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Other Thoughts: 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.
Pros: 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
Cons: Low end keyboard and mouse
Can’t run Windows x86 programs
Printing documents is a challenge
Feedback between monitor and USB mouse
Other Thoughts: 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
This review is from: LG Internal Super Multi Drive SATA Model - GH24NSB0B
Pros: LG ODDs never give me any trouble, they just work, and they're always available at a good price.
Cons: None, just be aware at this price point all you're getting is a bare drive with no cable or software.
Other Thoughts: I used this in a new build to install the operating system and it did just what it was supposed to, but I haven't tried burning any discs yet. I sure don't miss the old days of setting jumpers. You just basically pop one of these into the case, hook up that power and SATA cables, and you're golden.READ FULL REVIEW