- Celeron (Haswell)
- 2GB DDR3L 16GB SSD (Sandisk) HDD
- 21.5" 1920 x 1080
- Google Chrome OS
Very Nice All-in-One 07/18/2014
Terrific IPS screen
Boots from full off to logon screen in seconds
Snappy performance for its specs
Drop dead simple to use
Lots of useful apps
Low end keyboard and mouse
Can’t run Windows x86 programs
Printing documents is a challenge
Feedback between monitor and USB mouse
We’re a Windows PC household, with three desktops I built and a couple of portables, so I’m comfortable around computers. I’ve also had Apple computers in the past, starting with the Apple IIe in the 80s and ending with a Mac Mini a few years ago. I have to say the Chromebase is the easiest computer I’ve ever set up.
It is also a very nice looking unit, something of an iMac lookalike due to the stand, although definitely not the same build quality. The Chromebase is all plastic construction, to be expected at this price point, but nicely executed. The keyboard and mouse are budget items but I found typing on the keyboard to be pleasant enough, with good tactile response and key travel; not bad at all for a membrane keyboard. The mouse is a cheap, lightweight thing, but it gets the job done. The money you’re paying is for the monitor. It’s a very nice, full HD IPS screen that looks terrific.
There is some assembly required but it’s well documented and simple, just six screws to mount the computer to the stand. Then all I had to do was connect the mouse, keyboard, Ethernet cable, and power. As soon as I plugged in the power the computer booted to the logon screen in just seconds. There was a brief, optional tutorial on the screen after logging on and then I was up and running.
We network in our house using powerline adapters, and I hooked the Chromebase up to an adapter during setup for internet connectivity, then later went online with wireless to see how well that worked. No problems with either mode, they both worked as they should. After logging on to wireless the first time the system will automatically default to that if the wired Ethernet is disconnected.
I tried all the programs that would be important to me if I didn’t care about AAA gaming or fancy image editing programs. I tested Gmail, Netflix, web searches with Google using Chrome, Outlook.com, Pandora, and a bunch of others, and everything worked just as it was supposed to with no hassle. Netflix movies, for example, stream nicely with no stuttering. I especially liked that I can open the Outlook Web App (OWA) to access my work email. High-end gaming is not an option on this device but performance is surprisingly good considering the specs. I tried a couple of the free games in the app store, like Bejeweled, and they ran fine. I didn’t experience any noticeable lags or slowdowns, but be aware that with only 2GB of RAM you won’t be able to do any serious multitasking.
I also tried multimedia files to see how they would play. I ripped one of my movies to .mp4 format on my Windows desktop and transferred it to a 3.0 USB stick, then launched the movie on the Chromebase. It played flawlessly with adequate volume, as did .mp3 music files.
Speaking of volume, you can set it using both the screen menu arrows and the keyboard’s dedicated volume keys. I noticed that if I had the volume set to 100% using the screen menu there was an intermittent, high-pitched, quie
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