1. samuelwhatshisface's Avatar
    I know it's not a normal comparison to make - the PlayBook is firmly in the tablet space, while the Chromebook is cast as a budget laptop, but I increasingly find their strengths (for my use) are overlapping: browser, document reader, video playback, writing documents and portable, to name but a few. On another reason, the Chromebook of choice (on price) is the Samsung Chromebook (Late 2012) packs an Exynos 5 dual core processor, also used in the Nexus 10 tab, as well as having 2GB of RAM in both devices. On this basis, I find myself justified in comparing the PlayBook and Chromebook, while you may disagree.

    The operating systems are obviously positioned very differently. The Chromebook focuses on constant internet connection, and I find that this is overdone: creating documents automatically saves to your Google Drive, and while they may be classed as offline documents, often times I find the Chromebook to open these files when I need to be away from a wifi hub. The PlayBook, on the other hand, deals with these problems with a severely lacking filing system, yet capable document editing software that is fully functional offline. While the physical keyboard on the chromebook is good, there are annoying nuances (only backspace, no delete, no default caps lock button, etc.), and the PlayBooks onscreen can relate to such annoyances (freezing, freezing and more freezing). However, bridge a BB with a physical KB, and you're good to go. I find I'm more productive with the PB/BB combo than I have EVER been on a chromebook. Email, calendar, etc. are much easier to access on a PB, and have deeper integration, rather than you needing to actively open Gmail just in case you got an email (on a device built around that email account). One strong point for the Chromebook, however, is the start time: 7 seconds is no understatement, compared to 2 minutes for the PB. Say what you will, but that is a deciding factor for which I choose to browse with when everything is turned off.

    I couldn't talk about operating system without mentioning the browser, especially in this case. In short, it's chrome. It's good, what most people use, and what a lot of sites are optimised for. But it still has issues, even with Google's own Youtube. I commonly find it fails to load videos on YT at an adequate speed, yet I will be able to stream the same video on the PB, with the same wifi, with no problem and even the hilariously bad YT app on the PB wins this round. This doesn't extend to other websites, such as BBC's iPlayer, though, where the Chromebook will happily play a full movie without so much as stuttering. For enjoying any forms of media, the PB wins, on many levels. Changing videos to fullscreen on the Chromebook always pauses the video momentarily, while the PB continues smooth through this transition, unless there is an error. However, as I mentioned before, web pages are often optimised for chrome, and hence the Chromebook, so watching flash elements may induce as much stutter on the PB as you'd experience by fullscreening a video on a Chromebook, but not always. Watching movies offline is plain up better, and the PB is much more comfortable to watch from.

    Listening to music on either isn't great. The PB lacks native .FLAC support (annoying for me, not a problem for others. Looking forward to BB10), although you can remedy this with apps (Neutron is supposed to be good). The Chromebook does support this, although the native media player can only be described as basic. No equalisers, playlist options, shuffle or repeat, leave alone fancy visualisers. It plays media files, but does little more than that. For native music players, I would give it to the PB, but those darn .FLACs do give the Chromebook some brownie points. As soon as apps come into it, the PB wins, flat out.

    Oh yeah, Apps! So the PB is considered to have a poor selection of apps? I thought so, too. And then I got the Chromebook. The majority of apps I've found on the Chromebook are browser extensions, glorified website links or almost useless pop-ups. Of those three, none of them are any good offline. I'm enjoying the PB a lot more now, and explore the app world more often, and the games are definitely improving (Jetpack Joyride ).

    Battery life! One last thing, the Chromebook has a great battery life (a sort-of laptop that I can use the whole day, if I'm sensible), while my PB has excelled recently: I was using it for 2 days before it ran out of steam, and only dropped about 7% by being left on standby overnight. Both are very usable in this respect.

    All in all, both provide me with an intermediate gap between smartphone and laptop, and each have their own strengths. I was hoping the Chromebook would replace my, now defunct, laptop (read, annoyed it hasn't), while the PB has carved out a nice little place in my life.

    Sorry this is so long. I didn't envision it to be, but I wanted to put my view out there, and possibly see if others are also switching between PB/Chromebook. Hope you enjoyed!
    02-05-13 05:30 PM
  2. jamesharmeling's Avatar
    Very interesting. I've never even looked at a Chromebook and will never own one, but I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for taking the time.
    02-05-13 10:00 PM
  3. Technology83's Avatar
    Well well well, nice review/comparison but do you like the chromebook more than any tab specially the PB. Good luck in your decision
    02-05-13 11:42 PM
  4. hreiner1's Avatar
    I know it's not a normal comparison to make - the PlayBook is firmly in the tablet space, while the Chromebook is cast as a budget laptop, but I increasingly find their strengths (for my use) are overlapping: browser, document reader, video playback, writing documents and portable, to name but a few. On another reason, the Chromebook of choice (on price) is the Samsung Chromebook (Late 2012) packs an Exynos 5 dual core processor, also used in the Nexus 10 tab, as well as having 2GB of RAM in both devices. On this basis, I find myself justified in comparing the PlayBook and Chromebook, while you may disagree.

