The $249 budget laptop or notebook, Google Chromebook, has left reviewers impressed. Rather than just being a browser in a box, the 11.6inch, ARM-based, Samsung manufactured Chromebook actually has a lot to offer Web users. At just 2.5 pounds and a battery life of 6.5 hours, Chromebook is the perfect “carry along” notebook if you work with Google applications, access cloud storage but also want some offline storage, and are looking for a simple and efficient machine that gives you what you need without extra bloatware.
Google itself is promoting Chromebook as a family’s at-home computer for non-complex tasks such as checking your email, listening to music, watching videos and playing games. But it’s tuning out to be much more.
Google Chromebook does not come with much desktop software as the idea is to move towards lightweight Web and skip the inconvenience of device updates, software and security updates and IT support.
To get people started on Chromebook, Google is offering 100GB of free storage on Google Drive for 2 years. You can also sync activities with any Android device.
Technical specifications of Chromebook include:
- 11.6inch 1366x768p matte display (good indoor and outdoor viewing)
- full-size keyboard
- button-less trackpad for people used to the mouse
- fanless dual-core A15 based Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (5250) SoC
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- full-size SD card reader
- USB 2.0
- USB 3.0
- HDMI output
- SIM slot (for 3G)
Applications and other features on Chromebook
Chromebook comes with all the apps web users typically use in a day. It also includes features that make your life easier. You have:
- Google Drive to upload and share files
- Google Play for music
- YouTube or Google Play Movies for movies and videos
- Google Hangouts (video chat with up to 9 friends at a time)
- Google Voice for telephone calling
- Chrome Instant to load websites instantly
- Google Cloudprint to access a printer on your network
- Seamless syncing of activities with Android tabs and phones and other devices using the Chrome browser with Google Now.
- Access to thousands of free and paid applications, themes and extensions on Chrome Web Store such as Pandora (organize music), Pixlr Editor (edit pictures), Stupeflix (create home video), Kindle, etc.
- Create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings with apps like Google Drive, Zoho or SlideRocket.
- Access thousands of games in Games Collection including popular choices like Angry Birds, Solitaire, and WGT Golf Challenge.
- Chrome Remote Desktop to access a remote PC and carry out complex tasks, access storage, etc.
- Stay productive offline too with Offline Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, Scratchpad, Media and more.
Limitations of Google Chromebook
Chromebook currently has poor support for OpenDocument Format but you can use apps like InstallFree Nexus for LibreOffice to overcome that problem. If you are a programmer, designer or hi-end graphic and CPU intensive game player, Chromebook is not for you.
Value of Google Chromebook
Chromebook is ideal for web users – in physical specs and on board applications. Additionally, it offers multiple layers of security, user-based access, cloud storage, offline access, WiFi and 3G connectivity, portability and performance. For $249, it’s your best bet.
- Google Chromebooks Series 5 Now Available (epicagear.com)
- Google announces Samsung Chromebook ‘for everyone’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- New Chromebook Ads Look Low Budget, As If Made on the Chromebook Itself [Video] (news.softpedia.com)