back to article More chance you came a cropper on a UK road than bought a Chromebook this year

Chromebooks aren't pouring cash into the coffers of European IT distributors – but, nonetheless, more Google-powered lappies are finding their way into the arms of cost-conscious schools and consumers. Some 45,000 Chromies each found a home across Western Europe in the first quarter of 2014, and 61.5 per cent of those …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useless junk. I sent mine back and got a proper laptop.

    1. Martin

      Or the alternative opinion

      Excellent little machines for basic email and web access, which is all most people want. I have one, my sixteen year old daughter has one, and my wife will be getting one (with a touch screen - she likes touch screens) when her current PC dies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Or the alternative opinion

        Get her a full blown laptop with productivity software. Chromebooks and tablets are appliances.

        Getting them locked down computers and tablets is seriously ruining their education.

        1. Dave Fox

          Re: Or the alternative opinion

          Which particular set of productivity software is so absolutely vital these days? I know you're going to say Office, but in my opinion this is becoming less and less of "requirement" these days. Google Docs is now a very good substitute for probably 90% of home users and I'd hazard a guess a good percentage of business users too.

          I bought one of the first Chromebooks (not the CR-48) when it first came out but sent it back within a day because the OS was not mature enough. I've since bought my 7 year old son one of the 11" Samsung Exynos Chromebooks - it is ideal for his purposes right now and is teaching him a lot about how to use a computer in today's modern, connected, world. As he matures, so will Chrome OS (which is already leaps and bound better than the first iterations), and I expect them to become much more popular in the coming few years.

        2. Kay Burley ate my hamster

          Re: Or the alternative opinion

          No more updates, boots quickly.

          HP Chromebook 10

          1. Irongut

            Re: Or the alternative opinion

            "No more updates, boots quickly."

            Boots quickly fair enough but I think you got the update situation backwards there. ChromeOS has constant updates, it just doesn't ask your permission to download and install them or tell you that it has. If you really like that you could set Windows to do the same. Personally I like control over what my computer is doing.

            I also like it to be an actual computer and not a paperweight if I don't have internet connectivity.

        3. Martin

          Re: Or the alternative opinion

          Get her a full blown laptop with productivity software. Chromebooks and tablets are appliances.

          Getting them locked down computers and tablets is seriously ruining their education.

          If by "her" you mean my wife - she needs an appliance, not a full blown laptop.

          If by "her" you mean my daughter - she uses her Chromebook for her homework (essays, investigating the net et al) and uses her desktop Mint machine for more interesting stuff.

          Happy now?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or the alternative opinion

          These are so crappy - you get what you pay for. I'm waiting to pre-order a Surface 3.

          1. Phil_Evans

            Re: Or the alternative opinion

            Oh yeah, sure.

            So you want to be on a waiting list for a corporate slab of complexity that has no apps to talk of, doesn't fit on your lap properly, is heavy, short on battery life, loved by no-one, requires endless updates (/fixes), runs a fisher-price interface yet still gets laughed at by children?

            If that ain't paying too much for crappiness, I don't know what is. ChromeOS 'just works' :-D

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Or the alternative opinion

              And Windows tablets have a 1.3% worldwide market share.

              Though admittedly they have to compete in a consumer dominated marketplace where people choose things they actually like.

              I completely understand the preference for instant on (and instant off), all day battery life, the absence of viruses, genuinely portable Chromebooks, mainly because I have been trained to want these things by suffering from the lack of these things for the last 20 years due to Microsoft's questionable corporate behaviour. Got a virus-riddled PC? Buy a new one. Battery life down to 45 minutes? Buy a new PC. Is your PC slowing down a lot? Buy a new one. Does your PC take 5 minutes to boot up? Buy a new one. Can't open the latest Office documents you are being sent? Buy the new version of Office.

              But Chromebooks, though not yet perfect, do sidestep these annoyances.

              And the offline email, word processing and spreadsheets application work fine when there is no Internet connection.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or the alternative opinion

          "Getting them locked down computers and tablets is seriously ruining their education."


      2. jai

        Re: Or the alternative opinion

        Excellent little machines for basic email and web access

        But just about EVERYthing can do basic email and web access these days. Being "just as good as everything else for doing the most basic of tasks" shouldn't be a major selling point of a device.

