SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017


  • Service Provider

    So today I got my first Chromebook of my own. I have used them before, but never owned one of my own purchased for the express purposes of using every day. I had a really low end, used Acer Chromebook when the first generation of Chromebooks came out and I spent some time with it, so am familiar with the ecosystem and know that I like ChromeOS quite a bit. But the time was right to really invest some effort in Chrome for every day work, both because of how my own work is changing in the near future (starting this week) and for some projects that I am heavily focused on.

    So I am very excited to be making a very serious exploration of the current state of the Google ChromeOS and Chromebook ecosystem for IT and business use and am doing so on a new (got it early this morning) Asus C201 Chromebook, which I will review individually at a later time. But quick details are that it is a quad core ARM, 4GB, 11.6" traditional style mini-laptop model with a 13 hour battery life. No touch screen, no flip screen, nothing out of the ordinary. Small size, low power, light weight.

    I'll be talking about how I like working from it as well as what applications are available for things that I use as that is one of the biggest concerns moving to ChromeOS for work use - how well will things translate.



  • Sounds like a fun project -

    Will you retain the ChromeOS or go Linux on it?


  • Service Provider

    Telegram - First up is Telegram, which I use primarily for talking to family and friends overseas and to my dad instead of other instant messenger platforms. ChromeOS has a dedicated Telegram application in the app store that installs easily and just authenticates against your existing Telegram install.

    In my use thus far, Telegram on ChromeOS works beautifully. Just like the normal client-based application.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    Sounds like a fun project -

    Will you retain the ChromeOS or go Linux on it?

    I'm retaining ChromeOS here for multiple reasons, one is to specifically test ChromeOS and the Asus C201 as intended. At some point, I will totally entertain a second C201 to pop traditional Linux onto as well, to test that, too. But I really want a totally solid Chromebook for a specific portion of my work. Maybe when I upgrade to a new model this old C201 could move to a traditional Linux install.


  • Service Provider

    It's only been one morning and I can say that I am absolutely loving having the Chromebook. A lot of the love is for the hardware that I picked, it's the right size and weight for me when doing things like visiting my dad, which I am doing right now. So I am using it today in one of the use case scenarios that I bought it for. But it is already proving to be perfect for that.



  • That form factor sounds like it would be great on an airplane.



  • @coliver said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    That form factor sounds like it would be great on an airplane.

    Have they let laptops on airplanes again since the laptop bomber?



  • @NerdyDad said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @coliver said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    That form factor sounds like it would be great on an airplane.

    Have they let laptops on airplanes again since the laptop bomber?

    Yes, they have to get screened independently and to every country but a few middle eastern ones.


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    That form factor sounds like it would be great on an airplane.

    Yes. Very good for that.


  • Service Provider

    @NerdyDad said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @coliver said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    That form factor sounds like it would be great on an airplane.

    Have they let laptops on airplanes again since the laptop bomber?

    Yup. They never stopped.



  • Just a few questions:

    What's it like security wise?

    • how long is it between updates?
    • how do you protect it from things like malware?

    Is the interface just the chrome browser?
    Can you run scripts on it?
    Can you work offline?
    Do you get any extras with it? (Like xGB more for your Google Drive account)
    What ports are on the device?
    Can it be upgraded like a traditional laptop?



  • @nadnerB said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    Just a few questions:

    What's it like security wise?

    • how long is it between updates?
    • how do you protect it from things like malware?

    Is the interface just the chrome browser?
    Can you run scripts on it?
    Can you work offline?
    Do you get any extras with it? (Like xGB more for your Google Drive account)
    What ports are on the device?
    Can it be upgraded like a traditional laptop?

    Updates are frequent. I never checked between days, and it's been a while since I've used mine since the battery died. It was a Toshiba Chromebook 2.

    • If you put it in developer mode, you can run limited scripts. But I don't know what you'd be doing that for.

    • You can work offline. There are a good many offline chrome apps. You can run the documents apps offline and it has a file browser.

    • I got 100GB free space on Drive. It did expire after a year, but I never really used it.

    • Mine had a USB 2, a USB 3, an HDMI, headphone jack, and power.

    • They are rolling updates, so you just apply them when they come out.


  • Service Provider

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.



  • The one thing that did bother me was using the offline apps with a sync'd profile. If you use a profile synced across multiple machines, the offline apps will be installed on all of them. Frequently things like Caret would show up in a related search, sometimes at the beginning.



  • @stacksofplates said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    The one thing that did bother me was using the offline apps with a sync'd profile. If you use a profile synced across multiple machines, the offline apps will be installed on all of them. Frequently things like Caret would show up in a related search, sometimes at the beginning.

    This is one of my most troubling parts - not so much just for say the ChromeOS but for Android and iOS as well.

    I would like to use Smart Office - but in many cases of when I plan to use it, - I won't have internet connection. And the app won't run unless it can validate itself to their server.

    What a pain.



  • @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?

