Choosing a Chromebook

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About two or three years ago, I first heard of Google’s Chromebook and its Chrome OS, and it had intrigued me ever since. One of my friends bought the original Samsung Chromebook of her own, and I heard about how it was a great laptop. I’ve been hankering to get a new laptop since my Acer Aspire One netbook is now far too slow and bulky. So while I was thinking about getting a new laptop, I encountered someone selling this used HP Chromebook locally for 150,000 won ($145 USD). I was tempted, very tempted. But in the end, I decided to get something else, something brand new, so I spent the last few days reading up on Chromebooks and consulting a couple of awesome tech guru mates. My research led me to focus on six areas to use as a basis for choosing a Chromebook.

Portability and Battery Life

My main reason for getting a Chromebook was that I wanted a device that was in between my phone and my desktop PC, meaning I wanted something that was easily portable. So the Chromebook’s weight heavily mattered to me. I wanted something light, and that meant finding a Chromebook that was between 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.4 kilograms). I also preferred something with a good battery life. Anything under eight hours wasn’t a choice. Something that was about eight to ten hours would work for me!

Speed and Performance

I read up on a lot of articles and reviews about how 2GB of RAM would be enough for Chrome OS, but that having 4GB of RAM would make things even smoother for a user who likes to have 8+ tabs in action on their browsers. *coughscoughsTara* So I figured 4GB will be plenty for what I wanted to do with my Chromebook, which was to do email, browse the Internet, keep up with Twitter and other social media, listen to music, and blog :D I also considered the processor speed and type. I was told by my tech guru friend that a fast processor would not matter if I didn’t have sufficient amount of RAM, but I didn’t want something too slow, either! In fact, I was recommended to stay away from Intel Celeron, so I did XD;

Brand and Price

Finally, my tech guru friend also said to avoid HP. I was also not fond of Dell. Ergo, I read up on ASUS, Acer, and Samsung Chromebooks. Along with the brand, price was the other factor that affected my decision. I really wanted to spend under $200, but I’d also pondered on getting one up to $300, but definitely nothing over $300 because I couldn’t justify spending that much for a Chromebook!

ASUS C201 Chromebook

My Pick

After looking and considering Samsung Chromebook 2, ASUS C200MA-EDU, and Acer C720 Chromebook, I chose ASUS C201 Chromebook because . . .

  • It weighs 2.2 pounds (0.98 kilograms)
  • Battery life is projected to be about thirteen hours
  • Rockchip processor speed is at 1.8ghz
  • It has 4GB of RAM
  • It’s ASUS
  • And it costs $199

I ended up paying $160.80 for it after applying some of my Amazon reward points, so that discount helped! Unfortunately, Amazon would not ship it directly to me, so I had to do the wonderful thing of shipping it to a friend and having the friend ship it to me. :( That makes for a much longer wait, but it appears that none of the 4GB models I’ve looked at can be shipped to me. Regardless, I am so excited for my Chromebook! After only having a netbook and my phone, I’m ready to have something that I can type with on the go! Keep an eye out for my Chromebook review in the near future!

Comments

  1. I should have read up on Chromebooks instead of getting a Surface tablet. In terms of functionality, will you be able use things like Word processing offline? Or everything is in the cloud/online, right? (I apologize if it was a dumb question! I’m just not as tech savvy as I used to be lol. I live under a rock. :P)

    I actually want a chromebook now come to think of it because I find my Surface too slow.

    • which Surface do you have? I’ve used a few Pro 3’s and found them pretty decent (although their wifi adapter seemed a bit weak) for what they are – basically a heavy tablet with a keyboard.

      I liked that you could basically use Windows like any other laptop or desktop rather than having to work out of apps.

      We deploy them at my work (we have 100’s out there.. so much money) and everyone loves them – until our build/image breaks.

    • The thing you have to understand about Chromebook is that all your word processing, spreadsheets, and etcetera are done on Google Docs and other Google programmes. You cannot install Microsoft Office onto a Chrome OS. So yes, everything is based on cloud/online — though offline support is also there. Just not sure yet on how well that works.

