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Thread: Chromebook for a Latin American Motorcycle Adventure?

  1. #1

    Chromebook for a Latin American Motorcycle Adventure?

    A family member is hoping that a Chromebook will be the best computer for a several-month motorcycle adventure he's taking in South America. He likes that they're small/portable, affordable, and that the majority use flash drives, which should increase durability, but he's read that Chromebooks are mostly online machines, and he wants to be able to perform word processing offline (he's a writer and this feature will be essential on the trip). I'm not familiar with Andriod (I'm an Apple guy) but I'm the designated IT expert in my family. Can anyone recommend a Chromebook for portable, offline word processing? Or is there a better option?
    Last edited by Ryan; Aug 3, 2015 at 02:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    I was considering a Chromebook for my blogging on the go, but ended up with a much more expensive (and thus, not totally recommended) MacBook Air. I have a friend who says Chromebooks are more capable than people give them credit for, but he's also a Google employee.

    He's right about the solid memory. Most just have flash. I believe the versions of Google apps Chromebooks use are usable offline, including some sort of word processor.

    https://store.google.com/product/acer_chromebook_11

    That's the cheapest and smallest one. My Air is 11" and I think the size is just fine. But I will say that it is HEAVY for a laptop that size. It weighs over two pounds, and as an Air user, that's more than twice the weight and the same size. But at $159, it's hard to argue with it. Your family member should be able to use Google Docs offline (and then eventually edit from any device with Google Doc's cloud storage when he can connect) for his writing.

    It's not a bad option, but ultimately, it's not the one I took. I, personally, would get a used iPad Air 1 and a good folding keyboard if he's a Mac person generally, since Pages on the iPad syncs to iCloud and will be available on any of his Macs.

    The Surface is also probably also worth a look, but again, pretty expensive.

    Another heavy, but inexpensive option would be one of HP's Streambooks. They have 32GB onboard flash storage and 1TB of cloud storage. Starting at $199. Can't vouch for them though. They're cheap, but even heavier than the Acer Chromebook, but 32GB isn't that little storage and you get the convenience of Windows (if you call it a convenience).

    http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptop...nr-energy-star
    http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/Laptop...#!&TabName=vao (whole Streambook range)

    When traveling, I find lightweight to be just as important as durability. Don't know how much he plans on lugging his device around once he's off the bike, but the difference between a pound, two pounds and two and three quarters of a pound can definitely add up. If money is a main concern, there are plenty of decent deals to be had on used iPads and the like on eBay (the first iPad I bought was on eBay, as I was unconvinced of them at the time, but was quickly convinced; it was a 16GB model, I don't remember it costing me much more than $200-250). Plus, it gives the option of tablet and keyboard use with a keyboard attachment, and they have a built-in camera if that's a consideration.

    Can't say anything definitively on the Chromebooks or the HPs, though, since I don't have any personal experience.

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    I was considering a Chromebook for my blogging on the go, but ended up with a much more expensive (and thus, not totally recommended) MacBook Air. I have a friend who says Chromebooks are more capable than people give them credit for, but he's also a Google employee.

    He's right about the solid memory. Most just have flash. I believe the versions of Google apps Chromebooks use are usable offline, including some sort of word processor.

    https://store.google.com/product/acer_chromebook_11

    That's the cheapest and smallest one. My Air is 11" and I think the size is just fine. But I will say that it is HEAVY for a laptop that size. It weighs over two pounds, and as an Air user, that's more than twice the weight and the same size. But at $159, it's hard to argue with it. Your family member should be able to use Google Docs offline (and then eventually edit from any device with Google Doc's cloud storage when he can connect) for his writing.

    It's not a bad option, but ultimately, it's not the one I took. I, personally, would get a used iPad Air 1 and a good folding keyboard if he's a Mac person generally, since Pages on the iPad syncs to iCloud and will be available on any of his Macs.

    The Surface is also probably also worth a look, but again, pretty expensive.

    Another heavy, but inexpensive option would be one of HP's Streambooks. They have 32GB onboard flash storage and 1TB of cloud storage. Starting at $199. Can't vouch for them though. They're cheap, but even heavier than the Acer Chromebook, but 32GB isn't that little storage and you get the convenience of Windows (if you call it a convenience).

    http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptop...nr-energy-star
    http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/Laptop...#!&TabName=vao (whole Streambook range)

    When traveling, I find lightweight to be just as important as durability. Don't know how much he plans on lugging his device around once he's off the bike, but the difference between a pound, two pounds and two and three quarters of a pound can definitely add up. If money is a main concern, there are plenty of decent deals to be had on used iPads and the like on eBay (the first iPad I bought was on eBay, as I was unconvinced of them at the time, but was quickly convinced; it was a 16GB model, I don't remember it costing me much more than $200-250). Plus, it gives the option of tablet and keyboard use with a keyboard attachment, and they have a built-in camera if that's a consideration.

    Can't say anything definitively on the Chromebooks or the HPs, though, since I don't have any personal experience.
    This is really helpful. Thanks, Raza.

  5. #4
    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    This is really helpful. Thanks, Raza.
    No problem. But I will make a correction; apparently the Air weighs about 2 pounds as well. I must have been thinking about my iPad Air when I said it was 1 pound. So the Acer weighs about the same as the MB Air.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    No problem. But I will make a correction; apparently the Air weighs about 2 pounds as well. I must have been thinking about my iPad Air when I said it was 1 pound. So the Acer weighs about the same as the MB Air.
    Noted and thanks.

  7. #6
    I was thinking about toughbook laptop from Japanese manufacturer,I believe it's from Toshiba,as they're dust,splash and shock resistant,however they're quite thick and heavy and I assume available only in Japan (I know,those Japanese keep all the cool stuff for themselves...)

    Personally I like the iPad air + folding keyboard idea,just want to add the otterbox case to make it sturdier...

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  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by synequano View Post
    I was thinking about toughbook laptop from Japanese manufacturer,I believe it's from Toshiba,as they're dust,splash and shock resistant,however they're quite thick and heavy and I assume available only in Japan (I know,those Japanese keep all the cool stuff for themselves...)

    Personally I like the iPad air + folding keyboard idea,just want to add the otterbox case to make it sturdier...
    Thanks for the suggestion re: toughbook. Originally, I was thinking an iPad + keyboard might be the way to go as well. He's got an iMac at home and an older Macbook, so he already knows the OS.

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    King of Mars bolaberlim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion re: toughbook. Originally, I was thinking an iPad + keyboard might be the way to go as well. He's got an iMac at home and an older Macbook, so he already knows the OS.
    No brainer then. Maybe a mini? I switched from full size iPad to a mini and I don't miss the larger screen size but really appreciate the smaller weight.

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    King of Mars bolaberlim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolaberlim View Post
    No brainer then. Maybe a mini? I switched from full size iPad to a mini and I don't miss the larger screen size but really appreciate the smaller weight.
    BTW, if he is leaving at the end of the year and opts for iPad, why not add one of these:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...e-smart-phones

    Mine is wifi only, I think this could be a great addition for ocasional on the go internet.

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  15. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bolaberlim View Post
    No brainer then. Maybe a mini? I switched from full size iPad to a mini and I don't miss the larger screen size but really appreciate the smaller weight.
    I actually have a 1st gen Mini that I could give him when he leaves in November/October, which would allow me to justify buying myself whatever new model's released this year. A win win.

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