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Chrome

Bought a Chromebook a few weeks ago.  In case you are not familiar with this, it is a laptop and a very cheap laptop to boot, from the mind of Google.  Mine was about $200.

The only thing you can do with it is browse the web over wi-fi.

This is fine for me.  Most of what I do I do on the web and most of that I do with Google.

To use a Chromebook, you see, you need a Google (Gmail) account.  Want to write a letter or make a spreadsheet?  Google Docs (Drive) is there to serve.  Want email, news, maps, or calendar?  All there, with your stuff, waiting for you, all stored out there in the over-mentioned cloud.

Naturally, you can go to any other website you want, even those other email providers.  Surf, browse, shop, make reservations, just like with any other PC.  If anyone else sends you a document, PDF, or spreadsheet, Chrome will open it for you with a pretty close approximation, if not dead on.  There is also, with a little prep, an offline capability for documents and email.

I haven’t tried a USB mouse with it yet, but the touchpad works pretty well, including a two-fingered drag that scrolls the window.  There is a printing capability that I haven’t tried – looks complicated.  No great loss – haven’t had a printer in the house in a couple of years and it is rarely an issue, I just print things at work on those rare occasions.

Oh, and the thing boots up in just a few seconds.

So, all in all, not a bad value.  If you are looking for a laptop to carry around with you, sit in the back yard with, take to the beach, sit on the toilet, or whatever, and not worry too much if it gets broken, then this is the thing.

We are taking a trip to Europe soon and I am taking the Chromebook with me, as my one and only web interface.  Most of the hotels are advertising free wi-fi, so I assume it is compatible, if I don’t blow it up trying to charge it, which shouldn’t happen.

Will let you know how it works.

 

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