Now that I'm in possession of my very first Chromebook I figure it's time that I sat down and actually tried to use it. Properly. IFA wasn't the time or place to start, neither was the following week that saw all hands on deck here at Mobile Nations for a little event out in Cupertino. But now that events are out of the way, I'm going to (largely) set aside my 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro that I cherish dearly and use the Asus Chromebook as much as I possibly can.
We love Chromebooks around here, but until now I've not personally taken the time out to actually sit down and try using one. It's especially odd considering how much of the working day is spent within Google Chrome, but for the past 8 years I've pretty much been all Mac, all of the time. But I'm excited to try something new, a different way of working, so it's going to be a fun little experiment.
As a complete noob it's only fair that I try and see just how much I can get done without my MacBook Pro. I'm under no illusions that if any serious photo or video editing comes up I'm going to be back on it in a flash, but that aside it's going to be interesting for me personally to see how well I can get along. As I write this I'm little under 24 hours in and there are already a few things that I miss.
The first is TextExpander. I've got so many little snippets stashed in there on my Mac that immediately I'm without on the Chromebook. There are some apps that will do the same, but I've got to get stuff copied across first which will take a little time. I'm also not ashamed to say that I'm missing looking at the Retina Display on my MacBook Pro, either. There aren't many Chromebooks out there that can offer a similar quality display right now and this Asus one doesn't even come close. It's shallow, yes, but once you've spent your days looking at a display of that quality anything less is tough going.
Besides a couple of initial shortfalls in my own workflow, and pining for some of the Mac apps I've left behind, I'm actually very impressed. Even though I could use the exact same Chrome apps on my MacBook Pro, I don't. I don't need to use Pixlr when I've got Photoshop CC, for example. But, I've managed to quickly edit and upload the image for this post with no real dramas, and typing it up is just the same experience in the exact same browser.
And the battery life is just terrific. At 89% as I stand right now the Chromebook says I have over 9 hours of battery left. Something that's impossible on my Retina MacBook Pro. I think that's something I'll definitely miss going the other way.
So, I'm going to give it a couple of weeks to see how I really feel about it. While other members of the Android Central team are much more familiar, frequent Chromebook users, this one's a real trek into the unknown for me. I've got a bit of travelling to do over the next couple of weeks, too, so it's going to give me a real chance to evaluate how a Chromebook can fit into my everyday working life.
And, since I'm a total noob, if you've got some helpful tips, tricks or app suggestions to help me miss my Mac even less, drop me a line in the comments below!