hoosier ee

wholesome midwestern tech/design weblog

Another Chromebook

2017-02-16

Despite being about on par with a current midrange smartphone (in terms of processing power) my 2012-era Chromebook has been a capable development machine. I've written about it before, and generally been pleased with its capabilities. However, after 5 years of heavy daily use, its battery will now only last about 2 hours on a charge. So I've replaced it with yet another Chromebook.

This new one is an Acer R13 model. It's more expensive than my old one ($400 vs $250), but also bigger and has more features. Now that I've already bought it it's on sale for $363. Naturally.

Features that everyone else writes about

I must be old now, because I no longer care about the typical "tech specs" that used to fascinate me. Either that, or computing performance is so commoditized now that everything is good enough for most tasks. So if you're interested in how many simultaneous YouTube videos this will play, this is not the blog for you.

Features that matter to me

Most importantly: 13 hours of battery life!

Also, "tent mode" is less gimmicky than I thought it would be. I like to watch shows while cooking, so flipping the keyboard out of harm's way is actually practical.

The MacBook Pro that I use at work is all metal, which means cold wrists if you use the built-in keyboard. The R13 has metal on the outside but a plastic surface where the keyboard and trackpad are, which is much more comfortable.

I have not yet installed crouton, so I don't know how it compares to the old Chromebook. Much of my normal workflow involves Git, so for now this is the only real pain point. Cloud IDEs kind of creep me out so I'm hoping to find a solution that works locally but allows basic Git/GitHub workflows like git clone, pull and push.