New Device

Know how I have been complaining about my computer for quite a while now? Well, I did a bit of research – well, a LOT of research to be honest. I’m obsessive like that – on Chromebooks, and they seemed to be quite alright so I went ahead and got one. I decided on a Chromebook because it’s cheap and generally lightweight. And because I always want a rational excuse to experiment. Look at me, a broke student-experimenter. Sigh. Well, I won’t be broke for long. I’m graduating this year, whoop!

I got the Samsung XE303C12 Chromebook, ordered it last Sunday and it arrived on Monday. Let me say right off the bat that it has been able to do every single thing I have needed it to do since then. You know I’d be the first to complain if I feel like my money has gone down the drain. The only thing I’ve had a bit of trouble adjusting to is the small screen. My retired Windows computer has a 15.6″ screen, and at work I use a 17 or 21″ monitor. So this tiny screen is well…tiny. But that’s really all. It has incredible battery life (yes, I know 6 hours is nothing to a lot of you, but if you’ve been using a mid-range Windows laptop, you’d know that’s something), and sure, it’s different to use, but the learning curve isn’t high at all. My mother can get the hang of this in 10 minutes flat. I used it to make a video call (using Google Hangouts) 2 days ago, and even though the webcam is about 0.3 mp, for some reason, I liked the ‘quality’ of the video. By that, I mean, I liked the way my face looked in the video. Skype on my Windows computer used to make me look hideous 😦 *Yes. I’m vain. Keep your snide remarks to yourself*

Like I said, there’s nothing I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t been able to. Spotify, writing, TED talks, pretty much everything I used to do. And like every ‘expert’ who has reviewed it says, as long as you make peace with the fact that with the exception of a number of essential apps that work offline like Google Docs and access to Gmail, you need to almost always be connected to the internet to use this device, you’ll be golden. For someone like me, I would not even touch the computer to play an offline video if I can’t connect it to the internet. Don’t ask why. The internet has become like a lifeline for some of us :p. Well, except I’m in Nigeria, in which case we wouldn’t even be discussing this device to start with. Sigh. Anyway, come April, if this computer doesn’t let me watch Game of Thrones, this is the first place I’ll come to complain, and I would definitely have to bring my Windows laptop out of retirement. However, I’ve been watching stuff on this computer since I got it, but then I read that it doesn’t (yet?) support some video file extensions/codecs, so we will see.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I experienced a bit of lagging yesterday, when I had many tabs open. I assume one or more of those websites had too-heavy content. It happens. Right now, I have 15 tabs open and I’m fine. For €279* though, I’m quite pleased. I wouldn’t deign to use a Windows laptop that costs only €279, because the result of that can only be tears of frustration.

I’m still going to get a badass computer. Based on today’s pricing, it would have to cost more than €800 to make me happy (OS yet to be decided. Let the money come first), but now that this Chromebook is here and functional, I will love and cherish it.

Oh and my Moto G is still going strong, but this past week I noticed a bit of lagging, especially after I installed one app. I’ve uninstalled said app, but the phone’s still behaving a bit funny, especially the camera. We will see.

*This is actually more expensive than it should be, but because consumption tax is quite high in the Netherlands, electronic devices usually cost a bit more.

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