Whatever happened to the Chromebook?

Discussion in 'Netbooks, Tablets, Slates and eReaders' started by LandSurveyor, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. questionfear

    questionfear Google'd.

    Messages:
    5,021
    Likes Received:
    1,249
    Trophy Points:
    288
    I think I am set on the Asus-the ruggedness, plus 4GB of RAM, seems like the best fit for what I want. I think this will mostly be a home computer, but I might occasionally need to bring it to work or at off-site meetings, and while I doubt my office is terribly dangerous, I am a bit clumsy and have a small child, so when in doubt opting for rugged over stylish is probably my best bet. :)

    Also, assuming my math is correct on taxes plus what my Amazon trade ins fetch, I should have enough Amazon credits to cover the whole purchase, which will make Mrs QF quite happy. :)
     
    scjjtt, RickAgresta, Mi An and 2 others like this.
  2. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    4,018
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Asus announces new Chromebook Flip 2. Compared to its predecessor, its much bigger, more powerful, more premium and more expensive. This exemplifies the latest trend in Chromebooks --- flip to tablet, touchscreens, intended for Android app support.

    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/139868-asus-chromebook-flip-is-now-a-12-5-inch-awesome-machine

    https://www.asus.com/Notebooks/ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C302CA/

    Acer announces the new N7, which is low end tech, but heavy rugged construction for the educational environment. Acer doesn't have much to announce in view of Chromebooks in CES, they already launched the excellent R13 for the holidays.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/03/a...n7-is-designed-to-withstand-drops-and-drinks/

    In their first big presentation since the Note 7 disaster, Samsung announces the Chromebook Plus and the Chromebook Pro. Again, like the Flip, Flip 2, Yoga, the R11 and R13, this belongs to the next generation of Chromebooks with touchscreens and flip factors. The difference is that Samsung has a stylus with them. The difference between the Plus and the Pro is one comes with an ARM processor (probably their Exynos brand) and the other an Intel processor.

    http://www.theverge.com/ces/2017/1/4/14167978/samsung-chromebook-plus-pro-google-stylus-ces-2017

    We can expect a slew of next generation Chromebooks for 2017.
     
    jigwashere, scjjtt and RickAgresta like this.
  3. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    4,018
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
    scjjtt and Mi An like this.
  4. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    4,018
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    288
    More 2 in 1 Chromebooks that can run Android apps. That seems to be the common theme for Chromebooks in 2017, and likely with stylus support.

    Dell announces new educational line of Chromebooks.

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/25/14374978/dell-convertible-chromebook-education

    Lenovo announces a new Yoga for education and with Android app support. It also comes with a twist that is new for a Lenovo Chromebook --- ARM processor.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3161...book-for-android-apps-with-arm-processor.html
     
    scjjtt likes this.
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

    Messages:
    15,856
    Likes Received:
    7,490
    Trophy Points:
    288
    scjjtt likes this.
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

    Messages:
    15,856
    Likes Received:
    7,490
    Trophy Points:
    288
    The 5 stages of Chromebook acceptance
    [​IMG]
    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Laptop trends come and go. We've lived through netbooks, ultrabooks and even stereoscopic 3D laptops (yes, that was a thing for a while). Most don't stick around for the long haul, so I originally approached Chromebooks with the same skepticism.

    The first couple of generations of Chromebooks were stripped-down laptops running Google's Chrome OS -- literally, little more than the browser as operating system -- and were more hype than reality. At best they worked for kids or the tech-averse: Fine for basics like email, Facebook and YouTube but it was a major struggle to make one of them your main machine.

    Now Chromebooks have had a few generations to evolve. Many have standard Intel Core processors, better file management and access to Android apps via the Google Play store. It now feels like the category has gotten a major reboot, as seen in the excellent new Samsung Chromebook Pro.

    Is it finally time to break down and admit that a good Chromebook is all the computer you're likely to need? The biggest hurdle might be getting past common preconceptions about the category. To test this theory, I gritted my teeth, dove right in, suffered through the classic five stages of Chromebook acceptance, and came out the other side.

    Denial
    I'm 100 percent not a Chromebook guy. I'm the type of person who needs a few hundred free GB of hard drive space for all the apps and files I collect. What if I want to do some registry tweaking? What if I want to update my drivers for a graphics card (or even have a graphics card)? I need Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Steam and a ton of other programs. Those are just not going to happen on a Chromebook, right?

    Why do you think Apple doesn't make a laptop that costs less than a thousand bucks? That's because you just need to spend that much to get anything really worthwhile. Why do you think a touchscreen Surface Pro from Microsoft costs around that much once you add the keyboard cover? Because good touch and stylus response requires a real investment. A Chromebook might be enough computer for you, but me? No way.

    Anger
    Freedom of choice is what PCs are all about. Everyone wants to put you in a walled garden of some sort. Apple is notorious for this, with the iOS App Store controlling what you can do (or not do) on an iPhone or iPad. Even MacOS MacBooks make it hard to install "unverified" apps without jumping through hoops. Chromebooks are the same way -- you can use any website you want, but the last time I tried a Chromebook only a handful of app-like tools from the Google Chrome OS store, and most of those were just junk, anyway.

    [​IMG]
    25
    Samsung Chromebook Pro

    As bad as Microsoft is with its Windows App Store, at least you can choose to completely ignore it and just install anything you want. Good luck trying that on a Chromebook. And if you really, really need to get a laptop for a rock-bottom price, there are a few full Windows models that cost $200-$300, as long as you don't mind the rock-bottom performance that goes along with them.

