Acer C720 Chromebook

Rather than paying the ~$500 to replace my Macbook Air’s logic board, I got an awesome deal for an Acer C720 Chromebook. After using Google’s Chrome OS for nearly two months, I’ve found very little that I can’t easily accomplish on this “limited” cloud-based operating system.

In general, I consider myself a power computer – programming, compiling, gaming, video-streaming, word processing, audio, and photo editing are all routine activities which I engage in. Even with my Macbook, I delegated more resource-hungry operations to my workstation while using my notebook for portable tasks. This is where Chrome OS shines.

Because of the browser-centric user interface, it’s very familiar and has virtually no learning curve for the typical consumer. Google already provides an incredible array of services (Gmail, Youtube, Chrome, Calendar, Music, Docs, etc.) which are extensible with applications on the Chrome web store. In particular, I’ve found Tweetdeck and Pixlr Express, Chrome RDP, Sketchpad, MightyText, and ShiftEdit to be awesome extensions/applications.

On top of this, I’m seamlessly running Elementary OS Linux through crouton (a Chrome OS chroot environment). In fact, switching to Linux and back to Chrome OS takes less than 5 seconds.

chromeos-desktop
Chrome OS desktop
chromeos-crouton
Starting Elementary OS Linux
elementaryos-desktop
Elementary OS Linux desktop

In the coming months, I hope to see Chrome OS become even more extensible with sand-boxed functionality. With HTML5 and CSS3 growing in popularity coupled with emerging technologies like WebCL, the future looks bright for Chrome OS. Plus, at the end of the day, the whole package was $200 (less than most smartphones and tablets). 😀

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