If you are looking for a new computer and are a typical PC user, you need to take a look at the Google Chromebook. There are three brands of the Chromebook (Acer, HP and Samsung), it is SSD driven which means lightning fast startups and operation, they get anywhere from 8 to 10 hours battery life, and they are CHEAP! After spending a few days with this new Acer C720 Chromebook and getting to learn the ins and outs, I can honestly say that this is the simplest PC I have ever held. In fact, this will be going to my wonderful mother (72 yrs old) who has never had a PC before this. The person that will have the most difficulty ‘refitting themselves’ to the Chromebook, are us PC geeks that have gotten used to things just being a certain way.
The Chromebook is a PC running Google Chrome OS and the original intent was for the Chromebook to rely heavily on Wi-Fi and the ‘Google Cloud’. Forget the F-Keys on the keyboard as they have been replaced with simple navigation keys, something that almost makes a little too much sense. With newer systems seeing a Haswell CPU and SSD storage, the Chromebook is small, powerful and battery life is far better than we will see in most SSDs today; a definite bonus on those long trips away and extended flights where one can surf the net, listen to music or watch videos from the Chromebook.
Considering that Google’s Chromebook just might fit the bill as the most affordable PC solution for the typical user today, it is more than a bit puzzling why they would only include SSD capacities of 16GB or 32GB. That doesn’t even cover most of our photo, music or movie collections, much less data or other items we might want to download. I know I know… Google Drive affords us an additional 100GB for the first two years but, well… I am just not a fan of free now/pay later marketing.
The Chromebook is not for everyone and you might want to look elsewhere if you are into video editing or any type of media manipulation whatsoever, given exception to common photo enhancing of course. The Chromebook is intended for the consumer who likes to surf the net, do a bit of writing, send and receive e-mails, visit Facebook a few hundred times a day, and other activities similar to this. With this in mind, it will play HD videos smoothly, will play music, and will display photos in the resolution that shows them best.
If you are new to the Chromebook, you might be a bit surprised (as I was) at included features such as an SD card, HDMI, and a camera amongst others. Our Chromebook has an Intel Haswell Celeron 2955U dual core CPU running at 1.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, 11.6″ TN 1366×768 display, 16GB M.2 SSD, HDMI port, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, SD Card slot, microphone port, camera and mic, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, keyboard and trackpad.
The SSD found inside the Acer C720 Chromebook is a 16GB Kingston SATA 3 M.2 (NGFF) SSD and it is 42mm in length, better known as 2242. The included SSD is SATA 3, although I personally can’t find any programs to verify performance within the Chromebook and that shouldn’t really make a difference in any case. This PC is created for the typical user and the typical user should have no need for the power of SATA 3, benefits of which they would never use in such a system. In any case, it is a Haswell system and the included Kingston PCIe M.2 SSD is a SATA 3 SSD; the downfall here is solely that of capacity.
MyDigitalSSD markets the perfect solution to this capacity problem in their M.2 Super Cache 2 line with capacities of 32, 64 and 128GB that are a simple replacement. The MyDigital SSD Super Cache 2 M.2 (NGFF) SSD is a SATA 3 SSD that is capable of speeds up to 530MB/s read and 410MB/s write which really shouldn’t concern owners of this notebook whatsoever, but we thought we might provide a quick introduction as we are going to be exploring the difference between these two SSDs on the next page.
For those new to the SSD world, don’t let the looks of these photos intimidate you; replacing the Kingston SSD with the MyDigitalSSD counterpart is extremely simple. As you will see on the next page, our replacement of the M.2 SSD will accomplish, not only a capacity increase, but performance as well.