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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Temptation to Buy a Chromebook

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mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Joined: 02/06/2002

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Posted: 08/16/21 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Gulfcoast wrote:

I need a laptop or Chromebook to use in my trailer, which is 12-volts on 400-watts of solar. A long battery life and low power draw is important. I do not wish to use an inverter. Can you recommend a laptop or Chromebook? No tablets.


Very easy solution very few realize is available for Laptops (IE Windows PCs) is a universal 12V laptop charger.

[image]

The Charger in the pix and plug into 120V AC OR 12V DC and can adapt to a wide range of laptops and even different manufacturers by simply selecting and changing the tip that plugs into the laptop charging port.

That one is available HERE for $35.

Bought one similar to the one in the pix for my DD 4 yrs ago for a I7 Hyper threaded quad core processor "2 in one" touch screen laptop I custom ordered from Dell for her College courses. The one I bought her is still going strong and she liked it better than the original Dell charger..

For longest battery life, you will want a bit slower processor than I7 and for general PC work a I3 or I5 can work great, speed takes more battery. Believe it or not, spinning rust hard drives require much less power than SSDs. Typical 1TB laptop drive will use 3.75W, Typical 1TB SSD 8.5W! Although some of my research on SSDs Samsung EVO SSDs are a bit more efficient on power use, typically around 4.5W.

Sadly, when you buy laptops, manufacturers do not typically give you a choice of HD brands. On the upside, as long as the drive is removable SATA you can opt to install the brand of choice after you buy it. You can get free HD cloning/imaging software that allows you to copy/clone/image your existing drive. Then you can simply keep a backup drive for those oops moments.

I keep a backup drive by periodically making an image backup of the entire drive. I can overcome malware/virus/hacker/bad software by taking a couple of minutes to pop a backup drive into my PCs and I am up and running in minutes without having to re-enter passwords, reinstalling software or resyncing files.

You can't do any of that with any Chrome books.

Backup image of your PC results in a much faster recovery than Chrome books "power wash" which wipes out all settings and you have to start from scratch.

If you like "tinkering" with your OS and software and keeping your information/files local, more secure and private, a Windows PC is where you want to be provided you disable silly things like One drive or other cloud storage.. Once that information leaves your PC, it is never safe.secure or private. Google rakes through all of your files and builds a personal profile of your usage, habits and other web based use.


Yes, I have some concerns with anything Google. I never use Chrome browser, but prefer Firefox instead (sometimes Edge). Even so, I think I'd give a Chromebook a try.

Another thing I have some concerns with the iPad, is that they receive updates for only about 4-5 years, or so I've read.


Mr. Ed (fulltiming since 1987)
Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.

2007 Hitchhiker II LS Model 29.5 LKTG (sold)
2007 Dodge Ram 3500/6.7 CTD/QC/4X4/SB/SRW/6-speed man/Big Horn edition (sold)


Gdetrailer

PA

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Joined: 01/05/2007

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Posted: 08/16/21 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mr. ed wrote:



Yes, I have some concerns with anything Google. I never use Chrome browser, but prefer Firefox instead (sometimes Edge). Even so, I think I'd give a Chromebook a try.

Another thing I have some concerns with the iPad, is that they receive updates for only about 4-5 years, or so I've read.


Chromebooks "expire" (End of Life), once Google decides to pull the update support plug on that specific Chromebook hardware it will no longer get software and security updates. Once it hits EOL, it can still be used but now you will find that apps you once had, may no longer available or found if you do a powerwash. Some apps may refuse to work and your OS will be far less secure than using Win95 on the wobbly web.. While I can't say for sure, I suspect Apple pulls the same trick..

At least with Windows PCs, you often can easily keep older PC hardware working fine for many, many yrs. I have successfully installed Win10 on many older PC hardware platforms that were built for Windows XP, Vista and Win7 and it works reasonably well. I suspect that even when "11" is offered, most PCs running Win7, 8, 10 will also be upgradeable to "11" in some form or fashion.

By the way, a Chromebook is nothing more than a another version of Android but is optimized for folks looking for a closer to Windows experience than Android without the price of Windows.

Android is optimized to run on dirt cheap "ARM" processors which have very low processing speed with very little on board memory. Android doesn't do well if you are looking to have multiple programs open and running at all times. Android and Chromebooks are also designed and optimized for the touchscreen tablet crowd which often makes many things you take for granted that are easy to do on Windows either difficult or impossible to do without pulling your hair out. Android has considerable limitations in onboard memory and even accessing something simple like a large USB drive can be an issue. Chromebooks most likely suffer the same fate..

