There is endless carping by ill-informed or ignorant pundits talking about Chromebooks being “bricks without WiFi”. It is time to look at that with fresh eyes.
I am shocked to discover I have not written about the offline capabilities of the Chromebook. I have written a lot in comments on other Blogs, and lost track of the fact that I have not discussed it here.
The 31 Day Chromebook Challenge – Day 30
My 31 Day Chromebook Challenge is drawing to a close. And it is time to speak out about the Chrome OS. Most of this article was written in the passenger seat of my car, definitely offline. And with no problems at all.
I am writing this on the Samsung chromebook. I am offline, typing in Write Space using a fairly large font. I like the ability to set up Write Space with colours, fonts and page width. I am writing is less than perfect viewing conditions, and It is perfectly readable and comfortable.
I am listening to music saved to the downloads folder through my headphones, writing until a 25 minute countdown timer to tells me to take a break, and I have access to lots of notes in Google Keep and saved from Feedly into Pocket.
So, here is the executive summary for you impatient types:
Offline, with the default Chromebook installation I can:
- Manage Files – Move, copy, delete and more with The file manager
- Read and edit e-mail, and send when connected with Gmail offline
- Edit all types of documents with Google Docs
- Create, read and search notes in Keep.
- Set reminders and alarms in Keep
- View my Calendar in Google Calendar
- Use Calculator – A simple calculator, but it works offline
- Audio & Video player – Part of the Files app. Most music and video files just play. Even from External drives and devices
- Display a presentation in Full Screen mode and use the HDMI port to send it to a projector
- Take photos using the (front facing) camera app.
With apps from the Play Store I can:
- Write text using Write Space
- Run timers and alarms using Timer
- Read saved web content in Pocket
- Edit images using Pixlr Editor
- Access lists and outlines across devices using Workflowy
- Create Flowcharts and Diagrams using Gliffy Diagrams.
The Things I CANNOT do:
- Capture or edit audio or video (offline)
- Open a zip file
- Open an encrypted volume
- Access Dropbox folders and files (offline)
- Use Evernote (offline)
All in all, I can do a hell of a lot with a Chromebook. And I have close to 9 hours of battery life in lecture note taking mode, with WiFi off and screen brightness lowered.
And I have six or more hours plus in full working mode.
I intend to write a lot more about ChromeOS and Chrome apps in the Future. I also have some words about the Microsoft Scroogled Toadies and their severely slanted views.
Enjoy! – Phil Stephens