Chromebooks in Thailand

05-Nov-2016 - Note: I've reached the conclusion that I will entertain no more underpowered devices as they are ultimately so limited their return on investment vastly underperforms overpowered devices. This means chromebooks are no longer acceptabe acceptable.

I've had a Chromebook for nearly 2.5 years (mine arrived in Feburary, 2013). It is one of the standard Samsung 11.6" 2gb models (there were only 2 or 3 choices back then). It really has done quite well, and the stability of the operating system is fairly good. For the last 9 months it has been being used by a family that has very limited technical ability, but they get good use out of it (mainly playing YouTube music videos).

I imported this myself, and then glued on Thai characters on the keyboard and shellacked with several layers of clear nail varnish. Worked well and only recently have I done another shellacking (so that lasted more than two years). No need to replace the actual stickers, which I think were only 100 THB in any case.

Acer Chromebooks are Launching in Thailand

Well, no need for importing (though there is a price difference) as Acer Chromebooks are now launching in Thailand.

The standard Acer models aren't bad (4gb ram, 13" and 15") though none of them have 1080p resolution. However, they are still more expensive than one can find on ebay (including shipping to Thailand). Prices start around 13,900 THB, on Ebay it is possible to pay around 10,000-11,000 THB including shipping for a 13", 4GB chromebook. There are many brands and models nowadays.

True IDC Chromebook now Available

Also, there is a True IDC Chromebook now available.

This is a low priced currently available at 8,990 THB which has the same specs as my first Chromebook (11.6" screen, 2 GB ram) which actually works quite well. My old model which has been being used by my inlaws for the last 9 months still works fine and these people are not sophisticated users. The only problem the had was that "Accessibility" was turned on accidentally, so it tried to give audio feedback, zoomed in screen and touch-click. The device has been updating itself regularly and really has required no IT guidance.

Note that there are a very large number of Chrome Apps that work offline including Gmail and all Google Drive apps: Docs, Sheets, Drawings, Slides.

Chromebox Option

It is also possible to get a "chromebox" which is basically just a small box without keyboard/mouse/monitor. That way you could use existing monitors, keyboards, mice (USB ports + HDMI video - can use HDMI-to-VGA adapters for older monitors).

My sense is that these price points are much better for certain segments than a small or even large tablet. The classroom, business environments, anything with heavy text and graphics interaction, and the need for precision and speed of typing and navigation.

See Also