Laptop of Choice: Chromebook?

pltrgyst

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Five days ago, I replaced my living room laptop with an HP Chromebook, the 2020 15.6" model with an Intel I5, 8G ram, 128GB SSD, Full HD WLED touch, and backlit with full numeric keyboard. I've gotta say, this is the best laptop I've ever used, Light, great display, fast as stink, and affordable -- $580.

I bought it out of Covid boredom, but I am impressed. As you'd expect, we have a dozen or so other laptops, ipads, and tablets in the house, and this one has been instantly promoted to be our primary travel computer.

Has anyone tried this machine, or any other new laptop/tablet that really impresses you?
 

Psypher1000

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Has anyone tried this machine
When it comes to travel, I generally recommend Chromebook's as a light-weight, budget-friendly, go-to option. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better combination of affordability, weight, and functionality out there for travel purposes. If you remove cost as a factor, I prefer the iPad and keyboard or [insert preferred brand of tablet and keyboard here]. Even lighter weight, still gets all the job done, and lets you take your apps and media with you. Chromebooks can now run some Android apps so that's becoming less of a distinction, but there are still plenty that aren't cross-compatible for one reason or another.
 

One Eyed Dollar

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My kids both have Chromebooks for school. I was tempted to replace my old Windows 7 laptop with a Chromebook, but there are a few things that it can't run, like Steam games. I also have work software that I need a PC for, but now I have a laptop for work, so I don't need to use my personal laptop for that anymore.
 

12thMan

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Agree, interesting. I’m not a computer guy at all but I thought I had always heard that chrome books were a waste of money? No clue where I got that from, maybe listening to snobby gamers or Apple owners. ;) I have always wanted one though, you’re right, incredibly affordable for what you get.
 

Psypher1000

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Agree, interesting. I’m not a computer guy at all but I thought I had always heard that chrome books were a waste of money? No clue where I got that from, maybe listening to snobby gamers or Apple owners. ;) I have always wanted one though, you’re right, incredibly affordable for what you get.
PC builder, part-time gamer, and still love Apple's mobile devices - and my original Acer 13" chromebook is pound for pound the best technology investment we ever made. I think it cost us $225 before tax and it lasted for about 5 years before the monitor finally died. That thing travelled tens of thousands of miles before it finally gave up the ghost.
 

pltrgyst

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Oh, and if there's anyone who collects older laptops, I have a mint original TuxTops machine -- the first native Linux laptop -- that's looking for a new home, for the cost of shipping only. I couldn't bring myself to send it to recycling...
 

AceFour

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I have a Samsung Chromebook 3 and then realized I can install Google Play Android apps. Little slow but does the job. I'm a fan.
 

pltrgyst

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Yes, if I was doing anything heavy duty -- editing video or audio, doing Web site maintenance -- even this high-powered Chromebook wouldn't do, but we have desktops/all-in-ones for that.

I haven't even looked for a compatible FTP client yet. Probably not, but who knows. Hmmm ... tomorrow. :cool
 
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One Eyed Dollar

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Oh, and if there's anyone who collects older laptops, I have a mint original TuxTops machine -- the first native Linux laptop -- that's looking for a new home, for the cost of shipping only. I couldn't bring myself to send it to recycling...
Have you ever been to the Computer History Museum in the San Jose area? It's pretty cool to see all the hardware they have from different eras.
 

pltrgyst

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Have you ever been to the Computer History Museum in the San Jose area? It's pretty cool to see all the hardware they have from different eras.

Haven't been there, but it might feel like a reprise of my life. :cool

I started out with a vacuum tube ex-military computer in the late 1950s at my local ham radio club, and worked with pretty much everything since. IBM, DEC, DG, General Automation, HP, you name it. Still have an IMSAI, the first IBM portable ("luggable", as it was referred to back in 1982), a Heath-Zenith, and a box of punch cards -- don't ask me why...
 

Ben8257

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I used to be into DJing I still have an Alienware 17" gaming laptop that weighs about 20 pounds that I thought I needed to run my DJ projrams, wrong!! I quickly switched to apple products, I still have my original Macbook pro, almost 20 years old now and has zero issues, but I up graded about 2 years ago to this super light version. I walked in the apple store and said I need the best of everything on a 13" model... i think it was $2,800! Ouch but they are work horses! I would say I work 90% off a phone, 9% off the I pad and the Mac is for down loading and listening to music! Lol
20200519_092924.jpg
 

cpac54

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I used to be into DJing I still have an Alienware 17" gaming laptop that weighs about 20 pounds that I thought I needed to run my DJ projrams, wrong!! I quickly switched to apple products, I still have my original Macbook pro, almost 20 years old now and has zero issues, but I up graded about 2 years ago to this super light version. I walked in the apple store and said I need the best of everything on a 13" model... i think it was $2,800! Ouch but they are work horses! I would say I work 90% off a phone, 9% off the I pad and the Mac is for down loading and listening to music! Lol
View attachment 461800

That's the boat I find myself in atm. I'm looking for a new macbook pro for processing raw photos in Lightroom, so I'll be looking at around $3000+ as well when it's all said and done.

