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Thoughts on Chrome OS

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a Chromebook (HP 11 see photo below). I bought it because of a few reasons namely zero viruses and malware, it does all the things I need it to do (photos, music, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, email, Amazon and others) simply and without any unnecessary issues, virtually no bloatware, cost (£229). I just wondered what everyone else thought about this new OS.

 


Edited by Bondm16 - 4/6/14 at 10:54am
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post #2 of 15

As you know "new" is quite relative in the world we now live in and Chrome OS is surprisingly a few years old, and it's based upon Linux code. I've been a Linux advocate since the days of  its early release. I started a internet business and couldn't afford one of those fancy Sun Microsystem servers. A friend turned me onto Linux and approximately 20+ years later I still use it on all my servers, but it's my Apple Computers that I have truly loved and continue to use for all my desktop operations to this day.

 

So back to your question regarding Chrome OS. My introduction to Chrome OS and a Chrome Book was a result of my getting tired of dealing with viruses, malware, spyware,  and constant hardware crashing. Thus leading to my throwing my mother's 2 year old IBM Thinkpad running Windows into the trash. Basically she would drop the computer off at my house and I'd get it back to the best of it's abilities. Which would last a week or so.

 

One day during this typical total waste of time is when I finally had it. At first I considered giving her a 2010 MacBook Pro that still runs as if it's brand new and still has the original battery that provides a solid 2-3 hours of working time. The 2 year old Thinkpad battery would last 5 minutes if that. Well, it was hard for me to part with one of my beloved Macs so I looked for alternatives. I ended up purchasing the Acer Chrome Book. Acer! What had I done! Ha! Well, I took this little, new toy home and started playing with it. My mom finally had to rip it out of my hands as I was having so much fun with it. I love the Chrome store and all the applications, and I actually loved the solid feel of the Acer hardware.

 

So, in my exhaustive response, I have to say I love Chrome, Chrome OS, The Chromium Project and The Chrome Books! My mom just needed a computer that would allow her to email, surf the web, write documents. With her Chrome Book she can do that and there's so much more you can do with them. I paid $199 for her Chrome Book and that was well over a year ago. The days of messing with Windows are behind me. I'm not anti-microsoft, but I prefer other products.

 

Funny story. A diehard Windows friend of mine (He still has the MS mentality), finally after about 10 years of my constantly suggesting that he try an Apple he finally gave in. Well, now he's an Apple fan, and continues to provide MS IT support. He was starting to switch his clients over to Apple, but he discovered he was not making the money. Why? Because he no longer had to deal with constantly reloading Windows. So as a self employed IT support person MS is a perfect solution if you are into, well, possibly walking a bit close to that ethical line. Google Chrome** products would result in the very same thing as Apple products. Stability, reliability, and saving money. Sure you might pay a bit more up front for an Apple product but it's going to last. Personally I like Linux, FreeBSD, and Apple and avoid the "war" of words. I love the fact that Google is a Linux advocate!. Go Android, go Chrome OS, go ????

 

Cheers, Eric

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Many thanks indeed Eric.  I love my Chromebook. I like Windows 7 as well which runs my main computer but I find Chrome OS to be more user-friendly, uncluttered and simple to use.

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post #4 of 15

I think Chrome OS and Chromebooks are great.  But, I found the one I got, a Samsung running an Exynos processor, to be a bit sluggish here and there.  I've heard ones that run on baytrail are much faster.  But for all the reasons listed above and the fact that you are pushed the latest OS constantly which continually improve performance makes it a great platform.

post #5 of 15

Kind of a refreshing outlook on Chrome OS, especially here. Especially surprised not to see the usual list of disgruntled anti-Google bashing. I really like Chrome OS, I have been using it since Google sent me an CR-48 development machine all those years back. Boy has the OS matured into something special. I also use a ChromeBox for my TV, a great companion, would dare even say a lot more useful than say an Apple TV, Roku 3, Google TV, etc. In fact we no longer subscribe to cable because of them, using apps like Netflix, Zattoo (Swiss TV), etc. streaming videos and TV in HD who needs it. BlueRay's are ripped and uploaded to Google TV and OneDrive and than streamed to any device in the house. Web apps, great aren't they, there isn't an online app that can't replace an installed one anymore, Photoshop, no problem, Office, again no problem, heck even professional music creation, check out http://audiotool.com/app . The HP 11 is a little to under powered for my taste but HP just released a 14" with an IPS 1080P display, touchscreen, Nvidia K1 CPU, 4GB RAM, price, 450 bucks. A little more expensive than the entry models but worth the price in every way. Installing Linux alongside Chrome OS into a Chroot or even in a dual-boot configuration is also a very easy endeavor, not to mention extremely useful for those who need better support for offline applications. Just my to cents, if anything they defiantly make great companions to your digital lifestyle, just like your iPad.

