A Chromebook Experience

A Chromebook Experience

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

ASUS C201PA Chromebook ASUS C201PA Chromebook ASUS C201PA Chromebook

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

ASUS C201PA Chromebook

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!

Pros

  • 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!

Cons

  • 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!

Sidenotes
I have not tested the following because I honestly have no use for them:

  • Camera
  • 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

ASUS C201PA Chromebook

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!

Conclusion

ASUS C201PA Chromebook

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!

Comments

  1. This reminds me of when I had netbooks! The only problem with those was exactly what you said – they became super slow after a while because the tiny capacities were running Windows 7. That’s about the time I switched to a Samsung Tab. It’s great for the train ride and gaming needs, but I do wish I had something portable to use as a computer since I’m hardly ever home. A tablet just doesn’t satisfy typing needs haha. Bu

    I actually didn’t know Chromebooks ran a completely different OS. It sounds a bit bigger than my past netbooks though, at 11 inches.

    By the way I LOVE your desktop wall. <3

    • My netbook ran Windows XP! It was so slow after a while, and the slowness got to me!

      I have the same wallpaper on my Chromebook! It’s awesome now! XD

  2. Chansoriya on

    I love its name, PRESTO!

    I’ve always wondered what it was like to have a chromebook, I’ve used my friend’s and it was just different. I’m glad to know that it wasn’t just me! I’m a chrome browser user so I definitely get what you mean about the OS and how that relays into the book.

    I’m not nearly as tech savvy, but I felt this was a really great breakdown. You saved a lot of money!

    • I’m not that tech savvy, either, but enough to know what’s decent and what’s not, I suppose :3 I’m glad you were able to understand this post! My goal was to write it up for those who are not very tech savvy XD;;;

  3. My laptop is an ultrabook that was the lightest of it’s kind when I bought it at about 1kg and I named it the “Tardis” because it’s bigger on the inside :P

    I haven’t had a chance to use chrome OS and I think the storage issue would cause me problems. I rarely use cloud base storage options and would have problems adjusting, it would be nice to be able to go out with a cheaper laptop though, with everything saved externally so I’d feel less concerned about losing it.

    As it is my laptop rarely sees the outside world.

    • The storage issue isn’t a problem for me because I don’t do anything that requires storage! It really is just a bigger email, Twitter, and blogging machine. With that, I don’t need to save anything, really. Music, videos, and photos are all on my desktop. I don’t need it with me when I am in a coffee shop XD;

  4. Aw, I love it’s name! Presto is adorable.

    I think the Chromebook falls somewhere in between a laptop and a tablet. My friend has one and he loves it. They’re really convenient, but since I carry my laptop everywhere I don’t have a need for one – or a tablet, for that matter. It would be nice to have one so I don’t have to carry my Macbook everywhere though; I’m always worried about breaking it! Another one of my friends uses his Chromebook to access his desktop remotely, so he’s able to do all of our CS coursework through it.

    I’m glad it was a good investment for you!

    • I guess you’re right in that it falls between a laptop and a tablet, but I still feel like it’s a very budget-friendly laptop :) Whatever it is, it’s a wonderful device and I love it!

  5. Sounds like you made a great investment! I didn’t really pay much attention to Chromebooks then, but then I realized they can come in handy in the future if my Macbook decides to fall apart. I’ve taken my Macbook everywhere, so it’s pretty much beaten up. I will probably invest in a new Chromebook in the future especially because with that price, you have a great deal. 10-12 hours of battery life is an absolute necessity nowadays.

    • It is a good investment and it’s so cheap. :) Just be aware that the OS is totally different and will be so after being on a Windows or Mac! It’s been different for me, but not in a bad way ^^

  6. Wooo, that’s great that it has arrived and that you are enjoying it. I am also glad that there are far more pros than cons. I think it made a huge different that you knew what to expect and how you would use it as well. :D The price was really great!!

    • Yes! Sometimes just jumping into a new product or device without reading up on it can be a big issue. Sometimes it isn’t, but I generally do a bit of research before I get a new tech device just so I know I am not getting into the deep unknown! Researching the Chromebook has definitely prepared me for it :D

  7. I’m glad the Chromebook is working out for you! I enjoyed reading about the specs. It sounds like it would make a good blogging laptop. :D

    I once had this crazy idea of purchasing a Chromebook and installing Linux on it. XD Maybe if I ever have some money to burn hahaha.

