Opinion

Is Chromebook the perfect agile writing tool?

I work on Windows machines more than anything.

While Windows 10 is relatively fast on older PCs, over time, and as with all versions of Windows, it becomes less fast more rapidly–especially on machines starved of resources.

With macOS, Apple plays the bloatware game of tacking more layers of resource-draining complexity onto its OS with each ensuing release. This ensures Apple’s goal of eliminating certain Macs from qualifying for their latest OS by virtue of these older Macs not having enough horsepower to make the final OS cut. Or, even if they do, they’re hard-pressed to perform fluidly or efficiently with Apple’s latest and greatest OS.

I don’t hate either Apple’s or Microsoft’s systems, though; both are great operating systems and I’m a fan of each depending on the task at hand.

My problem with both of them, however, is that I don’t want both Microsoft and Apple’s shared philosophy of planned obsolescence to influence my work station choices.

Because it doesn’t have to.

And there isn’t reason to play by these rules.

Accordingly I’ve decided to try something outside their product range to see if it might be something I can learn to love.

Enter the Chromebook

Chromebooks have been out awhile and I’ve not made the leap until recently due to (unfounded?) concerns over stripped down offerings.

You get the basics of everything the Chrome Browser and Google docs and gmail can bring.

It all sounds pretty simple.

And it hearkens back to days of simpler operating systems that offered quick booting times and enough simple applications to get the job done.

My own personal experiment with the Chromebook will involve whether or not I can adopt it as my principal writing machine when I’m on the road.

I’ve been using an original Microsoft Surface RT for years until recently. Its compromises with respect to current web demands required I use a Windows 10 laptop that is serviceable but takes forever to both boot or wake from sleep.

The Chromebook was advertised as booting in 7 seconds.

I don’t think it even takes that long. At the least it doesn’t feel like it does.

As everything I personally do becomes slower and more deliberate over time, my need for speed when it comes to my writing assignments, has never been greater.

In addition to quick booting and wake-from-sleep times (and let’s face it, ideas drop into my head and only stay there for a few moments before moving on), I wanted the speed of Google Chrome and its ability to handle the modern web and its quagmire of ads, video and noise with speed and alacrity.

In addition to speed, I also need the ability to write comfortably for the stretches of time that I am writing. The Chromebook I’m writing this on, the Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K01US with 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD and an 11.6″ screen is feeling like a contender.

Its keyboard was advertised as “ergonomic.”

Truth be told, it’s ergonomic compared to what I was using with the Surface RT. Also, the Win 10 laptop I’ve used faithfully for 7 years has a decent keyboard that I’ve grown fond of. The Chromebook’s keyboard feels a little stiff, but I’m thinking it is because it’s freshly refurbished.

No matter. I like the speed. I like the keyboard (more and more) and I like the overall value–it’s a refurbished product that is immaculate and feels brand new and not cheap.

Oh, did I mention I’ve had it uncharged for a week and the battery indicator is showing 53% remaining.

It’s simple.

It works.

It’s fast to boot, wake from sleep and navigate online.

It contains what I need to get the job done.

And it’s simple.

I know I’ve repeated myself regarding the characterization of the Chromebook as “simple.”

At this stage of the game, simple, quick and easy to use are pretty big selling points to me.

We’ll see how it goes as we near the 90-day warranty.

I’m optimistic. And not cautiously so.

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