Chromebook: first impressions

I just purchased my first Chromebook, an HP Chromebook x2. After years of reading about advances in ChromeOS, pros and cons vs other platforms, it's time to make my own opinion!

Set up

It's as easy as signing into your Gmail account! Once you sign in, it automatically downloads your Android apps. It literally took less than a minute.


The HP Chromebook x2 is pretty neat. It's a slightly higher-end Chromebook with a high resolution screen. On top of that you can detach the screen, run Android apps, and it comes with a stylus. The stylus requires an AAA battery. Too bad it's not rechargeable with a cable, or wirelessly.

Basic tasks

Unsurprisingly, it's fast enough for browsing and playing YouTube. You can also cast from your Chromebook to your Chromecast without any set up.

Additionally the list of keyboard shortcuts saves me lots of time:

Google Assistant

Once signed in, without pressing a button, you can call the Google Assistant with the Ok Google prompt.


It works with some setup. However it is very slow for video playback, unless you set it up right. I've written more about my experimentation in this post.

Android apps

Most Chromebooks can run Android apps. So I installed an app I had made in Flutter. And it did run! Except I couldn't go past the home screen. Clicking on "Sign in" did nothing. I suspect Flutter's Firebase Auth plugin doesn't support ChromeOS?


I've read that you can enable Linux-mode (Crostini?) and install some IDEs directly on the laptop. I'd like to try coding in Dart/Angular and Flutter.

Visual Studio Code

If you want more options like

Android Studio

  • Enable Linux. Open the Settings, search for Linux, and click on Turn on. Read more in this wiki. Upon installation it opens a terminal window.
  • Download the Preview build at
  • Install it.
  • On your first run, it downloads the Android SDK.

From this post it looks like you can build and run an Android app on your phone via USB, but you won't get the emulator.