With Linux being at the core of Chrome OS, it perhaps seems surprising that there's no easy way to run Linux distros or applications on Chromebooks. Yes, there's a Crouton script that can help you to achieve this, but it's far from ideal as it massively lowers system security. All this could be about to change, however.
A newly merged commit in Chromium Gerrit has been spotted which talks about a "new device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS." This would be a major change for Chromebook users, and we could see it as soon as version 66 of Chrome OS.
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, which is a very secure Linux distribution. While that operating system is very easy to use, it can sometimes be limited by a lack of software. You see, for the most part, these Chromebooks are designed to only run web apps. Thanks to emerging Android support, however, this is slowly changing. Still, a traditional desktop Linux distro can be much more useful.
One of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems is Ubuntu, and today, its maker, Canonical, launches an official guide on how to get its OS running on a Chromebook. Since this tutorial is directly from the Ubuntu-maker, you can have extra confidence that it should work well.
While Dell is one of the largest Windows computer manufacturers, it is also a big proponent of Linux. For instance, the company sells machines running Ubuntu -- its relationship with Microsoft be damned.
Ubuntu is not the only Linux-based operating system that can be found on a Dell laptop. Actually, the company also sells Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. Yes, Google’s web-focused desktop OS is a Linux distro. Today, Dell unveils its latest such Chromebook, the 5190. It is rugged, has USB-C, stylus support, and offers an impressive 13 hours of battery life.
When it comes to Chromebooks, Acer is one of the premier manufacturers. From the early days of Google's desktop OS, Acer has produced quality computers running the Linux-based Chrome OS. Best of all, Acer's Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are often quite affordable. This makes sense, since the company is largely a value-focused manufacturer. Quite frankly, Acer and Chrome OS are a match made in heaven.
Hot on the heels of announcing its all-new Chromebook 11, the company today unveils three new Chrome OS computers -- Chromebook 11 C732, Chromebook Spin 11, and Chromebox CXI3. While the Chromebooks will likely get much of the attention, I am quite smitten with the Chromebox. This diminutive desktop is absolutely gorgeous, and it is chock-full of useful ports. The Chromebook 11 C732 is also quite intriguing, thanks to its optional LTE connectivity!
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.
A key piece of software that has been missing from Chromebooks is now available to everyone -- Microsoft Office. Microsoft has made its office suite available for a range of platforms over the years, but Chromebook support has been notable by its absence. Now, without announcement from the company, this changes.
It's great news for anyone who has been put off by the idea of using a Chromebook because they couldn't use their favorite software. The arrival of Office is partly thanks to the appearance of the Play Store on Chromebooks.
Fact -- Chromebooks are much better than Windows 10 PCs. Well, for some people, at least. I'll concede that some consumers will be better served by Windows or macOS, but nowadays, most home users can get by with Chrome OS. After all, many folks live in the web browser, doing things like watching YouTube and checking Facebook. While Windows 10 can arguably do more, it is also less secure. If you can get by with a Chromebook, you should! By the way, Chrome OS is not a glorified web browser, but instead, a well-designed Linux-based operating system.
Today, Google unveils the "Pixelbook," which is a high-end Chromebook with a 12.3-inch touch screen and stylus support. It can even convert into a tablet. It weighs a mere 1.1 kilograms and is just 10.3mm thick. Since it can run Android apps, there isn't much you can't do with it. True, it isn't a solution for, say, professional photo or video editing, but most people don't need that. And so, the Pixelbook is here to offer an elegant Chrome OS experience, reminiscent of the excellent Chromebook Pixel.
I would like to thank Google for saving me thousands of dollars in needless spending. Near the end of today's gangbuster hardware event, I was ready to order two new Chromebooks and smartphones, one each for me and my wife. But "error 500" pages on the company's store website and long-lead new product availability dates prompted me to cancel the one order successfully made and to delete the others in process from my shopping cart.
For a company whose product managers droned on this morning about all the reasons why artificial intelligence is so right, Big G got the store selling experience all wrong. I have waited through most of 2017 for a new Google-branded Chrome OS laptop. While hardly a fresh hardware design concept, Pixelbook is nevertheless tempting enough to bring me back to the AI and voice-assistant contextual future from the Apple rotting on the overly-obsessed touch-UI tree. I was willing and ready but instead walked away angry.
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.
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?
Microsoft's latest anti-Google ad campaign has more than a slight whiff of Scroogled from a few years back. A pair of advertisements lay into Chromebooks, and suggest that Windows 10 devices are far better for both business and education.
Google has made much of the benefits that Chromebooks can bring to the classroom, but Microsoft disagrees -- and says Windows 10 Pro is far better for businesses too. In the two ads, the company highlights the security and features of Windows, painting Google's software as insecure and underpowered.
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.
Samsung unveiled two Chromebooks capable of running Android apps at CES 2017. The first to be available was the less expensive -- and less powerful -- Chromebook Plus, which arrived in February, while the more costly -- and more powerful -- Chromebook Pro was said to arrive sometime this spring.
And it looks like it will, indeed, be in customers' hands by the end of this month, as the Chromebook Pro is now available to pre-order on Amazon, with an estimated release date of May 28. Hey, that still technically counts as spring.
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.