    The operating systems are obviously positioned very differently. The Chromebook focuses on constant internet connection, and I find that this is overdone: creating documents automatically saves to your Google Drive, and while they may be classed as offline documents, often times I find the Chromebook to open these files when I need to be away from a wifi hub. The PlayBook, on the other hand, deals with these problems with a severely lacking filing system, yet capable document editing software that is fully functional offline. While the physical keyboard on the chromebook is good, there are annoying nuances (only backspace, no delete, no default caps lock button, etc.), and the PlayBooks onscreen can relate to such annoyances (freezing, freezing and more freezing). However, bridge a BB with a physical KB, and you're good to go. I find I'm more productive with the PB/BB combo than I have EVER been on a chromebook. Email, calendar, etc. are much easier to access on a PB, and have deeper integration, rather than you needing to actively open Gmail just in case you got an email (on a device built around that email account). One strong point for the Chromebook, however, is the start time: 7 seconds is no understatement, compared to 2 minutes for the PB. Say what you will, but that is a deciding factor for which I choose to browse with when everything is turned off.

    I couldn't talk about operating system without mentioning the browser, especially in this case. In short, it's chrome. It's good, what most people use, and what a lot of sites are optimised for. But it still has issues, even with Google's own Youtube. I commonly find it fails to load videos on YT at an adequate speed, yet I will be able to stream the same video on the PB, with the same wifi, with no problem and even the hilariously bad YT app on the PB wins this round. This doesn't extend to other websites, such as BBC's iPlayer, though, where the Chromebook will happily play a full movie without so much as stuttering. For enjoying any forms of media, the PB wins, on many levels. Changing videos to fullscreen on the Chromebook always pauses the video momentarily, while the PB continues smooth through this transition, unless there is an error. However, as I mentioned before, web pages are often optimised for chrome, and hence the Chromebook, so watching flash elements may induce as much stutter on the PB as you'd experience by fullscreening a video on a Chromebook, but not always. Watching movies offline is plain up better, and the PB is much more comfortable to watch from.

    Listening to music on either isn't great. The PB lacks native .FLAC support (annoying for me, not a problem for others. Looking forward to BB10), although you can remedy this with apps (Neutron is supposed to be good). The Chromebook does support this, although the native media player can only be described as basic. No equalisers, playlist options, shuffle or repeat, leave alone fancy visualisers. It plays media files, but does little more than that. For native music players, I would give it to the PB, but those darn .FLACs do give the Chromebook some brownie points. As soon as apps come into it, the PB wins, flat out.

    Oh yeah, Apps! So the PB is considered to have a poor selection of apps? I thought so, too. And then I got the Chromebook. The majority of apps I've found on the Chromebook are browser extensions, glorified website links or almost useless pop-ups. Of those three, none of them are any good offline. I'm enjoying the PB a lot more now, and explore the app world more often, and the games are definitely improving (Jetpack Joyride ).

    Battery life! One last thing, the Chromebook has a great battery life (a sort-of laptop that I can use the whole day, if I'm sensible), while my PB has excelled recently: I was using it for 2 days before it ran out of steam, and only dropped about 7% by being left on standby overnight. Both are very usable in this respect.

    All in all, both provide me with an intermediate gap between smartphone and laptop, and each have their own strengths. I was hoping the Chromebook would replace my, now defunct, laptop (read, annoyed it hasn't), while the PB has carved out a nice little place in my life.

    Sorry this is so long. I didn't envision it to be, but I wanted to put my view out there, and possibly see if others are also switching between PB/Chromebook. Hope you enjoyed!
    I looked at the new chromebooks at a best buy store
    while internet surfing was a breeze, pulling up some files from the google cloud was slow
    but you cant beat the price of 299 and $329
    the acer has an installed harddrive, but only 6 hours battery
    plus the the 10" screen is too small to do any serious work

    today HP come out with a 14" inch model at nearly 4 lb, for $330, but only 4 1/2 hours battery life
    we need a LTE model from these new Chromebooks

    you cant beat the PB with the bridge, using your BB phone's dataplan
    I have a PB 64 and the keyboard
    what I miss is skype and a real Contact database I can sinc with my 24,000 contacts
    than I could leave my Laptop at home for my travels
    02-05-13 11:50 PM
  5. MC_A_DOT's Avatar
    I really want a Chromebook but how would I download BlackBerry Desktop Manager or Samsung Kies?

