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Computer for my parents, Chromebook or Nexus 7

Created by Mendelson9 on Nov. 15, 2012, 3:56 p.m.
  • I'm looking to getting my parents a new computer for Christmas for when they travel and want to go cheap, since they are not good with tech and I don't have much money. I am debating on the $199 or $249 Chromebooks and a $199 Nexus Tablet. They will have Wi-fi access at the places they go so I don't need cellular service They would mostly use it to check email, go on Facebook and check on a few websites for business so I don't think they need something really powerful ether. One problem i have is they occasionally need to edit a word or excel doc and I don't want them to convert files to Google docs format since that would only confuse them more. I don't think there is any way to edit .docx files on ether device so maybe I should just expect that they cant edit documents directly on the device.

    I would like to get them a tablet but I am not sure the websites they go to would work on mobile chrome, such as Comcast E-Mail which does not function right, at lest on my iPod touch, and billing websites that might have a bad time running on a mobile web browser.

    Right now I am liking a Chromebook since it has a full keyboard and I know it will work with the websites they go on. It would also be familiar since they use chrome at home. Anyone thinks a Nexus 7 would be the right way to go? Hopefully Tested will test out one of these Chromebooks but from what Will was saying on the podcast, Chromebooks are not so good.

  • Would this be their main computer, or just something for when they travel and a secondary machine around the house?

    My first guess would be to say tha even though I think the Chromebook is much, much more interesting the Nexus 7 is a lot safer. There's just such a big ecosystem around Android that it seems likely they'll be able to find something that suits their needs. Office is coming to Android; though for a fee so if they need that and get a bluetooth keyboard they'll probably be in better shape if they need to do some heavier lifting.

    Like I find the chromebook fascinating and would love to own one just to see how it works out--but getting a Nexus 7, maybe even a N7 with a bluetooth keyboard seems far safer.

  • My mother is very much your typical anti-geek, just wanting whatever she's using to work and not caring how it works. When she asked for my opinion on a good laptop, I recommended an iPad 2 (the most current at the time) with a bluetooth keyboard. She's never been happier with a piece of tech and didn't require much hand-holding.

    Tablet with keyboard seems to be an all-around good combo, the more intuitive the controls the better.

  • Neither. Get a netbook, they're not bad machines I don't know why they get so much hate from Will. Especially now that there's higher specced ones out there. I had one of the Atom ION netbooks about 2 years ago and thought it was a great little device, plenty speedy with 2GB of RAM.

    At least with a netbook you don't have to worry about any compatibility issues or lack of software.

  • I can't recommend a netbook unless it has a AMD CPU. They are much faster, but typically more expensive. Atom is a complete pass for me.

    Personally, I think if they travel quite a bit I might go for the Nexus 7 32GB so they can store local content on the device. The Chromebook is great if you use cellular data, but if it doesn't I don't know if it would be worth it.

    My 2 cents.


  • I own a Chromebook as well as a Nexus 7, and I'd say go with the Chromebook. Don't buy the newer Acer model, though--no SSD, low battery life--buy the Samsung instead.