Length:: 2:12 Mins
❌ The screen is terrible when viewed from certain angles. (No IPS technology) (see for 🎥 example)
❌ Even at maximum brightness, the screen is a little dim. (It's fine for normal conditions, though).
🔉 The sound is quite weak, but adequate for most people, watching iPlayer, YouTube etc (in a quiet room).
✔︎ SPEED: The 4GB of RAM and pure flash storage makes this plenty fast for everyday tasks. (In USA, they released a 2GB ram model and it was slow as hell)
✔︎ NICE INTERFACE: The OS is a variant of Linux. I like the similarities to Windows (see video) - for example a launcher where the `Start' button would be (bottom, left) and the time in the lower right.
✔︎ BATTERY LIFE: fantastic. I suspected the "8 hours" would be a whopping lie but it's very good! I got about 6 hours off a single charge.
✔︎ LIGHT: This is a small computer, it's a bit like a "poor man's MacBook Air" (for want of a better phrase). There's so spinning drive so less power requirements.
✔︎ Although this is Chrome OS, I really like that "Alt + tab" can be used to change windows.
💷 For £249, this is a reasonable ChromeBook; I think it's worthy of 4 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️ For most people, this is great as an everyday computer.
⭐️ It's very low maintenance. (No tedious software updates)
⭐ It's nice and snappy.
❌ You may miss advanced Word and Excel features - I find the Google versions of these too basic
STOP : everything below this line is optional reading. Most people can just watch the video
TIPS / MISC:
- You should become acquainted with the "Chrome web store" if you want to be more productive. A lot of stuff there is free but it's a double edged sword. You have to trust the developer as they can, in theory, see a lot of your private stuff. So, do explore, but if I were you, I'd only stick to very well known developers. (Maybe look at the reviews and ratings).
- I got a 🆓 Chrome extension called "EasyDrop" to have my Dropbox files easily accessible. This gives me easy access to files I've made on my Mac.
- I installed Ad Block Plus, essential for turning down the noise, IMHO. (Web advertising has become too obnoxious now)
THOUGHTS ON TOUCHSCREEN
- Is the touchscreen good? Many tap targets are too small but it's not too bad, actually. I tend to use the pad on the horizontal plane (where my fingers already are, for typing) rather than reaching out to touch the screen. (Your arm starts to ache if you do it too much).
- When you go into "stand" mode, and the psychical keyboard is inaccessible, you do get an onscreen keyboard. This reminds me a lot of the iPad (Mini). The onscreen touch keyboard also has word prediction (which has only just become available in iOS8)
- I do think Stand Mode is a bit gimmicky, it's not really that useful or great.
MULTI-FINGER GESTURES WORK
- The 2-finger gesture for page back/forwards works on the touchscreen, as well as the pad. (see 🎥 video - the latter is demonstrated)
- On a normal keyboard, you would expect the CAPS LOCK key to be above the left shift key. On this Chromebook, it's a button with a picture of magnifying glass (for search, I suppose). It's actually really useful for launching apps (or even doing a new Google search).
- If you are an angry internet commenter, and feel the need to rant in ALL CAPS, fear not, you can still activate it by using a keyboard shortcut [alt + 🔍].
- It is pretty anachronistic, though, I seldom have a real need to use ALL CAPS. :)
❌ Although this ChromeBook has a USB2 port and a USB3 port, you CAN'T just hook up a USB cable and print. Most printers will NOT work. (You need one with Google Cloud printing)
GOOGLE: GOOD AND BAD
- (You may want to consider an iPad Air, which is not that much more expensive)
- However, for Word processing you can't beat a proper keyboard. The one on this Lenovo is decent; certainly better than an on-screen iPad keyboard.
GOOGLE DOCS vs MICROSOFT WORD vs APPLE PAGES
- Google docs is a decent word processor, and for real-time collaboration, it is the best.
- Google docs is crap compared to Word. (See for yourself: force yourself to only use it for a week; you'll soon see if you miss the advanced features)
GOOGLE SHEETS vs EXCEL
I, personally, hate the Google spreadsheets app. I really miss advanced Excel features (like formatting cells with special date or currency syntaxes)
BUT, i am an edge case; for most people, I think it will be okay. (You can see for yourself on your current computer).
GOOGLE IS ACE AT CLOUD STUFF
- I am suspicious about this being so cheap. Just beware that you're selling your soul to Google. ;)
- Google is excellent at cloud services, but they unashamedly mine your personal data. (It's a fair trade, to be honest)
- The good news is, if something goes wrong at Google, the NSA have a backup of all your information ;) <joke>
UPDATE, ADDED 4-DEC-2014
- I don't recommend this product anymore. It's cheap and nasty. You could get an iPad Mini 2 for not much more from the Apple Refurb store.
- The screen is not only glossy, the glare is TERRIBLE.
- Meh, I guess it's fine as a cheap Chromebook.