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Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Review 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-could-have-gone-better dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Neil McAllister takes an in-depth look at the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 3G and finds the device comparatively lackluster. 'The Chromebook is lightweight and inexpensive, and it offers a full-featured Web browsing experience. But its low-end hardware, lack of versatility, and primitive support for commonplace computing tasks such as printing, file management, networking, and media playback make it a poor choice for everyday use, particularly in a business setting,' McAllister writes. 'All in all, the Samsung Series 5 is an average-quality netbook with a large screen and a higher-than-average price tag, while Chrome OS itself feels more like a proof-of-concept project whose time has not yet come.'"
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Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Review

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  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @07:52PM (#36756334)

    No shit

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:02PM (#36756470) Homepage Journal

      "feels more like a proof-of-concept project whose time has not yet come"

      Welcome to the GoogleDome.

      • by jo42 (227475)

        Welcome to the GoogleDome.

        Two products enter. Zero useful products leave.

        • by earls (1367951)

          More like: "Two products enter beta. ... ..."

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          I just don't get what they are thinking. At $100-$150? yeah I could see people willing to deal with the limitations to have a "browser in a box" but $500? WTF? you can often find Atom netbooks for $250 or less, and I've seen really nice AMD netbooks for around $330. Who in their right mind would pay the price of TWO netbooks for one that is crippled and doesn't do even half of what a full netbook does?

          I just don't understand what they think will make it sell at THAT price. i have played with the Athlon Neo

          • I just don't get what they are thinking. At $100-$150? yeah I could see people willing to deal with the limitations to have a "browser in a box" but $500? WTF? you can often find Atom netbooks for $250 or less, and I've seen really nice AMD netbooks for around $330. Who in their right mind would pay the price of TWO netbooks for one that is crippled and doesn't do even half of what a full netbook does?

            And spending all your computer time in a web browser is a fate deserved only by whoever conceived this project.

  • I use my Cr48 every day at home. I can code on it and do what I need to do. I have learned to operate with minimal file downloads and don't have anything to print. It does what I need it to. Right tools for the job and all that...
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:12PM (#36756606) Journal
      The issue with this "Chromebook", from my perspective, is that it manages to be as or more expensive(and no better in terms of battery life or weight/build quality) than an equivalent netbook/cheapie laptop.

      If I can save money by buying something else and just running Chrome in full screen on Ubuntu or something, or don't get it.

      I find Google's experiment conceptually interesting, and its continued evolution will be something to see; but in its present state(while I wouldn't turn a free one down) it doesn't seem to be worth any premium over whatever netbook is winning the knife-fight-in-a-telephone booth on price/performance today, just running a web browser most of the time.
      • by xSauronx (608805)

        Im honestly not sure why theyre bothering. Android is already a well-known product with lots of support, applications and users, and is itself based on linux. Id much rather see them implement controls and whatever else they think makes chrome special into android, along with a good browser with features. It bugs me that chrome is such a good browser, and that they have an OS based on it, but that the stock android browser is so mediocre.

        Cant see myself ever wanting a chrome book. An android notebook like t

        • I'll be interested to see how they eventually deal with this one. If I had to bet, I'd wonder if they might take advantage of the fact that Android is architecturally 'I-Can't-believe-It's-Not-Java'(and apparently neither can Oracle...) and certainly no less suitable for browser embedding than their NaCL experiments are.

          For devices with larger screens, enough RAM for serious, conventional, multitasking, etc. they could largely take ChromeOS as a starting point, use the chrome HTML/JS stuff for both web/w
        • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @11:18PM (#36758342)

          Im honestly not sure why theyre bothering. Android is already a well-known product with lots of support, applications and users, and is itself based on linux. Id much rather see them implement controls and whatever else they think makes chrome special into android, along with a good browser with features.

          I'm not sure why people don't get this - if they can get you to do everything through Chrome, they have 100% of your information. That's why they do this.

          It's really got nothing to do with Linux. If you're using Android, you can turn the network off and they've lost their access to you. With Chrome, you and your eyeballs are a captive audience, 100% of the time.

          I fully expect to see a chrome phone at some point, once they feel like Android has penetrated the market to its fullest potential.

