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Anyone have experience with Chromebooks?


ChrisBardon
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So I was thinking about getting my 8 year old his own laptop to replace the boat anchor he's been using since this lockdown started.  Primary use case right now is going to be web stuff and school work-gaming seems to be primarily a switch activity.  I haven't really tried to intro him to much in the way of PC games though.  I know they use chromebooks at school, so I've been looking at whether I want to buy one for home as well.  Main choice now is whether I want something that's chromeOS (which I think can run most android stuff as well), an android based tablet with a keyboard (not sure I want to deal with connectivity issues there), or just a standard windows machine.  Windows is definitely going to give PC game/app compatibility on everything, but that also means locking out of anything in the Android ecosystem unless you deploy something like BlueStacks.  I'm also not really sold on the utility of a chromebook that's basically just a browser shell, although I'll admit to never having used one, so not sure how the ecosystem has evolved. 

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My kid has a Chromebook and my old hand me down MacBook Pro. Because school uses Chromebooks he’s more comfortable with that and thus he uses that more. But his most used device by far is his iPad, he’s even tried himself to get his school stuff to work on his iPad and it’s about 50/50 right now. 

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3 hours ago, ChrisBardon said:

 Main choice now is whether I want something that's chromeOS (which I think can run most android stuff as well), an android based tablet with a keyboard (not sure I want to deal with connectivity issues there), or just a standard windows machine. 

 

How much money are you looking to spend here? It might help as far as recommendations go.

 

1 hour ago, kelley said:

My kid has a Chromebook and my old hand me down MacBook Pro. Because school uses Chromebooks he’s more comfortable with that and thus he uses that more. But his most used device by far is his iPad, he’s even tried himself to get his school stuff to work on his iPad and it’s about 50/50 right now. 

 

That sounds a lot like my house. My 8 year-old has a Chromebook for school, and a 7th gen iPad for himself. He does all his schoolwork on the Chromebook, but everything else on the iPad. We haven’t tried to use the iPad for schoolwork yet. It’d be interesting to see how well he could adapt to it, especially if I connected a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad to it. 

 

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Yeah, not going to be buying any apple devices, that's for sure :)

 

As for cost...not really sure right now?  I'd like to get something for less than $650 if I can, but that's not a hard limit (it'd have to be a really good argument to go over $1000).  If it's going to be something used by an 8 year old, then it needs to be at least reasonably sturdy, although he hasn't broken the switch yet, so that's something.  I'm thinking laptop/tablet over desktop (I have a couple of spare NUCs lying around that I could make something with) just because it's handy to have another device if/when we get to travel again.  I probably would have let him use my old HP spectre, but the motherboard on that got fried.  Also thinking about this as a "big" xmas present, so something that can play at least something would be good.  He was into roblox for a while until he wasn't all of a sudden.  I've got a bunch of stuff on Steam/Gog that I could probably let him play, and then there's what's on PC gamepass, which might not have much that's age appropriate, but at least a few things.  On the other hand, there seems to be an assumption that every kid has either an ios or android device these days, as evidenced by the Lego Super Mario stuff, which is why I was considering the chromebook/android tablet angle.  A laptop that can emulate everything using bluestacks would be the best of both worlds, but that would also require a little more horsepower than I probably want to pay for right now. 

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With NYC public schools sending out ipads to familes that need them ( we didnt take one as i dont want to be responsible if it breaks) i bought my daughter a newer ipad. Last year she used my Surface alot for the school work and it worked out 50/50. Going into 3rd grade for her, mostly everything is done writing on the ipad. So no keyboard is needed. With that said, alot of my friends picked up chrome books for there kids in the non NYC school districts and their kids love them.

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Thanks for the feedback-ended up going through a bunch of options, but decided to try out an Acer chromebook that was on sale last week.  Under 400 bucks, 11.6" screen, full 180 degree hinge.  Only 64GB of storage, but I can't imagine needing much.  If nothing else, it'll be an interesting experiment-haven't had a chance to play around with a chromebook before, and now that you can run Google Play stuff on them, I'm interested in how that works out. 

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