Dell Chromebook 13: Upgrading the M.2 SSD

The Dell Chromebook 13 has finally started to receive discounts, and has periodically been available as a refurbished model through Dell’s online outlet store. This is great news, as the Dell 13 is arguably the best Chromebook release of 2015: click here to read my full review.

I was fortunate enough to grab one of the refurbished $279 Dell Chromebook 13’s with the Intel Core i3 5005U and 4 GB of RAM, which are also on sale new for $429.00 as of this writing. This version has even better performance than the already impressive 3205U Celeron version, while retaining the 1080p IPS display and fantastic build quality.

The Intel Core i3 processor is arguably overkill for a Chromebook, but is an excellent performer in various Linux distributions. Utilizing Crouton – which you can read about here – you can expand the capability of your Chromebook, provided you have sufficient local storage. While this version of the Dell Chromebook 13 only has 16 GB of local storage, the included M.2 42mm SSD can be easily upgraded in a few easy steps!

Continue reading Dell Chromebook 13: Upgrading the M.2 SSD

The Best Chromebooks You Can Buy: Fall & Holiday 2015

Chromebooks have come into their own during 2015, growing in popularity and seeing incredible diversification. Where 2014 saw a Chrome OS lineup that featured mostly similar budget devices with low-resolution screens, in 2015 the Chromebook line-up varies from $149 ARM-powered budget devices, to $899 and up Intel Broadwell-powered touchscreen workhorses.

This guide is designed to help you navigate this lineup and find the Chromebook that is right for you, or whoever it is that you may be shopping for. Similar to the Spring/Summer version, I’ve listed the Chromebooks in ascending order by screen size, and then at the end summarize the best Chromebook for a variety of specific categories.

As information, “Crouton” is mentioned multiple times in this article, and is a reference to a set of scripts you can download which allows your Chromebook to simultaneously run Chrome OS and Ubuntu Linux. This allows you to run programs on your Chromebook which you otherwise could not, such as Minecraft, Steam, and more. For more info, see here for background on using Linux on your Chromebook, and here for an install guide.

At the bottom of the article, you’ll find links to reviews of almost all of the Chromebooks referenced here, as well.

11.6″ Chromebooks

Best Budget Choice – Asus C201

DSC00272

The Asus C201 is still, in my opinion, the best budget Chromebook you can buy. It has an MSRP of $169.99 but has been on sale from multiple retailers for $159.99 or less, and is currently $154.99 on Amazon.com; there is also a 4 GB version that has an MSRP of $189.99.

Continue reading The Best Chromebooks You Can Buy: Fall & Holiday 2015

New Chromebooks: Dell 13 vs. Toshiba 2

Arguably the most popular consumer Chromebook of 2014 into 2015 has been the Toshiba Chromebook 2. Launched at $329.99 MSRP, but often discounted to $50 or more below that price, it features 4 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and a gorgeous 1080p IPS display… but, it is powered by the underwhelming N2840 Celeron processor. Some users have also had issues with build quality, in particular with problems with the screen mounting.

Many fans of Chrome OS hoped that this popular Toshiba Chromebook would usher in an era of more full HD, 1080p Chromebooks, and while there have been other FHD Chromebooks released, almost all of them have had lower quality TN displays instead of the much nicer IPS display of the Toshiba. The main exceptions have been a larger Chromebook – the Acer Chromebook 15 / Acer C910, and a very expensive Chromebook, the Google Chromebook Pixel.

Finally, a full year later, we have two upcoming Chromebooks that are similar in many respects to the Toshiba Chromebook 2, while offering notable improvements. The first comes from Toshiba themselves, while the second comes from Dell.

If you’re in the market for a full HD, 13.3″ Chromebook, one of these two devices is likely the right choice for you.

Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these two key upcoming Chromebooks.

Continue reading New Chromebooks: Dell 13 vs. Toshiba 2