Chromebook for a web developer, is that possible?

I purchased my first Chromebook. My new personal laptop.

I wanted something new. I wanted a laptop. I wanted a SSD. What I didn’t have was money in my bank accounts.

I went back and forth thinking “it may be worth inventing on a high-end device and keep it for a long time” and “who am I kidding I can’t keep any gadget for more than two years.”

I needed to be true to myself. Long-term investment on a digital device is something I can never pull it off.

Budget Laptop with SSD = Chromebook

Chromebook.

Laptop…check, SSD…check, new OS…check, dirt cheap…check!

I knew using Chromebook for browsing wouldn’t cause me a headache…unlike a Netbook I used to own (for probably less than three months).

But what I’m not sure is how much can I extend Chromebook to use beyond a browser?

I got curious and I searched around. Then I read about people putting Linux on Chromebook.

There is a potential.

With that excuse, so that I won’t feel I’m wasting my money on a internet browsing machine, I picked up an used Acer C720 for $150.

Intel-Based, Upgradable SSD

I chose Acer C720 because SSD was upgradable, not soldered, and it’s intel-based, ARM chips might require me to recompile some of applications. From What I can tell, it was either HP Chromebook 14 or Acer C720 (i.e. intel-based, non-soldered SSD Chrombook). I would’ve loved to try Toshiba Chromebook but SSD is soldered onto the board.

Acer C720 won based on the price. If I Went with HP Chromebook 14, I’ll be spending $300+ all together (with 128GB SSD upgrade).

So in coming weeks I’ll be testing heck out of Chromebook. First, I’m gonna try to put as much as I can on the chromebook in the default spec. See how much I can pack with 16GB of space.

Expand Disk Space with SD Card or SSD Upgrade

Then,  I’ll test Ubuntu installation on SD Card and see how that performs. It’s much cheaper option than SSD upgrade and keep the warranty intact.

After that (I’m pretty sure I’ll be disappointed with SD Card performace) I’ll break the seal on the Acer machine and up the SSD to 128GB and see if I can make a full-scale web dev environment with decent performance.

If it turned out that Chromebook can provide a good dev environment, yay to me for getting it done under $300. Even if not, it would be a good learning experience with Chrome OS.

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