Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thoughts on Chromebook

In particular, Acer CB515.

We have retired our desktop computers, a Mac Mini and the mid-tower running Ubuntu, in favor of Acer Chromebooks. Yes, there is the concern about being logged into Google all the time. Offsetting that are the following pluses:


  •     Low price ($300, Oct. 2019)
  •     Simple   
  •     Excellent performance
    •         Dozens of browser tabs
    •         Half a dozen or more apps
    •         Slow loading Linux apps...but once loaded performance is excellent
  •         Run most Android apps
  •  Multiple desktops (with a dedicated key for creating and switching - F5 on external keyboard) and separate desktops for each display
    • With one external monitor and the laptop screen, that's 4 desktops each for a total of 8
  •         Multiple displays, mirrored or extended desktop, user choice
  •         Run Debian compatible Linux apps
  •         Special keys for search and multiple desktops
  •     Works with most printers, either directly or via Google Cloudprint
    • Better than Linux
  • Has Penguin Linux available. Most things seem to work.
    • Thunderbird
    • Firefox
    • Gimp
    • grsync
    • Missing:
      • apturl
  •     Integrates with Android smart phones
    • Unlock
    • Text messages
  •     Hardware:
    •         All solid state
    •         Display full 1080 15.6" screen with excellent color and viewing angle
    •         Good speakers and keyboard
    •         Lots of ports
    •             USB 3 (2)
    •             USB C (2)
    •             HDMI (external monitor)
    •             Headphones
    •         MicroSD slot
    •         Brushed aluminum case with strong screen hinge (very similar to Apple MacBook Pro)
      • Slim
      • Lightweight
    •         Touchscreen
    • Large touchpad with 2-finger support
      • 2-finger drag
      • pinch and zoom
    •         Long battery life
    •         Kensington lock slot
Even though it has only 32GB of built in eMMC, the MicroSD slot expands that substantially. Huge external drives can be connected to the USB C.