Adventures with a Chromebook in 2023

Will it work for coding?

A couple of days ago, I purchased a Chromebook laptop from Amazon. It’s an HP x360 with an i3–1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

Why a laptop with Chrome OS?

Throughout my life, I’ve only had Windows laptops (XP, Vista, 7, and 10), and although they work great, their portability was always a limitation. Using them without a power source resulted in poor performance, and their battery life didn’t exceed 2 hours. Everything changed when I received a MacBook 13 Pro with an M2 processor, the basic version, at work. This device provided me with more than acceptable performance when working with Flutter, and its battery lasted over 7 continuous hours of use, including with Android emulators. I was astonished — a great battery and not-so-high specifications created an excellent device for a developer like me.

What was the deciding factor?

I bought a Chromebook because it cost 1/3 of the price of the M2 (perhaps even more of a price difference), and I had read that they have significantly longer battery life. Additionally, it was the only operating system I hadn’t tried in my life.

First impressions

Once I had the device in my hands, I was amazed. It had an elegant design, a personal-sized form factor, super portability, and a weight similar to the MacBook M2 that I usually use at work.

I started up the system and configure Chrome OS, which was an incredibly simple process, like connecting to email.

After logging in and updating to the operating system's latest version, I started setting up the Linux environment. It was as easy as enabling an option in the settings menu and once activated, I was able to install applications within that environment.

At the time of writing this blog, I have installed VS Code, and Flutter in their latest stable version, and I have also enabled the option to use the same Chromebook as an Android device and allow its connection via ADB.

Everything has been very pleasant and straightforward, especially for users with little experience in Linux environments.

I will try to develop a game in Flutter using Flame, all without leaving the Chromebook. Afterward, I will install other game engines like Godot and Defold and work on at least one small project if they install correctly.

I hope you enjoyed this content, in English thanks to GPT and Grammarly for all of you!