I got a Acer C7 Chromebook to try out. Hey, for $199 you cannot go wrong… Well, maybe you can.
I had not seriously used Chrome before (OS or Browser), as I still mainly used Firefox for the most part.
I went over to my couch and sat down with my Chromebook and tried to find replacement Chrome apps to cover my day-to-day doing. The biggest app I spent time trying to find was a solid Remote Desktop App. Although I can do a lot from the Chromebook itself, there are still a few instances where I needed specific applications on my desktop. I spent some time trying out the default Chrome Remote Desktop client. However, Chrome and the app needs to be installed on the desktop computer you want to remote desktop into (not a problem) but the app will not change the screen resolution from the desktop computer to the size of the Chromebook’s window, similar to what the default Windows implementation of the Remote Desktop Protocol. The reason that not-resizing was unacceptable to me is because my desktop computer has two monitors, so the size of my desktop’s screen is huge, and I hate scrolling around to find all my windows.
Therefore, I set out to find Remote Desktop Protocol client, and found several that required the installation of additional software on some computer. I do not understand why I need a middle software to run this. In the end, I found Chrome RDP, which is a RDP client that does not need any software to be installed. Chrome RDP current costs $4.99 (they say it is an introductory price), and it comes with a 7-day free trial to make sure it works for you. Sniffing the packets sent from my computer, Chrome RDP connects right to the computer I input.
One of the other app I wanted to have was a SSH client, and quickly found the Secure Shell app from Google. It works great, and I have had no problems with it.
Now that I had replacement apps for mostly everything I do, I was able to get to work on solely using the Chromebook, and now I started running into software/hardware issues.
The first issue I had was I was actually able to hang the Chromebook! For a short time, whenever I looked at Amazon.com’s Black Friday Deals, and I scrolled to the next page of them the whole ChromeOS would freeze. Not cool; how am I suppose to shop! I re-created the issue three times (attempting to find more deals) before finally giving up. I tried again an hour later and it no longer crashed the ChromeOS; I guess there was some deals on page 2 Google did not want me to know about.
The second (and fatal) issue I had was that the “A” key on the keyboard started to squeak, and then eventually stick pressed down. It would eventually come back up after enough taps, but then it would get stuck again after a few more presses. Now, I had only owned this Chromebook for two day, and had used for for maybe a total of 4 hours. I am very good about having clean hands when I use my laptop (especially a new laptop!) and did not spill anything on or drop the Chromebook.
I thought, well the Chromebook comes with a 1-year warranty, so I guess I need to take advantage of that. So I go to the Acer Chromebook Support Page, which as of November 23rd 2012 did not list the Acer C7 Chromebook. Great, so I figure out how to call up Acer Support, tell them my issue, and they say that I can send in the Chromebook and they will repair it, but I have to pay for shipping to Acer!
After searching the internet about Acer Support, making you pay for shipping is pretty standard for Acer. I am mad now; this is a brand new Chromebook, this is a factory defect, yet I have to pay extra money to get it operational.
I decide to escalate things, and take this issue to Google. I look at their Replacements policy, which indicates that within 15 days of delivery I can exchange a defective product for a new one. I click the link to “email our support team”, which only talks about returning Nexus devices and not a Chromebook. So, I instead call the 800 number listed in my order confirmation, and start the replacement that way.
The support person on the phone was very helpful in wanting to help replace my Chromebook, however, the first thing he said to me was that Acer handles the Acer Chromebook warranty claims, not Google. He made it sound like issues with the Acer Chromebook is fairly common. I explained to him that I was within my 15 days, and he was able to replace my device under “Dead on Arrival.”
So, I am getting shipped a new Acer C7 Chromebook, but now I have this bad taste in my mouth about Acer.
Overall, I love the Chromebook, but hate Acer. Think twice before buying an Acer (Chromebook or other).