Sunday, September 18, 2016

A new tool for my wife

Yesterday I picked up a new tool for my wife.  She does have a laptop and it is in our office.  The problem is that she has had a stroke a year ago and it is much too large and heavy for her to carry it downstairs and use it while sitting on her lap.  Factory Direct up the street had refurbished models of the Acer Chromebook for $129 (Canadian) that looked like it could do what she wanted and is light enough she can carry it around with one hand.  Her needs were simple, web browsing (news, weather and a few other sites), email and Facebook.  She has a tablet for her gaming and Facebook that she uses daily.

The Chromebook did it all right from the start without issues.  I made a minor tweak to turn off the touch-pad as I installed a wireless mouse.  It took only a minute to find how to do that on the web (I bookmarked that for future reference on the Chromebook).  The only minor quibble I have is that 16 gigs isn't enough (and I am not spending more money to install a new larger SSD).  It appears that the O/S takes up a fair bit of space and leaves 1 gig for the user.  I can live with that as she is using it only for light weight web work and does not need a huge amount of drive space.  I did format in Linux a SD card (16 gigs) and inserted it in the slot and pointed the downloads to that so we don't use valuable drive space for when she downloads files.  I don't see how to change the directory for the cache (yet) to point it there.  I did try to install our wireless printer, but, we have an older model and isn't supported by Cloud Print.

I did set up links at the bottom of the screen to email, browser, Facebook, Google drive so most of her normal tasks are one click away.  Next up is to see how the battery life is for her without it being plugged in.  If you are looking for a lightweight machine for simple tasks that don't depend on local storage the Chromebooks are an option to look at.

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