Jump to content


Photo

limitations of a Samsung Chromebook for Astro?

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

being a MacBook Pro user I'm a bit out of the loop regarding other operating systems. My plan is to purchase a AstroDevices Nexus for use with my encoder equipped AP 400 QMD. My thought was to purchase a Google Nexus 7 tablet and install Sky Safari to complete the combo. Then I got to thinking that if I wanted to have a small CCD camera I would need a laptop capable of running the camera, processing images etc. Soooo....the Nexus 7 would be handy but only by itself. If I need a laptop to do other stuff anyway what's the point of the tablet? So in light of this I looked at the Google/Samsung Chromebook as a possible alternative....but....does it have limitations I'm not seeing [other than being SOLD OUT at the moment] ? thanks, -Tim

#2 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3494
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

In my quick read, it looks like the Chromebook is an Android based laptop, basically an android tablet with a bigger screen and a keyboard. It is not a standard operating system, so you would not be able to load any Windows or Mac based software programs. If you want to process images, you need to see if the programs you want to use are available for an android operating system.

That's my take, anyway.

#3 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11068
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

It's not Android based and it's not a tablet ... it a simple laptop that runs Chrome OS and the Chrome browser. While it has some limited functionality when offline it's designed to be always internet connected.

It's a stripped down minimalized Linux OS kernel supporting a browser running on basic hardware. It starts up quickly and is very easy for an organization to support (no local apps, virtually everything is internet/cloud based).

IMHO it wouldn't make a particularly good astro PC as it would be severely constrained connectivity wise. The most flexibility for supporting astro devices and applications would come from a true Windows based (Win7/XP, not 8 yet) PC platfrom (laptop or desktop), second would be a Mac OS device, third would probably be a tie between IOS or Android devices.

#4 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Thanks Mark and Jim, very helpful! -Tim

#5 Sean Wood

Sean Wood

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2011
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

Tim you May want to do some serious research into the Chromebook before considering this. It operates on Google's Chrome OS which is really in my opinion a striped down web browser platform. It's main function is to get you onto the web quickly and maintain itself via self updates and self regulating virus/malware managment. You really can't do much it unless you have an internet connection. Though more and more applications for Chrome are making some versions of games and productivity software for offline use. From what I've read the driver base is fairly limited to peripherals like CD/DVD drives, webcams and the like. So finding drivers for your astro-photography gear might prove difficult.

The Samsung is a beautiful device though it is a tad limited on resources. Personally I was considering the Acer C7 version Chromebook.It may not be as sleek and light as the Samsung but has the added benefit of being able to upgrade the Ram and has a 320GB hard drive. With this you can actually side load a custom version of Ubuntu Linux which would give you a few more options as far as Astronomy related programs and functionality.There are a few YouTube videos on this topic and process if you think you may want to research it more.

#6 CJK

CJK

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 555
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeast TN

Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

The most flexibility for supporting astro devices and applications would come from a true Windows based (Win7/XP, not 8 yet) PC platfrom (laptop or desktop)


FWIW, I'm using Win8 without any problems. YMMV.

-- Chris

#7 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

The C7 looks nice, price is right but not sure I want to get into what you suggest. Do you know of a Windows based Acer of the same size, specs and price? -Tim

Personally I was considering the Acer C7 version Chromebook.It may not be as sleek and light as the Samsung but has the added benefit of being able to upgrade the Ram and has a 320GB hard drive. With this you can actually side load a custom version of Ubuntu Linux which would give you a few more options as far as Astronomy related programs and functionality.There are a few YouTube videos on this topic and process if you think you may want to research it more.



#8 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

OTOH, Ubuntu looks interesting now that I've looked into it a bit....but I'm still in the dark as to wether it will run the astro camera control/image capture/stacking/processing software that's most commonly used for Astro imaging :question: So I guess my previous question still stands regarding a capable netbook for this task?

The C7 looks nice, price is right but not sure I want to get into what you suggest. Do you know of a Windows based Acer of the same size, specs and price? -Tim

Personally I was considering the Acer C7 version Chromebook.It may not be as sleek and light as the Samsung but has the added benefit of being able to upgrade the Ram and has a 320GB hard drive. With this you can actually side load a custom version of Ubuntu Linux which would give you a few more options as far as Astronomy related programs and functionality.There are a few YouTube videos on this topic and process if you think you may want to research it more.



#9 CJK

CJK

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 555
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeast TN

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

What software are you interested in running?

-- Chris

#10 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

A ZWO ASI120MM camera and related drivers; Sky Safari in conjunction with a AstroDevices Nexus for DSC's on my mount; probably AutoStakkert!2 and/or RegiStax.

What software are you interested in running?

-- Chris



#11 Sean Wood

Sean Wood

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2011
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

That's the crux of it all. I haven't researched it enough to really know the available Linux software for astro imaging and astro related matters. I've read several posts here about Linux based programs. Also our local club had a fellow from a community college that teaches astronomy come in to do a presentation and he was running the presentation and all his imaging and analyzing apps in Ubuntu. So this has my interest SERIOUSLY peaked. I may just go ahead a drop Ubuntu onto another old laptop I have to play around with it before investing any other funds into another device.

