In case you’ve been following tablet PC news, you’ve probably seen slates compared to Chromebooks, another one of Google’s forays into mobile computing like the Android operating system and the Nexus. The Chromebook is often described as the middle ground between traditional laptops and a cloud client. In case you aren’t very familiar with it, here are some bits you may want to know.
What are Chromebooks?
Chromebooks run with Google’s Chrome OS – an operating system that uses the Linux kernel. As the name suggests, this operating system features Google Chrome as a web browser and comes with a media player. One of its most notable features is its 8-second boot, though it is often called out for its limited offline capabilities.
These machines are basically designed to be used while connected to the Internet so in lieu of installed programs like word processors, users can install web applications instead. The web applications can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. According to Google, Chromebooks are made with a multi-layer security architecture so users won’t need anti-virus programs.
If you’re more accustomed to using a traditional laptop or netbook, the first thing you’ll notice when first using a Chromebook is its specialized keyboard. It features keys for controlling multiple browsers plus a web search key. It isn’t too alien though as it supports USB devices like mice, flash drives, cameras, and the like.
What do people say about it?
According to tablet PC comparison sites, there are a number of Chromebooks available in the market. Two manufacturers make them: Samsung for the higher end; and Acer for the lower end. Since the first Chromebooks saw release in June 15, 2011, Chromebook prices have been reduced. Some computer and tablet PC reviews noted disappointment over the Chromebook’s 16 GB of storage, though others were impressed with the machine’s fast boot, long battery life, and relatively affordable prices.
Many say that while Chromebooks aren’t all that popular at the moment, the current line up is a good start for the fledgling operating system. Comparisons between Chromebooks and Android tablets (and the iPad) centres on the devices’ mobility as well as computing power. Many believe though that the Chromebook has a long way to go.