I finally decided to replace my old Turion 64 ML-34 laptop for something a bit newer and a lot smaller.
After looking around at different models I decided to go for a chromebook. I ended up buying a Acer C710 Chromebook for various reasons.
The main reasons:
- start / search button
- coreboot support
- linux support
Things the c710 has over the c720:
- start / search button (I use this as the modifier key for i3wm)
- sdcard fits flush (sticks out on c720)
- ram is upgradable (ram soldered on c720)
- hdd is a standard 2.5" 7mm (c720 uses expensive ngff ssd)
- wifi nic easily changed
- battery removable / replaceable
A added bonus is 100GB of google drive storage for 2 years (normally $2/mo - $48 for 24months) is also nice. (would suggest encrypting files before uploading to google drive ref this response on google support)
I tried using chromeos for a while and I really like a lot of the design behind it. The whole filesystem / partition layout seems really nice and the use of eCryptfs for cached userdata is nice. For someone who just wants to browse or doesn't want/need to know much about computers chromeos seems pretty perfect.
It isn't for me tho. The lack of core applications and the feeling of being locked down meant I couldn't really use it to any extent.
It wasn't very long before I installed archlinux onto the system. The 1.1Ghz sandybridge cpu is actually really fast. I found installing linux and compiling applications / kernels to be quick.
The battery seems to also last a lot longer running linux in comparison to running chromeos (altho I have a minimalistic setup with i3wm using 160mb at desktop after boot - the mem use in chromeos was always over 1GB).