wife, one for me) with the 4/32 configuration, each under $200 shipped, as refurbs from monoprice. it has pretty much replaced every other portable device i have. i originally got it just to have something very small and light to take to client meetings instead of my laptop, but quickly fell in love with it. once i put crouton on it and started playing steam games, well, i never left home without it. its an absolutely wonderful little piece of tech.

    • R11 is a wonderful bit of kit, especially at a great price! Thanks for sharing, Tim :)

  • KevenMcCuller

    I teach with Samsung Chromebooks at my school but my personal computer is a Toshiba Chromebook 2. What a difference! I love love love that machine and especially it’s display! This year we got the Middle Schoolers Asus Win 10 laptops that cost $100 more than my Toshiba but fail to compare in every way…mushy keyboard, bad viewing angles on display, slow refresh on display, and the inevitable second rate touchpad. I was so sad to hear Toshiba is getting out of the laptop business.

  • I’m currently on a Flip, which was an upgrade from the original Samsung Chromebook. The size, build quality, and feel are such a joy. I love it dearly. And I also remember being so thrilled at how quickly it takes to set up each time I switched devices; from the Cr-48 to the Samsung Series 5 to the Samsung Chromebook and now to my Asus Flip.

  • huckleberry582

    I started with the Series 3 as an experiment to see how I liked it. Got it for $30 on eBay and replaced the screen. Loved it and upgraded about a year or so later to a Dell 11 (4/16). The Samsung got hooked to a monitor and speakers and became my “TV” for a while. Worked great for that. Now my wife uses it. Love my Dell chromebook. Got it for $90 and couldn’t be more satisfied. I don’t keep a ton of tabs open so it is as snappy as I need and I haven’t seen anything yet that would make me chip in for another upgrade. Haven’t spent over $150 total yet on two and both are running great.

  • Andrea S.

    My feeling ? It’s that the GoogleOS, ChromeApps based OS it’s failing and Google it’s going to kill this OS in favor of an Android based one…

  • My primary computer for more than a year is an ASUS Chromebox i3, and my secondary computer during that time has been an Acer Chromebook 15 i5. Both fly. Recently I (painfully) watched a friend restart a Windows 10 machine and once again thanked my lucky stars that I’m 100% Chrome OS. I wouldn’t have the patience with Windows or Mac. I’ve been spoiled by the speed and simplicity of Chrome OS.

  • Ken David

    I actually got my hands on a Chromebook Pixel 2015. Not only was it a great Chromebook, but it’s arguably the best computer I’ve ever used. I prefer it to my retina MacBook pro! In fact I was so in love with the loaner that I actually paid the $1400 to get one for myself. Never looked back and never been happier with a computer!!

  • daas88

    I bought an Asus Chromebook C200MA, and though it’s still shipping, what I plan to do is test ChromeOS for a while, and then install GalliumOS to have a real environment where I can work at. I’m a translator, so I don’t need that much horsepower, but at least I want to not need to rely on the web that much.

    • Daniel Añez

      Well, just received my Chromebook and though Chrome OS was kinda okay, I needed more. Gallium OS rocks! It’s great for work so far.

  • Mike Kelly

    I just got a Lenovo 100S Chromebook (Dual Core Celeron / 2G ram), and am very impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the unit. These little computers really are something. I’m just hoping Chrome OS stays in development and gains a wider array of Android Apps.

  • Patrick Pruitt

    I started with an Acer C720 for business travel since the IT department blocked pretty much everything outside of their network. The more I used it, the more I grew to love Chrome OS and hate Windows. The love became so overwhelming that I sold my custom built Windows powerhouse desktop I put together and bought an Asus M075U Chromebox. While it wasn’t necessary, I upgraded it from 4 to 8GB of RAM (think going from burnout to smoking the tires off). Now I’ve upgraded the C720 to a new Acer Chromebook 14 to take advantage of the upcoming Android apps and 1920 x 1080 display along with a full aluminum chassis.