That said, my current macbook pro 13" is now 7 years old and, as a daily driver for normal internet use, MS Office work, etc, it's still more than capable and really speaks to the lifespan of macs. My wife's macbook air is also going on 6 years now with zero issues. When I factor in that kind of lifespan vs. all the various PC notebooks I went through before switching to mac, the overall costs certainly even out a bit more (in my experience - ymmv).

My only real complaint with mac is the real lack of ability to do any user upgrades to things like memory or graphics cards, which are normally such an easy task.

All that said, in the future, I'll more than likely end up looking at something like an ipad with keyboard for travel purposes where I just need to browse the internet. In that sense, if you're not married to the apple ecosystem, something like a chromebook seems like a great option. I guess the only question for me is what the lifespan on something like that is vs. a comparable apple solution. If @Psypher1000 's experience is the norm, it's hard to argue with 5 years of use for the price of a few racks of chips.
 

pltrgyst

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Re MacBooks: Bulletproof in many ways, but don't spill even a tablespoon of, say, soda or beer onto the keyboard. It can cost you well into four figures...

(But it will still work fine with an external USB keyboard. Do not ask me how I know this... :confused)

(Edit: p.s. You can buy a keyboard skin for most ipads -- IMO, they're well worth the money.)
 
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Ben8257

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That's the boat I find myself in atm. I'm looking for a new macbook pro for processing raw photos in Lightroom, so I'll be looking at around $3000+ as well when it's all said and done.

That said, my current macbook pro 13" is now 7 years old and, as a daily driver for normal internet use, MS Office work, etc, it's still more than capable and really speaks to the lifespan of macs. My wife's macbook air is also going on 6 years now with zero issues. When I factor in that kind of lifespan vs. all the various PC notebooks I went through before switching to mac, the overall costs certainly even out a bit more (in my experience - ymmv).

My only real complaint with mac is the real lack of ability to do any user upgrades to things like memory or graphics cards, which are normally such an easy task.

All that said, in the future, I'll more than likely end up looking at something like an ipad with keyboard for travel purposes where I just need to browse the internet. In that sense, if you're not married to the apple ecosystem, something like a chromebook seems like a great option. I guess the only question for me is what the lifespan on something like that is vs. a comparable apple solution. If @Psypher1000 's experience is the norm, it's hard to argue with 5 years of use for the price of a few racks of chips.
I still use a series 1 I pad for music and my old Macbook pro both have zero issues! When I took my old pro in to integrate with the new one, they couldn't believe it was still running (needed to swap a few DJ programs that cost $300 each and didn't want to buy a new licensee) the sales lady helping me called her managers over and they took pictures of the Dinosaur... couldn't believe it was still in such amazing condition, one asked to buy it... I declined. Battery is still original and can still get 3 hours of use out of it!! They are troopers!
20200519_101544.jpg
 

Ben8257

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Checked the battery and it says 2006 so maybe it was replaced early on... I bought it used from a graphics engineer in DC who said it was 5 years old, nothing wrong with it he was upgrading... had to be 06 or 07 when I bought that monster! I honestly thought I have had it longer than that but I never replaced the battery soo.
 

Poker Zombie

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Haven't been there, but it might feel like a reprise of my life. :cool

I started out with a vacuum tube ex-military computer in the late 1950s at my local ham radio club, and worked with pretty much everything since. IBM, DEC, DG, General Automation, HP, you name it. Still have an IMSAI, the first IBM portable ("luggable", as it was referred to back in 1982), a Heath-Zenith, and a box of punch cards -- don't ask me why...
I learned to program on punch cards. Sadly I don't remember the name of the machine I used, it was just called "a computer".
 
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rowlin

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We picked up a similarly-specced Surface Pro 6 on Cyber Monday not long after the 7 Series was released. We don't have any artistic or gaming needs for the higher end i7 models, which cost a lot more.

It's been a great machine so far, though we don't ask a lot of it. Streaming/casting has probably been its most strenuous workout to date.

I am watching this thread with interest, as we are looking to replace an aging desktop with either another laptop/tablet or one of the newer style mini desktops.

CPU Z SP6.png
 

rowlin

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My CS-101 professor used to talk about how, in his day, they used to carve zeros and ones out of stone.

While he was grossly overqualified for the role, he wasn't really THAT old.
 

Tommy

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I tried 2 Chrome OS devices. Returned them. I ended up with a Microsoft Surface Pro 7. I like the 100% compatibility with my other Win 10 apps. And it fits perfectly under my monitor. Came with a free keyboard/cover and pen. I use the pen sometimes when using it on the couch and a bt mouse at my desk.

