As an auditor, I am often on the road to businesses, carrying out reviews and site tours while taking notes to ensure that all I need for my report is captured. The easiest way for me to do this is through paper, but my quick hand often ends up being cryptic, requiring deciphering that even I am unable to do at times. Electronic recording is great, as it removes most of the deciphering, but carrying out site audits with a laptop is somewhat tricky and tablets, while they are easier to carry around, I often find it hard to type on them.
I was given the opportunity to use the Chromebook for work and it has made my life that little bit easier. The ability to use the device as both a touch screen and keyboard to write with, makes the use while moving a lot easier. The device is small, lightweight and easy to carry around.
In addition, the battery life on the device is really good. I decided to test it to see just how good it is. With a whole days (7.5 hours) use writing a methodology report, the battery had only reduced by around 60%, which when compared to my laptop is seriously good. On my laptop, if I am lucky, I can probably manage about 3 hours off a full battery, which is a good benefit to me during a site review where you are unsure how long you will be on the premises for.
Getting used to the device took a day of playing around to learn the functions and quick ways to move around the apps and software, but anyone that uses Google or an android phone shouldn’t find it too difficult to get to grips with. It is very quick to load at start-up, which is fantastic when compared to my laptop, and you can move between the apps and internet easily with the function keys and touch screen. As I already have a Google account, once I logged in the device picked up all of my information, reducing the setup times as the all features I currently use on Google were automatically loaded (bar the games).
However, I will say that there are elements I am still getting to grips with. Functions you get used to on a laptop are not there, particularly key functions however, with the use of the touch screen you can easily get around this. As part of my office package I also use Microsoft Office and have often found that the two do not always play well together. Google does try to take over by pushing me towards using Google Docs or Google Sheets. However, again this is a minor issue and something that has occurred during my induction period.
The device doesnt have the capability of being able to remove the keyboard, instead the screen folds all the way across so the keyboard site behind the screen. The software then locks out the keyboard so any strokes are not registered and the rubber ends and sunken keyboard mean you can place it flat without any issues. This is fine, but for me I found it difficult to walk around with just the tablet bit as the keyboard on the back just felt odd.
As for games, which my kids and I love playing (although mostly me on this device) the Chromebook is great. With the touch screen function all the games I play on my phone I can easily play on this device, just now with a larger screen. My daughter is now jealous because Daddy has a ‘laptop tablet’, so obviously she wants to play with it constantly.
All-in-all I have found the device really easy to use, both at home for fun but also at work for my needs. It sits on my desk nicely given its size and allows me additional functions as I work with it and my laptop. At home it is great to use as a laptop when I am browsing the web (which is great with both touch screen and keyboard) and also when playing games whilst chilling on the sofa. A great kit that I would recommend to anyone, particularly those who already use android.
The Chromebook comes with a built in microphone, webcam, 2 speakers, 2 Usb ports, 4GB RAM, LCD screen It does not have a CD/DVD drive or a micro sd memory card slot. To read more on the specifications for this particular model you can visit their website here.
**I received this Product in return for a honest review***