    Needless to say, the only place Windows has in my life now is work related. The few programs I rarely miss with Windows on a personal side will soon be replaced with Android apps. No Windows machines can touch the speed or power of the Chrome OS, including the failed Windows cloud-based laptop. Boot times are awesome, I always have everything I need lightning fast, and everything integrates seamlessly between all of my Google devices.

    Windows…the divorce is final. We’ll be social for the sake of the work kids.

    • Blue Faith

      “.. the only place Windows has in my life now is work related.”

      Of course, I doubt much work gets done on Chromebooks, unless your job is as a blogger; even then, Windows is probably better for the job.

      • Tim Bolin

        im a software developer, and i routinely use my chromebook for work. crouton makes it an excellent productivity platform.

      • Patrick Pruitt

        Point taken but in my case it is what I have to use not what could be used. A lot of companies are finding more that they don’t need a bloated Windows machine and are opting for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. In fact a close friend has started deploying them even at a major financial institution on a pilot program. Chrome OS is not just for email anymore.

      • Andrew Gryaznov

        I’m a software developer. A cloud software developer. You get it.

      • TheDuf

        Web design be done using chrome OS.
        I’m coding with caret and using sFTP to keep my website updated.

      • Bubba Jones

        Blue Faith: “…Of course, I doubt much work gets done on Chromebooks, unless your job is as a blogger; even then, Windows is probably better for the job…”. Please allow me to respectfully say “you are very much under informed”.

        As for me I have worked with computers going back to CP/M days, supported DOS 3.1 through XP and MS Server products. Moved to Mac, now use a Toshiba 2 (2015) Chromebook; very happy with my choice. At first that move to Chromebook created two things that bothered us, 1: Printing, we could not print to our printer. For $100.00 that was solved purchasing a Brother HL-L2360D (can Google Cloud print and can Apple AirPrint as well). 2: Cannot use our S1300 ScanSnap scanner. Again easily solved, use our iOS devices with Evernote Scannable; fantastic scanning app. Though not as fast as the scanner, we do not scan many pages at once, but we do scan often. We could purchase the portable ScanSnap ix100 that will wirelessly scan to our iOS devices. When moving from one OS to another there are trade offs.

        Are you aware Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many other software creators have moved or are in the process of moving their apps to the Cloud? CRM software, database software, and the like is readily available for use in a browser. Many vendors are forgoing dedicated apps deciding to put their software in the cloud on a subscription. For both the vendor and user that model is a very much a smart idea; and less costly. Many of these apps can be used offline, then when we have a connection it does an auto-sync; life is good. Also, with software running from the Cloud it is extremely fast and we do not need a gazillion megahertz of computing power, tons of RAM, nor high capacity internal storage.

        Around the world businesses, corporations, government entities, educational systems, and more are moving their apps to the Cloud. Also, those entities are incorporating Chromebooks into their mix of computers. Think about the government, we can find almost all the services we want from their websites, same with the individual States. Each month using this Chromebook I accomplish real work within our State.

        Blue Faith, if your workplace have dedicated software that is not on the Cloud or cannot be used within a browser then you are correct, Windows or Mac would be better. Many workers VPN into their corporate servers then use their browsers for work, not just for e-mail.

        For the vast majority of workers the Cloud is where they accomplish work. Laptops are becoming overpriced dumb terminals. Folks use their computers (think terminals) web browser on the Cloud or VPN into their corporate servers accomplishing their work within a browser or terminal software.

        Remember Netscape. Until MS stopped them Netscape were attempting to create this very thing, be OS agnostic running software from a browser. We are now here; the Cloud.

        For me, I do not miss my Windows nor Mac computers. Yes, using my $350 Chromebook I accomplish real work and I am highly productive.

  • Blue Faith

    All Google, all the time?

    No thank you.

    • Just_Joe

      Actually, only when Google has the best tool for the task, which they often do, though certainly not all the time.

