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Thread: Chromebooks

  1. #1
    Spiny beast TheBenior's Avatar
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    Chromebooks

    Backstory: I have an aging Dell XPS 13 from 2009, the era when Dell XPS machines were gaming machines instead of their ultrabook line. I'd been thinking about whether to replace it with another gaming laptop, or to get a tablet for general putzing about on the web and finally get another gaming desktop, possibly a Steam Machine, because I like the sound of an HTPC that can adequately cool a gaming graphics card. I thought about the Nexus 7, but I'm not sure that I feel that the 7" tablet size is a big enough step up from the current crop of 4.7-5" flagship Android phones to justify spending $200+.

    Last week, I saw that Amazon had factory refurbished 16GB Acer C720-2802 Chromebooks for $150, and the UPS man dropped it off today. When I saw how easy it was to replace the SSD, I ordered a 128GB SSD to replace the factory one.

    C720-2802 key specs:
    11.6" 1366x768 display
    Celeron 2955U Dual Core CPU
    1.2kg weight
    2GB RAM
    Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics
    [now has] MyDigitalSSD SC2 Super Cache 2 42mm SATA III 6G M.2 NGFF M2 SSD
    Claimed 8.5hr battery life general usage, has done 6.5 hours in reviewer digital playback benchmarks.

    After opening the package, I fired up the C720 to make sure it works, and made a recovery disk on a flash drive. I then voided my 90 day warranty (non-refurbs get a 1 year warranty) by breaking a sticker and taking the bottom panel off, installed the new SSD, and half an hour later, I had a working Chromebook with newly octupled storage. I'm somewhat shocked that I did so without breaking any fragile plastic tabs. If I feel like expanding the local storage further, I can use the SD card slot for that.

    So far, I'm getting used to the different keyboard layout and Chrome OS weirdness. The screen isn't amazing, but it's certainly good enough for my intended purposes of dicking around online and limited travel computing. The keyboard certainly isn't as good as my fiancee's Lenovo Y400, but it's better than some that I've used on laptops that cost 2-3 times what I paid. I'm still getting used to the clickable touchpad without buttons, but overall performance again seems better than some of the cheapie traditional laptops I've played with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I'm surprised Keith hasn't spooged all over this thread yet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBenior View Post
    I'm still getting used to the clickable touchpad without buttons, but overall performance again seems better than some of the cheapie traditional laptops I've played with.
    That is the specific thing that took me the longest to get used to when I bought my Acer 1.5 years ago. Still irritates me once in awhile. Seems like a good deal overall, though; I've heard those specific chromebooks are really nice.
    -Formerly Stabulator

  4. #4
    Spiny beast TheBenior's Avatar
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    It seems that the C720 line is regarded by many as offering the best value in the Chromebook world. The general consensus is that the HP Chromebook 11 has a better display and keyboard, but it had better offer something nicer for the extra $75 (new vs new on Amazon anyway), particularly in light its slower, more power hungry Exynos 5250.

  5. #5
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yw-slayer View Post
    I'm surprised Keith hasn't spooged all over this thread yet.
    I'm not a Chrome OS evangelist, I wouldn't be comfortable using one as my main computer and I have no reason to be confident in its ability to reliably access my networked storage as a secondary device, and web storage has its own issues (that I'm actually currently dealing with as I load up my new Google Drive storage).

    But it sounds like Ross will just be using it as a web machine, so it should be fine for that use.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  6. #6
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    New Dell Chromebook 11 looks like a winner...

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/9/559...book-11-review

  7. #7
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    New Dell Chromebook 11 looks like a winner...

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/9/559...book-11-review

  8. #8
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    Acer is updating its line of Chromebooks, and included in that is a new Chromebook 13 with a new i3 and relatively high-powered graphics card, the Nvidia K1.

    http://gizmodo.com/acer-chromebook-1...boo-1619231489

    Rather than simply juicing up the graphics, though (you only really have access to WebGL games via ChromeOS anyways, it seems), it kicks the battery life up to 13 hours. And it's still less inexpensive, starting at $270 for the 1366x768, 16/2 GB. Kick it up to 1920x1080 (the only Chromebook I've seen with that resolution) and 32/4 GB for $370.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  9. #9
    mAdminstrator Random's Avatar
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    f-bombs in the very first comment. Seriously, people?
    Whoomah!

  10. #10
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    There's a lot of anger and hatred out there for Chrome OS.
    Get that weak shit off my track

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