Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Chrome Book

The other day, I got a call from the tech at my building.  He had been in a district level meeting where they were trying to decide what to do with 20 Google Chrome Netbooks.  He was kind enough to throw my name into the meeting.  I was honored.

Now, I am blessed to have 20 brand new Google Chrome Netbooks for my classroom this upcoming school year.  It wouldn't be far to just hand them to my students and not have any experience using one, so I did my part, took one for the team, and took one home to figure out.

Here are my impressions so far:

  • Start up and shut down are blazing fast.  I don't just mean fast, it's wicked fast.  This single feature will save many instructional minutes of every class period.
  • Log in is simple.
  • This particular model is about half the weight of my MacBook.  (I didn't actually way them, just observation.)
  • This model won't burn into my leg.  It's not cold but warm is way better than HOT. (Again, haven't actually measured it.)
  • The default theme for the system is boring but adding a theme took me about two minutes.
  • The tab key moves to each clickable thing rather than to text boxes.  I need to figure out how to change this.
  • Having a search key is cool.  When pressed it, opens a new tab for searching.
  • I like have dedicated back/forward buttons on the keyboard.
  • I wish the screen was a bit bigger but that small sacrifice is worth the positive trade offs.
  • The finish on the computer is worrisome.  It's matte black and a bit rubbery.  I like the feel but I think it might be hard to clean or keep nice.
  • I love that it goes directly to the internet (connecting was super simple).  There won't be any asking the teacher, "How do I get to the internet?"  Although, lack of a second browser may be a concern.
But the single biggest, coolest feature of the Chrome Netbook is:
  • Mail.  On any other computer, when you click on an email address, it opens a default mail program.  On a MacBook, that is Mail and I can't stand Mail.  On the Chrome Netbook, clicking on an email address opens a new tab and shows a full screen Gmail compose screen.  When you click send, it sends the email and closes the tab.  It's beautifully done and my favorite feature.
I'll keep updating the blog as I get more and more impressions.  It's only been 24 hours but I'm pretty certain that this will be my daily use computer.  

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