    • Yes please and thank you

  • Benayahu

    Dude, I can’t believe you were using a Series 5 all this time!!!!
    My first Chromebook was the original Samsung Chromebook, then I got an Asus C200. I’m currently using an Asus Chromebook Flip.

  • I’m still using my first gen 4GB HP Chromebook 14, it still performs fine but it doesn’t have access to Android apps

    • Andrew Gryaznov

      +1.. 1st gen HP 14″ is actually much faster than most of 2016 chromebooks

      • juanjeremy2012

        it is, it was a great chromebook, i love mine. i wish they still made it

    • juanjeremy2012

      you dont want android apps, that is how you get viruses and slow down, chrome is gonna end up like wiindows

      • RMP

        This remains to be seen. Obviously not all Play Store apps provide a gateway to viruses. The container strategy under Chrome OS may also prevent any permanent harm.

  • Glad to have you back!

    To answer your question, Chrome OS is holding up very nice for me. I’m currently using a 2nd gen Pixel at home, with an i5 and 8GB of RAM, and an Asus Chromebox with an i3 and 8GB of RAM at work (my employer gave me a $2500 MacBook Pro to use for work, and I snuck in my ‘box when my boss was out of town. I have the ‘box connected to the two 4k monitors on my desk, covered up with some papers. The macbook sits under one of my monitor stands, with random things plugged into it so at first glance, it looks like I’m using it).

    I typically have around 50-60 tabs open on my Pixel, and just over a hundred tabs open on my work Chromebox. They work great! I absolutely love them. I left Windows years ago and never looked back.

    • Eduardo Pelaez

      Sounds awesome man! Another thing about Mac OS. We got some Mac desktops at school and as nice as the screen is, it is such a bust to learn the little tricks. You can’t right click? Okay. Trying to use Ctrl + T as a shortcut in Photoshop? NOPE. For some damn reason, there’s Ctrl, Alt AND a command key on your keyboard!

      I very much prefer Chrome OS or Linux, and Windows for Photoshop/Illustrator.

    • Juan Manuel

      Is that Pixel BOXY and partially or completely BLACK? If so then it explains how it can have an i5 and 8GB RAM.

  • Eduardo Pelaez

    Before I got my first-gen Toshiba CB, I was also using a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. It was so bad. Especially when they updated it and absolutely BROKE the Wi-Fi capability. Thank goodness I had warranty for it, so I “dropped” it and got myself a beautiful Toshiba CB (w/o full HD, unfortunately). It literally, re-impressed me as well. My next device will be the second-gen Toshiba CB this time with a full HD screen!

  • Samuel Horne

    I’m still using my Series 5 550… *looks around nervously*

  • Mehmed

    Want an Apollo Lake or an A72/73 Chromebook with 4 gigs of lpddr4
    ah and at least 32 gbyte.

    • Lon Grove

      Yes this. It seems to me that someone should create an Arm soc specifically for Chromebooks. Quad core A73’s clocked at the max 2.8ghz and the latest Mali gpu with 16 cores sounds good. It wouldn’t work in a smartphone but in something the size of a Chromebook with a beefy heatsink and plenty of space to dissipate heat it would throttle less than a high end smartphone soc yet be more powerful. It would also cost less than an Intel soc and be totally fanless at around 3 to 4 watts.

      • Juan Manuel

        Why not an 8 or 16 core arm64 cpu with 8GB ram, 128gb m.2 ssd and libreboot or uefi for boot firmware so installing alternate os’s is a standard fare?

  • juanjeremy2012

    i seriously cant stand anything with braswell, espcially not with 2 gb. sorry give me a core i based celeron haswell and 4 gb minimum, i dont want to have to tolerate stuttering on any web pages

  • What is mash?

  • Marcello Lessa

    I have a Samsung Chromebook but the college made me trade in for a better notebook, with more powerfull processor and RAM, so I just came back to Windows because doesn’t have decent Chromebooks in Brazil, just the Samsung Chromebook 1, 2 and 3…
    I just want to come back to Chrome OS, it’s the best!