    Or is there another way to backup my files onto a Chromebook?

    Have you tried connecting your PB to the Chromebook via USB?
    03-13-13 09:16 AM
  6. samuelwhatshisface's Avatar
    Hi there, MC. I have, my Chromebook doesn't respond to my PB at all, just as many other USB devices are not compatible (I tried using a USB disc drive to rip some CDs, but it wouldn't recognise it). My instant guess would be that ChromeOS simply doesn't support such connections, and that there wouldn't be any updates.

    The only back up I have been able to make has been my microSD card which I use with my BB, which is near useless anyway, as the Chromebook I have comes with 16GB on the disc drive (when the Chromebook is low on space, it automatically deletes files it deems unnecessary, without warning, when new space is needed). If the ability to back up a microSD would be beneficial, all you need is a microSD->SD adapter, or a microSD->USB adapter, and this can be read by a Chromebook.

    As of yet, there is no desktop manager or link, nor is there Samsung kies. You may have more luck by hacking the Chromebook (the Pixel can be dual-booted with Linux, and the late 2012 Samsung Chromebook can be hacked to run Ubuntu). While these options may not have the software you are looking for, there will more likely be drivers to allow you to connect devices you use.

    Hope you've found this information useful, sorry for it being that long!
    MC_A_DOT likes this.
    03-14-13 07:30 PM
  7. Enyigma's Avatar
    Thank you for a very balanced review. Its always good to hear from others what the competition is all about. I haven't seen too many Chromebooks around to ask people what they thought of them.

    I did get a demo recently of a Samsung Win 8 tablet from a travelling sales show. The sales staff did not show me anything I did not already know about the device but they were giving away free egg muffins.

    I have seen a few iPads but can't see myself lugging around such a large device. I haven't seen any of the 7 inch version.
    03-14-13 07:54 PM
  8. MC_A_DOT's Avatar
    Hi there, MC. I have, my Chromebook doesn't respond to my PB at all, just as many other USB devices are not compatible (I tried using a USB disc drive to rip some CDs, but it wouldn't recognise it). My instant guess would be that ChromeOS simply doesn't support such connections, and that there wouldn't be any updates.

    The only back up I have been able to make has been my microSD card which I use with my BB, which is near useless anyway, as the Chromebook I have comes with 16GB on the disc drive (when the Chromebook is low on space, it automatically deletes files it deems unnecessary, without warning, when new space is needed). If the ability to back up a microSD would be beneficial, all you need is a microSD->SD adapter, or a microSD->USB adapter, and this can be read by a Chromebook.

    As of yet, there is no desktop manager or link, nor is there Samsung kies. You may have more luck by hacking the Chromebook (the Pixel can be dual-booted with Linux, and the late 2012 Samsung Chromebook can be hacked to run Ubuntu). While these options may not have the software you are looking for, there will more likely be drivers to allow you to connect devices you use.

    Hope you've found this information useful, sorry for it being that long!
    CHEEERS!!

    Finally somone gave me answers to questions i needed lol.

    So this 'Unbutu', How hard would it be for me to hack it to the Chromebook? I'm guessing the 'Linux' hack is too large to run on the Chromebook right?

    I do really want one and I don't know why lol but if it is just a web browser is there a point in me having it?
    03-15-13 06:59 AM
  9. samuelwhatshisface's Avatar
    Enygma: Egg muffins are always worth it!

    MC: There are various tutorials on how to install Ubuntu, and it seems to be an intermediate difficulty, although I'm not one to judge this accurately.

    As far as reasons for buying it, mine was this: 230. That is tiny compared to current laptops, even before buying a work suite, antivirus and other software that there are redundant on a Chromebook. That's not to say the Chromebook has better offerings, it's that the offerings are workable and free.

    To give you an idea on how feature rich ChromeOS is, try using JUST a chrome browser on your computer (apart from something for file explorer, media and USB devices), download the chrome extensions and apps, use gsheet, gdocs, etc.. Although that will give you an idea of what a Chromebook is like, it won't play to the greatest strengths: the fast boot time. That is the benefit that these machines bring, and everything else should be seen as a side show to web browsing.
    03-15-13 03:10 PM

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