    If you get a Chromebook instead of a Windows 10 laptop, you're just cutting yourself off from the wider world of software, as well as tying your hands when it comes to tweaking and customizing how your own hardware works. I, for one, am not going to take that lying down -- they can have my .exe files when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers!

    Bargaining
    Maybe I'm being to harsh. I guess there are ways to work around Chrome OS limitations. Maybe I can use Pixlr instead of Photoshop. And I actually do spend most of my time surfing the web, or at least using web-based services and cloud-based tools -- so being locked into the Chrome web browser isn't really all that bad. I mean, I can still get to things like Amazon and Netflix.

    Besides, adding access to the Google Play app store, and its millions of Android apps, fills in a lot of the blanks. It's going to be available on every new 2017 Chromebook (and several earlier models), and adds a ton of games, social media apps, and other tools. Some are optimized for the bigger laptop screen, others show up in phone-sized windows. It's almost like I should think of a new Chromebook as a laptop with some of the DNA of a phone.

    And while I still can't install the PC version of Microsoft Office, at least I can open emailed Excel docs or other files in the free cloud-based version of Office, or even in the Android version, which works surprisingly well on a Chromebook. I guess you have to pick your fights.

    Depression
    Do you know how can I tell this Chromebook isn't a serious get-work-done tool? The keyboard is labeled with all lowercase letters. How am I supposed to take that seriously? The Google Pixel (the Chrome OS device, not the phone), which cost as much as a MacBook, was a true high-end machine, but it's been discontinued. Aside from that, even so-called high-end Chromebooks feel kinda junky, with either flimsy plastic bodies, or meh-feeling metal bodies once you hit $400-$500.

    [​IMG]
    15
    An affordable 2-in-1 Chromebook that'll last you all day

    Remember playing PC games? Man, that was fun. I mean, you can get some phone versions of games on a Chromebook, especially if you go through the Android apps in the Google Play store, but it's not the same. Windows 10, for all its faults, has many useful tools built right in, like the News app or the notifications bar, and macOS has Photos, Siri and all that other built-in MacOS-based goodness. This, in contrast, is really just a web browser in a box, and even if I do manage to download something, most Chromebooks only have 16-32GB of space. Can I every show my face in my local coffee shop again? I don't want to be the only person there without a backlit fruit logo on my laptop...

    Acceptance
    I have to admit, compared to a lot of other lower-cost PCs I've used, this Chromebook I'm working on now (a Samsung Chromebook Pro with an Intel Core m3 processor) feels faster. Definitely less slowdown, better scrolling on web pages, and it wakes up as soon as I open the lid, much like a MacBook does.

    Sure, I'm not running "real" Photoshop, but most social media tools include basic photo editing now, which is probably why I haven't felt the need to install Photoshop on any Windows laptops I've tested in a while. And thanks to the Android apps available in the Google Play store, I'm running the mobile versions of Instagram and the Amazon Alexa app, which is something you generally can't do on a laptop. (A few potentially useful Android apps either wouldn't run or didn't work properly, including Snapchat, Uber and Pokemon Go.)

    Let's go down my list of PC priorities -- Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook and Twitter: check. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime video: check -- although Amazon doesn't have a Google Play app, so you'll have to use the web-based version or sideload the apk (Android installation file), which requires messing around in the Chromebook's developer mode. (I don't recommend that, since it means shutting off some of the nice security features that Google has added to keep the Android apps safely walled off.)

    I've now traveled the five stages and reached Chromebook acceptance. While it's still more fun to use something very high-end, like the new MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, I'm more than happy to take one of the new generation of Chromebooks to my local coffee shop or even on a trip, and it's hard to think of a better overall bang for your buck in PCs right now.

    If you're looking to spend around $500 on a new laptop, the question is no longer, "Can you get away with using a Chromebook?" but instead, "Why aren't you already using a Chromebook?"
     
    scjjtt and RickAgresta like this.
  7. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

    Messages:
    1,884
    Likes Received:
    2,696
    Trophy Points:
    288
    RickAgresta and jigwashere like this.
  8. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

    Messages:
    15,856
    Likes Received:
    7,490
    Trophy Points:
    288
    scjjtt and RickAgresta like this.
  9. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

    Messages:
    1,884
    Likes Received:
    2,696
    Trophy Points:
    288
    I'll definitely have to look closer to those announcements. I'm surprised I didn't see the thread on the day it was offered. Sorry about that...

    Sent from my LG v10 using Tapatalk
     
    jigwashere likes this.
  10. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    4,018
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Google and HP announces another 360 degree convertible Chromebook, the X360 11 G1. While there are Flips and Yogas, this is HP's first Chromebook with this format.

    https://chromeunboxed.com/google-announces-new-hp-x360-11-g1-educational-chromebook/

    Google's own announcement, as well as taking tops in the Swedish educational market.

    https://www.blog.google/topics/education/schools-sweden-have-made-chromebooks-nummer-ett-number-one/

    The new Asus Chromebook Flip C302 seems a bit high end to replace the C100 Flip, but it appears the C101, a true Flip successor, might be on the way.

    https://liliputing.com/2017/02/asus-chromebook-flip-c101-coming-soon.html

    Apple losing market share in the educational sector to Chromebooks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/...nl_art=4&nlid=16886799&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
    scjjtt likes this.

Share This Page