The MINI JAMBOX by Jawbone is probably the best gadget for traveling that I have bought in the last two years.
My goal was to get through this entire trip without having to take out my Macbook Air, but that has not gone as planned. I have found that for some reason, the Chromebook is long loading some pages. I suspect that there is some type of issue between this "version" of Chrome and the hotel's Internet service provider, Time Warner Business.
During my drive yesterday I listened to the GigaOm Chrome Show and learned about the Sunrise calendar app for Chrome OS. It looks like a nice app that I am hoping I can use to consolidate a couple Google calendars for viewing on my Chromebook. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to load an additional account on the Chromebook.
Sunrise does have documentation regarding an issue with adding second Google accounts, but it wouldn't even add Facebook. The account add page would render, so I took out my Macbook Air to set up the additional accounts.
While I bought the Chromecast right when it was available, I had not even tried it until this evening. I guess I had not been too motivated to use it, even though we bought a new TV that has HDMI ports many months ago.
Of course, Chromecast is not really designed to be used in a hotel, rather, it is set up to work on home networks where you provide the network SSID and password to connect to the network. In the old days of hotel WiFi, they gave you the SSID and password when you check in to the hotel, but now days most hotel WiFi networks broadcast their SSID and use a web page to authenticate and connect to the network.
The problem is that there is no way to access a web page from the Chromecast. To set it up, you can establish a point to point connect between a laptop and the Chromecast, but Google did not see fit to provide a way to connect to a hotel WiFi and then transfer that connection to the Chromecast.
My solution was to use the portable hotspot feature of my Moto X, and connect my Chromebook and the Chromecast to that WiFi network. By doing this I was able to update the Chromecast software and try out the basic features. I've Chromecasted a tab and the desktop on my Chromebook, and although there is some lag, it is certainly usable for presentations.
I Chromecasted a tab to check out live.twit.tv, and then I went to YouTube and Chromecasted a video to see the full effect. When I get home, I will connect the Chromecast to our TV and do some more experimentation. Long term, I plan to get a new monitor that has HDMI inputs and use the Chromecast with it, our Samsung TV has plenty of apps for me to use.
For the price, I think the Chromecast is very worthwhile having. If I traveled more frequently, I would consider buying a travel WiFi router and with that I think I would be able to use all the features even in a hotel room.