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Why I love my Chromebook

Nobody likes change. Change is the death of one little thing and the rebirth of another and death, for the most part, is a painful, tearing affair. Recently, Microsoft died in my apartment. Having been a faithful companion for twenty years, it no longer has a place by my hearth – though it might linger on in my heart.

I’m typing this on the usurper who cast out my former friend – it’s sleek, it’s white, it garners appreciative glances in coffee shops or on coaches (two people behind me went ‘ooo’ when I pulled it out) and it’s not an Apple product. It’s an HP. More accurately, it’s a Chromebook. And I love it.

One Month Down…

I’ve held off on buying a Chromebook for a couple of years – fear held me back. Would I be able to use Skype? Could I write offline? What if I wanted to watch movies? And how would I feel without Bill Gates’ protective hand on my shoulder?

I feel great. Google Hangouts has replaced Skype and whilst it’s not quite so familiar (I miss the whimsical beeping that presaged an incoming call) it works just as well. Potentially better, if anything. Writing offline is simple enough. Google Docs can be used offline and your files will be saved locally or if you’re a maverick like me, you can use Google Keep. Watching movies on a Chromebook is more difficult, as codecs for it are notoriously absent, but with a little forward planning (paying for a movie and downloading it like the proper grown up I’ve apparently become) it can be done without the sort of clamorous uproar of bewilderment you’d expect from reading the help forums on Google’s website.

Therein is the key problem – and it’s not with Google’s OS or any of the hardware available, which is largely reliable, stylish and well kitted out. The problem is with you. Awkward.

People, as a wise man once said at the beginning of an article, hate change and that’s what a Chromebook represents. The idea of doing everything in a browser and rwithout a hard drive capable of storing literally days worth of shameful pornography is scary, I know, and I’ll hold your hand as you embark upon a journey into a better world.

After a month with my new best friend (I don’t get out a lot) I’ve been completely sold on the Chromebook platform. It does everything you could ask it to do – it does it well, it does it with a sense of style and it does it without breaking the bank. At prices ranging from £150-£300, you can have a fresh out of the box device that will always be new (Chromebooks are constantly updated remotely, removing the ‘Do I or do I not upgrade to the new Windows?’ debate (don’t, it’s rubbish) which plagues me every three years or so – hey look at that, parentheses inside of parentheses. It’s like parentheses Inception).

I watch Netflix, I surf the net, I watch movies and use the Kindle app and edit photos in Pixlr, which is Photoshop’s free-of-charge younger sister. It doesn’t feature quite so many many bells and whistles as its older sibling, but if you need those then you should have bought yourself a Macbook by now anyway. Enjoy mortgaging your house to do so.

We’re a cautious species by our very nature, something which has served us very well in the past. Our caution kept our ancestors alive when they heard the growls from of the darkness. But this time the wild animal isn’t coming to steal our children or ravage us in our beds – it’s coming to free us from hard drives, poor battery life and expensive updates, to liberate us from overheating and the blue screen of death. It’s coming to show us the future. I love my Chromebook. Throw off the shackles. Embrace the change.

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Robin's been writing professionally since before he could grow a beard - now he's got a big one. He has an abiding love of retro gaming and schooling American teenagers on Xbox live. He spends half of his time performing hatred based stand up comedy, a great deal of which you can read on his blog, http://theheedlessflipflop.blogspot.co.uk if you're that way inclined.

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Andrew
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Andrew

It’s funny that fear of the unknown keeps people on Windows even though it’s hard to find a single negative review on any Chromebook from people that have actually used them. For me it was the fear of the known: OS corruptions and virus infections that persuaded me to try chrome os and I’ve never looked back.

tonycl
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tonycl

Agree with all you say. Another huge plus for the Chromebook is its ultraportability and, given any old wifi connection, its cybersafety. Just the best bit of technology I ever bought.

Bruno Deserto
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Bruno Deserto

I have made up my mind. I am buying a chromebook. I have been using windows all my life and to be quite frank I am done with it. I can’t take it anymore. It takes a long time to start if compared to Chromebooks, it gets sluggish as time goes by