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post #6 of 15
On a side note, have you guys played around with some of the new Linux distros that were recently released. The two I had n mind are Antergos, which is based off of my favorite distro of all time, Arch Linux. Then there is Deepen, though based off of my least favorite Ubuntu it's still a wonderful little distro, resembling nothing it's cousins. Both are very elegant looking, loaded with useful software out of box and are extremely fast. Antergos, and I kid you not, starts up from a cold boot in less than 10 seconds, vroom.

Anyway, as OSX users I think you guys might find these two Linux OS's right up your alley.

Staying within a ChromeBook budget, Lenovo has an educational laptop, the 10.6", X140e, that's a very reasonably priced for what is a pretty much indestructible little laptop, their about 400. You get a fairly quick AMD processor with an integrated ATI GPU that is more than capable of playing say, Fry Cry 1 or 2 at it's native display resolution and graphic settings set on medium, 4GBP of memory that can be used upgraded to 8GB. You can also grab an X140e without the OS installed which will save you an addition 50. Amazon also still sells the now discontinued x240T, which is the touch version of that series, they also start around 450 with an i3 and 4GB of memory.

So even though I really like the ChromeBook, something like X140e might be better geared towards those who simply can't get behind an all web app system. Though I have to tell you, now that Google is focusing a lot native apps (check out the rededit app) for Chrome OS and the ability to install Android apps. Chrome OS is starting to look a lot more attractive. Still waiting for a decent 2 in 1 laptop/tablet system from someone that will take full advantage of these new apps. If you can't wait there is always a Lenovo Yoga 2 11.6 version which starts out around 500 and the X240T I mentioned earlier. Installing Chrome OS on them is a fairly easy endeavor for those who know how to compile. Which should be anyone who knows how to copy and paste instructions from a Wiki page, there are also pre-built Chromium OS images available from Hexxah, a young friend of mine who I met at Google's main office in Switzerland during a Chrome OS conference, he maintains a development site for newbies of Chromium OS which if it wasn't obvious at this point is the dev version of Chrome OS.

In the meantime, please grab an iso of the two Linux distros I mentioned above, definitely worth a look, if nothing more than to gawk at what the other guys are doing for free in their spare time and as always, happy hacking.
Edited by Relic - 1/24/15 at 3:35pm
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post #7 of 15

Hi relic

 

I wasn't aware of Antergos nor Deepen. I have previously tried Mint.

 

Can you give a run down of why, and what you find so appealing in both, and also what advice would you give to someone setting up a multi-OS system: Couple flavors of Linux + Windows 7 or 8.1. Maybe even a Hackintoshed OSX 9 or 10.

 

I've long held ambitions of running multiple OSes on a common hardware to compare performance, and usability.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondm16 View Post
 

I recently bought a Chromebook (HP 11 see photo below). I bought it because of a few reasons namely zero viruses and malware, it does all the things I need it to do (photos, music, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, email, Amazon and others) simply and without any unnecessary issues, virtually no bloatware, cost (£229). I just wondered what everyone else thought about this new OS.

 

Nice price for "decent"  hardware. This is what the netbooks have become.

 

I found Chrome OS to be total garbage. Slow, unresponsive, and of course, mostly useless without an internet connection.

 

I used on an HP chromebox, was about to return it... quickly found out that you can install Windows on it and it becomes a real computer. Been pretty happy ever since.

 

tl;dr ChromeOS is not really functional. Good way to get cheap/decent hardware though, on account of no MS license being included in the price,

"Yeah sure, tell us more about how Samsung innovates"
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"Yeah sure, tell us more about how Samsung innovates"
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by qvak View Post

Nice price for "decent"  hardware. This is what the netbooks have become.

I found Chrome OS to be total garbage. Slow, unresponsive, and of course, mostly useless without an internet connection.

I used on an HP chromebox, was about to return it... quickly found out that you can install Windows on it and it becomes a real computer. Been pretty happy ever since.

tl;dr ChromeOS is not really functional. Good way to get cheap/decent hardware though, on account of no MS license being included in the price,

Really, I found Chrome OS to be extremely responsive on the ChromeBox, much, much faster than Windows, even OSX, start up times is less than 8 seconds for instance, I have two connected to TVs. Used as multimedia machines in this way is pretty great. There are several driver issues with running Windows on the ChromeBox how did you get around the LAN and audio problems for instance. Also a ChromeBox is not a laptop, it's meant to be a stationary computer, when would you not have an internet connection in this scenario.
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post #10 of 15

Just my experiences. With my usage habits, it was just unpleasantly slow.

 

Actually repurposed the chromebox as a media center PC, search the wiki, lots of posts about fixing driver issues.

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post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post


Really, I found Chrome OS to be extremely responsive on the ChromeBox, much, much faster than Windows, even OSX, start up times is less than 8 seconds for instance, I have two connected to TVs. Used as multimedia machines in this way is pretty great. There are several driver issues with running Windows on the ChromeBox how did you get around the LAN and audio problems for instance. Also a ChromeBox is not a laptop, it's meant to be a stationary computer, when would you not have an internet connection in this scenario.


I don't get the PC/Linux media server thing, I just run everything from our PS3. It even finds all the Macs and their libraries in the house.

