The ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook I ordered at the end of June finally came to me on July 23! I had to ship it to my friend so she could ship it to me. Unfortunately, the Chromebook box wouldn’t fit in any of the flat-rate Priority shipping boxes, so my friend had to ship it to me at regular Priority-rate, and that cost me an extra $27.00. All together, with the discount I applied from my reward points, this Chromebook ended up costing me $187.80. Without the discount, it would have cost me $253.06 for the Chromebook, taxes, shipping to my friend, and shipping to me!
In the end, the hassle and the extra cost was worth it. I absolutely love this Chromebook. You can read the product details at ASUS & Amazon product pages. I’ve been amazed by it, and despite its limitations, it’s just perfect for what I’m using it for! Hanging out in coffee shops have been way better for me, and I’m now wondering why I didn’t get one of these devices sooner! Seriously, this Chromebook is so much more superior than my old netbook, so much faster, and so much more convenient! Do read on for a more in-depth write-up of my Chromebook experience. By the way, I named this baby “Presto”!
Chromebook Unboxing and Set Up
The packaging was super simple, but it did the job of protecting Presto. The Chromebook, power charger, user guide, and warranty card were all in the box. Nothing else, just those. Once they were out of the box, I charged Presto and then I set it up to my wi-fi and logged into my Google account. Almost everything — history, browser extensions, bookmarks, URL keywords, et cetera — synced over, which surprised me. Setting everything up was a piece of cake. What was not easy was registering Presto at ASUS. My product was not listed under “notebook”. I ended up contacting live support to learn that this Chromebook is listed under “EEE Book”, which to me isn’t very intuitive! Aside from that little bit of frustration, I’ve encountered no other issue.
Chromebook Pros & Cons & Sidenotes
Presto is a very handy device. It’s way better than I expected, honestly. Sure, it’s not a perfect machine, but it does what I need it to do, and the disadvantages are so minor that it doesn’t bother me at all!
- It turns on and off fast! It takes about five seconds to turn on, three seconds to turn off, and two seconds to put it in and out of sleep mode!
- The price before taxes and shipping — less than $200 — is very good for someone who is budget-conscious!
- I opted to get the 4gb of RAM model as opposed to the 2gb of RAM, and it’s worth it. I’ve not experienced any sort of lag, and this is with 4-8 tabs opened on the browser.
- The keyboard is great, and I’ve no problems typing on it at all.
- The battery life is pretty good. ASUS claims that they can get a 13-hour battery life from it, but realistically, I think it’s more about 10-12 hours with the screen at 75% brightness.
- Charging takes about an hour and a half from 30%.
- It’s so light! It weighs less than a kilogram, about 2.2 pounds.
- Rockchip RK3288 processor is amazing. It generates very little heat, so there is no need for a fan. Plus, it’s a quad-core processor with a speed up to 1.8ghz.
- I can do all my web-based tasks (blogging, emailing, twittering, surfing, et cetera) without any issues!
- I am quite fond of the case’s colour. Navy blue is a favourite of mine!
- The Chrome OS is different from Windows OS, but it proved to be super easy to adapt to, especially if you’re already familiar with the Chrome browser!
- I use a USB mouse, and there is no easy way to disable the trackpad.
- Couple extensions didn’t sync over, like SmoothScroll, so it took me a while to realise why the scrolling was so clunky.
- There are no USB 3.0 port; instead there are two USB 2.0 ports.
- The external speaker isn’t very good. Even at its highest volume, I had trouble hearing the video I watched.
- The screen, measured at 11.6″, is nice and bright with the screen resolution at 1366×768, but I noticed that it’s not as good as my desktop monitor.
- There is only about 9.91 gb left of usable space, so that’s where the microSD card and online storage will come in handy.
- 100gb on Google Drive is only free for two years.
- The outer case does get fingerprints, but not as easily as a glossy case, and I like how the edges around the screen is matte, so that is at least fingerprint-proof!
I have not tested the following because I honestly have no use for them:
- Bluetooth 4.1 capability
- MicroSD card port
- Micro HDMI output port
- Sound quality with earphone or headphone
- Offline mode
- Printing ability
- Thousands of apps from Chrome Web Store
Chromebook Usage Summary
Here’s Presto with Kazama, my desktop PC. You can see the size comparison. Presto is really something I needed and wanted. It’s a device in between my desktop and my smartphone, but unlike a tablet, it’s faster, it comes with a keyboard, and it does everything I want it to do! I can write my blog entries, chat with people on Hangouts, Twitter, or Facebook, check my email, apply for jobs, and practically anything I want to do in a web browser. If I feel compelled to do photo editing or word processing, there are apps for it, but I’d much rather do it on my desktop where the screen is bigger and better. Same thing with watching videos — I’d much rather do that on Kazama.
Another thing to reiterate — Chrome OS is different from Windows and Mac. It’s not a complicated system, by no means, but it is different. It’s not meant to install software like Minecraft or Microsoft Office. It’s not meant for high-end graphic or video editing. It’s not meant to be another Windows, Mac, or Linux machine. Chrome OS is its own entity, and it’s different from the other operating systems. Many people who wrote negative reviews about the Chromebook simply didn’t understand its limits and its purposes. I purchased Presto with the full understanding that it’s different, but functional and handy for my needs. It’s light and portable, fast and efficient, handles web-based tasks like a pro, and just perfect for my budget.
If you’re looking for a desktop replacement, to do heavy gaming, to do high-end tasks, to install Windows or Mac software — the Chromebook is not for you. However, if you’re wanting a portable device that acts like an extension of your regular laptop and desktop, to do simple web-based tasks, to have something that’s under $200 or $300 with a keyboard, to try out a new OS — the Chromebook is for you. One last thing to note — you do need a Google account to use a Chromebook, so that’s another thing to consider!
Presto is a worthy investment. I’ve never been fond of laptops for many reasons, but I can say that the Chromebook has converted me to like portable computers. Presto is infinitely better than my old netbook, which was too slow and bulky. Do I regret getting a Chromebook over an ultrabook or a regular laptop? Nope! This little device is perfect, and it’s now my best friend in coffee shops! I know many people like tablets and the higher ends laptops and ultrabooks and Macbooks, but the Chromebook is perfect for me!