Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why I Don't Feel "Scroogled" By My Chromebook Laptop

This year's "Scroogled" marketing campaign by Microsoft is getting a lot of (negative) attention recently as they have now decided to go after the Chromebook, claiming that it is not a "real" or "proper" laptop because it doesn't run Windows or Office. A little sad, I think. Especially since the brand spends so much time in the ad dissing Google, and so little time talking about their own products, and what they offer the consumer. Is this smart marketing? I don't think so. Even in an ad bashing the competition, it's just common sense that your product is featured front-and-center as the better solution.

I'm not saying don't buy a Windows laptop. Hell, buy whatever fits your needs. I decided to buy a Samsung Chromebook (a real laptop, as evidenced from +Chris Pirillo rant here breaking down the term) several months ago because it was the best fit for me. I thought I'd share just a few of the top reasons I feel good about my purchase.

  • The Keyboard - I can't say enough about the Chromebook keyboard. It's sleek and responsive, with keys just far enough apart and raised up just enough to make it an incredibly easy machine to type on. I like the touchscreen on my phone, of course. But, there's nothing like a good old fashioned keyboard when I want to get a bunch of thoughts down. The only thing missing on it for me is a "delete" key (I don't like to use 'backspace" - just a personal preference. I like to remove text from behind the word rather than in front of it).
  • Ability to work offline - Yeah, that's right. The Microsoft commercials would have you believe a Chromebook is useless without WiFi. That would be okay with me. I knew what I was buying, and I pretty much always have a WiFi connection these days. But, many of the apps work offline once you set it up that way, and everything syncs automatically when a connection is available. This brings me to my next reason...
  • Syncing, saving, and updating are automatic - I love love love not having to remember to click a save button or risk losing all of my work. When you stop typing in Google Drive, your work is saved for you. It's as easy as that. Everything you do offline automatically sync where it is supposed to. There are no extra steps to make this happen. Updates to your OS happen automatically, and take effect when you restart the laptop. No checking for them, or clicking through a bunch of windows to get them to download and install. No waiting. 
  • Collaboration in real-time is easy - Before working in Chrome and Drive, I'd have to open a document, read through and make my edits, save it, and then email it back to someone else to do the same thing. This became very tedious. With the tools that Google provides, I can collaborate with colleagues in real-time - we both/all have the same document open and can make edits as we go. Add another layer to this by chatting live in a Google Hangout with colleagues in other locations and you have an amazing and efficient way to get work done. 
  • Quick boot time - Maybe 6 seconds flat. The Windows laptop I used prior took several minutes - very frustrating if you're running late for a conference call. 
  • Battery life - I can be unplugged and working for 6 hours, no problem.
  • The price - $249 for this bad boy. The on-board memory is minimal, so I bought a 1 TB external hard drive for $60 too. A steal. 
  • Weight/Portability - You'd have to look up the spec for the exact weight. I don't remember exactly. But, wow is it light! I can toss this in my laptop bag, or carry it under my arm in a little padded sleeve a bought for $10, and barely notice it. It may not seem like much, but for me it's a huge convenience to have something so easy to maneuver. 
Those are some key advantages off the top of my head. There are more, I'm sure. But, hopefully this gives a clearer image of what Google is offering with the Chromebook line, and their product line as a whole. In my opinion, it's a long way from getting screwed scroogled.