      So that will be a change I’ll have to get used to, but I’m finding I don’t mind that so much since I’ll do all my extensive Word, Excel. PowerPoint stuff on my desktop, and keep simple browsing, blogging, tweeting, emailing, and etcetera on the Chromebook. Really, what I wanted were things I already do on my phone, but on a bigger screen with a keyboard XD

  2. I’ve been wondering about the using apps offline, too, because back when people started getting it when I was in college, you could only use the computer when you had WiFi, which was something I didn’t want to deal with when I was looking for my “light small laptop.” I ended up getting HP Stream 11, which I got for $175 everything (shipping & tax) included. This is what I got.

    Though it only had 2 GB of ram, which I thought would be an issue, but turns out 2GB IS enough for a few browsers (ie Chrome & Firefox) with a dozen tabs each, and watching YouTube at the same time. The battery life is like 8~10 hours, so I never need to take my charger anywhere, and it’s small enough to fit in my purse. :D

    Yay for little guys!!!! Hope you love your Chromebook. It’s so nice having a small laptop to be able to take around anywhere and fast enough to whip out and immediately be able to start using, even if it was turned off.

    • I decided against a laptop with a traditional Windows OS. I’ve been wanting to try the Chrome OS to get the user experience and to be knowledgeable on other OSes :)

      I’m glad you’re happy with your HP one, but seriously 2GB would not be enough for me!

  3. Would love to wait for your review! I’m not exactly tech savvy so any insight would help especially if when my current laptop retires on me.

    I’m using an Acer Aspire One 722, been with me for three years and it’s been extremely slow. Two of the keys are no longer working so sometimes I’d have to pull up the on-screen keyboard. I’m planning to upgrade to a new laptop once I get to move to New York this year. (Hoping my visa gets approved and soon!)

    • I’ll try to keep my review simple for those who are not tech savvy :) Just understand that the Chromebook do have limitations, but they are limitations I can handle, but it may not be for everyone.

  4. Congratulations on getting the new laptop ^___^! Or ordering it in this case ;). I think you got a pretty good deal considering how it’s so cheap and you get some pretty good specs out of it! It’ll be perfect to do some internet browsing and word processing ^___^! And the laptop sounds so light! Meanwhile, I’m here with my 6lb laptop… Woop woop, XD.

    I think 4GB is a better option because you can do more with it and you won’t need to go through the hassle of upgrading it again later. Hope it’ll get to your hands soon enough ^__^!

    • Chromebooks are not upgradeable from what I’ve read, hence another reason to just get a 4GB one instead of a 2GB one! And wow at your 6 pounds laptop! That’s way too heavy for me!

  5. I hope your new Chromebook gets to you safely! I’m looking forward to see how it works and what you think when it arrives. I’ve watched a few Chromebook reviews on Youtube, and they look very sweet. :D

    • I really cannot wait to get mine! I’m so excited for it since it will be a brand new device for me to try, unlike my secondhand netbook I got in 2009 XD

  6. I don’t really know much about chromebooks but if you’re only looking to do basic things with it (they don’t have much harddrive space right, 16gb if I recall? and you are meant to save everything in ‘the cloud’) these are good for the price. I’d be interested in seeing how it goes and how the OS looks/runs.

    I bought my laptop based on performance and size, it’s a Sony Vaio that I bought nearly 2 years ago now. At the time it was the lightest ultrabook available. It cost me $1300 so it would want to have lasted still :D Although I do use a external wifi adapter because the inbuilt one had a few issues.

    • $1300 is way out of my budget :( If I didn’t have a custom-made desktop PC and wanted a super functional laptop, then I’d pay for it, but not when I have an awesome desktop!

      And yes, Chromebooks are limited in hard drive space, but they have a microSD slot for space expansion, and they do offer 100GB of Google Cloud space free for two years. But considering my plans on what I want to use my Chromebook for, space will not be an issue XD

      • Oh right.. my laptop is my main computer :) I don’t know if I’d pay $1300 for it to be my secondary device :P

  7. Thanks for the review!! I’m thinking about getting a Chromebook too (I don’t have anything between my home PC and my phone either) and your requirements are pretty much mine too! So I’m definitely going to take your review into consideration if I do end up getting a Chromebook or laptop.

    • Woot! I’ll definitely post a review on my Chromebook experience and let you know if it’s worth it and whatnot! :D

  8. Nice. I hope it works well for you and gets here quickly! I would be so impatient if I’d just ordered a new computer. I’m impressed by the battery life and interested to see your review since, for me, this really is a different type of computer (given that it runs neither Windows nor a Mac OS). I have to congratulate you on getting such a good deal on it, though.

