I am writing this post today quite by accident. What I expected the post to say was “Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu…this does not suck” but when I looked at the money I had to spend and what I was going to actually use the system for, I could not justify the cost of the system I really wanted. I had my heart set on the Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu, or what my friend Barton George of Dell created “Project Sputnik“. As I am not a developer and as I pretty much live in the Cloud now, I am really glad I didn’t spend the money. The gamble on the Samsung version of the Google Chromebook…worth every penny.
Now for those of you that clicked on the link you’ll notice that the price is not $215.00 anymore. That is what one week in tech does for you…prices change. But even at $250.00 it is still a bargain.
When I started out on this journey it was because while I love my iPad, I really wanted a little more of a keyboard than the touchscreen. Yes…I know all about the blue tooth keyboards that are built into the iPad case, but that wasn’t enough, so I was looking at the XPS 13 or the MacBook Air. Not once did I even consider this thing, until after looking at the prices of the XPS with Sputnik and the MacBook Air, I started looking at other options. Being a strong user of Google Docs, Gmail and other services, I felt the “what the heck” it’s $215 and with a two year warranty taking the total to somewhere around $250, it was worth the risk”. So it comes down to two choices…the Acer version (which is priced at $199 from Google) and the Samsung version. Let me make this easy for you…I have own exactly two Acer laptops, and they both sucked after about six months. On the flip-side, I have never has a single problem (and I mean NOT ONE problem) with my Dell’s, and the Samsung products I own have also been rock solid. Based on my past experience, I decide the only way to go was with the Samsung, because I will not be pulled into a sucker game any more with Acer. Being burned twice is more than enough to convince me to stay away.
So I ordered this think on Amazon and it showed up two days later in a TINY little box. Actually, I thought they had sent me a pizza by mistake, but it was no mistake. Then, I turned it on (it boots in seconds) and it asked me for my Google credentials. Once entered I had a very attractive desktop with SEAMLESS integration with Google Docs, YouTube and everything else I use. If I go to a website where I need to open a file, it automatically takes me to Google Docs as if it were my local drive, and the upload happens quickly and easily.
There is also room for an SD card, but honestly, I don’t think I’ll be using one. Why? I keep everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) backed up in the Cloud, and I am slowly migrating to using nothing but the Cloud. Let’s face it, when you do what I do for a living (Cloud Architect) you sort of have to practice what you preach.
Now…here is the kicker. If I was starting a business today there are two things I would NOT do. The first one is that I would not own a single server. I’d use Amazon, Rackspace, AT&T or some other reliable Cloud provider for my servers. I don’t want to be in the hardware business, and now knowing what I am going to need, I’d like to be able to just pay for what I use. Secondly, I would not have a single piece of data stored on a laptop or desktop, and taken a step further, I’d have 100% virtual desktops, or I’d go with 100% Chromebooks. Many people outside of the corporate world don’t know about Google’s Enterprise offerings, but they are real, and they are exceptionally popular. So I would likely buy everyone in my office a Chromebook, use Google Enterprise Services and be off to the races. The cost of getting started would be very low. The data would always be protected, and the time to get things up and running…minutes.
I am not suggesting that the Chromebook is the next big thing in IT and that it will kill off VDI an an offering, but I am suggesting that with what Google offers in the way of storage, office-compatible solutions and now the Chromebook all wrapped into one package, you have to seriously stop and look at IT today, and wonder why we didn’t go this way sooner.
This much I know. As much as I love my Dell’s, as they die off, I’ll likely replace them with Chromebooks. Yes…the kids will be getting Chromebooks too. Simply put, they just can’t be beat.