      3. DPWDC

        Re: Or the alternative opinion


        "when her current PC dies"

        That's the problem really... I'd have a chrome book if my 5 year old laptop (which is equal, if not higher spec) dies for surfing around on the sofa (assuming for what ever reason I didn't want a tablet), but I have no reason to get a chrome book at the moment.

        There's no real lust / want aspect to a chrome book, as they just do the job, but if someone asked me recommend a laptop for them "just for emails and surfing the web a bit", I would be happy to point them in Googles direction.

    2. roselan

      trolls will be trolls.

      As if a bunch of their opinions in this little corner the@channel would define the future of a worldwide market...

      When trolls are pitied, they must do something wrong. please try harder!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too stupid to use it?

      I bought two:

      1) Chromebook Pixel (2nd hand)

      Fantastic laptop with an awesome screen and good battery life.

      2) Samsung XE303

      Cheap enough to not have to worry about taking it on my daily commute, lighter than the Pixel, and performant enough for most on-the-go tasks. And I needed a decent ARM machine.

      Caveat: Each was only booted into ChromeOS to enable developer mode and install proper Linux on it (Scientific Linux on Pixel, RedSleeve on XE303, both EL6 derivatives).

      I also use the XE303 machines (with RedSleeve) at work as demo machines for the software we work on.

      I am not a ChromeOS fan by any length of imagination, but the hardware us superb and runs a full fat OS very well indeed. And thanks to there being so many people out there that aren't up to the task of putting a full fat OS on them, the second hand market is priced at a very significant discount. What's not to like?

      Samsung Chromebook 2 also looks sufficiently awesome in terms of spec (8-core, 4GB of RAM, 1080p screen) that I might actually buy one new when they become available later this month.

    4. Richard Jones 1

      I bought a bicycle to Deliver the coal

      I find the comments here are to do with not buying the right tool for the right job. No I did not get the bike for coal deliveries in fact since most of my road journeys involve transport of people, babies and dogs, so a car is rather more useful.

      If I wanted a super computer I would not consider an abacus. If I wanted a simple fast boot machine for simple tasks all of which a chromebook would do, that would be what I bought. If my needs were different then I might buy something different.

      Now where did I put that chisel? I need to unscrew something, oops I've a cut my finger I must need a bit of carpet to wrap up the finger.

      Or should we all get real and use the tool(s) for the task(s), having first defined the task requirements?

      (This is also useful when defining the details required for a supply contract...)

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    My hand is up

    I bought one (Samsung arm version). Did not like the spyware. Formatted it into Debian (it is possible to do that if you know what you are doing).

    Did not like that either:

    1. The disk is excruciatingly small. I got sick of constantly marking folders as "do not cache" so I could keep the disk space under control

    2. The default touchpad mac-like-ishness is extremely annoying. As anyone who has spent the last 15 years pasting by simply hitting the middle button (or right and left together) this "luser-friendly" pseudo-apple design quickly got on my nerves (5-7 motions to cut-n-paste instead of 2).

    3. The onboard qualcomm modem is very buggy. It loses connectivity and only a hard reset can cure it every 30-40 mins.

    4. It is "open source my a***". The only working kernel for it is compiled out of a crippled repo of a hacked 3.4.0, has half of the security fixes missing and is missing a whole raft of key drivers - usb IR, vpn modules, nfs, autofs, other filesystems, you name it.

    So end of the day it got relegated as a backup wireless X-term in my house which is of no use once you have left the premises. Even that leaves a lot to be desired - its video subsystem is not particularly fast so the speed is sub-par.

    I do not often say that MSFT got the point, but with their campaign on the subject they probably do.

    IMHO it is the only use for it at present. If you are working vs windows - install a RDP client (f.e Remmina) and leave it at that. vNC or X for linux environments.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: My hand is up

      Clearly you, and most of El Reg's readers, are not the target market. It is mainly for folk who just want web access, with a keyboard, and don't want to manage anything to do with updates and AV software, etc.

      For that sort of use-case it is very good and cheap, which is important.

      Yes, it has Google's spying but most folk are still going to use Google anyway, and probably download Chrome as well, so that is not something they care about.

