Working on a Chromebook

I recently got my new Samsung Series 3 Chromebook in the mail, and I’m quite satisfied. I was already using Google Drive for my work, so the transition was pretty smooth for me. I could understand someone who’s got everything in MS Office files being thrown off by Google’s platform, but it’s honestly much easier – I never have to save my files to a flash drive or bother with compatibility issues.

Although the Chromebook can’t have installed software, it does have a downloads folder, so downloading Google Drive files as Word documents or PDFs and sharing them with clients is easy (something I was worried about when I first considered buying it).

The laptop is faster than a traditional laptop at this price – it even beats my ‘08 MacBook (which cost three times as much). Since I’m not a gamer, I won’t miss the installed software or the extra power. For me, Netflix, Kindle Cloud Reader, and Google Play Music provide all the laptop-based entertainment I need (most of my free time is spent on the guitar, anyway).

I sprung for the 3G option. At 100MB a month, I won’t be listening to music on the train, but I will be able to send copy from the park and respond to emails during internet outages.

The Chromebook has enough internal storage to handle working offline with Google Drive. I spend a lot of time in transit (14 hours last week alone), so not having to sacrifice productivity during train rides and car trips makes the transition to a cloud-based laptop much easier.

As for the less work-related side of things, the Chromebook’s matte screen is great. As I hinted earlier, I like to work outside when I can, and not having to worry about the glare of the sun is great. The keyboard feels pretty nice, too (which is important when your job involves typing for six to eight hours a day).

The speakers sound crisp. I consider this work related because I listen to music while copywriting and email-responding. They’re located on the bottom of the laptop, so the sound quality is best when you’re at a table or desk. On the bed, it can get a bit muffled, but it still comes through.

On a most unrelated note, the webcam is excellent and Google has a lot of fun effects for Hangouts – I’m a big fan of the mustache-and-monocle combo.

I’ll be holding on to my MacBook, Linux, and PC, but the Chromebook will definitely be my primary working computer from now on.