Why I Bought A Chromebook, Part 2

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Now on to part 2 of my Chromebook review and how it works best for me.

When I first opened the box my Chromebook came in (via Amazon), I was pleased. Visually it’s not a Macbook Air in terms of style but it’s a nice gray color and it is light! It weighs less than 2 pounds. It’s well made, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy and it opens and closes snugly.  It’s a lot smaller than your average laptop at 11.6 inches corner to corner. But for sitting on the couch or in the bed chilling, it’s a nice size that sits in your lap. And if you gave it to a kid to use, it would be more than adequate. The screen is average and has brightness controls which help. There are decent sounding speakers that get loud enough for you to watch a YouTube video or a movie but obviously you aren’t dealing with something high-end so don’t think you are going to get Beats by Dre type bass.

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My Acer on top on my old Compaq laptop.

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How the Chromebook screen looks.

My Chromebook is made by Acer and comes in 3 variants: 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM, and a 4GB RAM with a touchscreen. The base model (which is what I have) starts at $199. Are you starting to see why these little computers are popular? The price is definitely right.

I’ve had my Chromebook since Christmas and I use it daily. It charges in a little over an hour and I’m able to get 6-7 hours off of a charge. Because Chrome OS is so light, it’s almost an instant on. I open the top and get to doing what I want to do. I’ve gone to the Chrome App Store and downloaded various web apps such as Pocket, Any.DO, Dropbox, TweetDeck, Pandora and Netflix. They have been optimized to run on Chrome, and often they will sync with your phone. The Chrome App Store has various apps and extensions for business, education, games, social media and more.

A Chromebook is not a Windows laptop and as such has a very small hard drive, about 16GB, which is the same storage space as my phone. And of course, you cannot load full fledged programs. So what do you do if you need to be productive? You can use Google Docs, which allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and save them in Microsoft formats. Or you can set up a SkyDrive cloud account and use their Microsoft web apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint for FREE. They are more than adequate for light work or for a student. If push comes to shove, you can actually remote into your Windows PC using Chrome Remote Desktop. Pretty cool huh?

In fact the only major limitations I see with my Chromebook is the ability to upload music (and Google is currently working on a way to sync Chrome OS to Google Play Music) and the ability to upload pictures. I will still need to use my old laptop for that. But even then, there are several photo editors that can be used in Chrome to edit, correct or add filters to the photos you have stored online. And because Chrome is constantly evolving, Google typically puts out updates every 6-8 weeks with new features and functionality.

So those are my impressions of the Chromebook in a nutshell. I think that I made a good choice for my needs and I will be able to use this device for several years. There are several manufacturers to choose from and a few different screen sizes. In fact I typed this whole blog post on my Chromebook.

Here a few links to give you a bit more info:

If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Why I Bought A Chromebook, Part 1

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I am admittedly a bit of a techie, in particular when it comes to phones, tablets and laptops. I follow several personal technology blogs and Twitter accounts. I keep our devices updated. Between the two of us we have 2 cells, 2 tablets, a laptop, a desktop, an Xbox 360 and the brand spanking new Xbox One. We have a lot of gadgets to play with right? So why add another one?

Well my Windows laptop is 4+ years old and between all the updates/virus protections, it has gotten slow as molasses. I’d read several reviews about Windows 8 and it seemed that folks weren’t that thrilled with it as well as being confusing to use since it has been so radically redesigned from Windows 7. And then I thought about what I really use my laptop for. So I made a list.

  • I tweet. And I like to live tweet TV shows so I prefer a keyboard to typing on my phone or tablet.
  • I go on Facebook.
  • I stream/upload/download music.
  • I read books.
  • I surf the net in general.
  • I check my email.
  • I upload photos.
  • I might chat online a bit.
  • I watch Netflix or other TV shows that can be streamed.

And guess what….I do ALL of that online for the most part. All of that is done within a browser and in my case normally it’s Google Chrome. And because I am a person who is heavily tied into Google services such as Gmail and Calendar and use Android devices it made sense to take a closer look at the Chromebook.

First off what is Chrome OS:

With Chrome, the browser actually is the OS — in this case, the Chrome OS builds on the Google browser of the same name. It’s pre-installed by PC manufacturers who adhere to Google’s hardware specifications.  The OS uses Web-based applications, so you don’t need local storage for software, either.  Chrome OS is based around the cloud computing model. That means that all of your data and applications are stored online, in the “cloud,” so that you can access them from any computer, anywhere. Chrome is a seriously stripped-down, fast OS. Because Chrome supports only Web capabilities, it can do away with much of the bulk and unnecessary system checks that slow a traditional OS.