    • Thanks, Chantelle! I am already wanting the bugger now, but must be patient! I gotta remember it has to now come from Virginia, and there’s an ocean or two separating Korea from there XD

  9. Don’t you have issues with the harddrive? O: I was looking at a chromebook a while back but I didn’t go for it because it only had a 320GB harddrive but only 2GB of that was accessible. It was a converted netbook or something.

    • Most Chromebook come with a 16GB or 32GB SSD. They also come with a microSD slot for space expansion, and you also get 100GB of Google Cloud space free for two years. But space will not be an issue for me since most of what I want to do will be things online like emailing, blogging, tweeting, and etcetera. If I want to run non-Google apps programme and do other tasks, that’s what my desktop is for. Really, what I want to do are things I’m doing on my phone, but I want to do it on a bigger screen and with a keyboard :)

      • Lotte on

        It definitely works well for those kind of things. :) I guess sort of like an extended tablet except without the touch screen. I know my cousin got one for exactly the same purpose as yours and she uses it more than her laptop so I’m sure it’ll be a success!

  10. The Chromebook’s light weight and long battery sounds really handy! I actually didn’t realize so many different companies were making Chromebooks now. The price seems nice too. I hope you get it soon!

    I have an old netbook, which feels way too slow now too. I ended up going with an iPad mini because I loved its small size XD

    • Yeah, I didn’t realise so many companies have jumped on the Chromebook production until I started to really research :) I can’t wait until it comes! I’m already wanting it now, haha!

  11. What a deal! Congrats! I remember looking at netbooks for my parents, but we ended up getting them used iPads since it’s much easier to use for my tech-challenged parents. The Chromebook was the next runner up just because it’s a simpler platform than Windows and they’re pretty affordable.

    • I will always be anti-Apple, so that’s why I’ll never get an iPad or a Mac Airbook. Nope. Not happening XD But I do agree that those would be better for those who aren’t as tech savvy :) I think I’d like Apple products better if I didn’t have to use iTunes!

  12. This post is so useful, I’ve been looking for an inbetween product like this, as the iPad my boyfriend kindly gave me can’t install iOS7. It looks like you’ve made a great choice, and it seems like a massive bargain too! Hope it arrives quicker than you expect and you get lots of great use out of it soon!

    • Thanks, Katy! I really cannot wait until I get it and use it :D

  13. Oh, wow – I can’t believe how light it is! I’m not sure how much my current laptop weighs, but I’d say at least 5lbs. It’s kind of an old clunker… and I don’t think it has much time left, haha. I got it about four years ago, so I’m hoping I can get another good year of use from it before I need to start searching for a new one. I’m not super tech savvy, so I never really know what to get. I’ll have to keep the Chromebook in mind. :)

    • Yes, it’s super light! I’m all for portability . . . but if it’s heavy by my standards, then that defeats the purpose of it being portable XD

      I hope your laptop can hang in there longer! If you ever need help with picking a new laptop, blog about it and ask for suggestions :D

  14. Connie on

    This was the best post about laptops ever and very informational! I was looking into getting a new laptop as the one I have now (Dell) is too heavy for me to carry back and forth from my office to home or when I travel. I was looking into Macbooks because it could connect to my iPhone, but too expensive! My sister purchased an ASUS one for around $500 and I LOVE IT. ASUS is very light and it works great!

    Glad you found the one that’s good for you! :)

    • Thanks! I’m glad you find this post informational :D

      Macbooks are super expensive >:( Way over my budget!

      I’m glad to hear that the ASUS is light and functional! I really cannot wait to get mine!

  15. Michelle on

    Unfortunately, I know nothing about computers, but I have faith in you that you know what you need/want and this Chromebook does what it should for you.

    I’m really looking into selling my now almost worthless first gen Google Nexus 7 tablet for a newer one. I had that tablet for nearly many years and I need a better one. Alas, it sucks that Amazon won’t ship it directly to you, but it is worth the wait. Good luck and I can’t wait to see your review of the Chromebook!

    • Tablet are pretty much useless if you already have a smartphone. I feel that one or the other works just as well. That’s why I wanted to get something that will function like a tablet, but with an actual keyboard LOL :D

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