I’ve been using the Chromebook Flip through today and have a few review type things if you are considering one:
Display Quality. The display quality is not that bad if you keep in mind that this is a small device. Its not going to be Toshiba Chromebook 2 quality but for what I do, it works pretty well. I don’t notice pixels or issues at a quality level with it. When you flip it to tablet or tent mode, it takes a bit of getting used to learning the so-called gestures. You have to practice when there is no touchpad to make it copy and paste, select all, etc.
Keyboard. The reviews made me think that the keyboard is minimal. That is not the case. I can type very comfortably on it and am doing so right now. When you flip it to tablet or tent mode, you get an on screen keyboard. That could use some work. You can “swype” with it but you don’t get a space inserted after a word. I wish it had more of the Android/Google keyboard in it. You also get word corrections on the top. Its just a work in progress I think. It does work for typing but you may want to flip it back and use the dedicated keyboard. That’s probably the real beauty of this thing. You have the choice of tablet or keyboard. On an iPad Air there is no choice. You can attach a keyboard but its still an iPad Air with a keyboard attached.
Portability. I wish that the display came off completely and you could use it as a tablet only without the keyboard at all. I am hoping that is the next mode we get on a device. I’d like one with a 11.1 inch screen or so and the ability to completely detach it. I’d pay a Asus or Acer $400.00 for that device. I think that’s the next step of the chrome convergence devices. But… Lets be honest here. This thing beats the pants off the Nexus 9 tablets. Its just that much better and the chrome OS seems to have a lot of the touch specific enhancements already in but some things would be nice. I would like it if we had the Android style “intents” for sharing to other apps. This is something that spoils me every time I use it. I got so messed up with the IOS sharing or lack thereof. Very frustrating for a media device the way apps just will not share easily.
Tablet vs Laptop. I think the real thing here is that its not “versus”. Its “and”. That’s the power here. You have both. I could see traveling with this using hangouts for calls and having the access to my google drive files and stuff on teh road. The next time I go, this Flip or the next generation of detachable devices will go. I don’t need a phone internationally with this thing. That’s the real power of the tablet and laptop functionality. Its a converged thing; not just a convertible. I don’t think the word convertible really does it justice. Its truly converging and integrating how we use devices. With some more spit and polish to the tablet mode and a device which frees us from having the keyboard attached, we enter the next big arena for the integrated Chromebooks.
I’m waiting for that one!