REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Well, after two weeks and a full week of CES we have to say that the Chromebook was actually better than we expected. When ASUS listed the battery life of the C300M to be 10 hours, we were very skeptical. This actually turned out to be an understatement, if nothing else. We managed to get at least two days of about 6 hours of usage from the Chromebook, and it would still have about 30% battery left. This was invigorating! We only had to charge the Chromebook so it would last another three days! It was a relief knowing that we could continue to work away without having to worry about battery life.
While the battery life of the Chromebook blew us away, Chrome OS left us wanting a little bit more. Using an insufficient email client while collaborating with co-workers and coordinating meetings was almost painful. Google … please develop an app that allows us to use any email, POP3 or IMAP. We truly believe that if Google can produce an email client, where it’s “bring-your-own-server-settings” then we will see a large transition of users to Chrome OS, especially for those in the business sector. With apps like Word and Excel available in Chrome OS, there is no reason that there can’t be a better email client.
When editing photos, we found this to be a little daunting as well. We used our Lexar SD card to hold onto photos taken from a Canon 6D DSLR (which, by the way, is the official DSLR of Technology X and The SSD Review) and would edit them using the Chromebook. We tried various software, including Google’s own Photo Gallery, Fotor and Polarr, which worked exactly as advertised, but the speed in which these processes were performed was less than spectacular. While this isn’t a huge issue, as Chrome OS isn’t designed entirely around photo editing, it would still be nice to see at least a little help from the Chromebook in that sense. If we really wanted to get picky, we could discuss how this Chromebook is susceptible to fingerprints, but you can find that issue with almost any laptop or netbook, especially when referring to the screen.
What about when you don’t have Internet? No problem! Well, first we would like to point out that if you are in an area that doesn’t have Internet, find a new area. All kidding aside, it’s almost uncommon in today’s world to be in an area without Internet. But if you happen to be out at the cottage, or on vacation, the Chromebook still works fine. Any of the applications installed on the Chromebook that do not require Internet, will work just fine. Obviously, apps like YouTube and Gmail will be less useful, but when you’re on vacation and out at the cottage there are probably more exciting things you could be doing than checking out a new viral video.
Taking the email client and photo editing out of the equation, the ASUS C300M and the Chrome OS were both exciting and fun to use. Apps are quickly installed, silently updated and easily used. For simple tasks such as note-taking, browsing the Internet, using Gmail and other proprietary computer tasks, the Chromebook performed better than we expected. We would suggest the ASUS C300M Chromebook if you are looking for a laptop that simply works. However, if you are looking for a computer that has a little more pep to it, then we would suggest you fork out the extra bucks for a Windows PC or Apple Mac computer. Oh, and to bring it back into perspective, this entire article was produced on our ASUS C300M Chromebook, earning a thumbs up in our books!