SPECS BE DAMNED! LONG LIVE THE CHROME­BOOK

At a time when tech­nol­ogy is evolv­ing at a break­neck pace and con­sumers are ob­sessed with hav­ing the lat­est and great­est prod­ucts on hand at all times there’s an emerg­ing line of thought that we no longer need su­per fast pro­ces­sors, count­less gi­ga­bytes of

TekSavvy Insider - - Front Page -

I’ve al­ways been a techy guy. Ever since my par­ents bought me a Com­modore 64 for my 6th birth­day, com­put­ers have fas­ci­nated me. I never quite cut it as a de­vel­oper, and cod­ing def­i­nitely isn’t my forte, but I’ve re­tained a healthy in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ments within the tech­nol­ogy world for the ma­jor­ity of my 31 years.

As a ded­i­cated fol­lower of tech fash­ion, as it were, I’ve al­ways been hooked on specs. I needed the fastest pro­ces­sor, the most RAM, the fu­ture- proofed moth­er­board, the high­est res­o­lu­tion dis­plays and just about ev­ery­thing in be­tween. My logic has al­ways been that I’m a busy guy, dontcha know, and those sec­onds saved on the time it takes Pho­to­shop or In­De­sign to load could well make a big dif­fer­ence at some stage.

Ob­vi­ously that’s com­plete non­sense, but that’s the mind­set that spec fol­low­ers even­tu­ally find them­selves in. If it’s not the fastest, it’s ir­rel­e­vant. And up un­til very re­cently that’s con­tin­ued to be my view on the tech­nol­ogy world.

How­ever that changed this month when I found my­self in need of a new lap­top. I had com­piled a short­list com­prised of de­vices I’d had first hand ex­pe­ri­ence with, as well as sev­eral units that had been favourably re­viewed on some of my go to tech sites, and was fully sure that noth­ing but a blaz­ingly fast lap­top with an In­tel Core i7 pro­ces­sor, 16GB of RAM and a meaty SSD would fit the bill.

A rea­son­able enough set of re­quire­ments in my mind… it’d eas­ily be able to han­dle any­thing I had to throw at it dur­ing the work­ing day.

And then I re­al­ized some­thing. I’m a writer, first and fore­most, and in the past year I’ve made the tran­si­tion away from my pre­vi­ous sta­ple, Mi­crosoft Word, to Google’s won­der­ful Docs. If you’re not familiar with Docs, or Drive in gen­eral, then you re­ally need to check it out ASAP. Its cloud- based for­mat means that you can cre­ate a file on your Drive, start work­ing on it ( all the while it’s sav­ing au­to­mat­i­cally on the cloud) and then pick up where you left off on lit­er­ally any other com­pat­i­ble de­vice in the world.

Heck, my smart­phone is even a de­cent op­tion if I find my­self in a need­ing to ac­cess or write an ar­ti­cle while I’m out and about.

Re­al­iz­ing that I spend the bulk of my work­ing life us­ing Google Drive was pretty sur­pris­ing, I’ve got to ad­mit. So much so that I started to drill down through my other most- used pieces of soft­ware…

Ob­vi­ously brows­ing the in­ter­net and hav­ing email ac­cess play a ma­jor part of any job in the me­dia th­ese days - in­stan­ta­neous com­mu­ni­ca­tion of news, prod­uct in­for­ma­tion and teaser videos are es­sen­tial for my work, so the need for a fast and re­li­able browser has led me to Chrome ( ad­mit­tedly a lot longer af­ter most peo­ple - I found it more dif­fi­cult than it needed to be to give up the handy ver­ti­cal book­marks panel in Fire­fox), an­other Google prod­uct, while the abil­ity to pull mail from my work ac­counts into Gmail has made cen­tral­iza­tion of in­for­ma­tion a whole lot eas­ier than it has been in the past.

But I also have ma­jor in­put into the de­sign work our team does, so surely In­De­sign and Pho­to­shop are pre­req­ui­sites? That was my ini­tial re­ac­tion any­way, and then I thought about how of­ten I used ei­ther piece of soft­ware on my old lap­top… and the an­swer was a re­sound­ing “al­most never, be­cause the screen is too small to be even re­motely use­ful, and I can’t re­ally use my Wa­com tablet when I’m out and about”. Es­sen­tially, I only use el­e­ments of Cre­ative Cloud when I’m sit­ting at my work­sta­tion and have all the nec­es­sary space, as well as mul­ti­ple dis­plays, avail­able to me.

Now, I know I don’t speak for ev­ery­one, and I would never claim to, but on as­sess­ing what I ac­tu­ally needed from a lap­top by fig­ur­ing out what I would RE­ALLY use it for, the specs started to be­come in­cred­i­bly ir­rel­e­vant. Noth­ing I would turn to a trusty por­ta­ble de­vice for re­quired more than min­i­mal power to carry out. Heck, an in­ter­net con­nec­tion and a key­board was re­ally all I real­is­ti­cally needed. If you’re a tech afi­cionado, you’ll likely know where this is go­ing…

Hav­ing spent al­most two years fully rub­bish­ing the con­cept of Chrome­books, us­ing all those cliched ar­gu­ments you’ve heard a thou­sand times be­fore (“Chrome OS isn’t an op­er­at­ing sys­tem, it’s a browser” or “I’ve got more pow­er­ful cal­cu­la­tors” or “but can it run Crysis 3 on high set­tings?”), I had come to the re­al­iza­tion that a Chrome­book ac­tu­ally rep­re­sented the best

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