 

Why have yet another thing hanging off your TV? Which btw I hardly ever watch anymore, nor does anyone else that I know under 50.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

On a side note, have you guys played around with some of the new Linux distros that were recently released. The two I had n mind are Antergos, which is based off of my favorite distro of all time, Arch Linux. Then there is Deepen, though based off of my least favorite Ubuntu it's still a wonderful little distro, resembling nothing it's cousins. Both are very elegant looking, loaded with useful software out of box and are extremely fast. Antergos, and I kid you not, starts up from a cold boot in less than 10 seconds, vroom.

Anyway, as OSX users I think you guys might find these two Linux OS's right up your alley.

Staying within a ChromeBook budget, Lenovo has an educational laptop, the 10.6", X140e, that's a very reasonably priced for what is a pretty much indestructible little laptop, their about 400. You get a fairly quick AMD processor with an integrated ATI GPU that is more than capable of playing say, Fry Cry 1 or 2 at it's native display resolution and graphic settings set on medium, 4GBP of memory that can be used upgraded to 8GB. You can also grab an X140e without the OS installed which will save you an addition 50. Amazon also still sells the now discontinued x240T, which is the touch version of that series, they also start around 450 with an i3 and 4GB of memory.

So even though I really like the ChromeBook, something like X140e might be better geared towards those who simply can't get behind an all web app system. Though I have to tell you, now that Google is focusing a lot native apps (check out the rededit app) for Chrome OS and the ability to install Android apps. Chrome OS is starting to look a lot more attractive. Still waiting for a decent 2 in 1 laptop/tablet system from someone that will take full advantage of these new apps. If you can't wait there is always a Lenovo Yoga 2 11.6 version which starts out around 500 and the X240T I mentioned earlier. Installing Chrome OS on them is a fairly easy endeavor for those who know how to compile. Which should be anyone who knows how to copy and paste instructions from a Wiki page, there are also pre-built Chromium OS images available from Hexxah, a young friend of mine who I met at Google's main office in Switzerland during a Chrome OS conference, he maintains a development site for newbies of Chromium OS which if it wasn't obvious at this point is the dev version of Chrome OS.

In the meantime, please grab an iso of the two Linux distros I mentioned above, definitely worth a look, if nothing more than to gawk at what the other guys are doing for free in their spare time and as always, happy hacking.


I wondered why I had trouble locating Deepen, just got a software install centre.

 

That should be Deepin and is quite interesting if you don't mind the Chinese origins and Games Centre.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubaiyat View Post


I wondered why I had trouble locating Deepen, just got a software install centre.

That should be Deepin and is quite interesting if you don't mind the Chinese origins and Games Centre.

Sorry about that chief as agent 99 used to say. You should also have a look at http://chromixium.org/ , it's a Ubuntu Distro that was made to look and feel like Chrome OS, I'm actually using it right now to type this response. Works great, seriously, it actually looks and feels like your using Chrome OS but your also able to install Linux and Android applications. Another distro that will probably be the coolest of them all is PapryOS, it's not available yet but defiantly worth waiting for. The developers are using the Google Material design philosophy to create the UI, which I absolutely adore. I even think it's nicer looking than iOS's UI design. Their also taking every major application like LibreOffice and also applying their theme to it so the entire experience will have continuity. You can keep an eye on their progress here -> http://papyros.io/

Check out this site http://www.emezeta.com/articulos/distribuciones-de-linux-que-quizas-no-conocias for a list of Linux Distros that you have to try out, that's an order mister, there will be a quiz later, I agree with their listing as the most beautiful Linux Distros out there today. The site isn't in English but you can just click on translate, does Safari have that functionally. It doesn't matter though as they show a picture and give out the home address for each distro listed. I just love testing out new Linux Distros, I use a Lenovo X230T which is the absolute perfect machine for testing any OS out there as it runs everything perfectly, including even OSX (with the touchscreen and Wacom stylus working, oh did I mentioned the X230T is a twist display that turns into a tablet). Amazon has them starting at around 500 bucks, I highly recommend grabbing one for your mad scientisty stuff or even just a regular X230 or X220, they go for as low as 200 bucks and still run everything that you throw at them.
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post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

I started this thread last year and I am pleased to say I still enjoy using my Chromebook. It isn't as powerful as a MacBook (pro or air) but it does all the things I want to do on the internet with very little hassle and complexity. I found this video yesterday and thought I would share it with you.

 

5 reasons an Apple user should consider a Chromebook

By MacFormat

 

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post #15 of 15

My use with the Chrome OS has been in an educational setting where I can simply share that they are taking over the place! They seem decently snappy, appear moderately bullet-proof hardware-wise and last well beyond the school day in terms of battery power.

 

Our district has 10 COWs (Computers on Wheels) coming to my site this year alone. I heard the cost for the last eight of these ten carts was $180k. Each cart has roughly 44 laptops which comes out at a bit over $500 per unit which also has to include the cart and 3 year service and warranty agreement. School districts are buying them as fast as they can get them.

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