Message from 2021
This post is pretty old! Opinions and technical information in it are almost certainly oudated. Commands and configurations will probably not work. Consider the age of the content before putting any of it into practice.
I’ve had this Chromebook for a few months now, and I’ve got some thoughts about it now that I’ve used it in anger a few times.
Out of the box, it’s kinda bad at everything, except it’s not too bad at typing. The screen is shit, the trackpad is double-shit, the keyboard isn’t great, it’s slow, doesn’t have many RAMs either. Chrome has an “app ecosystem” too, but it’s mostly awful too. It doesn’t hook into 1Password or Dropbox very well either.
It is, however, light, has a keyboard, great battery life, and 3G. The lack of RAM means you’re not keeping a bunch of distractions open, and if you’re typing stuff, the machine keeps up fine, even in Google’s awful apps.
You can also run Linux on it. I’ve got an Ubuntu install on an SD card that I can dual-boot with, and it’s honestly quite reasonable: wifi, sound, and 3G all work out of the box. I haven’t used it much for work (aside from starting Riak on it for the sake of having done it), because I already have two MacBooks around the house.
The ARM Chromebook is a good computer for typing on if you can deal with a compromised screen and trackpad in favor of good battery life and being really really cheap.