Many people diss Chromebooks because they simply don't understand them. No, Chrome OS -- the operating system that powers these laptops -- is not just a glorified web browser. Actually, the OS is a full Linux distribution that is both extremely secure and easy to use. True, they can be deficient for some tasks, such as video editing and hardcore gaming, but let's be honest -- not everyone has those needs. If everything you do is in a browser -- email, web surfing, social media, YouTube, Netflix, etc. -- there is no reason to run Windows and open yourself up to malware and other bad things. Hell, Chromebooks even have Microsoft Office support these days!
Today, Acer unveils its latest Chromebook 11, and it is absolutely beautiful. The 11.6-inch Chrome OS laptop comes with 4GB of RAM by default, plus your choice of either 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage. There is even an optional touch-screen variant, which will come in handy for its Google Play Android app support. Road warriors will appreciate the impressive 10-hour battery life. The Celeron processor is passively cooled, meaning there are no fans to bother you with noise.
Using a Chromebook and having problems? You aren't the only one. In the middle of typing, your cursor can jump to the center of another sentence or jumble all of your words. It's not only annoying, it can get confusing to fix. What you need to do is disable the touchpad.
On some Windows PCs there's a simple solution that involves pressing a key at the top. That isn't the case with Chrome OS. It can be done, it just takes a bit more work to accomplish the goal.
Chromebooks are gaining traction because they are simple, easy to use and offer great value. For consumers, they can be fantastic options. For enterprises, however, Chrome OS needs to go the extra mile in order to become more attractive.
Google is well aware of the longer list of needs that enterprises have, as compared to consumers, which is why it has introduced a new plan, called Chrome Enterprise, that adds a whole host of new features designed specifically with business customers in mind.
I absolutely love Chromebooks. Well, not for me exactly, but I love suggesting them to other people when appropriate. While they aren't for everybody, they are brilliant when they can meet a user's needs. The underlying Chrome OS operating system is based on Linux and is extremely secure. In fact, it can be argued that Google's laptop operating system is the most secure OS for web browsing. If you are tired of fixing either a friend or family member's Windows 10 PC, and they live in a web browser, get them on a Chromebook and get some of your time -- and sanity -- back.
Today, Acer unveils a new laptop running Chrome OS. The "Chromebook 11 C771," as it is called, is designed primarily for education (where they really shine), plus as thin clients for businesses too. The notebook features an 11.6-inch display with optional touch, and up to 13 hours battery life. Since it is designed primarily for students, and they can be rough on computers, the C771 has military grade (MIL-STD 810G) durability and a spill-resistant keyboard. It can even survive a 4 foot drop.
Chromebooks are great for many scenarios, but they really shine for education. Why? Well, they are often inexpensive, and best of all, they are very secure thanks to the Linux base and restrictive software design. ASUS has a new such laptop called "Chromebook Flip C213." The 11.6-inch notebook is designed to be very rugged so that if a student abuses it, it should hopefully survive. ASUS even promises an impressive 12+ hours of battery life.
This convertible laptop is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel processor and features 4GB of RAM. This should run Chrome OS very well. Besides the traditional camera at the top of the screen, there is an additional camera above the keyboard. When the laptop is folded to a tablet, that second camera becomes a "rear" camera. Cool, right?
While many pundits are quick to dismiss Chromebooks, some consumers are embracing these laptops. True, from an overall market share perspective, Chrome OS is largely insignificant. With that said, it is absolutely dominating the education segment. Not to mention, as more and more consumers do everything in the web browser, Windows and macOS can be seen as overkill for some.
Unfortunately, many Chromebooks are both underpowered and low quality to keep costs down. While there are some solid models, they are few and far between. Samsung is looking to change this, however, with the long-promised Chromebook Pro. The company announced the premium convertible laptop in January, but now, we finally have a definitive release date.
Many people don't seem to understand who Windows 10 S is for. That's why you'll read many comments and stories, including here at BetaNews, saying that Microsoft has introduced a crippled version of Windows 10 that will not appeal to anyone or that the operating system is only here to get people to pay an upgrade fee to the "proper" Windows 10. They're missing the point... by a mile.
