A couple of months ago I bought a Samsung Chromebook to use while travelling around Japan. So how did that work out?
I need to point out first that I was mostly using Fedora 17 (but could dual-boot into ChromeOS for occasional things like G+ Hangouts). Fedora 17 isn’t the latest release, and it is still using the ChromeOS kernel, not a Fedora-compiled kernel. I’ve marked with an asterisk all the points that I think are caused by the ChromeOS kernel rather than by Fedora or the Chromebook itself.
- * Suspend pretty much doesn’t work. It suspends OK, but can’t resume. This all works fine on ChromeOS however, and I suspect this is just a kernel issue which will/has been fixed in F18.
- Trackpad sucks quite a bit. For example, it’s very hard to accurately right click. Left clicking often causes the mouse to zoom around the screen. It works better in ChromeOS. Is this an X server issue and/or does ChromeOS use X?
- * There is some hardware clock problem I couldn’t quite fathom. Either the h/w clock is set to the local time or else Fedora cannot save the timezone, but either way, unless NTP was running (and hence I had wifi etc) it always flipped back to UTC after rebooting. Almost certainly some sort of kernel issue that has/will be fixed in F18.
- It’s very light weight. Carrying it around everywhere was no effort at all.
- Battery lasts “forever”. Well, at least 6 or 7 hours which was the longest I needed it for. XFCE Power Manager was predicting 8+ hours, but I don’t know how accurate that is.
- A touch screen would have been a really nice addition. But not if it meant increasing the price.
- It’s pretty robustly built.
- It’s fast enough, with enough storage, for serious development. While it’s not blazingly fast like x86-64, it’s good enough even for libguestfs development (libguestfs being a very large program).
I’m going to categorize this one as a definite success.