- Intel® Celeron® processor
- 2GB DDR3L 16GB SSD (Sandisk) HDD
- 21.5" 1920 x 1080
- Google Chrome OS
I ran out of room on my first review 07/18/2014
I'm posting the rest of my review because there is a hardware glitch I wanted to address: Regarding the 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, quiet but noticeable squeal that sounded like a hardware feedback loop. Interestingly, the noise would occur when I moved the mouse. I found that if I lowered the onscreen volume to about 65% the noise went away (or was so low I couldn’t hear it), even when I maxed out the volume using the keyboard. I experimented with another USB mouse and got the same results. Then I tried two different wireless mice, one Bluetooth and the other RF. Neither produced the squeal and they worked just fine with all volumes set to max. The moral of the story: if you get one of these plan on investing in a wireless mouse. Oh, and don’t expect much from the speakers, they sound like what you would typically get on a laptop, with no bass to speak of. Sound is greatly improved when using headphones or external powered speakers, of course.
I was curious to see if the USB 3.0 port on the side of the monitor (there also are three USB 2.0 ports in the back) could power something bigger than a thumb drive so I hooked up a USB 3.0, 500GB Seagate external drive. It took only a moment to launch, and all of the files stored on it were accessible. In addition to the ones I mentioned earlier I was also able to view .bmp and .jpg image files. By the way, I found a “File” app preinstalled that takes me right to the file tree; very easy to navigate if you need to go there.
I’ve been using the Chromebase exclusively since I got it while my Windows desktop sits idle, and I have to say that all-in-all this is a very nice unit. I’m giving it 4 stars even though it isn’t perfect, simply because you’re getting so much value for the money. I would have given it a perfect score if it hadn’t been for the feedback problem between the monitor and the mouse and the difficulty with printing and handling of some documents. Frankly, I think this computer excels at its intended use and price point.
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