    I've not found anything that I would need. A full size HDMI can be handy, of course, but it just means a different cord. It's not a device that really uses many peripherals.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @stacksofplates said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    The one thing that did bother me was using the offline apps with a sync'd profile. If you use a profile synced across multiple machines, the offline apps will be installed on all of them. Frequently things like Caret would show up in a related search, sometimes at the beginning.

    This is one of my most troubling parts - not so much just for say the ChromeOS but for Android and iOS as well.

    I would like to use Smart Office - but in many cases of when I plan to use it, - I won't have internet connection. And the app won't run unless it can validate itself to their server.

    What a pain.

    I'm not familiar with Smart Office.



  • @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?

    I've not found anything that I would need. A full size HDMI can be handy, of course, but it just means a different cord. It's not a device that really uses many peripherals.

    I expected as much - there are a few times that a full on NIC would be nice,... but not required, like so many different things, there is USB for that. A full sized HDMI would be nice to not have to deal with extra cables.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?

    I've not found anything that I would need. A full size HDMI can be handy, of course, but it just means a different cord. It's not a device that really uses many peripherals.

    I expected as much - there are a few times that a full on NIC would be nice,... but not required, like so many different things, there is USB for that. A full sized HDMI would be nice to not have to deal with extra cables.

    Ethernet could be handy, not extremely rarely for me as this is purely a mobile device.



  • I just got a new ASUS Chromebook flip about a week ago. I love it, and it is my at home, no heavy lifting, consumption device of choice. I wouldn't want to do much development on it, but for a home PC it is about perfect.



  • @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?

    I've not found anything that I would need. A full size HDMI can be handy, of course, but it just means a different cord. It's not a device that really uses many peripherals.

    I expected as much - there are a few times that a full on NIC would be nice,... but not required, like so many different things, there is USB for that. A full sized HDMI would be nice to not have to deal with extra cables.

    Ethernet could be handy, not extremely rarely for me as this is purely a mobile device.

    Ethernet adapter for USB 3.0? Do do you have 3.0 with that model?



  • @scottalanmiller I really need to just pull the trigger on getting this....



  • The last time I used one, a year ago, I really didn't like that the desktop wasn't customizable like Windows or Mac. I couldn't drop icons on the desktop. Not a deal breaker, but still frustrating.



  • @Dashrender said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    The last time I used one, a year ago, I really didn't like that the desktop wasn't customizable like Windows or Mac. I couldn't drop icons on the desktop. Not a deal breaker, but still frustrating.

    Maybe it's from using Gnome 3 all the time but I never put stuff on my desktop. It bothers me. The universal search is so much better.



  • @stacksofplates said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @Dashrender said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    The last time I used one, a year ago, I really didn't like that the desktop wasn't customizable like Windows or Mac. I couldn't drop icons on the desktop. Not a deal breaker, but still frustrating.

    Maybe it's from using Gnome 3 all the time but I never put stuff on my desktop. It bothers me. The universal search is so much better.

    I was trying to set it up for a retiring doc. He had the 3 websites that he used as shortcuts on his desktop and it just didn't seem possible with the Chromebook.



  • I've tried several platform including chrome OS, but I think I'll stick to a macbook (12, maybe) for now… Chrome OS is nice, supposing you'll always have some kind of connectivity; today I need a Windows VM to recover a peculiar windows-centric issue, and I have to virtualize it on my machine because internet from Telecom Italia (the national provider) went down in the whole Sicily :D.

    Oh, also the cellular network was down for at least 2 hours.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @gjacobse said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    @scottalanmiller said in SAM's Chromebook Adventure 2017:

    My Asus C201 has Mini HDMI, 2x USB and a headphone jack.

    What more would you need?

    I've not found anything that I would need. A full size HDMI can be handy, of course, but it just means a different cord. It's not a device that really uses many peripherals.

    I expected as much - there are a few times that a full on NIC would be nice,... but not required, like so many different things, there is USB for that. A full sized HDMI would be nice to not have to deal with extra cables.

    Ethernet could be handy, not extremely rarely for me as this is purely a mobile device.

    Ethernet adapter for USB 3.0? Do do you have 3.0 with that model?

    That is not the point. That does not matter. What matter is having an adapter for when Ethernet is needed. That is not the normal connectivity for devices like this, but instead a troubleshooting tool.



  • We're talking about a laptop that was designed for consumer use and using it for commercial troubleshooting. If I was to pick a device that I needed to troubleshoot with, I'm going to pick one that has most, if not all, of the necessary peripherals built in, network port included.

    Something that requires an adapter, to me, isn't for troubleshooting, its for making due with something that was not thought through before.



  • I'm thinking of getting a Chromebook just so I can have non-mobile (desktop mode) web access in places I do not want to have a normal sized laptop. Is 11.6" too big for that purpose?

    Phone is just too small and so inconvenient for some things I want to do. I'd rather have a super small laptop just for web access and simple things.


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