Backstory:

I have a perfectly fine HP laptop that does everything I could need, but a job I started recently requires a bit of traveling. My HP has some good insides but is made out of cheap plastic on the outside, so I feared that it may break being thrown around all of the time.

I needed something lite, small, and could just check email and record notes. “Chromebook!” I thought, as it does match this description, and I had been looking for an excuse to waste money on one.

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I was almost sold on a cheap Acer Chromebook when I realized Inbox by Google, one of my favorite apps, didn’t have a native app for Chromebooks. They still used a shortcut to the website! I know, I know, it’s basically the same thing, but c’mon, Google designs Chrome OS and cannot bring themselves to alter the code slightly and make some Google Apps native?

I then realized that my cheap little tablet that I use to read news and play games with has all of the native apps I desire, and pretty good battery life if I remember to disable Wifi at night. It just needed a keyboard to actually be productive for taking notes and responding to emails.

Low and behold, I recall that the little thing has Bluetooth and that I am likely not the first person to want a physical keyboard for an Android tablet. I quick Amazon search shows me the lovely Anker Apple-knock-off keyboard that is perfect slim and compact size I want for $14 (1/12 the price of a cheap Chromebook).

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The Obvious Moral:

Chromebooks are a neat idea and have their place, but a cheap tablet plus a Bluetooth keyboard offers a less costly and better supported experience.

P.S. If you can afford it, Microsoft has a released a neat looking Bluetooth keyboard which folds in half for maximum portability, but it runs at $70.