Moving from Windows laptop to Chromebook. First impressions of DELL Inspiron Chromebook 14

You can read the first part of this long story here.

My long waiting was rewarded with a beautifully constructed laptop called DELL Inspiron Chromebook 14. And if DELL puts the label “Inspiron” on its product, you can be sure it is good. I mean good in terms of build quality. It was all my knowledge about this laptop at that moment.

This post was written a long time ago and a lot of things changed since then. Some information provided here could be outdated, and some links could not work. Still, it could be helpful for someone so I’m leaving it here. For someone interested, and for history.

Look and feel

I really love that body! It is small and slim. A bit heavy, but I was expecting this. The aluminum lid feels very nice and the way it is closing is amazing! The body has rubber lugs and the lid has a soft frame around the screen making closing it extremely soft.

I used a laptop with 15.6 inches display previously, also I have 14 inches laptop as my workstation and I tried to use a small Xiaomi laptop with something about 13 inches screen. After all of that, I concluded that 14 inches are perfect for me no matter how strange it sounds.

Actually, this Chromebook is good from each and every side. It has USB-C ports on both sides and you can charge it through any of them. The charger by the way is pretty small for a laptop charger. Also, it has a regular USB port and headphones jack on the left and a MicroSD slot with sound and power buttons on the right.

And the main thing I should mention about at the begging – it is convertible.

Heat output is placed behind the right lid hinge and this is the best place for hot air out I think because it will not heat your legs any more.

And I need to mention the sound here. Laptop speakers are placed in the bottom of the body, oriented down to the table or anything you will place your Inspiron on. I was skeptical about this solution until I heard the sound. My previous laptop was packed with a super-duper surround sound system by JBL and it was really good until now. Now I think it was sucks compared to DELL Inspiron Chromebook 14 sound.

Chrome OS

“Where is my Del key?? How I should live without it now??” – that was my first impression. The second concern was about the keyboard layout switch. Looks like Alt+Shift was too comfortable for users and Google decided to replace it with… Ctrl+Shift+Space. Definitely It will take time to get used.

But it is all about Google. You just log in with your Google account and you are ready to go. Amazingly fast boot and switch to sleep mode and back from it. Also, it is worth mentioning that DELL Inspiron Chromebook 14 is powered by Intel Core i3 Coffee Lake CPU.

The best thing about Chrome OS is that you have nothing in this OS you don’t really need. It is one of the main problems when we are talking about Windows 10. It can be fast (maybe), and it can do what you want but it has so much trash you don’t really need! And you can’t remove all of the apps and services you are not using. Microsoft Corporation decided that you need it! That’s it! Back to Chrome OS, you have a browser and basic operating system functions like power management, notifications, sound, etc. If you need something else feel free to install it as a web app or as an Android app. Do you need something more? Linux has it for you but this is a topic for another post.

Talking about Android apps. It gives you an almost unlimited list of things you can do on your Chromebook with a strange feeling that you are using some hybrid monster. But after some time you are trying to run Linux apps and realize that you just found a real monster. This is very strange at the beginning but it works and it works fast. Sometimes it is even better to use an Android app instead of the web version and sometimes there is only an Android app available for you and no any web alternatives. By the way, I was expecting some performance degradation running all my favorite Android apps on Chromebook and switching between them, but I was wrong. It is still fast and comfortable.

Of course, I need to mention the battery life. I spent a couple of hours already writing this post, editing photos, translating complex expressions, and ordering pizza and I still have 90% left.

To tell you more about switching from a Windows laptop I need to set up a development environment. It will be the first big challenge for my Chromebook on the way of moving all the complicated tasks I was able to perform on a Windows laptop to Chrome OS.

Stay tuned.




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