Category Archives: Chromebook

Google Chromebook what you should know

Google Chromebook

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.

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Are Rumours of the Google Tablet Boom or Bust?

These past few weeks, rumours have been going around about the development of a 7-inch Google tablet. As one would expect, this bit of tablet PC info comes from Taiwanese news site DigiTimes, and as the story goes, Google is planning/already making a tablet that could face off with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Does the story hold water?

Logically, it does. Google has the resources to make a tablet PC and once it closes the Motorola Mobility deal, it’ll have a hardware company to make one for them as well. The search engine giant has also just released the newest version of their mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), and given their ventures in smartphones and laptops, tablet PCs are the logical next step.

Also, CEO Eric Schmidt was quoted saying that the company was working on a Google tablet. In separate interview, Schmidt also said that the planned tablet will be “of the highest quality.” The company itself hasn’t made any definitive announcements regarding the rumoured Google tablet, though many experts are already speculating about it.

Will it take on the Kindle Fire or the iPad 2?

So far, the tablet PC comparison wars still rage on, but many point out that Android-based tablets are still no match for the iPad, which in recent news sold more than 15 million units in the last three months alone. How will the Google tablet play its cards? Will it go up against Apple’s iPad, or the Kindle Fire, the current number two? This can go two ways: if the Google tablet competes based on hardware, it’ll go against Apple; while competing on price means going up against Amazon.

The Kindle Fire’s success is heavily attributed to its low price point at US$ 199 so some experts believe that Google will go on this route. Like Amazon that subsidizes their low retail price with the hopes of recouping their losses with revenue from content purchases, Google can subsidize its tablet PC with advertising. Whichever way Google decides to go on this one, many experts think that it wouldn’t pose a threat on neither Amazon nor Apple, considering the success (or lack thereof) of Nexus phones and Chromebooks.

We’ll see how it goes in the coming months once Google announces something about this. In the meantime, let’s just hope the Google tablet doesn’t disappoint.