Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chromebook Might Help!

This week, well actually today, I received my HP 14 Chromebook.  I have to say so far and right this second I love this thing!  Now I should mention a couple of things before I tell you that if you are in the market for a new laptop you should get one.
First, I am a Google addict.  There, I said it. I have at least one if not more of every one of their devices. I have a Nexus 4 for a phone and a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10. I have a Chromecast connected to all of my televisions and I am seriously thinking about a Nest, to try and temper my energy consumption. I saw my first Chromebook about two and a half years ago when I was flying to San Francisco to visit my brother, his wife and my brand new niece. They were letting you borrow a Chromebook on the flight and for using it you got to use the in flight WiFi for free. I am a sucker for entertainment on an airline flight. I tried it out and thought it was a cool little thing.  At the time I was a student and incredibly poor so I put it out of my mind and mostly forgot about it. Since then I have graduated from school and acquired a coupe more degrees and MANY new Google devices and the APPS!!!! I can't live without my Google drive, keep, Chrome calendar, gmail, maps, photos etc...!
Second, I did my research before I bought this thing. It is not your typical PC. It doesn't have a big hard drive in fact it has 16GB of storage. Everything is stored and accessed from the Google cloud. This particular model has an SD card slot 3 USB ports an HDMI port and a place where you can plug in your head phones. There is no disc drive at all. The OS is Chrome, not Windows, not iOS. It was really easy for me to learn but then again I have had Google devices for quite awhile and use them quite a lot. You have to be online to use most of the features on this machine, there are some offline features and of I ever find a place where I am unable to get online I will try them out and let you know how that goes. I did not buy this to replace my desktop PC or even my laptop PC. The Chromebook will not run Microsoft Word or any Office programs unless you get them from Microsoft for use online only, but it does have its version of it called Google docs, for the last two years I have been saving all of my documents to my Google drive that I have saved on my PC's (both of them) I can then access the drive form any of my devices, including my phone, open them, edit them and then re save it to my drive and then open it in windows on my laptop and work on it there. This might sound confusing but once you do it you will see.
I expressly got this to haul back and forth to school.  It weighs only 4 pounds compared to my laptops whopping 7 pounds! I am starting graduate school in August and twice a semester I have to go to Wichita Falls and stay in a hotel for the weekend and go to class for 12 hours Friday and Saturday and half the day on Sunday. I wanted something light I could slide into my briefcase and take to class with me to take notes, or work on what will undoubtedly be a couple of huge papers and projects per semester and a thesis I will have to finish to graduate. The keyboard took a few minutes to figure out and there are some shortcuts that I will need to learn but so far it has done exactly what I want it to do. It starts in a crazy fast 7 seconds, my laptop takes longer and longer to start as it ages.
The best thing of all about this little computer? It cost 313 dollars. A new laptop would cost me a cool 600 bucks and honestly I don't need a new laptop, they are big and bulky, I have a bad back and don't need to haul that around with me to school when this speedy little device is small, fast and ready to work on some papers and maybe even a blog once in awhile!