One of our contractors recently got so fed up with her old Dell PC that she forced herself to make a change. This is her story, which we thought we’d share:

I am currently doing some work for a company that resells Google Apps and technology, so I had already installed Chrome OS and had experienced vast improvement in response time and performance of my antique (that old Dell PC mentioned above), yet even Chrome couldn’t compensate for all the junk and stuff interrupting and causing me pain while using my old faithful desktop PC. After hearing from my friends at Agosto how well their clients were doing using Chromebooks, I finally just took the plunge and bought one for less than $300!

When my new Chromebook arrived, I was so excited. First, I opened the box. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. I took out the device, the power cord, the battery and the manual. That’s all that is in there. Simplicity! Then, I inserted the battery. I plugged in the power cord. I pressed the power button. Maybe four seconds later, I had a connect to a network screen. I typed in my password for that. Then a login screen prompted me for my Google password. I typed it and again, maybe four seconds passed and I was in! I cannot emphasize how fast this happened.

It was beautiful. A soothing nature scene appeared as the default wallpaper and I’ve kept it so far. Pretty soon I’ll probably put a picture of my dog there but the point is that the screen clarity is bright and has great resolution for a relatively small screen size. After using it for the last week or so, it does have a bit of glare/reflection when using outside. But, if I may reiterate, it was less than $300. I can deal with a little glare!

I immediately signed in to Facebook (of course) and the response time was amazing. I started typing a status about my precious new Chromebook and made no typos at all. The keyboard actually has keys with a little bit of action, which is significant for someone who is a touch typist from way back. I need to “feel” the keys or I make mistakes and these keys are subtle but definitely feel like I’m “typing.” The manual provides you with a list of hotkeys that allow you to adjust things like volume, brightness, etc. and I love these two especially. I would love a full number pad but there is no way that would fit. Again, I reiterate, less than $300.

The touchpad for mouse actions was a little more difficult to manipulate. I’ve got it down now but the first few days I was highlighting way too little or way too much and using both hands and it seemed a little imprecise. Now, however, I realize I just needed a little practice to get my own feel for it. I’m an expert, now.

Of course the Chromebook works with the already installed Chrome OS. So, as soon as you login Google Apps (thus, everything you have in Drive) and Gmail is easily accessible and you are ready to go. Immediately. I’m not going to go on any more of a sales pitch for Chrome OS, but if you don’t know it, you should try it. And then you might be in the market for a Chromebook. It’s that easy, and that good.

Oh, did I mention there’s a webcam built in? Microphone built in? Speakers built in? And less than $300? As extra special bonuses, you have an ethernet port in case you need it, a VGA port to connect to an outside device like an LCD projector or monitor, an HDMI port for video connections and three USB ports. And you get a super neat notebook cleaning cloth so you can keep it nice and shiny.

This beauty is light and easy to carry around. I walk all over the house with it and have used it on my lap while sitting in a lawn chair, lying in the hammock and in the car (as a passenger, don’t worry). It doesn’t get too hot and I have yet to use up the battery. If that was ever a risk, I could buy a second battery and keep myself mobile for longer.

I like this device. A lot. I think maybe it’s love.