Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ASUS Flip is not for work

I've had my flip for 2 days now and I've come to the conclusion it's not for work. In fact it's passable for email, video, music and some social media.

My experiment

I had to take my car in for basic maintenance. So I took my ASUS Flip with me in order to get some work done. The dealer offered nice tables and some refreshments. They also offered wifi so I did not need to tether to my phone. (even though my phone is a Nexus-6 tethering is unreliable and the carrier has terrible service in my city)

I have a bug in my current project.  I have a good idea where and why so it should be pretty straight forward.  The workflow is common to work I have performed in the past.

edit
compile
run
review the logs

Observations

As a programmer my development environments vary from project to project. In it's most encumbered mode I use Visual Studio or XCode. This would require some sort of remote desktop software. Regardless of whether I was to use RDP or VNC the outcome is the same.  The Flip display is simply not big enough. Alternatively, I also spend a lot of time in the terminal or console of remote machine. Sometimes I need multiple terminal sessions into the same and different servers. As a result, many times I'll use tmux or GNU's Screen with mixed results because the Chromebook or it's terminal application seem to dump idle sessions and because of the server config I might lose the entire session (remember to save often).

The wifi stuttered from time to time. This was probably the provider. The keyboard repeat and delay settings are still not satisfactory. The screen is small and when on battery power the back light is low, promoting glare, and resulting in eyestrain.

I'm not a touch typist but fairly proficient... I type as fast as I think... usually.  The keyboard is too small.

Conclusion

This is a well finished machine but it's not meant for work unless you have an external KVM. And for those times between marathon editing sessions the system is just fine as-is.  However, I did find myself wondering about a Surface 3 now that Windows 10 is around the corner. Shhh, don't tell my Mac friends.

wifi can be unreliable. While this is not an bug report against the Flip but more of suggestion that I should have checked the wifi performance before making my purchase.

As a side note, ChromeOS' VPN tools are very limited and while simple for non-technical people it's still not robust enough for slightly more technical configurations which is more commonplace.

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