      I got an Acer one for playing with and dual-booting, good value for money, but I do hate the lack of home/end/insert/delete keys on the keyboard.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not quite useless junk

    I got an intel powered chromebook to use with crouton after weighing up a Nexus 7 and bluetooth keyboard. Out of the box I would say that it's next to useless, however with a Linux chroot running elementary it's great. Small, light , low power consumption, solid state. I can code, write articles, watch movies, couple it up with a chromecast. I just wish they would stump up a decent sized SSD in them. I guess those who want to immediately put it in developer mode and start swapping out the hard drive aren't the target market, but if you're willing to play around "under the hood" I think it's a very good deal for under £200.

    1. Tom 7

      Re: not quite useless junk

      ignore ssd - use wireless portable drives - 2TB should do you?

  4. Anonymous Coward 101

    Can't see the point, even at the price. I put Linux on an old laptop, and while it's not brilliant it's fine for tasks that are easier on a laptop than on an iPad. When the hard disk eventually dies, the Linux can be installed to a memory stick.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Comparison with an old laptop

      1. It's not always possible to obtain an old laptop at a sensible price.

      2. The old laptop is much heavier than the Samsung ARM Chromebook and has inferior battery life.

      I'm getting my money's worth out of the Chromebook I bought. I use it for e-mail and web access when I'm away from home, and the children use it for school work, a lot of which requires Adobe Flash and a keyboard.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Comparison with an old laptop

        >>1. It's not always possible to obtain an old laptop at a sensible price.

        Why not?

    2. Gordan

      "I put Linux on an old laptop"

      Old laptop will have a battery life several times shorter than the ARM Chromebook. For some of us the purpose of a small, lightweight laptop is disconnected use while away from our desks.

      I put full fat Linux on my Exynos Chromebook, and while not quite up to the spec of my ThinkPad T60 (2048x1536 screen was hard to give up), the weight saving and 6x the battery life made for a clear win for the Chromebook in the end.

      "Linux can be installed to a memory stick"

      Good enough for some uses (e.g. small server/firewall), but for general laptop/desktop use USB sticks (with the exception of the ones that are full fat SSDs with Sandforce controllers in a memory stick form factor, with an astronomical price tag) simply aren't up to the task - they make the user experience quite painful due to terrible random-write performance.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I got one, messed with it, tried crouton, took it on a couple of simple business trips. Nice and light - I liked it. Then one day my daughter picked it up to do high school homework with - I haven't touched it in over a year now and she loves it. And I spend zero maintenance time on it. Best $250 I ever spent on a family computer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Andy Prough

          Exactly. Really good education machines.

          Various bodies are not trying to flog kids iPads at £400 a go, with no keyboard. Education Chromebook at £200, no brainer.

          And how many people outside paid employment actually need Excel rather than the Google spreadsheet?

          The only objections I can see are from people who have a vested interest in flogging Office. Any kid who learns to use a spreadsheet at school is going to need to learn new things at work, regardless of whether it's called Office or not - owing to the years of delay in between - so any adequate spreadsheet (or WP) for school work is good enough.

  5. Ralph B

    Quite Like It

    I bought a reduced price Samsung C720P last week and I have to say I quite like it, as a strange cross-breed of iPad and desktop PC. It does surfing and email just fine, and the collaborative docs thing works quite well too. Plays video files fine too. The screen's OK but a bit washed-out sometimes, and the keyboard's too-short travel and rattly cheap, but what do you expect at this price point?

    Its WLAN has (so far) been way more reliable than that on my 16yo daughter's Sony VAIO Fit (W8.1) and, come to think of it, the Sammy would probably handle 99% of what she uses that for, at 20% of the price.

    1. Martin

      Re: Quite Like It

      ...and, come to think of it, the Sammy would probably handle 99% of what she uses that for, at 20% of the price.

      Which is the point that most people seem to miss. For what 99% of people do, 99% of the time, the Chromebook is perfect.

      1. Phil_Evans

        Re: Quite Like It

        Exactly. Simple is good. If simple is boring, then boring is good too.

        Boring=predictable=good=good device

        (sexy can sometimes be good too, but this leads to complication, I'm told, which can be bad)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gnomebook? no thanks.

