How’s it going, everyone? Today I want to talk about something that’s … It’s not really a review in the sense of how I do most of my reviews on this website, but it’s just a sort of general chat and an overview of something I have been using as part of my business that I want to give some feedback on. I guess you could call it a review, but just not a particularly in-depth one. Basically, for anyone who’s known PCs and computers for, well, pretty much for as long as most of us can remember, you’ve really had two choices. You can either pick Mac, or you can pick Windows. Most people have Windows by a overwhelming majority. There are some people who take Linux, but I mean, this will probably attract the ire of Linux adepts worldwide, but I don’t really rate it that much as …
If you’re into programming and sort of computer-type stuff like that, then yeah, it might be a good option for you, but for the average person, especially the average internet marketer who just wants to get shit done, I don’t recommend Linux. I don’t think you’d find many internet marketers using it either. Really, you’ve always had the choice between Mac or Windows. Most people go for Windows, but Mac does offer a number of advantages in terms of ease of use and I think still Mac is better for doing graphics, and audio, and video production, and all those kind of things, though I do believe the gap has narrowed. It’s important for me to make very clear that I’m not an expert on this kind of thing. All I’m doing is giving my opinion. The reason I want to talk about this, well, is, a while ago, when I first started this blog, actually, I did an article on Mac versus Windows for internet marketers and which is better.
Now there’s a new kid on the block for doing not in-depth internet marketing work, things like producing video content or photo content or anything like that, but for just maintaining a WordPress website or typing up some content, or running AdWords, or anything like that, or Facebook Ads, there is another option out there, and I want to share my experiences with it. This option is a Chrome OS. If you’ve heard of Chromebook, Chromebook computers, Chrome OS is the operating system that they run on that’s basically, to the best of my understanding, a sort of fleshed-out version of Chrome browser with some other apps included. I’ve been using a Chromebook now for my internet marketing business for about three months, three or four months, and I just want to give my feedback on what I think about it and why I think this is actually worth bringing up.
The Chromebook in question I’ve got is an ASUS. It’s an ASUS C302CA, I think. It’s called a Chromebook Flip, so it’s got a high-resolution screen, actually, for a Chromebook. I bought my girlfriend one a couple of years ago for a birthday present, and that was an ASUS one as well, but it’s just a basic sort of 11-inch, very plasticky, education-style Chromebook. It’s still going strong, but the display was pretty terrible on it, but this Chromebook Flip I saw on Amazon. I had a whole bunch of Amazon credit in my account, and I sort of sat on it for quite a while and thought, “Should I buy it? Should I not?” I looked at some other ones, like there’s a Samsung Chromebook Pro, which also looks really good and has a more almost sort of old-school laptop layout in the sense that it’s got a higher-height screen, and it comes with a stylus and everything.
There’s a number of better options out there with Chromebooks. Obviously, the meat of the market for Chromebooks is still those cheap as, low-end, $100. Sometimes you can see them for $50 refurbished on daily deal sites, and I think if you saw a cheap one, you should pick it up, but anyway, back to the ASUS Chromebook Flip. I ordered it from Amazon. It arrived about a week later, which was amazing, all the way over in New Zealand, and I got it set up and basically started using it. I’ve been using it every single day since I bought it, and I feel like as far as a productivity and work tool for an internet marketer goes, I feel pretty qualified to give a good opinion on it.
Anyway, this is what I think about the ASUS Chromebook Flip, and also in general Chrome OS is a work solution for internet marketers. Basically, I think if your business revolves around doing, I guess, simple stuff online in terms of almost everything you do, you can do it through a web browser, so you use Google Apps, Email, or another online email platform. You’ve got a website that runs on WordPress, or Weebly, or Squarespace, or something like that, and you edit it through an online login area. You run Facebook pages. You log into Google AdWords. You log into Facebook Ads. You run a forum where you just log in through vBulletin or whatever.