  • Lon Grove

    I just got my first Chromebook 2 weeks ago. My only other experience with a Chromebook is with my daughters Asus Chromebook flip. I liked her Flip but I find the performance to be on par with my Nexus 7 (2013). So, I was looking for something with more power. After a few weeks of reading reviews I settled on a manufacturer refurbished Toshiba Chromebook 2 cb35-3300 (Broadwell Celeron) for $244.86 from Amazon. I also ordered a Transcend 128gb m.2 2242 ssd at the same time. The Toshiba came like new and I played with it for a few hours while the battery charged. I followed the instructions from another site to backup Chrome, install the ssd, and then reinstall Chrome. It took about an hour before I was back up and running. worked like a charm!

    I love this Chromebook!!!! I was very surprised at the browsing speed and quality of this Chromebook. It loads pages faster than my Intel Skylake Core i5 gaming desktop with ssd and 16gb’s of ddr4 ram. It really goes to show how light weight and efficient Chrome OS is compared to bloated Windows 10. Now I’m just waiting impatiently for Google to release the Play Store for my Chromebook. I really hope someone releases a Chromebook as nice as my Toshiba but with a touchscreen and a 360 degree hinge for around $499. I’ll give this one to my girlfriend and grab one with touch capability.

    • Joël van Daalen

      How did you upgrade the SSD in your machine? I have a Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB30-B-104) and would like to upgrade the storage in this thing (especially with the ability to install Android-apps in the near future).

      • Chris.Collins

        Only the C3300/3350 models can be upgraded. The B models have eMMC soldered onboard. The C3300/3350 models have an m.2 SSD.

    • Brancaleone

      I wish I could install the REAL ChromeOS on my main desktop PC, and not a “wanna be” Linux distribution.

      • aggelalex

        try cloudready. It’s Chromium OS plus some extras that come with Chrome OS.

        • RemusRM

          Indeed. Cloudready is great. I been installing it on my dell 780 with core 2 duo and 2gb ram. They rock now.

    • Chris.Collins

      I bought the same model (Chromebook 2/2015 with Celeron). I wanted to try it, because I realized most of what I do on my laptop is via Chrome anyway. This machine has been a pleasant surprise. It’s quick and has an extension for my most used apps (VNC & TeamViewer). I almost bought an SSD to do the update too, but figured I would wait and see whether I really *needed* it or not. The Chromebook 2 refurb is a really good deal on Amazon. When the Play store comes to all Chromebooks, I may get a machine with a touchscreen or a flip type model. It’s nice knowing I can pass this down to my daughter (who is in 4th grade). Great laptop and I love the dual partition/update mechanism. I wish that would make it’s way to other OS’s.

  • Daniel Thursfield

    Welcome back!

    I’m using my Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2014 model I believe, CB30-B-104). Love it!
    I have no experience of older Chromebooks, so I can’t say how they compare.

    What I love about ChromeOS though is how fast it boots up, I mean I’m on the internet directly. My Windows PC boots quite fast as it has an SSD, but not nearly as fast as the Chromebook. The old Mac I have can’t compare at all, it’s very slow to boot.

    Another feature that I really love is how seem-less it all is. When I eventually get new Chromebook I know it will all just work and my apps and everything will be there. Just as you say, this aspect get way to little attention and people doesn’t know about it!

  • Ciellem

    I just purchased my first Chromebook (the Lenovo 100s) and I absolutely adore it! Granted I do not have the most beastly machine on the market, the price tag was HIGHLY attractive. It gets what I need done. Chrome OS is just so pleasurable to use compared to Windows. Even, in that matter, some distros of Linux. The booting process literally takes seconds and I am on the web, browsing to my heart’s content. Love the built in keys on the keyboard that each have their own cutout. It makes typing just wonderful. I’d highly recommend a Chromebook to anybody who just wants to get online and get things going. Not to mention the suppy of apps and extensions are just great to try out!

