My First 24 Hours With A ChromebookZumzum Administrator
Tell us about yourself Connor.
My name is Connor Johnson and I am a Helpdesk Analyst with Zumzum working towards completing my first year on the National Apprentice Programme. Since I decided on the National Apprentice programme as my preferred route to gain more qualifications and work experience I spend time both learning and working. I have always had a passion for technology, love new innovations and want to build a successful career in the IT industry so joining Zumzum is a brilliant opportunity for me. Zumzum are a Cloud Services Provider (CSP) so are a great company to be with as I consider myself to be of the “Internet Generation”.
What are your first impressions of using a Chromebook?
I am using the Acer Chromebook 11, which is a very well built bit of kit, from the moment I took it out of the box, I
really liked the look . The Chromebook is built from a solid white plastic material that feels nice to the touch, whilst offering a sense of ruggedness that would be ideal in a classroom situation. The keyboard is very nicely executed, and despite the Chromebook’s small form factor the keys have plenty of travel and typing was almost as comfortable as it is on my desktop. The trackpad is made from a plastic-like material that’s very smooth and handles multi-touch gestures well, and the fact that the whole thing is one large primary mouse button is helpful. The 11 inch display is punchy and vibrant and easily capable of playing back high quality HD video. The Chromebook itself is incredibly small and light, it actually feels lighter than the paper notebook I carried around college for two years. This is complemented by incredibly good battery life. For example, after a day of use, for everything apart from Skype calls, the battery was still on 41%, which equated to just short of 3.5 hours. This again would be a great asset in a school environment, where they could easily last a whole day on a single charge.
How did you cope without using your PC?
I would gladly give up my PC although, unfortunately, there are some tradeoffs when it comes to using the Chromebook. This is due to the fact that Chromebooks can’t locally run any Windows, Mac or even Linux software. This means that apps like Skype, Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite can’t be ran on this platform. This means that if you work in an entirely cloud-based environment, migrating to Chromebooks would be as easy as simply typing in your Google account and that’s it. If you still operate on PC based software, one workaround would be to access a remote windows machine to run PC programs on, and these can be accessed directly from your Chromebook with an RDP client. Since most of these old PC products are being redeveloped to be available as web based applications, it will soon be the case that I will have everything that I need to do my work inside the browser so who needs a PC?
Would you purchase a Chromebook over any other kind of device?
I think that Chrome OS and Chromebooks are in a very good place at the moment and offer a very attractive alternative to the traditional alternatives for a device . I can understand why there is a large surge in demand from the education sector as more and more educational establishments realise the potential and the advantages of the platform over Windows laptops or even iPads. It would be unfair to compare Chrome OS with Windows or OS X, as it is a completely different kettle of fish. Chrome OS would be more comparable with Android and iOS in its functionality, and it compares very well, especially as you can run Android apps from within Chrome OS by using a small workaround. With ever-increasing internet speeds and bandwidth it makes the idea of relying on the cloud for handling our workflows less daunting by the day. Services like Salesforce and Google Alls mean that with a Chromebook, you can carry unlimited storage and financial information in your backpack, on a device that weights little more than a large magazine. This is a killer feature for what is already a killer platform.
From a personal perspective, as more and more of the services I use, such as as Spotify, Skype, even Microsoft Office are moving to the cloud, the more I rely on a device that gives me a rewarding experience on the internet. Even only after 24 hours with the Chromebook it’s made me question my planned choices for a new device for my personal use. Chromebook or 9 inch Android Tablet?
It’s made me think I want a Chromebook, so that’s one of the best first impressions of a product I have ever had.