LG Chromebase Review: an outstanding All in One Chrome OS Desktop Computer
This is the LG Chromebase & this is my new computer!
In a Chromebook world dominated by laptops and Chromeboxes, the All-in-One Chromebase from LG can be considered as a risky experiment. Can Chrome OS be popular too with All-in-One devices? Is the LG Chromebase the best way to experience Chrome OS at home or is it best suited for schools, libraries etc….?
Here is my complete and honest LG Chromebase review. I hope it will help you decide whether it is good for you or not.
Before starting this review, I would like to explain to you what type of Chrome OS user I am.
Last year I sold my Mac Mini (I have been an Apple user for more than 10 years), I work from home and used the HP Chromebook 14 until now. I basically use my Chromebook to manage my websites, home business, my Amazon store, light photo editing, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Social Media, YouTube, Google Play and of course browsing the web. I don’t use my Chromebook for coding and I don’t plan on installing Ubuntu. I am already very busy with everything I have to do during the day! For all my daily tasks I found that a Chromebook is much better and faster than any other laptop/desktop/tablet. I think that the majority of people are using their computers for pretty much the same tasks, and don’t forget, if you are a huge PC gamer or love spending thousands of pounds on iTunes….Chromebook is probably not for you.
Let's start this review:
Inside the box:
Look and Build Quality:
Until now you had two types of All-in-One PC: the iMac and a lot of Windows 8 computers with Touch Screens. iMac always had an amazing design and outstanding build quality, on the other hand the Windows 8 Touch Screen All-in-One from HP, Lenovo, Acer etc are bulky, and not very pretty to look at.
Then along came LG with the Chromebase. I haven’t seen the one in white, but the unit in black is much better than the official pictures. This All-in-One is very slim, very well built and the black colour gives it a premium feel. It looks really stylish and it will shine on your desk. The full HD screen is fantastic, extremely bright and has an excellent viewing angle. It has an HDMI-in so it can be used as a monitor too, and for the price it is a really great monitor + Chromebook. It comes with a wired keyboard and mouse. The mouse is pretty basic, and the keyboard is okay but it could be better. It has a lot of advantages though: it's fully designed for Chrome OS so you will find the same keys as the one on your Chromebook laptop. The addition of numerical keyboard on the right side is also a great plus. The typing experience is good but certainly could be better in my opinion, I suppose it all depends on the type of keyboard you like. Overall I think LG has done something pretty great with the design and it is easy to understand why they won an Award 2014 for best design.
I've read a lot of negative comments regarding the speakers and i don't think it is fair. If you use the volume control on the keyboard you won’t get high volume, because first you need to use the volume button on the monitor and put it to the maximum, then control it with the keyboard. Once you have done this, you will get adequate volume and sound quality. The speakers are much better on the Apple iMac but the LG Chromebase is adequate, I've watched some TV Shows on Netflix and it's fine.
Chrome OS on a big screen with only 2gb of ram: how does it feel?
Chrome OS on a big screen is pretty amazing to be honest. Using Pixlr Editor, Hangouts, Play Music, Google+ photos on a 22” full HD screen is extremely cool, it is easy to realise that bigger is better!
Chrome OS on a laptop uses gestures to navigate with the trackpad however using a mouse is limiting. I really like the Apple Magic Trackpad and I hope that one day we will get something similar for Chrome OS. It would be....wait for it.....legendary!
I think the LG Chromebase is a perfectly adequate All-in-One solution and Chrome OS works very well on a big screen. There is however something you must realise, with a Chromebase there is no mobility. If you are very mobile you will need to buy another laptop because you won’t be able to take the Chromebase with you. With that matter in mind, everything is down to budget: have you got enough money to buy a Chromebase and a Chromebook? If you have, go ahead because you will be very happy with this All-in-One solution, and don’t forget that the price of the LG Chromebase + a Chromebook is still less than a MacBook Air!
Performance vs HP Chromebook 14 4gb ram and Acer C720
Before starting my review I explained what type of user I am, and I understand that there are some users that definitely need more than 2Gb of ram. I have read some reviews that mentioned that the LG Chromebase was using more ram than other Intel Celeron based Chromebooks and shows some lags. To be honest I can’t comment on that matter because in my everyday use, the Chromebase has been a breeze and I haven’t experienced any lack of power. In fact sometimes it felt faster than my HP Chromebook 14:
The Chromebase is faster at picking up a Wifi signal and has much better Wifi reception. I have 152 MB Broadband at home and my router is 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. With my HP Chromebook 14 the results on a speed test was always around 95mb-115mb. With the LG Chromebase I always get 120mb-150mb speed, which is really impressive!
Importing photos to Google+ Photos with USB (there is no micro sd card reader) from a camera is noticeably faster with the Chromebase. I've worked with up to 9-10 tabs open and never experienced any lags. I am sure that if you are a much more intense user than I am, 2GB Ram might not be enough but for what I do it is perfectly fine.
Who is it for?
That’s not an easy question to answer because it depends a lot on what you do with a Chromebook.
I can see it as the perfect All-in-One solution for the family at home. The kids love this big and beautiful screen and they have a great time playing on kids websites (Cbeebies etc….). It is also perfect if you have a Chromebook too and can use the Chromebase at home for serious work and your laptop to be on the go!
But I can see the LG Chromebase as a perfect computer for schools, libraries, small offices, home businesses etc…
Don’t forget that this is also a great full HD monitor with very good colour reproduction so it is perfect to plug your Playstation or XBox, or even the Apple TV.
This All-in-One solution has a lot of potential and I think LG didn’t get enough credit for what they did. Yesterday I was talking with “Google man” at the Google desk at Cribbs Causeway-Bristol about the LG Chromebase. He told me it’s a shame they don’t have any on display for people to try, use and perhaps buy. I don’t know what are the sales targets of LG, but if they want to sell a lot of them they will need to make them visible.
Should you buy it?
If you want the Chromebase as your first computer with Chrome OS I would suggest you get a Chromebook, there is a lot of choice now and they have an amazing battery life. If you already have a Chromebook and want to experience Chrome OS on a big screen, don’t hesitate and you will be really pleased with it. I even think this is better than the Chromebox from Asus and HP: an All-in-One computer has a lot of advantages.
If you decide to buy it you won’t regret it because LG has done something pretty amazing with the Chromebase. This is the first All-in-One Chrome OS computer and I am sure it won’t be the last. There are rumours that Samsung and HP will launch their All-in-One desktops before Christmas.
There is one negative point in my opinion: the lack of SD Card Reader. It's a shame because I always find it convenient.
With Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and now Chromebase, Chrome OS has a great future ahead and that’s very important. The LG Chromebase is another way to enjoy a great user friendly Operating System.
If you want to buy the LG Chromebase you can get one for around £200! That's impressive! As always if you liked the review you are more than welcome to click on the Like button and leave a comment, you can also tell a friend to tell a friend to read the review!
Thank you for reading and sharing!