Not all USB devices may be compatible with Android or Chromebooks which can severely limit what you can plug in and have it work.

Printing can be a hassle as there is no direct printing from Android, it is done via a cloud app, even if your printer is a few feet away from your device.

You can read up on file types and external drive and hardware devices for Chrome HERE

Chromebooks might be nice for light websurfing, checking your emails and perhaps reading/writing documents but if you are wanting to do a lot of other things there are limitations as to how much Chromebooks can really do.

They are cheap for a reason, and a lot of people love cheap, but being cheap, you can't expect a lot out of it..

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 02/06/2002

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Posted: 08/16/21 11:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

mr. ed wrote:



Yes, I have some concerns with anything Google. I never use Chrome browser, but prefer Firefox instead (sometimes Edge). Even so, I think I'd give a Chromebook a try.

Another thing I have some concerns with the iPad, is that they receive updates for only about 4-5 years, or so I've read.


Chromebooks "expire" (End of Life), once Google decides to pull the update support plug on that specific Chromebook hardware it will no longer get software and security updates. Once it hits EOL, it can still be used but now you will find that apps you once had, may no longer available or found if you do a powerwash. Some apps may refuse to work and your OS will be far less secure than using Win95 on the wobbly web.. While I can't say for sure, I suspect Apple pulls the same trick




At least with Windows PCs, you often can easily keep older PC hardware working fine for many, many yrs. I have successfully installed Win10 on many older PC hardware platforms that were built for Windows XP, Vista and Win7 and it works reasonably well. I suspect that even when "11" is offered, most PCs running Win7, 8, 10 will also be upgradeable to "11" in some form or fashion.

By the way, a Chromebook is nothing more than a another version of Android but is optimized for folks looking for a closer to Windows experience than Android without the price of Windows.

Android is optimized to run on dirt cheap "ARM" processors which have very low processing speed with very little on board memory. Android doesn't do well if you are looking to have multiple programs open and running at all times. Android and Chromebooks are also designed and optimized for the touchscreen tablet crowd which often makes many things you take for granted that are easy to do on Windows either difficult or impossible to do without pulling your hair out. Android has considerable limitations in onboard memory and even accessing something simple like a large USB drive can be an issue. Chromebooks most likely suffer the same fate..

Not all USB devices may be compatible with Android or Chromebooks which can severely limit what you can plug in and have it work.

Printing can be a hassle as there is no direct printing from Android, it is done via a cloud app, even if your printer is a few feet away from your device.

You can read up on file types and external drive and hardware devices for Chrome HERE

Chromebooks might be nice for light websurfing, checking your emails and perhaps reading/writing documents but if you are wanting to do a lot of other things there are limitations as to how much Chromebooks can really do.

They are cheap for a reason, and a lot of people love cheap, but being cheap, you can't expect a lot out of it..


Thanks for the “heads up”. I didn’t realize those negative points about Chromebooks, as I’m still learning. I do like Windows, and have been using that’s OS since the days of XP.
If my trusty Toshiba breaks down and I don’t wish to use my iiPad as my main computer, I’ll probably just stick with Windows. It’s always worked well for me. [emoticon]

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Joined: 07/04/2006

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Posted: 08/17/21 04:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many Chomebooks also run a LIMITED version of linux (Terminal only no GUI)

But... As to the "Chromebooks have a limited life"
Same with Windows.. Oh you can sometimes install the newer OS on an older machine, and sometimes you can not. I might add Microsoft does NOT comply with the uniform commercial code.. they will terminate support for a computer sold last week.


Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times


mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Joined: 02/06/2002

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Posted: 08/17/21 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm still exploring possibilities. Checking on the web, I see more positive comments on CB's than negative ones. I'm still a bit cautious about anything "Google" since they're notorious for obtaining users' information to build a profile for advertising purposes. If I could be persuaded they've stopped doing that, I'd be more inclined towards getting a CB even though I believe my iPad could be a good substitute for a regular PC laptop (I've been using it quite a bit in that configuration,and so far it looks like a winner.) Of course, I've read Apple may also do a bit of "spying" on its users, as well as Microsoft. There's just no escaping from "spies"[emoticon]

2oldman

NM

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Joined: 04/15/2001

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Posted: 08/17/21 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm using a CB right now. For storage I use a thumb drive or the cloud. Some things I do miss like Paint. I never print.

cleo43

Montreal

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Joined: 08/08/2006

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Posted: 08/17/21 08:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

... your OS will be far less secure than using Win95 on the wobbly web..

I don't know where this idea come from, unless you enable Developer Mode.

As for Cloud Storage, I still have more 13G unused from the 15G that Google give me... I use a 1T External Hard drive.

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