Thursday 12 September 2013

Chromebook - The New Computer from Google

From the last couple of years we’ve seen so many changes in the technical world that it’s getting rather difficult to keep yourself up-to-date with everything. However, you can still get the jist that everything is moving towards the web, which is now more commonly being dubbed “the cloud” (except that it doesn’t rain on you).

Google has decided to take a different approach with computers, right down to the hardware. As computing is moving to the cloud, where Google is a major player of cloud services with Gmail, Google Docs, and much more, computers should depend less on data stored on the machine itself but rather put all the data in the cloud. Also most of a modern user’s activities is online, where a browser is used to surf around Social Networking sites, play Flash games, and more. Rarely do they touch other applications, especially any that cannot be replicated through online cloud services (such as Microsoft Office –> Google Docs). With that logic, Google came up with the Chromebook, which is a new type of computer designed to help you get things done faster and easier.

Google Chrome OS Welcome Screen
Google Chrome OS Welcome Screen

What is a Chromebook:
The Chromebook is a new computer from Google that's simple, lightweight and easy to use. It starts in seconds, backs up your stuff in the cloud, and keeps it safe with built-in virus protection. It's the ideal device for getting stuff done everywhere you go.
Google Chromebook is a thin client laptop that is configured with the Chrome operating system (Chrome OS). Because the only software application that Chrome OS can run locally is the Google Chrome browser, a Chromebook is often described as a browser-in-a-box.

634px-Samsung_Chromebook Samsung Chromebook

It is also called as "cloudbooks" because the owner's applications, videos, image files and documents are stored remotely on Google virtual servers. Files and software applications are associated with the user's Google account so they can be accessed through a Chrome browser on any computing device. If a Chromebook is lost or destroyed,  the user's data remains secure because it was never stored on the Chromebook.

640px-Acer_Chromebook  Acer Chromebook

At present Chromebooks are available in different models from five companies namely Google, Samsung, Lenovo, HP and Acer. Among them only few of them support 3G but all are Wi-Fi compatible. Among them the Google Chromebook Pixel and Acer C7 C710-2833 are the latest ones.

Chromebook_Pixel_(WiFi)_open  Chromebook Pixel

Features of Chromebook:
Following are some interesting Chromebook features:
  • An eight-second boot time, which goes directly to the browser without any desktop or background.
  • Chrome OS.
  • Video Graphics Array (VGA) port for connecting an external monitor.
  • Instant resume from sleep.
  • Reported battery life up to 8.5 hours.
  • A 40% brighter screen than those of conventional laptops.
  • Automatic updates.
  • One high speed USB port.
  • Built-in secure Secure Digital/Secure Digital High Capacity (SD/SDHC) memory card reader.
  • A keyboard tailored for Internet browsing.
  • One audio jack.

Advantages of Chromebook:
  • Get your all stuffs done
Chromebooks come with popular Google products built in, like Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Hangouts, so you can work, play, and do whatever you want right out of the box. Personalize your Chromebook with thousands more apps from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Perfect for Sharing
Chromebooks are perfect to share with friends, family, and even the occasional guest. With multi-user support, each person can easily access their own files, apps and settings.
  • Hassles not included
No waiting: Chromebooks boot up in less than 10 seconds, and resume instantly. Unlike other computers, Chromebooks don't slow down over time.
No Maintenance: With automatic updates, Chromebooks download and install security and software updates so you don't have to. No more hours wasted installing patches.
No Worry: Built-in security means you're safe from viruses and malware. You don't need to install security software on any Chromebook, since they have multiple layers of security.
  • Cloud Built-in
Chromebook never allows to lose another file or photo. Now you can access your stuffs securely from anywhere.
Keep, Create, Share:Your Chromebook lets you easily save your files to Google Drive, so you can pick up where you left off across all your devices, wherever you go.
Print From Cloud: Your Chromebook comes equipped for Google Cloud Print, a new technology that lets you access your printers without plugging in any cables.
Sync Your Stuff: Chromebooks sync seamlessly with your Android™ phone, tablet, and all other devices running Chrome, so you can access your bookmarks, files and other settings everywhere.
Work Offline: Chromebooks offer offline apps, like Google docs and offline Gmail, which means you can stay productive during the rare times you are disconnected from the web.
  • Built-in Automatic Update Mechanism
Chromebooks have an autoupdate mechanism so you always get the freshest software and security features. You can expect regular updates every couple of months.
Dis-advantages of Chromebook:
  • Games can’t be played from Hard Disk
This is something very bad. Chromebook doesn’t plays games via hard disk. All you can do is play games online via Chromebook
  • Less Connectivity
The biggest drawback of Google chromebook is its less connectivity, we all know. No Internet No work. So this might be a problem with lots of people. Google still trying hard to low down the problems by adding Gmail Offline features but still its too far.
  • Software Usage Limitations:
Another hectic drawbacks is the software limitation. You are not allowed to run standard programs, and then it will cause lots of problem working with different tasks. You are not allowed to install Microsoft office, you can only work with Google’s office products and store your data online.
  • Limitations of Files extension recognition
The Chrome OS does not recognize all of the file extensions that a normal computer would. Ex: m4v, mov, wmv, etc.
  • Last and the most important
The Chrome OS project is still in beta so one may get unknown bugs while using it.
There nothing much to say about this new computer from Google, as Google wanted to make it as simple as possible with the “Boot and Go” approach. They seem to be a nice, practical tool for the average user once they get to understand that there are online versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. While this is not the perfect device for everyone, it can still be helpful for plenty.