Chromebooks are pretty awesome . . .

So, my daughter’s 13th birthday was last week (that’s a huge story in itself). She really wanted to use her money for a laptop. Of course, a “decent” laptop on Windows (even more so, Mac) was a bit cost prohibitive, given her money. She likes the HP Stream laptop her grandmother has, but the reviews are mixed and I know how Windows, especially on a watered down machine, gets over time. I really wanted to steer her in the right direction . . . i.e., I didn’t wan here hating it a few months later.

So, I remembered something. She is very into writing and is doing quite a bit. Guess what she uses to write and save papers? Yep, here Google account.

–Light Bulb–

I’d heard about Chromebooks via school administration and tech news, but never had a need (since I need a much beefier machine to work graphics and such). But, I thought I’d do some research for her on this front. I’d heard they were cheap(er) as far as laptops go, so I dove in.

It didn’t take long to find the Toshiba Chromebook 2 model (13 inch). It had stellar reviews across the board – especially for the screen quality. After a night of reviews, I made the order.

Long story short – holy cow, this is awesome for a student who doesn’t need Microsoft Office.

She jumped right in. After a 10 second boot up (yep, it has SSD and is pretty snappy), she logged in and could find all her documents. The icing on the cake was the 1 Terabyte of free storage from Google – that’s right, even though it was promoted as 100GB, she gets a crazy amount of storage.

So, it fit the bill pretty much right away for what she wanted. There was one thing she would like, but didn’t necessarily need though . . . she’s a photo buff and wanted a place to look at pics. It has 16GB of onboard storage, but that would fill up fast. No problem – the Google Plus app will auto load her iPhone photos to her Google Plus and the Chromebook will show them nicely. Problem solved!

Other perks are as follows:

  • Bluetooth – she can connect to a headset or her speaker for music
  • Decent speaker – the speaker is actually pretty decent for Netflix and such (which streams great). Sound comes from under the keyboard, so that’s kind of cool.
  • Full HD IPS screen – I think this is the obvious best part – the screen is very nice. Other chromebooks are washed out and just so so with lower resolution . . . this screen is very good, and worth the extra few dollars. Text is very clean and colors really pop.
  • Good keyboard – slightly under full size, but I’m typing on it now and enjoying it.
  • 8 hour battery – good for most uses . . . streaming, however, lasts around 4 hours.
  • I’ve only used it on my home environment (AC Router), but Wifi is really quick.

There you go – I might come back and review more later, but very happy with this purchase for my student/teenager!

Oh, here is a link to the version I bought. There is a smaller, lower priced model, but you lose the great looking screen (deal breaker in my opinion!)