The windows version of this Acer variant(Acer Aspire One 756) seems to be ok. You could prob max out the RAM and possibly run what ever you have in mind. My concern would be all the ones I'm seeing are Win8 64 bit so again back to a legacy drivers issue unless your astro accessories support 64bit. Plus adding another $100-$175 to the price over the Chromebook version.

#12 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

I'd be interested in the Acer C7 ChromeBook and Ubuntu combo so if you get some results that look promising please pass them along. Do you think the C7 will run apps? If it will run Sky Safari Deluxe I would likely take a chance with it since it's the same price as the Nexus 7 Tablet. I guess I'll have to keep delving into this further. To be honest, I'd prefer to steer clear of Windows based PC's if possible.

Also of interest, there is a "Boosted" Acer C7 Chromebook soon to be released. Increases in RAM from 2GB to 4GB, increased HD from 320GB to 500 GB and increased Battery capacity from 2500 mAh to 5000 mAh. Increased price from $199 to $299

:question:

Also our local club had a fellow from a community college that teaches astronomy come in to do a presentation and he was running the presentation and all his imaging and analyzing apps in Ubuntu. So this has my interest SERIOUSLY peaked. I may just go ahead a drop Ubuntu onto another old laptop I have to play around with it before investing any other funds into another device.



#13 Sean Wood

Sean Wood

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2011
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

From what I've been reading and what the Google Guy at Best Buy said Google is eventually going to merge the ability to run Android Apps into ChromeOS. He made it seem as if it were already emplimented but when I logged into my Google account on the display model C7 he nor I could figure out a way to get my license of SkySafari Pro to load. He sent in a "Bug report" saying what we were trying to do and told me to give it a week or 2 and come back and try again. Keeping my fingers crossed. I did have access to all my media(books, movies and magazines) I bought in the play store though.

Not sure about a "Boosted" version coming out.. but installing more ram isn't difficult at all. This "box" has 2 mem slots and only has a 2 gig sodimm in one slot installing another would boost you to 4 gig and I'm reading that you can up size the hard drive though you have to do some type of mirroring to get the ChromeOS dependent files on the new drive. I'm gonna play around with Ubuntu on an old box I have first before investing in any new hardware. I'll keep you apprised of any progress I make though.

If I might ask what's gotten you to want to stray from Apple and iOS? If you're already invested in that ecosystem you may be better off to just get an Ipad or another macbook and be done with it because changing to the Google/Android/Chrome ecosystem just means you're gonna have to re-purchase any app licenses for the new platform if you currently have them for iOS, i.e. Skysafari plus there is heck of a learning curve going from any OS/ecosystem to another in what ever case you do.

#14 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

Not sure about a "Boosted" version coming out.. but installing more ram isn't difficult at all.



Apparently Acer has removed the "boosted" version of the C7 from it's site, but not before it got a few Press releases posted.


If I might ask what's gotten you to want to stray from Apple and iOS?


I've only had Mac OS over the years, never any iOS products. I'm tired of Apple's high price point, so I only buy good used Mac laptops every few years. "More for less" has me looking at other alternatives to Apple....Android, Chrome and Ubunto look very promising. I may have to break down and get a Windows PC for Astro Imaging adventures but I'd love an alternative :confused:

-Tim

#15 zawijava

zawijava

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 922
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2007
  • Loc: West Paris, Maine 04289

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:54 PM

Not sure about a "Boosted" version coming out.. but installing more ram isn't difficult at all.



Apparently Acer has removed the "boosted" version of the C7 from it's site, but not before it got a few Press releases posted.


If I might ask what's gotten you to want to stray from Apple and iOS?


I've only had Mac OS over the years, never any iOS products. I'm tired of Apple's high price point, so I only buy good used Mac laptops every few years. "More for less" has me looking at other alternatives to Apple....Android, Chrome and Ubunto look very promising. I may have to break down and get a Windows PC for Astro Imaging adventures but I'd love an alternative :confused:

-Tim

#16 Bob Griffiths

Bob Griffiths

    Getting Grouchy

  • *****
  • Posts: 10674
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Frederick Maryland

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

I replaced my wife's laptop with an Acer C7 chrome book and I am one happy guy....She is NOT a computer person keeps the laptop on the side table next to her TV chair and only uses it to surf the web and read her e-mail...

From muy standpoint it has saved me a ton of time as she never updates ANYTHING...She powered the computer up did her thing and shut it off...

The acer is ready to go and on your home page in Chrome in under 7 seconds after you power it up constantly keeps itself up to date etc..
.
Setting it up to print wireless was no big deal..

Her only complaint is that she is forced to pull her regular mail via G-Mail and she prefers using her older Windows Mail Client (Eudora) ..

For astro uses or even to replace a normal laptop/netbook...or for that matter even a Tablet
I don't think it would be a very good thing to buy...BUT my my wife it does everything thing she needs plus does it a lot quicker then her old laptop and as I noted I do not have to keep it updated etc...

So Far it was worth every penny I paid...and then some...PLUS I eat better since she is contented...

Bob G.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics