The first time I ever used a Chromebook was at my visit to Google Fiber Space, when I first experienced the speed of Google Fiber. I was surprised and impressed with how solid the Chromebook felt. It almost reminded me of my MacBook Pro.
That’s why I was a bit disappointed when I opened the Samsung Chromebook 2. I don’t know what kind of Chromebook they had at Google Fiber Space, but this one did not feel as solid. The weight is in the sceen, which felt sturdy enough, but the keyboard has a ligher plasticy feel. It is a $300 laptop, so I’m not going to complain about that.
I purchased the Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 Inch Jet Black model on Amazon.com. Setting it up was a snap. After I pluged it in, the laptop was already on when I first opened it, and it instantly detected my Google Fiber Network. All I needed to supply was the password.
To set up a user on the Chromebook, you sign in with a Gmail account. I chose to use my Gmail account with Adsense, because that is the one I use most for my websites. It is not the same account that Google Fiber is set up on at my residence. After your account is set up, you’re finished, and you can start using the Chromebook.
Next, I wanted to see how closely I could approximate my Mac work environment using Chrome Apps. As it turns out, it was pretty easy to find free Chrome Apps for common tasks at the Chrome Web Store. Also, Chrome Apps install with pretty much just one click.
I use my Mac mostly for creating websites and photography, so the free Apps I chose to start out with were: Text – for basic text editing, Caret – for code editing, Pixlr Editor – for image editing, and Video Downloader Professional, for downloading internet video.
After selecting the apps, the next task was to configure them to default save to my Google Drive, where I have 1 TB of storage with my Google Fiber account.
I was not able to access my 1TB Google Drive by adding my Google Fiber Gmail account to my existing Chromebook login. To access the 1TB Google Drive, it was necessary to create a new Chromebook user for that account.
Adding a new Chromebook user is easy. You just select “+ Add user” from the menu at the bottom of your Chromebook display, and create the user by signing in with a different Gmail account.
After signing in with my Google Fiber Gmail address, I then needed to add those same apps to the new account. After that, I changed the default save location at the Chrome Browser settings.
Well, that’s where I’m at right now, and this is where I start my Chromebook with Google Fiber experience.
Now that I am set up, my first impression of the Samsung Chromebook 2 is very positive. Aside from it not feeling as sturdy as I had hoped, I have nothing negative to say at this point.
My goal with the Chromebook is to more fully embrace cloud computing. Having Google Fiber alone was not impetus enough for me to do do that. With my home network set up, I simply did the things I always did, only faster.
One thing I should mention for anyone with Google Fiber considering a Chromebook is that Chromebooks don’t have an etherlink port. I knew that going in, but you should be aware that you will only be using Google Fiber at WiFi speed, which is still very fast!