Patience has never been my strong suit, I’ll be the first to admit. So when HP announced the new Chromebook for 2013 this week, I was underwhelmed, to say the least. How could they possibly release an all-new device with last year’s tech and still call it new, plus at a higher price point? I still don’t know HP’s reasoning for that, or Google’s for that matter, but late last night I stumbled across another announcement.
I’ve never been one to shirk criticism or responsibility, so I’ll take my impatient lumps. Both on Google+ in a discussion with Alex Williams, and in yesterday’s post in a couple of comments with Joel Pomales, I expressed my doubt that any other 11″ model would be introduced, at the same or close price point, that would be any better. I thought they’d leave the HP as the entry level and go up from there, and I’m not in the market for an expensive Chromebook (oxymoron). Lo and behold, Acer, the creators of last year’s DOG Chromebook (heavy, terrible battery, slow HD vs SSD), went and shut me up:
Now this is what I expected. The Acer, now sporting a 16GB SSD (larger would be better, but the point is the Cloud), has significantly better specs than last year’s model, and improves on the Samsung quite a bit:
The biggies I complained about yesterday? Pretty much taken care of, and they stuck with a $249 price point. A solid state drive, 4GB of RAM, a Haswell-based Celeron (albeit a slow one) vs the ARM chip, a very nice 8.5 hour battery rating, and they shaved its weight down to 2.76 pounds (still a touch heavier than the Samsung and HP, but close). Oh, and HP’s brilliant idea to eliminate the SD card slot, HDMI out, and USB 3.0? Acer puts them back in.
This merits serious consideration for those of you who can use a Chromebook. It’s not an everyday workhorse by any means, but if you have that niche use capability (like me: writing, email, web research, the Twittah), this looks to be a faboo value. And I dig Chrome OS. Stable, quick, easy to use, constant updates, secure (nothing stored locally so theft isn’t a concern), virus free, and so on. There is actually very little I can’t do “web based” (my one loss is Dreamweaver for web design, but I’ve actually been able to screen share from my Chromebook into my Mac desktop to do it – like webdesignception).
WAIT. As I’m typing this, a thought just occurred to me… my current Samsung Series 3 (with an Exynos ARM chip, basically a mobile/tablet processor) is set up to dual boot into Ubuntu Linux from the external SD card. Scrivener, hands down the best writing tool out there, has a flavor that runs on Linux, but NOT on an ARM chip. Now I wonder – would this model, once Ubuntu is installed on the SD card, run Scrivener? Scrivener on a Chromebook? As in, SCRIVENER ON A CHROMEBOOK? Oh, you had me at Haswell…