So here I am on Day 8 of my MacBook Air detox, AKA, the 30 Day ChromebookEDU Challenge. It’s been a pretty smooth transition – again, I’ve been using Chromebooks for a few years, so there wasn’t any form of a learning curve. In the words of Collin Voigt, it’s been “easy peasy.” Onto my observations:
- This thing handles multiple Google accounts REALLY well. If you’re like me, you might have three (3) Google accounts in regular use. On my Mac, I’m constantly logged into all three with main windows and incognito windows, and things get screwy in a hurry. My personal account interferes with my work account and vice versa, and I’m constantly logging in and out. My Chromebook has been far better in this regard. It simply handles my multiple accounts more smoothly, which is a pretty big deal to me.
- I miss the brightness of my MacBook Air. Compared to my Chromebook, looking at my MacBook screen was like staring into the sun. So yeah, I miss that. That isn’t to say my Chromebook is dim (it isn’t), but it’s taken some getting used to. (Yes, I realize this is a pretty prime example of #firstworldproblems right here. Guess I should check out the Chromebook Pixel).
- Chromebook trackpad = serviceable, but not awesome. I learned this one pretty early on in the process. The trackpad on my Lenovo Chromebook is decent, but it’s a little spotty (apparently I’m picky). I’ve been using the touchscreen a lot (which I love), but I quickly acquired a wireless mouse. That’s helped a ton, although I’ve found it loses connection a few times a day. I’m not sure if it’s the device Bluetooth, the mouse Bluetooth, or the mouse batteries (the investigation is ongoing). But I’m satisfied.
- I LOVE the keyboard on this thing. I’m a horrible typist, but I’m much better on the Chromebook. I can’t really pinpoint it…it’s just a more comfortable typing experience. There’s this soothing click click click with the keystrokes that’s pretty therapeutic. Typing on this thing is like eating heavy pasta with cheese and sinking into the sofa to watch a baseball game.
- It’s slower than my MacBook. Not by much, but it’s definitely noticeable. This is another #firstworldproblem for sure, but accessing websites and general web-browsing is just a little slower. I’ll stop complaining about this one – it’s more of an observation than a complaint.
- Chrome Remote Desktop is the TRUTH. This may or may not be cheating – according to my EdTech counterparts at LFHS – Corey & Laura – this is DEFINITELY cheating, and they lambasted me pretty hard for it. But hey, I was curious. I installed the Chrome Remote Desktop app on my Mac and Chromebook, and I was able to access my Mac from my Chromebook. Setting it up was breeze, and within 2 minutes I had full remote access to my Mac.
I didn’t need to install Remote Desktop- I was honestly just curious. But it could be really useful in the EDU field, in case there are certain programs you/students just need to access (Minecraft, GarageBand, etc). I’d explore it further, but I’ve had enough of the good-natured ribbing from my counterparts, so I’m throwing in the towel on this one right now.
More to follow, but it’s been fun. 22 days to go!