A couple of weeks ago I shared a poster from a former coworker’s Facebook page that showed a little cartoon figure with the tag line, “The air hurts my face. Why am I living where the air hurts my face?”
This weekend I once again asked that very question. I’ve asked that question it seems more often this winter than usual. I don’t remember a winter where it was so cold and we had so many days of snow-sleet-ice of some amount. True we haven’t had the Snowmageddon of 2009 or the Icepocalypse of 2007, but in terms of numbers of days this winter it seems to have had many more days of winter junk.
I, for one, am tired of it. My wife, for two is also tired of it. So naturally the conversation this evening turned to where could we live where the air doesn’t hurt our face. She brought up Costa Rica. Not sure about that one. I think Grand Cayman. Regardless of the location I asked my wife again “Why do we not live where the air doesn’t hurt our faces?” She answered, “Family.” I’m not sure that’s an acceptable answer. Perhaps it’s time to research this further.
Growing up in Oklahoma one gets used to a variety of weather phenomena. It’s gets blistering hot, bone chilling cold and everything in between, sometimes in the same day! We live under a tornado watch from april to july. You learn when to get concerned and when to just go with it. For all of our local media and their battle for ratings leading them on goofy rants with bedazzled ties, doppler radars and terms of “maxi grinder”, “Gentner” and “polar vortex”, most of us just sort of ignore the dramatics and focus on the truly important info.
The one phenomena I just can’t quite figure out though is thundersleet. A thunderstorm with lightning and thunder that instead of rain, drops sleet. Who dreams this crazy stuff up? We can’t leave winter and spring separate? no….we have to combine the two. Like a bad chemical mix. Sure to blow up! Don’t go out in the thundersleet. You might get struck by lightning or slide off the road into a ditch! Or slide off the road and then get struck by lightning! Now that’s a two for one. I’ll pass! Man 100 degrees sure sounds good right now.
So now that I’ve found the motivation to write again, I thought I would get a new tool to do that with. I started researching Chromebooks. Since I had recently switched over to an Android phone (Moto X) and I was already firmly entrenched in the Chrome web browser I thought I would try a Chromebook. I’ve got a Surface Pro for work that I use as my PC. I like it. I have other windows machines at home as well as a Mac Mini. I love all of them and bounce from device to device depending on my mood.
But I’ve made the move to the Google Ecosystem, so I thought I would dive all in. I wanted something lightweight, portable, inexpensive and relatively quick. I didn’t want or need all of the functions of a full blown laptop. A Chromebook seemed intriguing. I started researching, reading reviews, and watching video after video. How did we survive before YouTube? I also just recently added the ability to do mobile hotspot on my phone, so having a constant internet connection was not going to be a problem. Another reason to look at a Chromebook.
I quickly decided that I wanted a netbook size device. I settled the debate down to two devices, the HP Chromebook 11 and the Acer C720. Not an easy choice. I listed out the pros and cons of each device and tried to really pin down what was important to me. The HP was the better looking device. It offered the better screen and it used a micro usb port for charging, the same as my phone. Although the standard car charger didn’t have enough amperage to charge the HP, still it would’ve meant only carrying the chromebook charger as it would’ve charged my phone.
The Acer had the better performance specs, by a long shot. The Haswell chip when I compared it side by side against the Exynos was noticeably faster. It also boasted the better battery life. It claims 7.5 to 8 hours. We’ll see on that.
The keyboard on the HP was better in my opinion, but not substantially. The trackpad on the Acer was better in my opinion, but once again, not noticeably. Both offered the same 100GB of Google Drive space for 2 years. What that means to me is I can move my files from Dropbox to Google, close my Dropbox account and in that two years just about pay for the Chromebook I chose.
The other big difference between the two devices was price. At $199, the Acer was $80 cheaper. That’s a pretty significant amount on a device that is under $300. So the choice came down to performance vs. aesthetics, with aesthetics costing more. Once I played with the HP the choice became much clearer. I chose the Acer C720. I just didn’t feel the HP was powerful enough even though I’m not a really heavy user.
Now comes the real question, will I actually use it?