A fairly fast Windows machine might finish booting in around 45 seconds. In contrast, Google wants Chrome laptops to be up and running in 7 seconds or less. The Chrome OS user interface looks much like the Chrome browser. Beyond this browser-like OS, these laptops have no pre-installed software. There’s an integrated media player that lets you watch movies, play music and view photos when you’re offline. Adobe Flash is already integrated into the Chrome browser, so you can view all Flash Web sites, too. When you want to write a report, for example, you just access a Web-based word processing application.

For more basic computing tasks, though, you should be able to find applications that suit your needs, using Google’s Chrome Web Store. Similar to Apple’s App Store and the Android Market, the Chrome Web Store will offer applications for a huge variety of tasks.

So then I thought long and hard about what the Chromebook could do that my tablet couldn’t do and it came down to the fact that sometimes you really just need a keyboard to do certain things. And I was getting frustrated by my old slow laptop, when I needed to do it. So I didn’t look at the Chromebook as a total laptop replacement, it became more of a companion to the old laptop I have as well as my other tech toys.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will talk about my initial impressions of the Acer Chromebook that I got for Christmas and how I’ve been using it.

Would You, Could You?

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What are your thoughts about marrying or dating men with significantly less education than you? Have you ever done so? Why or why not? If so, what were the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? What advice would you give educated women who are not comfortable dating men with no college degree and/or men who work blue-collar jobs?

One Hundred One

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DSTFoundersDay

Today is the 101st anniversary of my sorority’s founding. It’s quite an accomplishment to see an organization founded and run by black woman still be in existence after over an century. So to all of my lovely Sorors, a big old Ooo-oop! Let’s keep on striving and serving our communities!

Sometimes I get private messages from women I know, asking me are they too old to join a sorority or thinking that it’s only something you do in college. And to them I say this: as long as you have breath in you, are willing to work hard to serve others, and desire the camaraderie of like-minded women, you aren’t too old or too “grown” to apply for membership in Delta Sigma Theta or for that matter in any other sorority you may have an interest in. If it’s been a personal goal of yours, then by all means follow through. Sorority life isn’t for every woman and it can be challenging, simply because it’s a group of humans working together who have different personalities, but I don’t regret not one single bit. The women I pledged with truly are my SISTERS. And for a person who doesn’t have any biological sisters, I’m lucky to have them.

Simply The Best

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Zero To Hero didn’t have a writing prompt today so this one comes from the The Daily Post:

When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus? Why do you think that is?

I do my best thinking in the car. I cut the radio off and just let my mind wander. I also get a lot of praying done in the car. I don’t know why I started doing this but I noticed that I was falling asleep before I was saying my prayers at night so I started saying them in the car. I figured God didn’t care when I was praying but was more concerned about me praying at all. 

I think a lot in the shower too. I like my showers pretty hot so I just let the water run over me to relax and I just think. I think about things I need to get done, I think about the future, I think about what I can do to be a better wife and have a good marriage. I think about how I can be a better person. I think about the past too, good times and bad. 

I guess the best places to think and reflect are where it’s quiet and where I am alone. I tend to be a worrier, so taking an opportunity to think often helps to calm me down.

Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Where do you do your best thinking???

 

Zero To Hero: Introduce Yourself

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In an effort to flex my blog muscles and get in the groove of writing again, I’m doing the Zero To Hero daily blog challenge. I’m a few days behind but I’m going to attempt to catch myself up with a few posts.

Today’s prompt: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I actually think my About page covers things pretty well but I’ll recap. I’m 40 years old, I’ve been married for a little over 3 years, no kids, and I started this blog to capture my wedding planning. Since I’m lazy, when the party was over I didn’t feel like starting over and my people who follow me were already here so I just kept on rolling.

I talk mainly about whatever strikes my fancy: married life, technology, food (my husband is a great cook), books and relationships.

I am a member of a historically black sorority (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.) and I work in the accounting/finance field. You will probably read some posts about me lamenting the job search I’ve been on for the past year.

I don’t have a blog brand and I’m not making any money on this thing. I blog because I think I have something to say, and a few people actually read it. I appreciate all who stop by, read and comment.

Zero To Hero: What’s Your Name

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My blog name is The Unemployed Bride. It’s pretty self explanatory. I got engaged in December 2009. I was working a contract job at ExxonMobil. A few days later, I found out that my contract would be wrapping up at the end of the year. Thus the unemployed bride was born. I got a job about 3 months later, but the name stuck! It kinda of sums up my sense of humor as well. Make lemons out of lemonade!