  7. James 51

    Pcpro has a review of a chromebook with 4gb or RAM for £200. As long as it's fairly easy to stick linux on, why not?

  8. RyokuMas

    Over my cold, dead corpse...

    Chromebook? Might as well hand Google your head on a silver platter...

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Another hand up

    I bought early when it was exclusively at Amazon and PCWorld. I should have brought a camera. It was clearly the salesman's first Chromebook sale. You should have seen his face when his computer told him he could not sell me Microsoft Office, Expensive Antivirus and whatever else would get him a decent commission. Sales through Amazon made some sense, but I could not see why PCWorld wanted the product at all. Perhaps they wanted to create a sales team dedicated to selling anything else.

    I wanted an ssh client/X server that was so cheap I would not care much if it got stolen. Wiping off Chrome and installing Debian did the job.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Another hand up

      Google probably gave PC World big backhanders for stocking the thing, for the reasons you gave.

  10. RISC OS

    "Strongest take up is in the UK because"...

    ...they are gullible twats who'll buy any cheap tat - as seen by the number of pound shops in recent years.

    I guess demand is higher in the US because they think as they are americans, the NSA won't spy on them.. who would want to use a cloud computer, in its truest sense of the word, if you are spied on by the NSA and the computer comes preloaded with NSA hardware to boot.

    1. Stuart 22

      Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

      My weapon of choice on railway journeys:

      * No worries about battery running out, no need to carry charger

      * Online 10 seconds after sitting down, just shut the lid when finished

      * Email/Web/CMS/SSH stuff 100% as good/better than anything else

      * Crouton gives me full Kubuntu if I ever need it

      * Don't usually need it

      * Use 64Gb nano USB sticks if I need more room

      * Don't usually need more room

      * So slim it slides into the smallest spaces, no worries about spinning disks

      * ...this is getting boring ...

      I have a 10" android fondleslab, 9 & 10" netbooks and a 15" laptop which implies it is the best match for my particular needs in that situation. Its £200 I did spend that I needn't but glad I did. YMMV

      Yep I'm so gullible I became an over experienced SysAdmin to boot. By gum you are even stupider than me.

      1. RISC OS

        Re: Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

        I don't think it would be possible to be stupider than you ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

        "My weapon of choice on railway journeys:"

        But a Chrome book is pretty useless without WiFi / 4G.

        1. Gordan

          Re: Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

          ChromeOS may be of diminished usefulness, but as has been mentioned in several places on this thread, there is nothing preventing you from putting a fuller flavour of Linux on one.

          I run RedSleeve on my Exynos Chromebook, and it is at least as good as any other laptop that size, with better battery life on top.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

          It will edit saved documents locally.

        3. Stuart 22

          Re: Gullible Twat Dribbles into Beard

          @AC "But a Chrome book is pretty useless without WiFi / 4G."

          Do keep up.

          * Certain railway companies provide excellent free wifi

          * When this is not available android tethering provides excellent free wifi

          * When this is not available you can still work offline with a choice of excellent free crouton based linux distributions

          Does this make it any worse than any other portable device? Or you could get a Chromebook with inbuilt 3G if that is really important to you. But I fear facts can seldom overcome prejudice n'est ce pas?

          But carry on down voting truth because it does not fit.

    2. The Grinning Duck

      Another Gullible Twat Dribbles into Pint (no beard, see)

      I bought one (the Samsung Series 3). And I think it's bloody brilliant.

      It's perfect for what I'm doing right now, which is sitting in a pub writing.

      It's light (I think I've had heavier phones in my time), silent, boots in seconds, and is just a great no fuss device.

      It's not a proper laptop, but I wasn't looking for a proper laptop, I was looking for something ultra portable that I could comfortably write on. The rest of the stuff that it can do (which is an ever growing list - roll on Wacom Tablet support) is just an added bonus. At £200, it's hands down the best value techy thing I've bought in ages.

      It also works perfectly well tethered to my 3G phone, no 4G whizz-bangery required. I too use mine on train journeys, it doesn't shit the bed when the signal flips in and out; it seamlessly swaps between saving to the cloud and local storage as and when the signal is present.

