I had not read any of the quite positive reviews like this one and didn't need to. The advertised 13 hours battery life, if true, were enough to convince me, together with the fact that the device was down to £189,- and was the only one with a reasonable keyboard that did not flex immediately from simply typing on it like the other ones from HP and Asus on show at PCWorld did.
|Fn keys are missing from the Acer Chromebook's keyboard|
Full-screen video playback is alright too. The machine boots up in around two seconds and sports a 32GB SSD, 2x USB 3.0 connectors, HDMI, a card reader slot and a socket for head phones. The matte screen is clear and bright. All in all no complaints, quite the opposite. With hardware like this the Chromebook is definitely a winner here. You also get 100 GB Google Drive space for a year advertised, which in my case for what ever reason actually turned out to be 1 TB, far more than I'll ever need. The idea is probably to get customers to fill up this space and in a year's time start paying up but until then it's a free ride.
|1 TB instead of 100 Gig and super long battery life that isn't a joke|
However, with other options you may be able to keep your Chrome OS and run both. It is possible to install Ubuntu in a chroot via a tool called Crouton and this allows you much more freedom in the choice of desktop environment as well as you'll add it after the basic install. Several good tutorials exist, some with videos if that's what you prefer, but I am fond of this one. As there is quite a choice of distributions for the arm architecture now I'm sure the above two are not the only ones that will work, but for sure they will be the easier ones to install. Let me know how you get on.
Chrome logo by Google Inc. (http://www.google.com/press/images.html) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.