I recently lost the laptop lottery.
You know how it goes. You buy a laptop and it’s either really good, and you have no issues with it, or within fifteen months you have the hard drive and the motherboard die. (The latter out of warranty.)
My MacBook lasted me four years before the hard drive went, and once I reinstalled OSX Lion, it was faster than ever, and had none of my previous files. But then it was time for a new laptop and I got a pretty red one that had its hard drive die at nine months and the motherboard at fifteen. I’m not naming that brand because I’m still sort of peeved with them.
Reluctantly, I decided that my need for portability dictated that I find some way to replace that laptop, so I began looking. I was considering getting a tablet and a keyboard, because my main need for said portability was the desire to travel and write. Coffee shops, bookstores (now that I don’t work at the only major bookstore in town, this is an option again,) and the like. Because my last laptop now functions only when plugged in, and will DIE IMMEDIATELY should the power cord be knocked loose, that wasn’t an option.
So I was considering a 7″ tablet, wondering if I could handle writing on such a small screen. Then I started looking at the Google Chromebooks, and I started to feel hopeful again for the first time since hanging up the phone with the maker of my previous laptop’s tech support.
I researched the hell out of it, and looked into what a Chromebook can and cannot do. In some respects, this is a serious downgrade. The only apps that will work on the machine are those from the Chrome store. However, I was forced to seriously consider what I used my computer for. I’d like to say it was a machine used for productivity, but 99% of the time, I’m browsing the internet. When I’m not, I’m writing.
I could easily survive on a Chromebook.
So I bought one. Yesterday. $250 for a computer the same weight of a MacBook Air, and almost as thin. It’s no MacBook Air, of course, but it was only a quarter of the cost. Literally. All reviews seem to agree that the machine gets at least six hours of battery life, often more. Everything I work on with this thing is stored on the cloud. So if it dies? Once I stop crying, at least I know that I can back it up with ease.
And it took me only thirty seconds from hitting power to the time I was set up and ready to go.
I’m a fan of technology, but I’m really a fan of affordable technology. I may have downgraded to a Google Chromebook in some aspects, but the fact that this machine doesn’t come with all of the superfluous extras that other systems use. It’s a specific machine, but it’s all I needed.
Now, all I need is for it to NOT DIE. EVER.