Day 30 – That’s a Wrap
Final day of the #30DayChromebookChallenge.
Nothing out of the ordinary today in terms of what I did with the CB. I did the usual work-related things and if I just needed to be in Chrome then the CB did it’s job and did it’s job well.
But that’s the thing. I don’t always need/want to be in Chrome. A device is personal. It needs to accomplish my work related needs while balancing personal needs. So, where does the CB fit and how did it do overall?
I was extremely excited to do the challenge and, although I had my reservations, I wanted to be able to have the CB meet all my needs.
So did it?
- Battery. Life was great. There was one minor hiccup with it but for the most part I did not worry about the battery.
- Screen. Love how then screen lays flat. Makes teaching from the front of the room super easy.
- Tablet mode. Flip the screen over the keyboard and I can walk around the classroom and teach from anywhere.
- Stylus. More of a gimmick for me but it is a neat tool.
- Durable and rugged. This CB (HP X360 11) is built like the Nokia 3310! Enough said.
- Price. Very competitive for a CB.
- Battery. It’s only running Chrome yet I was getting comparable life to my MBP.
- Screen. I could not spend all day looking at the screen. The resolution left something to be desired.
- Tablet mode. Clunky as can be.
- Stylus. Although neat, there isn’t a safe spot to secure it. A sleeve comes with the CB but it doesn’t give me piece of mind knowing it’s secure.
- Price. The original attraction of CBs to me was their low cost. Sure, you can find a CB for $200 but some (Google Pixlebook) are over $1000. There are some great Windows 10 ultraportables starting at $400 and Apple has MacBook Airs at $1100. More on that in a bit.
- Chrome. There are times Chrome is not the saviour we are all told it is. Even during this challenge, Chrome sometimes failed us. I don’t want to find workarounds. I don’t want to find an app “similar” to the real app I need. There are times Photoshop, Final Cut, and ScreenFlow are needed and no “similar” app can replace that.
So what would I do? Well I don’t like being tied to an internet browser to do my work. At first, the CB was quick and easy to use because it was just Chrome. After a few days, though, I really began to miss my MBP as the CB made personal tech moments a chore and I didn’t want to flip back and forth between machines.
For me, the CB is not something I’d invest in until more industry leading apps are made for the Chrome OS.
If cost is the driving factor in my purchase then I’d spend $500 and get a Windows 10 portable (check out the Acer Swift 1). With Windows 10 I can run and do everything! Yes, for those that know me, I just recommend a Windows environment. I did praise the CB to many people but after having researched a bit deeper and played around with a few in-store, the cheaper Windows 10 machines are the way to go if cost is to be top priority. I know, there are so many apps in the Google Play Store that will run on the CB to make life easier but sometimes those apps just don’t cut it.
But a device is personal. It needs to balance ease of use, creativity, cost, and reliability. For me that would be the MacBook Air. I used an Air for many years and loved everything about it. It can’t do as much as a Windows 10 environment but it sure is a nice ecosystem to use! So much so that I’ve been a Mac user for close to 20 years! My base model iMac is 10 years old and it is used by someone in my house daily. I found myself going back to my Mac constantly during the #30DayChromebookChallenge because it just works!
Bottom line is to look at your individual needs. If ALL you need is Chrome then, sure, a CB makes sense. For the classroom, where cost IS an issue, it makes sense. But when buying a CB you need to know what you are investing in and you have to be ready to compromise usability.
Although I’m not a CB fan, yet. It’ll get there. I believe it’s just not there at the moment for me. Others, many others, will disagree with me. I do see it maturing into an OS that’ll go head-to-head with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’ll just take some time, in my opinion.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to test drive one for 30 days, though. Something I was able to do because of the Google Ninja Program. I’ve been up and down with my CB. Some days I loved it (because it worked for what I was doing) and sang it’s praises to all who would listen and some days I was happy to “forget” it at home.
Day 30 – It’s a wrap! DONE!