I bought my first Chromebook (Toshiba Chromebook 2 FullHD) a couple of weeks ago to make my first personal “Enterprise Readiness” check for Chromebooks with Google’s productivity suite “Google Apps for Work.
The device fully met my expectations. After unboxing it took me less than 3 minutes to setup a WiFi connection, login with my Google Apps for Work account, start working with all data sychronized and available on my new Chromebook within minutes.
This was awesome, I tried the same with a Microsoft Surface tablet, Macbook Air and a traditional Windows device managed by a corporate IT department – No way.
Average cold boot time is 5 seconds which is really fast. I am getting more and more used to it, it’s so fast and it’s more and more annoying to boot one of my other devices (Windows laptop from HP, Macbook, …).
Battery lifetime is also great, it’s between 6,5h and 7,5h under heavy load, not bad for a 300 € lowcost device.
After testing the features of Google Apps for Work which are by design well integrated, I started some tests with my Office 365 account.
From my personal point of view it’s definitly also a device for people who are mainly working with Office 365. Word, Excel, Powerpoint online performance is excellent on ChromeOS. One-drive for business integration could be better but for the price of Chromebooks and ChromeOS this is not really a major drawback.
Creating presentations with Sway/Office 365 works perfect, the only thing I was really missing is a Skype for Business client. An integrated fat client like Google’s Hangout in ChromeOS would make the whole story perfect.
My conclusion of this first quick testing period was that I will definitely keep an eye on ChromeOS. I hope that Google will keep on developing that platform and it will have a great future.
Even IT departments benefit from Chromebooks. They are easy to deploy and maintaine, no data is stored on local media, the whole device could be easily restored, everything is in your Google account or Office 365 account. Maybe it will take some time until this devices will enter large enterprise environments, but for many industries which are more and more under high cost pressure this will be a great opportunity to get costs down and give users a device which let them focus on their business and on their real work instead of waiting for slow booting machines, registry errors or applications which are not starting due misconfiguration. There are great times ahead for mobile workforces with Chromebooks.
I will keep on using my new Toshiba, only for heavy tasks like video editing, bulk image processing activities I will boot my good old Mac or Windows laptop.
Video: Comparison Chromebook vs. Macbook
Checkout Larissa’s and Jonny FD’s great test on Youtube comparing a 1000 Dollar Apple Macbook with Toshibas Chromebook.
She does it from her $300 Chromebook. I do it from my $1,000 Macbook Air.
Chromebooks: Great and cheap devices for users of online productivity suites like Google Apps for Work or Office 365