June 17, 2011

408 words 2 mins read

Chromebook – Maybe not so excited?

I’m excited by just about any new technology, provided it isn’t the iPad. I love playing with, testing, trying out, and sometimes breaking… just about anything. I’m also a Google Fanboy (hey, at least I can admit my bias) and run Chrome/Chromium. So the idea of a Chromebook was SUPER COOL in my book. So after they announced the impending release of Chromebooks, I got my hands on a Cr-48. I used it almost exclusively for several days and while I was initially excited, I found myself slowly returning to my old ways.

The real question for a device like the Chromebook is “Do I meet the target Demographic?” and I honestly don’t know the answer to that — there’s never been a Chromebookbefore. Theoretically the Chromebook is for everyone; Google did claim they hope to have most of their staff using one in the next year or so. Though it is really designed for people who only use the web. You can argue that with the proper application of Web Apps, that is everyone. Unfortunately we don’t “have an app for that” yet, at least not for everything.

For myself though, I realized that I started to find it lacking. When I started to debate which was better, the Xoom or the Chromebook, I was still using the Xoom; I knew the Chromebook just wasn’t gelling with me. I think part of the problem is that I either want “quick access” or I want to tinker. The tablet is great for quick access and when I want to tinker, that requires an honest-to-bob operating system.

I still think the Chromebook is a great idea, and look forward to seeing how it has matures in a year’s time. Maybe the addition of apps will sell me. Maybe we’ll all realize that the Chromebook is really just a glorified Netbook and will never (or at least not for a long time) replace a real computer. Maybe it’ll just get merged into Android (somehow, hell if I know how that would work).

We’ll see if I’ll be buying one for myself. I’ve ordered the Acer Chromia for the office since people want them (as Netbooks for traveling). I’ll be interested to see how widespread the usage is in the office after a few weeks of having easy access to the devices. I’m curious as to how many people will stick with it and how many will just “get over it”.