I mean, if you do anything like that, which I reckon would probably be about 75, 80% of what most internet marketers do, honestly, I think you could just about get away with only using a Chromebook, especially if you have one of these better ones, like the ASUS Chromebook Flip or the Samsung Chromebook Pro. I mean, I’ve really been blown away by how easy it’s been to work with. Just the other day, I flew up the South Island of New Zealand for a consulting trip. I was flown up by a company to consult with them about their digital marketing strategy and how they could improve that for 2019 and areas of improvement to their business.
Yeah, this was the first time I’d done a trip only with my Chromebook. Well, I obviously took my phone as well, but yeah, I thought I was going to be sort of limited, or I might get to the office of this client and find that they need help with something that requires a special piece of software or whatever, but actually, it just performed flawlessly, this computer, seriously. The battery life as well on these Chromebooks seems to be pretty stellar. The ASUS Chromebook that I’ve got, I mean, I flew up at absolute crack of dawn, and I came home reasonably late, and by the time I got home, I still had about four and a half hours battery life left in the … I’d been doing quite a bit of work on the computer. To be honest, I didn’t miss Windows or Mac OS once that whole day.
Yeah, I think that Chrome OS and Chromebooks have a really good sort of place for someone who’s doing internet marketing, who just needs a simple, effective laptop, really, to access the internet and to do web-based tasks. Now, if your business revolves around video production, or Photoshopping, or very heavy use of things like spreadsheets, then it’s probably not going to be the right option for you. Really, if you want to do spreadsheets, you need to have Excel, and as far as I’m aware, the Android Excel apps aren’t very good, and Google Sheets is just terrible compared to Excel. There are basic Photoshop apps and video editing apps. New Chromebooks, especially the more powerful ones, can actually run Android apps, just like you’d install on your phone. You can buy them from the Google Play Store. That’s pretty cool, but really, that’s where you’ll notice that there’s something missing.
If your business revolves around using desktop-based software rather than accessing things through the cloud, then yeah, Chromebook’s probably not going to be suitable for you, but certainly yeah, if you use, say, Gmail for your email, or any Google Apps email, so a custom email address that you access through gmail.com, and if you just log into Facebook and other social media platforms, and you manage your blogs and websites all through basically cloud-based platforms, then I think that you could probably do 80 to 90% of your work with a Chromebook. When you consider how nice and easy that will work with … The thing I love about working on my Chromebook Flip, on my ASUS, is that it feels very clean and sort of uncluttered to work on, does not update, there’s messages popping up everywhere like you get on Windows. It’s more almost like a sort of Mac experience, but for a whole lot less money. I went the other day, and I looked at the new MacBook Pro, the Touch Bar ones. I looked at a 13-inch one and compared it to the Chromebook I’m using now.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip is a beautiful-looking machine. It’s very, very slickly produced. I mean, really, I’ve had people in workplaces, I’ve brought it along to when I’ve been consulting or whatever, come up to me and say, “Is that a new Mac?” Because I’ve got a case on it. It looks really, really slick. Obviously, some of the other ones are a lot cheaper-looking and a lot more plasticky, but there are some high-end-looking models for significantly less money. In comparison, I looked at this Mac, and I thought, “Well, it’s about five to six times the price I paid for the ASUS Chromebook Flip.” That includes the fact that I had to ship the ASUS all the way from the United States and paying them for duty, deposit, and everything.
I don’t know if I would be able to get five to six times the value out of that … Out of the Mac, sorry. I mean, certainly, if I was doing Photoshop, or heavy video editing, or audio production, or anything, well, then, yeah, I would go with a Mac or a powerful Windows equivalent like a Surface Pro, or a Dell XPS, or something like that, but for what I do, 90% of what I do can be summed up by accessing a WordPress website and editing it, accessing Facebook, accessing email, accessing other social networks. Word processing I do, I’m happy enough with just Google Docs. The only time I … All my business, invoice templates, and everything, and proposal templates, they’re all built in Google Docs anyway.