If you look at the context in which Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S, which is its #MicrosoftEDU event, you'll understand that this operating system has a specific scope. It's here so that educators and students who have complained of the complexity of using Windows and migrated to Chromebooks can fall in love with Windows again. That's it. There is no conspiracy, and there's nothing more to it.
For Google, Chromebooks have not been quite the success the company was hoping for, firmly remaining a niche product. As part of a drive to boost popularity, the company announced last year that it planned to bring Android apps to Chromebook.
But there is, of course, the question of which Chromebooks this means: and now we know the answer. Google has published a list of devices that will support Android apps, as well as revealing that all new Chromebooks will have the feature.
Chrome OS is a very polarizing Linux distribution. While some people very wrongly call the operating system nothing other than a glorified web browser, in reality, it is actually very secure and capable. Many home users do all of their computing in a web browser nowadays, making Google's desktop OS an excellent choice.
Laptops running the Linux-based OS are called "Chromebooks". For many consumers, these computers are attractive for no other reason than cost -- they incorrectly think the platform is all about being inexpensive and low quality. Unfortunately, many manufacturers perpetuate that stereotype. As Google's wildly expensive Chromebook Pixel showed, however, Chrome OS devices can be elegant. Today, Samsung is taking aim at elegance with the all-new Chromebook Pro and Plus.
A few days ago, one of my Google+ followers, Steve Kluver, commented on an August 2014 share: "I am shopping for some more Chromebooks this Holiday Season, and found this post via G+ hashtag #chromebook search. How current is your ebook now?" He refers to Chromebook Reviews, which is available from Amazon for sale or for free reading with Kindle Unlimited. I apologized that the tome, published more than two years ago, is "way out of date". If I'm not going to revise, I really should remove the title.
I offered to give him buying advice, which got me to thinking about Chromebook as a concept and computing edifice. While a big fan, and owner of both generations of Google-made Chromebook Pixel, my primary laptop was a MacBook Pro for most of 2016. Measure of commitment: I bought the new 15.4-inch Touch Bar model just a few weeks ago. I've moved on, and got to thinking about why in crafting my response.
Google is actively pushing websites to embrace HTTPS, going as far as to warn Chrome users when they visit a page that can transmit sensitive data over the unsecured HTTP protocol. The search giant hopes that this will speed up HTTPS adoption, and to help us keep track of how things evolve it has updated its Transparency Report to reveal how HTTPS usage is increasing among Chrome users.
Google says that the majority of pages that Chrome users access on desktops are now loaded via HTTPS, and two thirds of their time is spent on pages loading the secure communications protocol. The platform with the highest rate is Chrome OS, which is approaching the 75 percent mark.
Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10.
One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.
Google has come to the realization that hardly anyone is using Chrome apps. As such, the company plans to phase out support for the apps on Windows, Mac and Linux over the next couple of years.
While admitting that packaged apps are used by just 1 percent of users of the three platforms, Google says that the decision comes after a drive to integrate the feature of apps into web standards. Chrome apps will live on in Chrome OS "for the foreseeable future", but a wind-down timetable has been set out for everyone else.
It could be argued that with Android and Chrome OS, Google already has more than its fair share of operating systems; but there's another one in the pipeline.
Very little is known about it at the moment, but Google has a new operating system project underway called Fuchsia. There's a GitHub page up and running, where you can find out about the Fuchsia kernel -- a kernel that is designed with scalability and multi-device, cross-platform compatibility in mind.
Chromebooks are wonderful computers for many reasons. Besides often being affordable, they are based on the Linux kernel, which creates a rock-solid foundation. They feature a largely malware free experience thanks to its focus on the web rather than local storage. With that said, Google's delivery of the Play Store and locally-installed Android apps to the web-based platform is going to change everything -- maybe for the better. From a security perspective, it could be for the worse.
Today, HP announces the Chromebook 11 G5. This all-new Chrome OS laptop is extremely affordable, starting at less than $200. The real news, however, is that this low-cost machine can be equipped with an optional touchscreen, which HP is offering as a way to future-proof for eventual Android app usage.