  • GizmoChicken

    The ability to run Android apps on some Chromebooks is what may just put a Chromebook on my shopping list. But honestly, I’m really hoping that the technology that allows running Android apps on Chromebooks (which relies on running a stripped down version of Android in a Linux Container) will find its way to other (non-Chrome OS) Linux distributions, such as Arch, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc.

  • Rafael

    I have recently been through the exact same re-discovery of my Samsung Series 3 and decided to sell it and buy the new Acer R11 (4GB). I’m very, very happy with the new toy!

  • Degru

    Tried an R11 recently. It really is a nice machine. The screen is simply beautiful, even though it’s only 1366×768. The colors are vibrant, and it’s a pleasure to look at. Performance isn’t the greatest, but I’m used to my Core i3 laptop and Core i5 desktop, so I’d say it’s around average for a Chromebook. The build quality is excellent, the trackpad is nice, big, and tracks well, and it looks great as well. It has this really nice business look to it kinda like an old Thinkpad or something. And of course it can flip around into a tablet and you can run Android apps on it, which is awesome.

  • Kattz

    I’m still using a c710 with 4 GB of memory. It works great. It has support for another year and I have zero interest in Android apps on Chrome. If I got another Chromebook it would be an R11. At this point, I don’t need another gadget. My friends would probably organise an intervention.

  • gr4ph3n

    Is it possible to replace the ChromeOS completely with a Linux distro like Kali or Ubuntu Mate?

    • Pete Johnson

      Yeah as long as your hdd supports it, you can install any linux distro.

  • Yossihn Hayoun

    I really love working with my R11. Great display, I can work with it in bed and doesnt heat..battery life, light and quite responsive.

  • michelle.creger

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  • Ice

    I have been using my C200 for some time now and I have had ZERO issues while doing so. Chrome gets better in real time. No more worrying about making sure my anti-virus has downloaded the latest build, or making sure my programs are up-to-date. Simply restart the Chromebook and be on my way! Loving it so much even after almost 2 solid years.

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  • Brian Barnett

    I wound up with a chromebook (hisense c11) thru a trade on an old laptop i was selling on craigslist. im a ‘tech guy’, so had been curious about these devices, because ive been using chrome browser for quite a long time, as well as an android and mobile chrome user. I really like chrome and having google sync running between my various devices, so a chromebook was appealing to me.

    ive been playing with it for about a week now, and i honestly have to say, I find it difficult to accomplish many basic tasks that are easy to achieve on a PC and Android. Its very easy to get the hang of the OS, its just that there isnt a lot of functionality out of the box for things that arent browser-based.

    I equate it to being similar to ‘real’ linux distros. Ive managed to find ways to get most things done at this point (local network sharing access, bit torrenting, etc), but in almost every case, ive had to hunt down and learn new apps. Even some of the most basic things that an average person may want to do have to be done through questionable, often lackluster, 3rd party apps, unless you want to navigate in the browser. For example, there is no official Facebook app. Ive found a good 3rd party one that ports the web page into an app, but i had to dig for it. From the looks of things, it appears that it is the same case with ohter popular social sites. I think this is or would be a hurdle for average users, who would be buying the chromebook for its alleged “ease of use”. Chrome app support is in much need of support.

    I understand android apps are due to make it over to the chromebook, which seems like it should have been done right out of the gate. There are already tons of apps on the Android store that would help the chromebook be more useful and easy to use, not to mention that it only makes sense to round out the google sync experience. If ive already paid for an app thru android, which i can use on my phones and tablets, why would I want to buy a device that doesnt support those apps? Furthermore, why would I want to pay for a new chromebook app that serves the same function? Unfortunately, the HiSense C11 doesnt support Android Play and apps yet :( . Ive tried using Twerk in chrome to build android apps for chrome, but it only works about 20% of the time, and out of those that load, only about half (at best) actually function properly. Basically, its not worth bothering trying, and time is better spent searching for an alternative Chrome app.