IMG_20200519_111518.jpg

I am watching this thread with interest, as we are looking to replace an aging desktop with either another laptop/tablet or one of the newer style mini desktops.

I've been using one of these mini lenovo desktops as shipping PC on my workbench for years. I upgraded it with an SSD and 16GB of ram. Definitely overkill but I already had the parts.

ll.jpg


My main PC is a Corsair One. Love that machine. I still play some games when I have time or just to take a break.
My current laptop is a 13" Razer Blade Stealth. (upgrade from a Lenovo T470s which was a great machine for everyday stuff.)
 

naked_eskimo

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For my daily driver for personal use, it's Windows for me. I still play PC games, so I would rather run Windows. For work I prefer either a macbook or even an older laptop running Linux. I'm a network guy, so I don't need a lot of horsepower, just a good console. Windows lacks in that regard.
 

One Eyed Dollar

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It so was. My high school was preparing us for a future that was already in the past.
I got to waste college tuition money to learn FORTRAN in 1995. Most useless class I had. After 2 weeks of class we started the labs, and the code was different from what we learned in class. Turns out the professor was teaching us FORTRAN77 and the compiler in the lab was set up for FORTRAN90 and that's what the lab TA was teaching us. So of course the professor switched to FORTRAN90 in class, right? Hahaha! Of course not! They made the lab people put FORTRAN77 on the computers so we could keep learning an even more obsolete version of an already obsolete programming language.

The whole semester of the class was on FORTRAN except for 2 weeks on spreadsheets. Which would've actually been useful except they decided to teach us Quattro Pro instead of Excel just to complete the uselessness of that class.
 

moose

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Work bought me a Surface Pro 7 so I could work from home. It's pretty great, especially the pen. However it does freeze from time to time and needs a hard reboot to get it going again which is disconcerting for a brand new machine.

Going to get a Lenovo Duet as soon as it is available in Canada. Was released about a week ago in the US to pretty smashing reviews. $299 for the 128 gb ssd.
No integrated pen but you can buy one.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/search...rue&iht=y&usc=All+Categories&ks=960&keys=keys
 

Poker Zombie

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I got to waste college tuition money to learn FORTRAN in 1995. Most useless class I had. After 2 weeks of class we started the labs, and the code was different from what we learned in class. Turns out the professor was teaching us FORTRAN77 and the compiler in the lab was set up for FORTRAN90 and that's what the lab TA was teaching us. So of course the professor switched to FORTRAN90 in class, right? Hahaha! Of course not! They made the lab people put FORTRAN77 on the computers so we could keep learning an even more obsolete version of an already obsolete programming language.

The whole semester of the class was on FORTRAN except for 2 weeks on spreadsheets. Which would've actually been useful except they decided to teach us Quattro Pro instead of Excel just to complete the uselessness of that class.
I guess I got off easy*.

A kid in class argued with the teacher that Fortran was already a useless language. He extolled the virtues of C. I could see the stuff he could do with an Apple ][, including stuff that was blatantly illegal - though as a 16 year old, I didn't even remotely think about the criminal implications. C could also be used for programming games, which the Fortran we were learning in class was useless for. While I aced Fortran, it's apparent uselessness ended my desire to pursue computer programming. Other than hacking early PC games, my life as a programmer came to an end.

*While I didn't waste college money on useless languages, the ineptness of the school system led me to surrender a field that I was doing extremely well in. Kind of a fork-in-the-road lifetime moment, where I was unceremoniously ushered to a path with far less pay.
 

One Eyed Dollar

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I guess I got off easy*.

A kid in class argued with the teacher that Fortran was already a useless language. He extolled the virtues of C. I could see the stuff he could do with an Apple ][, including stuff that was blatantly illegal - though as a 16 year old, I didn't even remotely think about the criminal implications. C could also be used for programming games, which the Fortran we were learning in class was useless for. While I aced Fortran, it's apparent uselessness ended my desire to pursue computer programming. Other than hacking early PC games, my life as a programmer came to an end.

*While I didn't waste college money on useless languages, the ineptness of the school system led me to surrender a field that I was doing extremely well in. Kind of a fork-in-the-road lifetime moment, where I was unceremoniously ushered to a path with far less pay.
That sucks. I hate to hear that, and it highlights why opportunities in education are so important. Hopefully it gets better for kids in the future with all of the learning that is available online now.
 

Tommy

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Work bought me a Surface Pro 7 so I could work from home. It's pretty great, especially the pen. However it does freeze from time to time and needs a hard reboot to get it going again which is disconcerting for a brand new machine.

What are the specs on it? Just curious what processor and ram you have. I haven't experienced that.
 
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