During the first quarter of 2013 I made a decision to buy a Chromebook and see what I could do to make sure it was my only PC that would suffice for the duration of the calendar year. Having done my research and paying close attention to what was being talked about in the various Chromebook communities, I decided to spend my money on the Samsung Series 3 which was rated as the best device among all laptops on Amazon let alone just Chromebooks.
Having hindsight now, I can honestly say that purchasing that model was the wrong decision although it doesn't mean the Chromebook in general was. The problem I ran into with having the Samsung Chromebook was with the processor being ARM based, as I needed to run a few programs that needed Linux and thankfully the Chromebook allows both Linux and Chrome OS to boot side by side using Crouton. Within a couple of months I sent the Samsung Chromebook to my mother and decided to give the Acer C710 a try which had the Intel processor.
The Acer device is definitely bulkier than the Samsung but the feel for me is more towards a computer that can do everything with all the ports and 320GB HDD. The added Ethernet port, higher quality screen and with extra space that can have up to 4GB of RAM, makes this the perfect solution for what I was looking for while being extremely cost effective. Running just under $130 as a fully refurbished Chromebook, it had the additional 100 GB of free Drive storage and also the free WiFi passes for flying included, though I can’t promise every refurbished device will have them as I was just fortunate enough to have them both unclaimed.
When I finally upgraded to the 4GB of Ram and had Crouton installed as a dual boot of Ubuntu Raring did I have the computer that I am writing to you now from. HDMI, SD Card slot, USB and Camera make this my favorite tech purchase of 2013, and possibly the past few years if I really think about it. Everyday I use this as for my writing and getting any work I may want, and not only just that but I also stream my movies and shows to my TV from it while still being able to work.
The biggest misconception I have seen for users talking about Chromebooks is that they are only useful if there is WiFi and that is totally false. Inside the Chrome store there is plenty of apps that work offline and even if that isn't enough then like me you could always install Crouton. With using Linux for just over 5 years now it was the main reason I looked into a Chromebook when I knew that my options were not going to be limited with having that option available, although the Chrome OS side of things is where I hang out the most.
I highly recommend getting a Chromebook if you haven't done so already, however i do suggest keeping another computer around just in case Linux isn't your cup of tea. When you go for a long period of time without needing to use another PC besides just your Chromebook would I then suggest getting rid of a backup device. Follow along on my personal blog if you want to find out more about using a Chromebook as a primary device, JonathanParkinson.com.