      If purchasing a device that not only meets but surpasses my requirements, costs bugger all money, and is an all round pleasure to use makes me gullible then... No wait, it doesn't make me gullible, does it?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another Gullible Twat Dribbles into Pint (no beard, see)

        Ah... you're that sad twat everyone is always lauging about... billy-no-mates going to a pub and using a laptop there..


        1. The Grinning Duck

          Re: Another Gullible Twat Dribbles into Pint (no beard, see)

          Blimey. Who pissed on your chips?

          If I'd have known buying a cheap little laptop would nark you off so much I'd have bought three of them.

          What happened, buddy, did Google steal your girlfriend or something?

  11. simmondp

    Love my C720

    Works just fine, boot 6.5 seconds from cold, instant on from standby and I can work a whole day without needing to carry a charger.

    Can produce documents and have done conference presentations from it - no it's not full blown windows but then E-mail, Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations are fine.

    OS is getting the API's added (not quite there) for mounting Windows Server File Shares - then we will see fuller corporate SOHO adoption.

    Brought it as an experiment to see if it was usable when out and about - and it's been real success.

    Only downside - Google Docs, import and export of Word, but then Libre Office on a PC also suffers, but then the blame should rest squarely with MS and their "open standard" docx format.

    1. Pisartis

      Re: Love my C720

      I bought mine (Samsung series 3 with built in UMTS) as an experiment to see how useful it was when on the road. Works so well for everything I needed that I was able to leave my MacBook Pro at home and just use the Chromebook.

      It's not going to be the tool for the job if you want to run Photoshop. But for web browsing, email and as an ssh client it works great.

  12. Roger Greenwood

    Got 3 in our house already

    They may not replace a full desktop/laptop, but they have great battery life, run silent and cool and have a keyboard attached which is better than poking a screen for most office type tasks (e.g. students).

    If it breaks it won't break the bank and your data is most likely elsewhere so can be taken out and about with less worry. I also run crouton for fun.

  13. nematoad

    A false economy.

    "kindergarten through to twelfth grade – the economics are so great"

    That's looking at the monetary cost and forgetting Google's raison d'etre; skimming off your private details to sell them to the highest bidder. Do you really want your children's private information going to such a amoral company. I certainly wouldn't.

    And anyway, looking at the specs and what the thing can do a Chromebook is merely a netbook with added intrusion. At least it looks that way to me.

    Buy one by all means, then root it and stick a lightweight Linux distro on it. That way you are reasonably certain that anything you don't want bought and sold like a tin of beans is kept well away from the likes of Google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A false economy.

      This tinfoil hat nobbishness is just getting tired.

      By "selling my childrens private information to the highest bidder", I assume you mean "display targeted adverts".

      Talk about picking the most overly dramatic verbiage possible.

      Google's knowledge of a persons searching and email is their goose that lays the golden eggs, makes all their targeted advertising possible and is the only thing that makes them money.

      And you think they are selling it to other companies?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And you think they are selling it to other companies?

        If the price is right then yes, of course!

        " tinfoil hat nobbishness" - Talk about picking the most overly dramatic verbiage possible. And thinking that "words" == "verbiage"....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A false economy.

      Dear Mr Nematoad

      By your Scroogling manner, I suspect you are a cringing minion of the Dark Lord "Steve" Baldemort.

      I adjure you, therefore, to install Bing on your Chromebook instead.

  14. keithpeter Silver badge

    300k laptops sold in UK first quarter?

    If I have done my percentages properly, that is 300k laptops sold in UK first quarter. Wonder why I'm only seeing people with tablets and phones?

    1. zebthecat

      Re: 300k laptops sold in UK first quarter?

      >Wonder why I'm only seeing people with tablets and phones?

      Depends where you look really, nobody in my office uses a tablet or mobile for any work stuff (apart from the test team).

  15. bailey86


    The anti-chromebook shills are pretty fast and furious - someone/somecorp must be worried.

    I catch trains regularly and see everyone lugging heavy laptops doing spreadsheets, docs when a Chromebook would be fine. Certainly on my trains which come with cheap wifi.

    My laptop (Elitetebook) and charger come to about 2.5 Kg - my HP 11 inch Chromebook uses a phone charger and comes to 1Kg. I know which I prefer to have in my backback when travelling to clients, being away, holiday etc. It's almost down to the weight of an iPad.

