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Old 03-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
leebee
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What's a Chrome book?

I refer to myself as "techno-stupid," so bear with me...

I need a new laptop. I currently use an old iBook G4 that is owned by the school department. It'd been through about 6 classes of kids before I inherited it, and it's ancient, slow, needs a new battery (that the school dept. won't supply), etc. I have to reset Safari every three days just to be able to use the scroll bar (and yes, the dancing smilies and scrolling ads on The DIS slow it down incredibly!!). ANYHOO... I use the internet for email, posting here, making travel plans, making online purchases, minor facebook stuff (don't really like it), downloading photos from friends, and some word processing. Oh, I also use it at school for teaching purposes... sometimes YouTube, but usually web pictures (so my kids know what a Gregorian chant sounds like, or can see the Panama Canal, etc). My preferred browser is Safari. I don't do any gaming AT ALL... not even trivial things like "words with friends."

SO.. The Chrome Book... how is it different from a "regular" laptop? Is it Mac/Windows compatible (so I can send attachments on my email to friends with the other operating system)? Will I be able to do what I need on it? Do C-books have wireless capacity, can I watch a DVD (not that I ever do.. that's what the TV is for!), will I be able to use it like I use my iBook? Can I use a thumb drive on it? As you might have guessed, price is a HUGE consideration here! TIA for any help/advice.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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The main thing that differentiates the Chromebook from most laptops is that it contains very little internal storage space, and so it's designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet. It uses "web apps" stored online rather than traditional applications, and you keep most of your stuff in online cloud storage rather than on the limited local storage. The operating system is centered around the web browser rather than around a file system.

As far as I know, there aren't any Chromebook models with an optical drive for DVDs/CDs, but I haven't kept up with the evolution of the hardware. They have USB ports and are wifi compatible. You shouldn't have any trouble sending attachments through email but the process might be different than what you're used to.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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I'm using my Chromebook right now. It's not Microsoft or Apple OS. Chromebooks use Google Chrome. It's great for the internet and has it's own set of Apps, including documents. I love mine. It's got a Solid State Drive which means when I turn it on, it's on. No slow loading of anything. Most everything is store on the cloud. No updates to worry about, no virus software to purchase, it's all handled through automatic Google updates. I have the Samsung 550 and love it. Sending attachments is easy. No optical DVD/CD drive, but not really needed. You can email things to yourself or transfer using portable storage devices such as thumb drives, SD cards-mine has a card reader. I've had no problem sending attachments. Chrome has the capability to read documents such as PDF's Microsoft Office. I haven't run into anything it couldn't open. I was using Google Chrome as my web access on my old laptop for several years so I was already used to it. You do need a Google account and have to use Gmail instead of Outlook, but you can access any web based mail account such as Hotmail, Earthlink, etc through Google. I have an earthlink account I've had for year so I just set up my email on Earthlink to auto forward to my gmail.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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This is the first I've heard about this. Honestly, I might consider this myself.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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My preferred email is through Gmail already, so that's encouraging. I have a few more questions: What's "the Cloud" that you referred to? I've heard about elsewhere but don't know what it is. Do you find that the automatic Google updates use a lot of the limited storage, or is this also on the Cloud? Finally... if I need to write/edit/print a 10 page paper, can I do this- or is there not enough storage- or is this, too, on the cloud (I suppose I could email things to myself for storage).

This actually sounds promising. Thanks for all your help- and patience!!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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I *think* that for the same money you can get a regular laptop pre-loaded with Ubuntu rather than a mainstream OS and rather than relying on a web connection like Chrome. Prettier and safer too.

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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I've played around with C-books a few times now. My 82 y/o mom needs a new computer and I think this will be the right choice for her. What I discovered along the way, though, is that I think it will also be the right choice for me! I think it is the perfect choice for an inexpensive, lightweight way to surf the internet.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebee View Post
My preferred email is through Gmail already, so that's encouraging. I have a few more questions: What's "the Cloud" that you referred to? I've heard about elsewhere but don't know what it is. Do you find that the automatic Google updates use a lot of the limited storage, or is this also on the Cloud? Finally... if I need to write/edit/print a 10 page paper, can I do this- or is there not enough storage- or is this, too, on the cloud (I suppose I could email things to myself for storage).

This actually sounds promising. Thanks for all your help- and patience!!
The cloud is "virtual storage" not on your computer, but on google's servers. There is some storage on the Chromebook, but most people will go through that with photos eventually.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
I *think* that for the same money you can get a regular laptop pre-loaded with Ubuntu rather than a mainstream OS and rather than relying on a web connection like Chrome. Prettier and safer too.

How is it safe? Or better yet, maybe I should ask how a Chromebook isn't safe?

You can backup on an external hard drive too which I also do, especially for photos.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
I *think* that for the same money you can get a regular laptop pre-loaded with Ubuntu rather than a mainstream OS and rather than relying on a web connection like Chrome. Prettier and safer too.

Same money? The Chrome books I have looked at are $199. That computer is $1000+ unless I am looking at the wrong thing.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #11
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Same money? The Chrome books I have looked at are $199. That computer is $1000+ unless I am looking at the wrong thing.
My Chromebook was $449 and it's the "top of the line" one for now.

And, Domo, the OP was asking specifically about Chromebooks.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcp View Post
And, Domo, the OP was asking specifically about Chromebooks.
My apologies. I shall duck out

[EDIT] I thought I might set the record straight. And by that I mean correcting some misconceptions, some of them mine.

First, you can pick up a new Ubuntu installed laptop for £114. It's not great, but it sure is cheap. You can pick up a Chrome Book for £158, which is also cheap. BUT. I would expect the cheapest Chrome Book to be cheaper than the cheapest Ubuntu setup due to the very nature of the system. So, yeah - Ubuntu can be dead cheap, as can Chrome.

Second, I must confess that I was wrong to attack the Chrome Book on it's record of security. Truth is, I wrongly assumed that the OS was an offshoot of Android, which DOES have serious security flaws. However, I was wrong and Chrome OS remains safe and secure to use.

Third, I realise that many here will be perplexed as to why I bought up Ubuntu at all. Well, the OP was inquiring about an alternate laptop choice and Ubuntu fits that category neatly. It's a system dear to my heart for being lightning fast, extremely secure, blindingly pretty and fully featured, more so than the Chrome OS. As The Times put it, "My Ubuntu setup is faster than a PC and prettier than a Mac". I just wanted to show the OP that she wasn't tied down to Chrome if she needed a cheap alternative system and that there were better choices out there.

So yeah. Errors on my behalf indeed!
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
Malibustyle23
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I'm also contemplating a basic Chrome purchase or two.

Can someone tell me more about Cloud storage though? Is there a charge to use it? How does it work? Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcp View Post
My Chromebook was $449 and it's the "top of the line" one for now.

And, Domo, the OP was asking specifically about Chromebooks.
The one I am looking at is only $199!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibustyle23 View Post
I'm also contemplating a basic Chrome purchase or two.

Can someone tell me more about Cloud storage though? Is there a charge to use it? How does it work? Thanks!
That is one thing I don't understand, but I am not even slightly techno savvy. The one I am looking at says it includes two years of cloud storage. What happens after two years?
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
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My DH has a chromebook and loves it.
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