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Acer C720 and Samsung XE303 Chromebooks – using different devices for personal and business

chrome_logo_headerI bought the Acer C720 Chromebook for use at home and the Samsung XE303, which up until now was my only laptop is to be designated as my business machine. It is somewhat misleading to suggest that their respective uses are solely for personal and business. Reality is that in the modern always on world it is difficult to separate work and play but at least I would get a feel for the user issues in respect of each environment.

Switching between work and personal accounts is a fairly straightforward matter. You click on your image in the top right hand corner of the screen and can choose the relevant account you want to access. This seems to be true across all Google Applications, at least as far as I’ve been able to see. So for example I can easily switch between Drive, Gmail and Calendar for each of my Google accounts.

There is added complexity here because I actually have multiple Google Apps accounts for different businesses but to keep it simple I’m just going to talk about

One of the purposes of having a separate business identity is to help with the build up of an online business presence on social media sites. To some extent this will be covered by planned changes to the structure of the website. Currently social media “shares” are manual. In the not too distant future all post will automatically be shared on the various social media pages. Authors adding their own social media links to their profiles will also optionally be able to have their own posts automatically posted to those pages.

It’s all very well automating the sharing process but there are occasions when I want to do this manually. At this point having two identities logged in to the same machine is confusing. For example I am never sure which Google+ page I’m accessing or which twitter account.  Photos uploaded to drive sometimes go to the wrong drive. This is to some extent down to discipline and learning how to go about selecting the right account to load to at the point of uploading but isn’t totally seamless.

When I first set up1 the Acer C720 out of the box I used my google apps account to sign up. I wanted to make sure that the 2 years of free 100GB Google Drive was assigned to rather than my personal account which has already benefited from a 100GB when I set up the Samsung Chromebook.

Setting the new Chromebook up as a work device didn’t really help things as the home laptop now looks like the work laptop and I still have all the confusion over which page/social media account belongs to which google account. So now I’ve reset both Chromebooks to factory settings and am starting again.

The first thing I noticed was that I have a page on both work and home accounts. V confusing. I’m having to freeze the personal one and switch attention to the work one. Not much has happened with the personal page anyway – that is something yet to come.

The second observation re the work Google+ account is that it has no followers and no content. Google has recommended some people for me to follow. Interestingly enough these are mostly people who are already famous in online media circles and I seem to already have them in my personal circles. Google is trying to tell me who I should follow here. Huh.

We are (you all and me together) going to have to work out what happens on the Google+ page that is different to the trefor davies the person page. I don’t really use Google+ for the purposes of chatting to people so the work page is likely to end up as just a broadcast mechanism. Unless we can  think of something else to do with it.

Interesting that although I don’t use Google+ much I do use Google Hangouts. I guess Google are still trying to figure out how to extend the regular use of Hangouts to Google+. In using Hangouts one physical feature on the Acer C720 that I’ve discovered is that the camera is far better than on the Samsung. I like to see a good picture of myself:)

Another discovery as part of all this work and personal separation are the security features on Google Apps. As a business I’ve had to specifically allow myself to have a Google+ account in the admin panel of the domain. Also everytime I want to share something with someone outside the domain (calendar with wife etc) the system asks me if I’m sure about this. Would have to check whether someone without admin privileges can do the same. I suspect not.

As the staff numbers at grow I will almost certainly allow everyone the same access though I can perhaps understand why a big corporate might not want to do this.

I thought there would be a lot more to discuss in respect of the use of different makes of Chromebook but in reality, aside from the occasional physical feature they are both pretty much identical. With hindsight this is obvious but at least now I’ve done all the leg finger work for you 🙂

More good Chromebook reads:

Comparison of Acer C720 and Sasmsung XE303 Chromebooks
Samsung Chromebook XE303 first impressions
Just bought an Acer Chromebook Ash – review to follow.
Samsung Chromebook crash fix and print drivers – who needs em?
Footnote to Samsung Chromebook Free Galaxy Phone offer
Samsung Chromebook offer not very customer friendly
or search chromebook for lots of useful articles

1It’s worth noting the setup instructions that came with the Chromebook. They basically said “plug in power cable and follow instructions on screen”. Easy peasy.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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