My trusty Toshiba laptop is coming up on 3 years old and is beginning to show its age. Like its owner, it’s heavy, getting slower with age and just looks too chunky.
I have been agonising over its replacement for a while. I was taken with Windows Ultrabooks, great performance, quality screen and fantastic battery life, up to 5 hours but less than engaged by their prices, from £700 up.
I’ve also been looking at the Chromebooks which are basically small laptops with 11.6″ screens, fantastic battery life and running Google’s Chrome operating system rather than Windows. I even wrote about Chromebooks in an earlier post.
Larger screen Chromebooks are now available and in in all cases battery life is as long as 9 hours, so all day computing without a charger is a realistic aim and they are impervious to viruses and other forms of malware.
Screen quality is perfectly acceptable but build quality, according to reviews, has been variable. However, since Xmas 2013 more and more manufactures have been releasing models using Intel processors for better performance, compared to the Samsung processors used in older Chromebooks, and manufacturers such as Toshiba and HP have released Chromebooks with larger screens, a 13″ from Toshiba and a 14″ from HP
However, I have been wary of the leap away from Windows and that has held me back, particularly after discovering a Toshiba of a very similar size to the 12″ Chromebooks, with a touch screen and Windows 8 for not a lot more money than a Chromebook, around £300 compared to the typical Chromebook price of £200 to £250.
So, I continued to sit on the fence.
Then Dell released their take on the Chromebook, an 11.6″ screen, excellent battery life, Intel dual core processor, light weight and, more importantly, 4Gb RAM.
With excellent reviews and a keen price, my mind was 90% made up. Then I spotted a great deal on eBay just as the Dell delivery date slipped from days to months, my decision was made and on Tuesday July 8th I picked up my ever so slightly used Dell Chromebook.