"Great second laptop for family."4.0 starson by SteveNYC
Excellent battery life
Autoupdate (no patching!)
Cons: Screen brightness (good at max but dims quickly)
Browser not always desktop quality
Touchy ambient light sensor.
Summary: There are dozens of use cases for this device. Not everyone will want it. If yours is similar to mine, you like the Chromebook Series 3.
I was looking for a lightweight second laptop at my place for my girlfriend. I have my laptop (2012 13.3" MBA), but who lives in a one laptop world anymore? My girlfriend has very little interest in technology. She just wants something to work. The Chromebook boots in 9 seconds, lasts for 6 hours with a full charge, allows her to keep her own profile with her own settings, isn't susceptible to the virus laden world of Windows (don't get me wrong, I still love Windows) and automatically checks for updates every time you login. This was a no-brainer.
She likes it a lot. I have one heard one complaint so far and that has to do with website compatibility. We noticed an issue once when she was ordering a plane ticket. The website requires a callback for the international flight and the necessary pop-up would not work (it was not a pop-up blocker issue). It just wouldn't process the pop-up. One or two other pages wouldn't render properly either. I've seen the latter issue with the Chrome browser on a desktop running Chrome, but the plane ticket problem was unique to the Chromebook.
Beyond that, it's been great. We don't play games on it. It's just a web-browser focused laptop. We use webmail like everyone else, Google docs for the occasional spreadsheet or document. I listen to Slacker for music, she watches YouTube for music videos.
The unit only has 16GB of storage but unless you are determined to try and make this your one and only computer, you'll never notice it. The only thing that really takes up space is media and why would anyone load this up with MP3s and movies? Yeah, you could, but why not just hook up an external hard drive for that to the USB3 port? This unit really hits the sweet spot for a second laptop.
As someone who works in an IT support environment, I can tell you that I am sick of patching computers. I love not having to think about that with this laptop. Seriously. It's a HUGE deal.
I even bought one for my mother who lives in another state. I moved her to Gmail one year ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Now she lives in the cloud, nothing gets lost and the only one who calls with computer problems is Dad (he lives for Outlook and hates change).
Some little things I wish it did?
I wish I could use the trackpad to go back and forth between webpages even thought there's always alt-left arrow, alt-right arrow and dedicated back and forth buttons on the top row of the keyboard.
I wish the ambient light sensor didn't adjust so much. It's slight, but a little annoying at times when you're on battery power. The screen adjusts too frequently for my preference.
The one software wish I have is for a DLNA player for movies and audio. That would be nice. Plex for Chromebook. That would be sweet.
Yes, I wish the screen brightness were greater and I wish the keyboard was backlit. But these's features come at a cost and for $250, this is definite win.