In internet years, I think a long time time passed during which time there was no suitable alternative to Windows at a good price. Sure, there was Linux, and I tried it, but it just wasn’t easy to use. And of course, there is Mac, but the price is quite high. For someone that is hard on their computer, I prefer a lower priced model that I can replace more often.
So I just got an Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532. It was about $200, It has a 15″ screen, plenty of ram, good speakers, microphone, camera, etc.
I would say the first thing that stands out is the start up time. It is literally like a couple of seconds, and logging in is another couple of seconds. Often my Windows 10 computer would take a minute to boot up and login. And of course there were those awkward times when an important meeting was about to start, and Windows decided it needed to update. Well, a chromebook update takes like 10-15 seconds.
Because most files are stored in the cloud (Google Drive, Gmail), there is little need to store files locally, though there USB slots should I ever want to attach storage (I don’t right now). Just yesterday, I did a complete refresh of the operating system to go from the Dev channel to the Stable channel of the OS. It took a seconds, and the computer is like new. Everything is cleaned out like I just bought it. But of course I can login to my Google account, and Chrome remembers all my passwords and bookmarks, and there basically nothing to install.
Maybe the only issue I had so far was the microphone stopped working on the dev channel, and there was some slowness on the Zoom videoconferencing app (but not Skype). But speaking of the microphone, just like my phone, I often talk to my computer in order to output text. It can be more convenient this way.
So I think it could be said that the Chromebook is now a viable alternative to windows, and there are new browser compatible products coming out everyday that are more and more competitive with Windows products like Photoshop. And again, it is just 200 bucks. This has been a great purchase. I’ve had the computer for over a month (my wife longer), and we both love our Chromebooks.