Monday, 1 April 2013

Samsung Chromebook

I unboxed a Samsung Chromebook this weekend and was looking forward to giving it a whirl but was  immediately deflated when it would not connect to my BT Home Hub. All manner of configuration changes later and I was still non the wiser.

The good news is that there is an active support forum and quick replies from the chrome ninjas. I was advised to enable the "Experimental Static IP Configuration" via the chrome://flags  configuration page. One reboot later and what do you know? I was connected.

So now 48 hours later I'm very pleased as a lot of boxes have been ticked:

  • It's fast. Really fast. Not just in terms of the boot up but the browsing is a lot more responsive than I am accustomed to.
  • The hardware is really nice. it's compact and light. The keyboard has a great feel to it and is great for touch typing.
  • The heat dissipation is excellent - this is certainly no leg warmer like the MacBook Pro
  • There are plenty of excellent apps on the chrome store to suit my requirements - and many offline compatible ones too.
  • The battery life is very good indeed - I've been using it for two hours and it's reporting over six hours left.
  • I can remote desktop onto my Desktop  and Mac.

Will it replace the MacBook Pro?

Maybe but I have a few issues to tackle first.

I'm missing a good text editor and the ability to develop .Net code. OK Google provide a Chrome Remote Desktop application that I can use to remote onto my Windows 8 desktop PC - it's very good but not quite as responsive as the Microsoft RDP client on the Mac. It may be the case that I dual boot the machine with Ubuntu and Mono to tick this box.

I've also recently taken an interest in programming in Python. I've discovered a decent alternative for the Chromebook is to "spin up" an Amazon EC2 micro instance and SSH onto it via the built in Chrosh (CTRL + ALT + T) terminal.

I'll probably blog about programming on the Chromebook once I've researched the options properly.

Oh yes, I'm going to have to find a different game to play too...