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Why I Returned my Chromebook as a Chess Player

Why I Returned my Chromebook as a Chess Player

Aug 28, 2015, 4:56 AM 0

Like many, I was looking to update my old, slow laptop.  I was attracted to the idea of a Chromebook as an inexpensive, but effective choice.  Thank goodness I was able to return it because after a week of using it, I absolutely hated it, especially as a chess player.  I replaced it with a laptop with a full version of Windows 10 instead and am very pleased.  The Chromebook itself is a quality item, but here’s what I learned: A Chromebook can either be an excellent or horrible purchase depending on your needs.  As a chess player and tournament director, I feel it’s the latter.  Here’s why:

·   The Chrome OS cannot run SwissSys pairing software, the best on the market in my view.

·   It cannot run Fritz or other similar chess engine software and much of the web based chess analysis tools are poor.  Even though it’s a Google device, I also wasn’t able to run chess apps I have on my Android phone, such as Analyze This.  Chrome OS is very limited and I should have researched further.  It’s a separate entity from the Android store used on tablets and smartphones.

·   The Chrome App store pales in comparison to the other platforms (Android, Apple, Windows)

·   Simple but invaluable things such as the snipping tool, caps lock, etc require a cumbersome “workaround” or are not available, despite improvements from when Chromebooks were first released. 

As I mentioned, I’m very happy with my Windows laptop as it can run all my software and runs pretty much like my desktop while doing everything a Chromebook does – and at a minimally higher cost.  The best feature of the Chromebook is the fast boot up time, but despite the fact that I’m a big Android/Google person (I don’t like Apple, but those reasons are a separate post…) the Chromebook was near useless to me as a chess player, TD and teacher.

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