Testing Chrome OS: With a cheap Chromebook Tablet [E]

Introduction

There are Chromebook Tablets that are very cheap, like Apple iPads (without Pro), and are suitable for testing Chrome OS if you like tablets in general and even prefer them over laptops or desktops. Like iPads, they are perfect for consuming multimedia content of various kinds. More on this later in the blog.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10
Image: Acer

Important notes

Notes for beginners: My posts usually contain some basics so that you can understand how to proceed. I partly repeat the basics in other posts, so you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Here is the meaning of the abbreviations after the headings: [E] Everyone [A] Advanced [B] Beginner [P] Professional

If you still miss something, feel free to comment. The community will try to help you! 🙂

Notes for professionals: My posts usually have the form of a knowledge database entry and should be equally suitable for beginners, advanced users, and professionals. Just pick out what you need right now. You can also find content specifically targeted to professionals. These are marked accordingly with [P] and other finger points.

Do you want to have more professional content on a topic? Add it to the comments 😉

Disclaimer of liability: As always on this blog, I warn you that all changes to your system mentioned in this post are at your own risk! It is theoretically possible that there are system or application errors that could lead to data loss and further problems!

Concrete devices [E]

Manufacturers of tablets are the usual suspects: Acer, Asus, and Lenovo. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10, for example, has a 24.64 cm (9.7″) screen and a Rockchip RK3399 (ARM CPU), 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, an excellent touchscreen with QXGA resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels). It comes with a stylus. You can store it in the body of the device. In May 2020, the prices for the device are around 300 – 360 $. It sounds like quite a lot of money compared to the other presented devices, but there are always deals like special offers or promotions where you can buy it for less than 200 $ or a bit more.

The ARM CPU built into the Chromebook Tab 10 is easily sufficient for surfing, using office applications and playing some Android games. Especially Android apps run great on this device because they run natively on it. The German App Lecture Notes, for example, can be used wonderfully in combination with the integrated stylus. No jerking, no misalignment of the stylus when writing or drawing. Everything is almost like on a real sheet of paper. Hardly any other notes app comes close!

The device is quite thick. It has protection against being broken by a fall or splashing water. Acer has designed it for rough use in school, but you can certainly use it as a standard tablet. It lies very comfortably in hand.

Extension of the purpose of use [E]

You could buy a cheap mouse and keyboard with Bluetooth in addition to the Chromebook Tab, and then you have a kind of laptop with everything you need. With a USB-C docking station, you could also connect a large monitor. At the moment (still?), this combination from Google offers more features than the iPad, at least for desktop functions. (desktop browser, a file system, Linux with full LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.)

Conclusion on testing Chromebook Tablets [E]

So, now you have read the series How to test Chrome OS first of all until here, this would be all device types with Chrome OS that exist, except for All-In-One PCs, which partly resemble Apple’s iMacs a bit.

Chromebases as an alternative [E]

A concrete example is, for example, the Acer Chromebase CA 2412 with Intel Core i3 and a 23.8″ screen. The delivered package always includes a Keyboard and mouse. That is a great thing. Looks very chic too!

Acer Chromebase CA 2412
Image: Acer

But since Acer has integrated everything in a kind of big screen, the whole thing will, of course, become a bit more expensive! That means: 600 $ upwards! Would you still like to take the money in your hand, test such a device and keep it later? Let’s go! Nothing speaks against it!

Not satisfied with Chrome OS at all? [E]

If, contrary to expectations, you don’t like Chrome OS after a more extended test, then you have not incurred high expenses with some of the alternatives mentioned in this post. You can resell the selected device on eBay, for example.

Would you rather use virtual machines for testing? [A]

There! Have you read every post in the How to test Chrome OS first series and is all this still nothing for you, because you don’t want to buy or rent a device, but want to test Chrome OS first for free on your Windows PC or Mac?

That is also possible in principle! In the post Testing Chrome OS: Using Virtual Machines [A], I describe how you can do that!

Back to the overview of How to test Chrome OS first?

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