Simplifying Technology

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

The ChromeBox Experience

I have been a keen follower of the Chrome OS concept for a while now. They are still a rare consumer commodity here in NZ but they are appearing in some retailers, and with on-line purveyors of technology.  They are making a splash in the Education market.

At the beginning of the year I advised my brother-in-law to get one to replace an ageing desktop PC.  He did, he bought an Acer ChromeBook, and he loves it.  Well, the other week my wife tried to watch a TV Episode on her old Vista laptop.  It wasn't able to do it.  The video was not smooth, and the CPU ran at 100%, and hot.  So we decided on a replacement and took my own advice.  However we went for a ChromeBox not a ChromeBook as we wanted to try it connected to a TV, and the small form factor was attractive.  We picked the HP bundle option pictured below.  No technical reason for the choice - it just looked nice.

Well it arrived on Friday.  The set-up was almost non-existent.  Undoing the boxes and entering my stupidly long WiFi password were the hardest bits.  We logged in with a Google account and it was all there.  So simple - this is a computing/internet appliance.  You don't need a nerd or a geek to set it up, or to support it.  It just works - just the same Chrome Browser that my wife was using on her old laptop, with all her synced bookmarks and extensions.

Using the TV as a monitor is not great for anything except watching video (which work really well), but that was the main purpose.

Oh, and did I mention cheap.  This is about 9% of the price I paid for my first desktop computer nearly 20 years ago.