Thursday, July 16, 2015

Toshiba Chromebook2 Pros and Cons

My previous laptop, a 5 year old dinosaur from college, finally started to go up. The wifi has been unstable for a while - randomly failing to come online after closing and reopening the lid - and then there was the heat and battery life, or lack thereof.

I would have stuck with linux if I could have beaten the $300 price point. I won't do another windows laptop; I'm stuck with windows for work, and while I have a great laptop - or 2 - I have a new gripe about the OS almost daily. For the price, and my basic needs of web access and connecting to my other computers, 

What I like:

  • easy setup for alternate keyboards
    I'm 'that guy' who decides it's a good idea to forgo qwerty for dvorak. No one understands it, and it confuses everyone who borrows my computer which can be amusing, especially if they aren't expecting it. Fortunately, there is an input selector in the system tray, with the least default options I've seen on a system: US, US International, US Extended, US Dvorak, and US Colemak.
  • new laptop for $300
  • Different keyboard
    The lack of a caps lock button was a nice surprise. I've never really thought about 
  • SSH is available - although through a chrome extension rather than crosh

What I'm not enjoying:

  • Small screen causes small text9
  • Screen is different (retina?) and contrast isn't high enough
  • Developer mode not as I hoped
  • ssh removed from crosh
  • keypad is garbage
    It would have been nice if Google would have tried some cool tricks with the keypad to keep up with Apple. The 3-finger swipe down (backwards from the 'up swipe' mentioned in the help) is a far cry from 3-finger drag/resize on my wife's macbook
  • Not a tablet, not a full OS
    Chromebook feels like a strange cross between android and a real OS


At the end of the day, I think I will like this thing called chromebook. After finding a suitable cloud replacement for my coding plus ssh and remote desktop for everything else, I won't be wanting anything more from a laptop than a browser with long battery life and an actual keyboard.

And as an effort to generate some content that makes it past the draft stage, here goes the post. I will do my best to come back to fill in the rest of my thoughts on these points, as well as include anything else I find after more than a couple hours on the device.

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