Someone got a new Toshiba Chromebook 2 for Christmas!
In 2010, I fell into the netbook trend… hard. My little Toshiba 10.1 inch NB205 was the perfect coffee shop companion. We did everything together.
After a wee bit of usage, I realized that the slimmed down version of Windows that came with it was not the most responsive OS. I missed the quick wit of OSX, and wondered if my little pink netbook monster could be tweaked to keep up with my ever demanding techno-needs.
A colleague at work happened to have the same netbook. When I voiced my dismay towards my ever-slowing PC, his reply blew.my.mind.
“Why don’t you throw Ubuntu on it?”
I’ll be honest, at the time I thought Linux was for die-hard nerds that rarely left their mother’s basement. I had no idea what kind of ethical movement was happening with open source solutions. This was a pivotal moment in my relationship with technology as this is when I realized I could have all of the stability and safety of OSX without the insane price tag of an actual Mac.
“I thought you GNU?”
Well, now I know.
Let’s fast forward to present-day, 2015.
I needed a new laptop to enable me to do a lot of work on the go. With classes to take and people to see, it was imperative that I find a cost effective solution that wouldn’t break my heart if some drunk dude tipped a beer on the keyboard whilst I’m trying to pitch web design changes to someone over happy hour.
In my “self-discovery” phase (how I refer to the pre-purchase planning phase), I decided that I wanted a cheap (under $300), slim laptop similar to a Macbook Air that has a full sized chiclet keyboard and is ideal for throwing Linux on it. I also wanted something equipped with a SSD and has more than 1 USB port.
My initial assessment of available options led me to believe that the Chromebook was likely the most cost-effective option on the market. It gained even more appeal when I found out that the ChromeOS was built off of none other than Linux itself.
I came across this article detailing what to look for in a Chromebook if your intent is to run Linux on it. This, as well as many other sources on the internet, taught me that I would definitely want an Intel based Chromebook if I want to do all of the things.
Tentatively (hey, it can’t possibly be that cool for $220, right?), I ordered my Toshiba Chromebook 2 and picked it up at the Office Depot that morning. Out of the box, it was sexy and exciting. I just wanted to pet it. After hooking it up to power, it sprung to life instantaneously. I barely told it 3 bits of information and I was on the web like a boss!
No, really, it’s 20x cooler than I thought it would be.
Keyboard: Comfortable and responsive. I’m still really creeped out that there are no function keys. It’s easy to get used to, luckily.
Display: Meh. I’m not all that impressed. It does its job. I can’t complain. If you’re looking for something to videophile out on… nope… keep looking.
Sound: This puppy can crank out some sound. The SkullCandy speakers are pretty boisterous and way better than my Macbook speakers. I’m listening to Bollywood music now. Just ‘cuz.
Overall System: This puppy does what I tell it to do faster than I could ever expect out of such a cheap unit. The case seems sturdy and it’s not all scratched up despite all of the abuse it’s inevitably experienced in my backpack.
In short, I’m in love. That is all.