Yesterday,I wrote about using my Chromebook for genealogy. Since I have a bit of extra time this morning I thought it would be good to mention a few pros and cons. Yesterdays post was mainly on the positives but there are a few negatives.
The thing that I see as the biggest downside is that if you don’t have an internet connection, the computer seems like a big paperweight and there is little you can do. But I knew that before I bought and intended to use it with WiFi so this is not a problem for me.
Documents on your Google drive are either unavailable or uneditable depending on where you were when you lost the connection. I believe Google has improved that but I haven’t had much luck with it. (I should mention that this is not the new version of the Chromebook).
A minor irritation but one that comes up often if you are typing is that there is a key next to the ‘a’ key and just above the shift key that opens a new tab in the browser (which is Chrome of course). You very quickly realize what has happened and close the new tab and go back to what you were working on.
You do almost everything in Chrome which seems a bit strange at first but you quickly get used to having everything in different Chrome tabs. For example if you edit a document, it is in Google docs and on your Google drive and done in a Chrome tab.
The touchpad is a bit of genius. You can scroll and move around with it like a laptop but it also serves as your mouse. It takes a bit of getting used to it but you can click, highlight, and so forth. Of course, you can add a real mouse via the USB port but that would partly defeat your desire for a small, compact, and secure computer.
So if you are willing to accept its limitations, the Chromebook is a fine second computer. I don’t think many people would be happy with the Chromebook as a main computer.
My main computer is a desktop and I use the Chromebook as a second computer at home and as a small and secure computer when travelling. Depending on your situation the dataplan may be a plus but it is certainly not needed if you are willing to live with WiFi only.
Once again this blog post was made with my Chromebook.