Yeah, overall, Chromebooks and Chrome OS, I think, really do have a place now for anyone who wants to sort of have a affordable and efficient machine for doing work on. I actually think, of any computer I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned way too many of them, from Macs to I’ve got a big Windows desktop workstation at home, to Windows laptops, you name it, if I just want to sit down and write, for example, I would pick the Chromebook every time. It’s got a great screen, brilliant battery life, keyboard’s nice to use. I really can’t fault it.
The only time it’s sort of left lacking is, yeah, if you’ve got to do something that requires a specific piece of software. I don’t think, unless you had a business where you know you never need to touch Photoshop, or Sony Vegas, or Camtasia, or Excel, or any of those powerhouse programs that you need a desktop computer for, or a laptop with Mac or Windows, if you know you never need that stuff, well, you probably could get away with that, with a higher-end Chromebook, and I think you’d have a pretty good time with it as well.
I mean, certainly, this ASUS Chromebook I’ve got has absolutely blown me away. It’s just a joy to use, and Chrome OS is just so … It feels so fluid, and fast, and simple, and it’s, feels so unbloated. I think, really, the ultimate combo for someone like me, and I think a lot of internet marketers would fall into the same boat as me, is having a sort of powerhouse workstation, either at home, or at your office, or wherever you work. In my case, that’s a big, fast, beefy i7 Windows machine. Tons of RAM. I’ve got a massive 36-inch or 34-inch ultra-wide monitor, all the bells and whistles. That’s my workstation. That’s where I really get serious business done.
But out in the field, or take it to a café, or take it to a client’s office, or take it on the plane while you want to do some work while you’re flying across the country, or overseas, yeah, Chromebook can be a really good option. I recommend giving it a try, certainly if you come across a cheap Chromebook, even if it’s one of the more plasticky basic models. If it’s cheap enough, pick it up. I think my dad, for example, he picked one up here in New Zealand on a Boxing Day sale for about $75. It was a cheapie Lenovo one, but he uses it all the time. He’s got a MacBook Pro, and if he looks at what he paid for his MacBook Pro versus what he paid for the cheap Lenovo Chromebook, his MacBook Pro was about 30 times as much, all said and done. He says to me, and I agree, “You’re not getting 30 times the use out of that MacBook Pro.”
Yeah, Chromebook can be a great option, certainly as a sort of secondary machine that you use for doing uncluttered, basic work. I think they’re really, really good. I would recommend springing for one of the better ones, like the Chromebook Flip, or the Samsung Chromebook Pro, unless you can get one of the cheap, basic, education series ones, like there’s a really classic HP Chromebook you see everywhere, or basic Acer ones. They’re available everywhere. If you can get them cheap enough, get one of those.
The other thing I want to mention as well is that people will say, “I can’t get a Chromebook because I need to be online all the time.” I mean, look, unless you’re out in the wop-wops and you don’t have much internet access, it’s really not an issue. If you’re an internet marketer, 95% of what you do is going to require internet access anyway. Whether you’re working on Windows, on Mac, or whatever, you are going to be connected to the internet regardless. I certainly didn’t notice it was a problem. When I flew up to Auckland the other day and I did some work on the plane, just opened up the Google Docs, and it went into offline mode, and typed out an article for a project I’m working on while the plane was gliding along. When I got off the other side and got to where I needed to be, I connected to some Wi-Fi, and it all synced up nicely. It’s not as big an issue as it was, especially if you’ve got a mobile phone or similar device that you can also create a hotspot on.
Yeah, Chromebook for internet marketers, it’s an interesting proposition. Certainly, I think if you have a nice machine at home or in the office, whether that’s a desktop or a beefier Windows or Mac laptop, Chromebook, especially one of the more premium ones, can be a great sidekick that you take around with you. You can get a lot of basic work done on them, and they’re just nice to use. Have a look at the different models. I’ll link to the ASUS Chromebook I got off Amazon. I’m really, really impressed by it, and yeah, give it a try and let me know your thoughts.