Jun 11, 2014

How easy is it to transition from PC to Chromebook?

I decided to give a Chromebook a try, and just ordered an HP 14” Chromebook with 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. I’m curious how easy it has been for people to make the switch from a traditional Windows laptop to a Chromebook? I already use Google Docs for 90% or more of my word processing and spreadsheets, which should help. If you have tried out a Chromebook, were there many things that stood out, either positive or negative, in your initial experience with it?


If you use the Chrome browser on your Windows laptop, it will seem like they removed everything EXCEPT the Chrome browser, which remains 98% the same as it is on a Windows PC. To be honest, my first reaction was more “huh” than “wow.”  If you use Firefox or IE, it will probably be a little more of a change, but still will seem pretty familiar. Many people make a big deal about Chromebooks needing a constant internet connection. While this is mostly true, there are some things you can do offline, including working with Docs and Sheets (word processor and spreadsheet).  Since you are familiar with those applications, there will be very little adjustment required.


There are some definite advantages for Chromebooks. Most are quite affordable, and they almost all have very good battery life. You should expect to see perhaps 6-7 hours of use from a charge with the HP. The boot up time is very short, less than 10 seconds in my experience. Also, they are new and interesting enough to be somewhat cool and interesting to a lot of people, judging from conversations I’ve had with people at the coffee shop. Yes, I know I’m playing to stereotype there, but what can I say...I like coffee and I sometimes take my work with me.


The main complaint I have is printing. It is a pain if you don’t have a Google Cloud printer, and I do not. Basically, I have to go through a Windows laptop running the Chrome browser to print to a networked printer. Awkward and inconvenient. They seriously need to improve this ASAP.

Everything You Need To Know About Switching To A Chromebook

"Chromebooks are Google’s take on the laptop. They run a slimmed-down operating system optimized for getting on the web with just the Chrome browser and Chrome apps. If you can do everything in your browser with web-based services and online storage, you can switch to a Chromebook.

Many Chromebook users haven’t actually “switched” to a Chromebook — they’ve purchased a Chromebook as an additional device, not one that replaces their current computer entirely. A Chromebook is the simple laptop you pick up when you need to browse the web, watch videos, type emails, write documents, and do other things you can accomplish in a browser. But let’s assume you actually want to switch to a Chromebook."

As a developer, the main speedbump for me switching to a chromebook is the lack of any really good cloud-based development environments.  There are a couple (like Code Envy) that have come a long ways but still don't quite have all the functionality I need.  If it weren't for that though, I could work exclusively in a browser.

Answer this