    Good browser, Google docs - and crucially Secure Shell which gets me into servers. Most accounts, documentation, ticket systems are web based these days (or probably should be). All I'm missing is Netbeans - but if I'm using NB then it means I'm doing some serious work for a few days/weeks and I'll leave my normal laptop onsite anyway.

    Sofa surfing - it makes a better (and cheaper) tablet than a tablet. Multiple tabs, wireless mouse, great keyboard. Also, mine has no fans, air ducts - sits on lap on sofa or in bed with no overheating.

    School use - no-brainer. Zero maintenance, access to Google docs, Scratch and other online resources. Login to any machine with your Google account and all your bookmarks, apps, extensions, etc are all there.

    And all this at £200.00.

    My only complaint is mine is probably a little under powered - I went for the lightest - but I presume they'll get nippier with time.

    I predict things will get very interesting.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Hmmm...

      "The anti-chromebook shills are pretty fast and furious - someone/somecorp must be worried."

      Glad to know chromebooks do it all and I can pull up dxf, stl and step files quicker and easier than a usb stick. So can they finally print my boarding pass without either a special cloudy Chrome enabled printer or a Chrome cloud print server? That was my deal breaker but hey, according to your enlightenedness I'm just a shill for somecorp.

      Oh one last thing, you should have Sergey proofread that. He probably shouldn't have put the word shill in the script.

      1. Stuart 22

        Re: Hmmm...

        @Eddy Ito "Glad to know chromebooks do it all and I can pull up dxf, stl and step files quicker and easier than a usb stick. So can they finally print my boarding pass without either a special cloudy Chrome enabled printer or a Chrome cloud print server? That was my deal breaker but hey, according to your enlightenedness I'm just a shill for somecorp."

        You got me there. Last time I hauled my HP LaserJet 4L printer all the way up to Birmingham on the train - could I get it to print out my Ryanair boarding pass from my Chromebook. Well no.

        Like, I guess, everybody but you I print stuff when I am at home or in the office before i become mobile. I did once have a tiny printer I packed in my briefcase for printing on the move. But the paper would go all black before I could get to the departure gate.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Hmmm...

          @Stuart 22

          I like to print things like my boarding pass before I head to the airport myself but I've never carried a printer and I've gone more places than just home and the office. I check where I'm staying on the other end ahead of time and the guesthouses I use all have a printer. Often it's an older office model they picked up second hand and frequently it's a parallel model attached via a network dongle but is still quite serviceable and I've never had a problem with IPP or LPD. Doubt any of those printers or their dongles were Chromed.

          Also, I have checked in via gprs using my ancient Nokia as a modem because while the guesthouse had a networked printer their internet connection had been down for a number of weeks. Yes, I could have checked in at the airport but why change over a trivial speed bump.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      "I catch trains regularly and see everyone lugging heavy laptops doing spreadsheets, docs when a Chromebook would be fine. Certainly on my trains which come with cheap wifi."

      I'm not anti-chromebook at all, and as a linux user the availability of cheap kit that can run Linux is reassuring, but we must travel on different trains as regards wifi.

      Most of the laptops I see are corporate thinkpads and Dells. Stickers, asset numbers, a few years old, and yes the purchasing people do seem to go for the heavier models (T as opposed to X for thinkpads).

    3. dogged

      Re: Hmmm...

      > The anti-chromebook shills are pretty fast and furious - someone/somecorp must be worried.

      Not really. What you're seeing is the same as Sun/Oracle pushing thin client computing got -in fact, it's fairly similar to what Windows RT gets (if a lot less hate-filled) although at least that does come with an offline productivity suite - with side of "Yeah, I totally want Google to know everything I do, think, say and look at, not".

      Nobody was worried back then, either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm...

        As fast wireless comms eventually becomes utterly ubiquitous everything will eventually become a terminal, it is just a matter of time.

        If the technology was there and you could rent a computer in the "cloud" with the storage, speed and functionality you needed, and that could stream it's content flawlessly in HD with miniscule lag to any device you own wherever you were. Why would you say no. This is the stuff of science fiction and generally that's good stuff.

