February 2014 is Chromebook month for me

Beginning tomorrow, February 1st, 2014, I'm conducting an experiment that I'm calling "30 days with the Chromebook". At the end of the month, I'll present my Chromebook diary to you.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor on

I received an Acer* Chromebook for Christmas and I haven't had much time to really work with it. I've gone through the short setup, read my Gmail on it and browsed the web a bit but I've never really taken it through its paces. I've never put it to the test. For the entire month of February, I'm going to use my Chromebook exclusively for everything** business and personal. My experiment's hypothesis is, "Can I survive for one month with just a Chromebook?***" 

Is it possible to use nothing but web-based applications for one month? Most of the work I do is via web applications, so the test is not far-fetched. There are online versions of almost everything I need to use.

Web-based applications that I'll use during my experiment:

  • Google Docs - Word processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations
  • Wordpress - My Frugal Networker blog site
  • ZDNet's Publishing Interface - Articles and posts for Consumerization and Virtualization
  • Graphics Creation and Manipulation - I'm open for suggestions
  • Gmail - Email
  • Other - If I discover that I have other needs, I'll respond to those as I uncover them.

Google Docs can handle my need for word processing. I don't really do all that much with spreadsheets or presentations but if I have that need, I think Google Docs can handle it. As for my own site, The Frugal Networker, I have Wordpress to make those entries. ZDNet's publishing interface is web-based. I'll use Gmail for my email as usual.

The only problem that I anticipate is graphics creation and manipulation. I create and edit my own graphics for my ZDNet posts and my Frugal Networker posts unless there are vendor graphics available or something in the public domain that fits.

If you have ideas for online, Chrome-compatible graphics creation and manipulation sites that you've tested or used, please enlighten me. 

I'm hoping that a combination of Google Apps and other online resources will make my total web dependency easier than I anticipate.

I don't foresee any other major problems with the test because most of the applications that I use are online or have online equivalents. Do you foresee any problems with my exclusive Chromebook use experiment?

My Acer Chromebook is a C710-2856 with a manufacture date of 06/23/2013.

The specifications:

Chrome OS™ - Intel® Celeron® 847 processor (1.1GHz) - 2GB DDR3 memory - 16GB solid state drive - 11.6" HD CineCrystal™ LED-backlit display (1366 x 768) - Intel® HD graphics - Mobile Intel® NM70 Express chipset - stereo speakers - HD audio - webcam - Chrome OS™ keyboard - Wireless - HDMI® - card reader - 4-hour battery - 1-year limited warranty. Color: Iron Gray.

I'm excited to get started and will give you my honest overview at the end of the month, which will include my complete diary and impressions along the way. It should be fun.

I'd love to read about your experiences with the Chromebook. Use the contact form or the Comments section to tell me about your own trials and tribulations.

*I actually requested the Samsung Chromebook but my wife probably went with whatever Wal-Mart offered or she recognized Acer because I buy a lot of Acer products: My old laptop (now a test system), my netbook, and my oldest son's laptop. Brand recognition.

**Exception: My day job.

***No iPad, no Mac mini, no other PC.

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