Sunday, May 15

Chromebooks are not a Good Idea

I've been giving this a lot of thought. I wanted to like the idea of Chromebooks. Really, I did! But I just can't, and let me tell you why.

Oddly enough, I'm going to begin by saying something positive about them. I believe that Google has the right idea when it comes to "working in the cloud." Yes, there are certain things that require fast local processing and enormous local storage.

- Graphics editing and composing, desktop publishing
- Video editing and rendering
- Audio editing and mixing

That's my list, pretty much. If you have others, the comments are open for your ... I don't know ... commenting pleasure?

Anyway, as I was saying, I think Google has the right idea about working in the cloud. Email, calendars, most word processing documents and spreadsheets, and just about everything else I do with my computers is best done when I'm connected to the web and working online. The information can be shared, it's safer than on my local hard drive, I can access it from anywhere including my phone, etc., etc., etc.

What I give up in terms of features in the software I use is far outweighed by those conveniences. And no, I'm not joking.

So let me see if I'm following you, geek-boy. Google has the right idea about working in the cloud, but their Chromebooks that are designed to do nothing but that are a bad idea?


You'd better explain that, son.

Sure thing. You said it yourself, mythical voice in my head that I dialog with in my blog posts. Chromebooks are designed to do nothing but. Netbooks, on the other hand, which cost the same as Chromebooks, can run Chrome. AND they can do all that other computer stuff, too.

Chromebooks run on Atom processors. Netbooks run on Atom processors. Chromebooks have long battery life. Netbooks have long battery life. Chromebooks boot up in 8 seconds. Netbooks, er, well, don't.

So are you willing to give up the OPTION of local storage and running Windows applications, to boot up in 8 seconds rather than 30 or 45? Especially because once you boot that netbook and just put it to sleep instead of shutting it down, it will come back to the desktop in just about, yes, 8 seconds.

Google can't tether the Chrome browser to Chromebooks, not without killing it. They also can't block their Chrome web apps from running on netbooks, notebooks, and desktop computers. There is absolutely nothing they can do to give any kind of killer feature to a Chromebook. You can run the same browser, use the same cloud-based apps, and have the same security and safety that you get with a Chromebook.

And you don't need a Chromebook. That's why they're not a good idea.

Google will sell a few of them, of course. They have their fanboys. Myself, I love Chrome and Android, Google Apps, and the whole Google cloud-thing. But I get them just fine on my current computers, including my fabulous MacBook Air (which is certainly no netbook, but is every bit as portable). So I wish Google well, and I hope I'm wrong. But I just can't see the point of a Chromebook, which is really a netbook that does less for the same money. Sell Chromebooks for $149 and you'll sell a million per week. But they're not, so they won't.

At least that's what I think.

1 comment:

Robert Pallan said...

I have to agree fully with you. The Chromebooks would be better if, as you said, cheaper. Now, I have some very big criticism on these in the brand topic, the only reason(in my opinion) that the chromebooks will only sell because they have the brand 'Google'. I mean you doesn't love Google, because I love them, but I hate the Chromebooks.