A statistician and Apple fanboy buys a Chromebook…and loves it!


I don’t mean to brag, but I was an early Apple Fanboy - not sure that is something to brag about now that I write it down. I convinced my advisor to go to all Macs in our lab in 2004. Since then I have been pretty dedicated to the brand, dutifully shelling out almost 2g’s every time I need a new laptop. I love the way Macs just work (until they don’t and you need a new laptop).

But I hate the way Apple seems to be dedicated to bleeding every last cent out of me. So I saved up my Christmas gift money (thanks Grandmas!) and bought a Chromebook. It cost me $350 and I was at least in part inspired by these clever ads.

So far I’m super pumped about the performance of the Chromebook. Things I love:

  1. About 10 seconds to boot from shutdown, instantly awake from sleep
  2. Super long battery life - 8 hours a charge might be an underestimate
  3. Size - its a 12 inch laptop and just right for sitting on my lap and typing
  4. Since everything is cloud based, nothing to install/optimize

It took me a while to get used to the Browser being the operating system. When I close the last browser window, I expect to see the Desktop. Instead, a new browser window pops up. But that discomfort only lasted a short time.

It turns out I can do pretty much everything I do on my Macbook on the Chromebook. I can access our department’s computing cluster by turning on developer mode and opening a shell(thanks Caffo!). I can do all my word processing on google docs. Email is just gmail as usual. Scribtex for latex (Caffo again). Google Music is so awesome I wish I had started my account before I got my Chromebook. The only thing I’m really trying to settle on is a cloud-based code editor with syntax highlighting. I’m open to suggestions (Caffo?).

I’m starting to think I could bail on Apple….