    So as I was saying, I find it to be more like Linux, in that there are usually ways to get things done, but it requires searching and trials to find which app actually works well. I feel like the better approach would be to make the chromebook more like Remix OS, which is a desktop friendly version of Android. Once android apps are fully integrated, i think the chromebook will be much more useful, but until that happens, most people will find using it to be a hassle. Another complaint i have is the chromebook keyboard layout… its missing basic keys, like Delete, Home, End, etc. The keys are really large for the size of the device, and i feel that there is plenty of space to have these standard keys included.

    On the positive side, I like how fast the OS boots, the price is cheap, and it runs well on low spec machines (which ties in with being cheap). Its great for browser based uses. However, for similar price, I like my chinese tablet/ultrabook better, which dual boots Windows 10 and Android 5.1 out of the box. Plus i can pull the screen from the keyboard dock and use it as a tablet. Of course, it runs chrome browser on the Windows side, so i can also have all those benfits as well.

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    • Ice

      A Chromebook is not your typical PC you are not able to download games/programs like Windows 10. Chromebooks by far are in my eyes better than a Windows machine. I mean what is the point of having to constantly having to update each individual program, then run numerous scans just to keep your PC running smoothly? I have a C200 Chromebook, I have not ever regretted my switch to a Chromebook. They are easy to use, straight to the point. updating the device takes only a few minutes. No hassle/no confusion simply restart the device log in and you are set.

      • networking_in_maine

        If your standard use of a computer for is booting up and browsing the Internet, then a Chromebook is hands down, the perfect tool for the job. Security patching and updates are taken care of and it is fast and responsive. No argument.

        However, if your use of a computer falls out of that sweet spot, then things get a bit less perfect. The farther from that standard, the less likely that a Chromebook (or at least ChromeOS) is going to be the right tool to meet your needs.

  • VulpesVulpes

    I’m very surprised that, with a site like this, you’re not in the manufacturers’ address books to receive review machines. I would think a quick call to their press / marketing departments would sort this?

  • Vin

    I enjoy my Chromebook for the most part, but I am tentatively planning on getting a Windows machine. I have serious issues with the Chrome operating system and privacy the way Google has done it. The thinking at Google was never monolithic when they started this and it was apparent that they did not do a sufficient amount of end-user benchmarking

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  • a limbo rung lower by Google’s decision to — controversy klaxon — kill Chrome apps

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  • beomagi

    I strongly recommend you try Crouton. Chromebooks are nice and light, comfy keyboard for the size etc – but paired with the ability to run a full Linux environment and install from repos, it’s absolutely amazing. I do use the core OS, but it’s like a super capable bios where i can manage my crouton installs while working.

  • JUDGE

    My HP11 by Google is still in its drawer, waiting to be booted again. Now, I’m on a W10 (brown brand made by Lenovo) but I really want to return to a Chromebook. Unfortunately, as long as the manufacturers don’t release the model I want, I have to stay on W10 (a very not bad OS version from Microsoft which has a lot of in-house apps well done, except for vewing h265 movies: software codec is not supported…).

  • LeopardSurd

    I miss the connection with my simple printer (Canon without Google Cloud support). I’ll not buy another one just for printing. Google should fix this compatibility.

    • M Bently

      Printer issues with Chromebooks certainly top the list of faults. Even with ‘Cloud Ready’ printers, I’ve had printers mysteriously become ‘unregistered’ and one ‘customer’ calls me every month because her printer has stopped printing. In most cases, she has somehow gotten signed out of her Google account (even though she doesn’t use any Google offerings other then her Chromebook). But for those of us that have a basic understanding of computers, here’s a few ideas for Chromebook printing:
      -Create a folder in Google Drive (i.e. Print Jobs) and simply ‘print’ your documents to a PDF in that folder. You can then print them out with your Windows PC or simply view them with your tablet or smartphone to save paper.
      -You can easily print directly from your Chromebook to your favorite printer as long as your Windows PC is turned on. (“register” your printer thru Chrome first)

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