Whatever happened to the Chromebook?

Discussion in 'Netbooks, Tablets, Slates and eReaders' started by LandSurveyor, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    So the Lenovo N22 I have at work just got Android apps. It's a far cry from what it should be. Rough around the edges to say the least. Apps that run as services can be installed, but are essentially worthless as each app runs in a separate window. Apps that rely on location services, are a gamble. Apps are mixed in with Chrome apps, thus if you have Chrome Google Drive and Android Google Drive, if you're not paying attention, you'll pick the wrong one.

    Initial impression - meh...
     
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  2. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    I have not lit up my N22 for quite some time. Hearing it has Android apps to me is news and quite a surprise. That is one of those Chromebooks I did not expect to see a follow through with Android app compatibility, as I would assume those with touchscreens should be prioritized first.

    I do Android apps in my Chromebooks in this priority use and order. Still not perfect, especially when it comes to windowing and formatting, but I gradually find them indispensable for what used to be the pure Chrome experience.

    1. Messaging and Social Media apps --- Facebook, Messenger, Viber, Twitter, Google+, pinterest, Instagram, etc,. The notifications and sharing support makes it feel like I got a smartphone in the screen and I don't have to pull out my smartphone anytime I get a notification.

    2. Productivity apps. At least when I am not using Google Docs. There are a bunch of these Office like apps on Android like Polaris, OfficeSuite, WPS, Docs to Go, not to mention the Google apps that also have the mobile Android versions. I don't do image editing much but there also seems to be more than a handful.

    3. Games. Hit and miss, but mostly hit when it comes to compatibility, especially if the Chromebook is powered by an ARM processor. I use the Chromebook like an entertainment and tablet device. This is best for those with touchscreens.

    4. Sharing. Calling up the Android apps of some of these social media sites seems faster with mobile than the web. This lets me share from the desktop Chrome browser to the social media site or to the messenger app, like Viber.

    ================

    On other news, the C101 is not the only Flip Asus is introducing on Computex, there is also the Asus C213. This one is intended for educational markets, has an Intel N3350 processor, touchscreen with the flip format. More and more, the state of the specialized 'educational' notebook is being formed.

    https://liliputing.com/2017/06/asus-chromebook-flip-c213na-apollo-lake-laptop-classroom-use.html

    As more and more of Chromebook flip devices are coming into the market, they appear to be the generational trend for Chromebooks, which started with the netbook format, evolved to the ultrabook format, and now to the 2 in 1 hybrid and flip format. This is the latest stage in the ever changing whatever happenings occurring in the state of Chromebooks.
     
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  3. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    Just as a point of interest. The N22 comes in standard, and touchscreen models. Going by your thoughts that touchscreen would get higher priority, this would make sense. There is only one hardware change between these variations. The guts are the same.

    Sadly, I feel I have a better experience with a full Android tablet, paired with a Lenovo Tablet 2 keyboard with trackpoint. That's what I was really hoping for with Android on Chromebooks. Kinda there, but not quite...
     
  4. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    Well, the end of the school year is here. Collected all the 1-1 CBs from students on Monday. The results were as I feared. The amount of damage to them is staggering. The vast amount of damage is physical to the chassis. The next issue is busted USB ports, followed by hinge damage. All 3 of these bits of damage ultimately results in a device replacement. The cost of the parts, plus the cost of time to perform the repair is more than the device is worth. Suddenly, the supposed savings of a $180 device after license, that is supposed to last 4 years, but is effectively damaged beyond repair in year one, quickly dissolves. Those that haven't been broken this year, have a slim chance of making it through year 2. I can't imagine how many will be left standing at year 3, and 4, if any of them make it to that point.

    Then again, I think I'm really leaning toward the thought that it should be a device specific BYOD. You're responsible for it. You break it, it's your problem. I think the repair costs are going to be a real eye-opener once the final tallying is done next week. But, the financials and budget aren't mine to worry about... so at least there is that. Needless to say, I know what I'll be doing the following weeks. Ordering parts, ordering replacement devices, and spending countless hours with a jewelers toolkit hunched over broken CBs. Wheeee. :p
     
  5. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I imagine that a truly rugged version would at least double the device cost, killing the savings advantage.

    Even adults who are given something to work with can treat devices awfully if they are not somehow held responsible for it. You pretty much have to expect even less from kids.

    As to the USB ports, in my experience, working with electronic surveying equipment, cable connections of any kind are a weak point, no matter how rugged the rest of the device. Thank goodness for bluetooth. I don't think I care for this tendency to downsize USB ports to the micro. The smaller the part, the more easily breakable. It's just a fact of nature.
     
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  6. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    You're correct, there are rugged versions available. The cost matches the quality. I'm still of the mindset that if I'm going to pay that kind of money, it had better have a far longer life. I'll likely be a PC guy forever, as you can still use a computer 8-10 years after purchase, pending you take care of it, and it still suits your needs. A fully patched OS that far out, is simply not an option with these things.

    I 100% agree with you re: cable ports. The thought of kids jamming anything into the ports is enough to make me shudder. Yuck.

    But... it's those same kids that are breaking stuff, that gives me a job to do. A necessary evil?
     
  7. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Nothing like job security. But is there a more overall cost-effective option?
     
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  8. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    I got a Lenovo N21, which has the same body as the N22, but with a previous generation Intel processor, the N2840, which ironically is faster than the N3050 or N3060. However, this is not supporting Android apps. I still like to use this Chromebook once in a while to carry around to places, being light and not afraid to be dropped.

    Speaking of a new rugged Chromebook, Acer seems ready to release a new one for educational markets, the C771 and C771T, the latter is the touchscreen model. The first one costs around $279 and the latter around $329.

    Need to translate this from German.

    http://winfuture.de/news,98637.html

    Comes with a base processor of an Intel 3855U Celeron, which is much faster than N3050 or N3060 processors used in low end notebooks, and there will be editions with i3 and i5 processors. Construction is Mil-Spec, so expect bumper edges. Screen is IPS which is becoming standard with Chromebooks these days, but resolution remains at 1366 x 768.
     
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  9. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    Rugged Chromebooks, at least made to the Mil Spec 810 testing --- yes Military Specification --- compliant and verified with it, are available for the educational market starting at least $270. Lenovo started the first of these Chromebooks based on Thinkpads, but they were expensive. But the prices have come down as more OEM manufacturers comes in, from Dell, then HP, and lately even Acer and Asus. One of the most visual aspects of these Chromebooks is that they have rubberized trims on both halves of the Chromebook and may feature metal hinges. They are also designed to survive coffee and tea spills on the keyboard.

    Many Chromebooks in the educational market are not compliant to MilSpec 810, for example, the Lenovo N series like the N22 and N42, which are built on an Intel reference platform for educational notebooks.

    The question is whether even this MilSpec Chromebooks are tough enough for kids, maybe another matter.
     
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  10. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    The Lenovo N series chromebooks are super cheap build quality. The damage these have sustained over one school year, is staggering. As an individual personally owning one, chances are you're going to take pretty decent care of it, and the build quality should be okay. For students that lack comprehension of responsibility, financial repercussions, and general lack of care about most things in general, these are destined to be a disaster. But I've been told that's not something I have to worry about, I just have to fix them. Job security fixing junk grade electronics. It could be worse. :)
     

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