Chromebook or Netbook

ianalice1, Apr 9, 5:33am
Hi guys.
My Acer Netbook hard drive died and looking a bit costly to replace.
Wife says we looking at a good tax refund, this year and asked about a new one.
Been thinking about a Chromebook rather that a Netbook.
Any chance some pros and con's on this idea?
Thank you.

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 5:40am
Totally depends what you do with your computer.

A Chromebook is restricted to using Google's services and Chrome extensions. You can't install software like Office on it. It's a very very basic OS.

I'm not really sure "Netbooks" are a thing anymore. The line between small laptops and netbooks has been blurred with the focus on smaller, lighter and thinner devices.

If you're looking at a small 11-13" laptop with fully featured operating system, there are a few options like the Macbook Air, Asus Zenbook range, Dell XPS 13, etc.

ianalice1, Apr 9, 5:50am
I understand you can't load a lot of programs, apart from Google.
The Netbook I had I was using Linux and didn't really download anything.
I like the fact they have SSD, as I do want a faster computer and been a fan of Google for a long time and their programs.

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 5:59am
They don't all have SSDs. Choose wisely :)

The new Chromebook Pixel is a very nice machine.

dinx, Apr 9, 9:08am
Pixels are supposed to be nice, but not cheap either.

Really depends what you want it for. DD has a chromebook and for school its been brilliant and does everything she needs, 1-day regularly have good refurb specials.

Nephew has/had a netbook and its been a PITA compatability wise at times at school because they don't run a full version of windows. I'm not sure anyone even makes new netbooks anymore as that market has been taken over by budget laptops, tablets and chromebooks.

Chromes are better if you work mostly around a wifi connection, they can do quite a bit offline now and sync later but there are limits. I think DD's will take a sim for mobile data, but don't tell her that cause I'm not buying one!

Chromes have pretty impressive battery life compared to other budget laptops. Its quite different to windows, but DD (currently Y9) loves it, but it won't do everything a windows machine will do.

Big question is what did you use the Netbook for? DD uses google docs a LOT, plus regular browser stuff, you can log into the chromestore (like google play or the app store) on any computer and have a look at what apps are available, you don't need to be on a chromebook to use chrome. They boot super fast (about 10 secs) so for DD grabbing it in class thats ideal.

vtecintegra, Apr 9, 9:17am
Plenty of netbooks still available and they all run full versions of Windows now.

dinx, Apr 9, 9:43am
Good to know, Nephs was maybe 2 years old now max, still running a light version of Windows 7 I think, but certainly had problems with lots of things not being compatible with it and he's pretty competant with tech. Might have been some model OP had, or very close to it.

School decided not to use them after he and a couple of classmates long term tested them, they "sold" students 4 units cheap to trial them before investing in class lots of BYOD's. In the end they went chrome after than for Yrs 4-8 and left the iPads for the littlies too.

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 9:53am
I haven't seen any for a while, but if they're still around, there's just no point to them. Generally very underpowered. A small laptop 11-13" is a much better option.

vtecintegra, Apr 9, 10:16am
I'd consider any of these 'Windows 8.1 with Bing' systems netbooks - they all run Atom (or equivalent AMD) processors

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 10:59am
Yeah I guess so. When I think "netbook" I think 10-11" with no optical drive and ULV processor.

dinx, Apr 9, 11:10am
I haven't heard much about the newer Windows "Stream" machines, just rumors that they are underpowered/insufficient storage to run Windows being more demanding than Chrome. But they are obviously trying to capture the same market and using online storage with small amount of SSD vs bigger HDDs.

I think I'm with suicidemonkey on what I call a Netbook, and to me Netbooks don't run full operating systems or do by are very small (under 13" only) so the newer ones in my head are more cheaper Notebooks except for Streams which is more a new category.

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 11:15am
I think Stream is just an HP branded laptop. They're usually pretty low-end but do run full Windows 8 from what I can see.

dinx, Apr 9, 11:42am
Yes but they utilise cloud storage more rather than using the limited SSD and pushing the Microsoft 365 vs Google Docs that Chrome uses. There are certainly trying to target them as a "Chromebook Killer", time will tell. Rather than going with multiple manufacturers like Google has, Microsoft appear to have done an exclusive run, I don't think its an HP initiative, more a joint venture with Microsoft.

suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 12:03pm
I see what you mean - didn't notice the hard drive was so small (32GB). I guess the benefit vs the Chromebook is that they still have a fully functioning version of Windows. In saying that, the low-end hardware won't run it amazingly well, whereas the Chromebooks (even the cheap ones) are lightning fast because of the low overhead.

dinx, Apr 9, 12:29pm
Yeah, I haven't had a play on a Stream yet, but I'd be a little nervous trying to cram windows on similar specs and keep it running long term and efficiently with updates etc.

Windows isn't exactly known for space saving efficiency lol, sounds like there is only 21GB usable storage left before you install anything yourself. I know our Chromebook has less, but DD hasn't managed to fill hers up yet or anywhere near it even with installing lots from Chromestore.

drsr, Apr 9, 5:57pm
Chromebooks also have far fewer virus/malware problems and can be restored back to a clean system very quickly and painlessly.

If you need to do big document editing, complex spreadsheets, a lot of photo or video editing, or gaming beyond simple online games then a laptop is a better choice, but a usable one for those purposes is a lot more expensive.

r.g.nixon, Apr 10, 5:31am
Some Chromebooks mentioned here. And watch out for Microsoft's planned "Chromebook killers" at $US149 to $US179 mid year.

drsr, Apr 10, 8:52am
It seems OK, reviewers don't like the viewing angles on the screen much but as with cheap Windows laptops none of them have especially great screens unless you pay a lot more.

dinx, Apr 10, 1:18pm
While I am a fan of Chrome, it is different and personally I think its worth finding a retailer you can have a play with one before purchasing if possible. They are still quite different for those who are used to Windows.Wouldn't suit me as main machine as I'm the family desktop default machine, all emails and printing and via my PC as we cant be bothered setting up a proper network. Woul not be able to keep our emails on it cause I'm a hoarder lol.

vtecintegra, Apr 10, 7:15pm
Why not?

ianalice1, Feb 27, 2:28pm
I see Dick Smiths have the one I'm looking at, for $20 more the this one.
With postage pretty close, so when I'm down that way, I'll check it out.
Thanks for all the comments.

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