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      >Sofa surfing - it makes a better (and cheaper) tablet than a tablet

      And it runs netflix, which my HP netbook can't

      Plus I got it on a trip to the US open-box at BestBuy for $180

  16. James Boag

    Chromebooks Rock

    As a Linux guy, not wanting to give MS any more money and not stupid enough to pay thru the nose for apple products , I thought i'd give the chrome book a try, Not disappointed in the least.

    It took me 2 months before i installed linux, That's how useful chrome is. then it confused me as i had spotify playing on linux and tabbed back into chrome only to find that Spotify was still playing !

    Yip Chrome runs on a VM and so does Linux so you can have the best of both worlds at the same time.

    as you already know everyone and their brother are spying on you, but at least google gives you some decent hardware.

  17. jason 7

    You can run Office on Chromebook now.

    So thats another hurdle cleared.

    Bought my Chromebook in 2013 and enjoy using it. Just another tool in my IT armory.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung Chromebook

    Bought mine a couple of months ago to replace my Windows 8 netbook. Chromebook is super - fast, trouble free, not drowned by updates and crapware . Sound is good, output via hdmi to TV is flawless. No antivirus rubbish and good battery life. I don't need MS Office or Skype, so I've gained a lot and lost zilch.

  19. ConsultantGeek

    Great value

    I have a Acer C720, got it as a christmas gift.

    It's one the most useful laptops I have ever had.

    I get about 9 hours battery life.

    Small & light.

    I use it connected to a monitor and cordless keyboard/trackpad when in the office.

    You CAN use it offline, for example it comes with quick office. Plus if you go and look at the app store there is a growing collection of apps that can run whilst disconnected.

    I installed the command line version of crouton and added a 16GB USB stick, the kind that's not much bigger than the connector. So now I have a nice ubuntu environment with lots of space.

    The only negative is that I could use more RAM but, I guess, my use case is not typical.

    I can certainly recommend it.

  20. ratfox

    "people like to work offline"

    You mean, companies like their employees not to have Facebook access?

    Personally, I find fantastic to have all the documents of my company in the cloud. It's a dream compared to moving files around, or having documents that can be edited by one person at a time. I would never want to go back.

    1. jason 7

      Re: "people like to work offline"

      I have to eye roll when I see the "Yeah but Chromebooks don't work when you are offline!" comment.

      1. They do.

      2. Most of us don't chose to live in 1997 anymore.

  21. Salts

    Acer C720

    Just bought one of these in the USA for a test project at $199 I was not expecting much, but so far I have to say at the price it is great. Battery life is 8.5 hours, it is fast to boot and no slouch in use either. Is very light at 1.25kg. I may consider installing Linux, but so far for what I need it for I really don't think that it is worth the effort.

    You also get 2 years 100gb google drive in with the price. It has SD card slot to supplement the 16gb SSD, HDMI, mic/speaker, usb 2 & 3 ports and bluetooth.

    It may not be what many el reg readers need, but for the average user, with an aging desktop or laptop that needs replacing, this will do 99% of what they need, MS Office for home users that is just so last decade thinking and I really do not believe the whole world needs photoshop.

    What is a pain is Chrome Remote Desktop to Linux desktops; Windows and OSX work just fine and for Linux I can use SSH, but that is such an el reg reader type usage it is hardly worth the mention.

    I am not a convert, I was never against them in the first place, but using this Acer C720 I think they will be successful in the not so distant future at least in the average consumer pc space.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yep, picked up an Acer C720, it;s amazing.

    No need for Windows here anymore. No more viruses, no more messing with updates and backups. It's all taken care of. 10 hours batter life, and more and more apps working offline (despite what IT-illiterate El-Reg seem to think), it's perfect for what I need.

    Very pleased for £179, it's a steal.

  23. MJI Silver badge


    I had an accident in December, some minor injuries, and I do not have a Chromebook.

    RIP my last car.

    Just have a fear of black BMW 3 series driving near me in case they crach.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Correct

      For more info.the BMW hit an oncoming car head on both were totalled, one of them spun into my car bananaing it, It took 5 months for my shoulder to recover.

      My car was the only one which drove home.

      Quoted £2500 to repair, so they wrote it off!

  24. sabroni Silver badge

    Chromebooks are great!

    Because you can wipe them and put a PROPER linux on there!!!!!!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like