    • A blogging laptop — I like that! That’s a great name for it XD It certainly has been a good blogging tool for me!

      And dude, if you ever do go for the idea of installing Linux onto a Chromebook, I look forward to reading about your experience!

  8. Haha, love the name of your Chromebook :)

    So cool that you got to save a lot of money on it! Good investment!

    Great breakdown of the Chromebook – really useful for anyone that wants one. I’m glad you’re enjoying it :)

    • I’m glad you found my breakdown useful! I want the Chromebook to get more loving, so I’ve tried to write this entry in a way for people to understand just what you can and can’t do on a Chrome OS. The Chromebook has got some bad rep for those who don’t realise what sort of a machine it is, but for those who are aware of the its pros and cons, they love it! ^^

  9. Nice comprehensive review! I was seriously looking into getting a Chromebook but I was unsure about the Chrome OS. Still, it looks really nice for light use and it seems so light and portable too! And that’s a really good price!

    • Yeah, the Chrome OS is different, but I like it! I don’t need all sorts of programmes and software on this machine — just the browser, really, so I am not missing any of my Windows programmes. Just doing blogging tasks, social media, and browsing for hours at a coffee shop keeps me occupied! :D

  10. Jacquie on

    Now I want one. My MacbookPro is so damn heavy that with all the protective casing, it weighs even more. I’m curious how that will work on our company website since we work with lots of videos and such. I should look for one here.

    • If you find one and get it, do tell me all about it! I wouldn’t use a Chromebook for video editing, though. But for video viewing, I think the Toshiba Chromebook has the best screen for it.

  11. I’m glad to hear that the Chromebook finally made it to you in one piece! Even with the extra shipping cost, you still saved pretty good! I wonder what EEE book stood for. At least it’s that part caused the issue and not something like a hardware failure. These specs are pretty awesome! Especially with the laptop turning on in a few seconds :).

    With the computer replying on microSD’s, you should be fine because they’re so cheap these days. For around $200, it would make sense the laptop would come in USB 2.0. Upgrades are expensive!

    Hope you’ll enjoy the new Chromebook!!

    • I think the EEE Book was for their old netbook categorisation, but it still not intuitive! I would have never called the Chromebook an EEE Book XD;

      Yeah, for less than $200, it now makes sense why there aren’t any USB 3.0 ports XD; I guess if I were willing to pay, then I could have had it, but I honestly don’t need it!

  12. Hey there Presto! :) I’m glad you’re enjoying your Chromebook and that it got to you safe and sound! I’m not very familiar with Chromebooks so I found your review very useful. I like how light and portable it is, and the specs are really good. It sounds like a machine that I would take during my travels to be able to write or blog on-the-go :D

    • Yes, this will definitely be a good machine to travel with me when I go somewhere with wi-fi! When I travel, this will come with me so I can blog and do other tasks :D

  13. Presto! What a great name for your Chromebook!

    It sounds like a really great piece of tech! I think weight is such an important factor – my laptop was so incredibly heavy but I had to carry it to work every day! It was hard work. I’ve read lots of great things about Chrome OS but I’ve always wondered how easy it would be to interchange between two different OSs regularly when using two different machines. It sounds like with Chrome it isn’t an issue!

    You definitely got a bargin! Its a great chromebook. And 4 gb of RAM? That will be very useful! Remember when netbooks only came with 512mb? Hopefully it will continue to be a wonderful piece of equipment for you!

    • Switching between the two is definitely not too much of a change, especially if you already are using Google Chrome :3

      I would hate to carry a heavy laptop on a daily basis! That’s one reason why I never really got into laptops because I found them too darn heavy for what are supposed to be portable machines!

      And yeah, my netbook only had 1GB of RAM and a three-hour battery life. EEEEK. This Chromebook is way better! XD

  14. I like how thorough your review is and since I got to see Presto in reality I can vouch for how thin/light it is. It’s so nice. I like the idea of a Chromebook, but I don’t have a use for one now. Still, I would definitely recommend it to people who want a light and inexpensive machine for taking to coffee shops and browsing the web.

    I also have to agree with everyone who said that Presto is a great name. It represents your computer well.

    • Yeah, if you have a nice laptop/tablet-hybrid, then a Chromebook is not necessary, but for someone on a budget, someone who doesn’t already have a laptop, and for someone wanting a machine to just do internet-related tasks, then the Chromebook is good for them :3

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