Chromebooks

Vaz

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Anyone used one for writing? They any good for editing/compiling a story? Or am I better off waiting and getting a laptop where I can get Microsoft Office and Scrivener?

What do you all write on?

Cheers


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.matthew.

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They lack the dedicated 'del' key (it's a backspace+something else combo instead). That would bug me as I use the key a lot.

On the other hand, most chromebooks are now able to run Linux, and if you went that route, you can run Windows programs including Scrivener (I've had several of the Windows 3 Beta builds on mine and they've been bug free as far as I could tell). The new ones are equally capable of running Android applications as well, so there are a few basic writing apps that might work well (if they work well on a tablet they'll work well on a chromebook).

They tend to be be better bang for their buck because they aren't bogged down with Windows (which ups the price and slows down the hardware), BUT because they are mostly meant for web based applications, the storage can be low. Depends on what you buy though. If you're happy using something like google docs or similar you'd be fine with one.

Personally I just use a cheapo laptop that I upgraded with extra storage (for about £220 total). Came in at about the same price as some Chromebooks. I boot into Linux and run any Windows software I need through an emulator. Overall I'm quite happy with it, but half wish I'd gotten something a little nicer. I especially like that it's fanless so completely silent (except the hum when charging past 90%).

Edit: Linux can be a giant pain, but it runs smooth and very stable once you've tweaked it to your needs.
 
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Abernovo

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I have used a Chromebook, and Google Docs was fine. Good even. I really liked my Chromebook, but it gave up the ghost after 5 years of overuse. Because I needed certain other applications, I presently have a Windows laptop, but I use LibreOffice, which has all the functionality of Microsoft Office, but is free.

I want to get another Chromebook, though, in the future. In terms of storage, a memory card, usb stick, or external hard drive works for backing up files, and they're usually pretty cheap -- always back up on multiple devices to avoid corruption loss, just in case.
 
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HareBrain

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They lack the dedicated 'del' key (it's a backspace+something else combo instead). That would bug me as I use the key a lot.
Isn't this also true of Apple laptops? I had to do some typing on a friend's once and it drove me nuts, especially as I use CTRL+DEL a lot to delete words.
 
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Finch

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I have a HP chrome book . The operating sytem is free to the manufacture, so at the bottom end of the market you can buy a good quality machine at a bargain price . The system is based on Linux . It is actuly the version of Linux that evey Linux user would like to have , one that actuly works . It uses a closed system , you can't download anything you like . You can only buy apps from Google . This , in theory , makes it safe from any nasty outside influence. Chrome is a cloud based system , so, off line it has limitations. The machines work well in a restricted way . To expand the memory and softwear , you will need to pay . It comes with Docs , and if you happy with that , all well and good. Microshoft has a cloud version of word that you can use, but I have no experience of it.
So , I would say . If you want a good second machine and your already using chrome . It's a good choice . However if you need to replace you main computer , don't bother .
 
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Brian G Turner

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If you're expecting to use Google Docs on a Chromebook, I'd ensure you use it on your current computer first.

Personally, I'm not a fan - it's free, but I don't find it anywhere near as functional or user friendly as MS Office.
 
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Wyrmlord

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Or am I better off waiting and getting a laptop where I can get Microsoft Office and Scrivener?
Avoid Microsoft or Google, both known for shitty software and harvesting user data for profit.

I recommend you buy a ThinkPad and install Linux on it. Then, you can use LibreOffice, a free version of Microsoft Word without the spying, to write.
 

Vince W

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I've used a Chromebook sparingly and I hate them. The keyboard is just too small for my hands and I'm continually hitting the wrong key combinations. It's infuriating. And google docs is something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike an office suite.
 

Vaz

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So the consensus seems to lean towards getting a computer which I can get Linux and something like Libre office on? Right now I'm just using my phone and it's a pain really.

Cheers for the input folks


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R. K. Clark

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A Chromebook is good for general internetting, but when it comes to writing (I use Scrivener exclusively) I have to use a PC laptop.

Another thing they don't tell you is that when the battery goes -- that's it. Your Chromebook is now tethered to power if you want to still keep it, or a very cool paperweight.
 

Brian G Turner

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I've not seen any cheap laptops sold with Linux, and Chromebooks don't generally appear any cheaper than Windows laptops.

If you're happy using Windows, I'd suggest you get a Windows laptop (aim for 8GB RAM) and an older copy of Office off Amazon if you don't want to subscribe to Office 365.
 

Vince W

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I recently had a problem with Microsoft. They charged me twice for the Office 365 subscription. When I called to complain they happily refunded my money, but they also cancelled my subscription and turned off my access. It took me two weeks to sort them out. I installed Libreoffice to get work done and I can say, that if I didn't need some of the database features to access DBs I've been using for the last decade I would dump Office in favour of Libreoffice.
 

-K2-

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Yeah I'm old, and I'm going to prove it.

Just my opinion, but I'm a firm believer in focusing my attention, part of that being, a time and place for everything. I have absolutely zero use for a laptop, chomebook, Ipadm and so on. I use a PC with a huge TV as a monitor, and when I want to surf the net, write, do anything I might do on a computer, I go into my 'PC room,' (no, there is absolutely no political correctness to what I do there), and I do my computer stuff there. If I'm not there, the rest of my life is not interfered with because I'm focused on the laptop when I should be looking out the window, watching TV, conversing with others, etc.

I know you asked about laptops vs. Chromebooks... But, for a balanced life, a way of living that 'for me' is more fulfilling, I can't suggest anything other than a PC. And no, I don't use or own an Iphone or similar either.

K2
 
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