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            I'm not sure why people don't get this - if they can get you to do everything through Chrome, they have 100% of your information. That's why they do this.

            Sure, OK, no argument there. Why is that a problem?

      • by Necroman (61604)

        Chromebooks, at this point, don't seem to be targeted at anyone that reads slashdot. Well, maybe only if it's an IT manager.

        I have one of the series 5 laptops and I've play around with it a bit and it has its ups and downs. I could easily see giving this laptop to my mom so I wouldn't have to deal with windows updates and antivirus software. It also blocks her from breaking anything on the laptop (software wise).

        I could see some specific cases in business where non-techy people need internet access with

        • Remember when Google said, "oh, you know that offline support for Gmail and Google Docs? We're stopping it. Should have something to replace it in a few months."

          An IT manager that went with a Chromebook solution for their business in that situation would be calling themselves a "consultant" and trying to sell hand-woven laptop cozies on Etsy today.

          Cloud works if you are running your own cloud. A thin client to enterprise-hosted virtual PCs and web apps? Maybe. A thin client to... the web? For business? Nuh

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          Google's pricing model for businesses is pretty attractive, since it includes the support contract. It gives me the feeling that the corporate domain is really their primary intended market for ChromeOS, particularly the ChromeOS desktops (which I believe are or will be only available to businesses, at least initially).

          There is still some support for businesses to get custom apps running on these things. There's obviously the custom web-app, and beyond that, there's Citrix Receiver support. You can run Micr

        • Chromebooks, at this point, don't seem to be targeted at anyone that reads slashdot. Well, maybe only if it's an IT manager.

          Why? I read slashdot for some time now, I am not an IT manager and I would buy a Chromebook gladly - if not for the issue mentioned by the GP: Chromebooks are more expensive now than a comparable netbook/cheap laptop.

          I own an Aspire One d522 and the only time when I am not using a browser is when I play Diablo II (on Battle.net) or Warhammer Online. So yes, it is useless for me if the net is down. I use gmail and google docs and use my main pc for serious work. The netbook is for browsing and watching VOD.

        • by yarnosh (2055818)

          Chromebooks, at this point, don't seem to be targeted at anyone that reads slashdot

          Honestly, slashdot users are just geeky enough to buy the device simply for novelty purposes. Otherwise, it is mostly useless compared to a netbook.

          . I could easily see giving this laptop to my mom so I wouldn't have to deal with windows updates and antivirus software.

          But you would have to deal with questions like "Why can't I play this video?" or "Why can't I install this minigame?" or "Why can't I use MS Word or work with photos from my camera?" If you think she could get away without the typical crap that Windows users install, why wouldn't you get her a netbook and install Linux on it?

          I could see some specific cases in business where non-techy people need internet access with not installed apps.

          Non-techy people use apps too.

          This is an easy to manage solution for IT managers.

          Easy to

      • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:34AM (#36760046)

        The issue with this "Chromebook", from my perspective, is that it manages to be as or more expensive(and no better in terms of battery life or weight/build quality) than an equivalent netbook/cheapie laptop.

        I personally think the Chromebook along with the Google Online Cloudstuff has its niche already and stands a real chance at becoming the prime choice for household computing.

        The first Chromebook from Samsung weighs 1.4 Kg and is roughly 2cm thick, if not thinner. It fits squarely into the MacBook Air carry-around pattern, whilst costing a fifth.
        For those who do 95% of their stuff online and know so little about computers they couldn't find a directory on an Thumbdrive - even with OS X Finder in 'stupid-mode', let alone know where to plug it in and how to unmount it before removal (99.999% of all users), the chromebook is a viable every-day computer.

        If has the form, size and weight factor of a sleek MacBook Air, costs a fraction of that, has above 8 hours of uptime on battery, has zero hassles with installation and setup, needs no worrying or even knowing about such things as backup, software installation, sane security awareness and data-migrate-ability. All you need to know is how to log into something on the web, which most people do know nowadays.

        For those who know what they're doing it's nearly trivially easy to hack a bash CLI onto it, with all the goodies you want.

        Optical media aside - which we all agree will become full-scale obsolete any time soon - this would actually be a replacement I'd get my spouse if her iBook G4 breaks. She mostly surfs, does email and sometimes writes a letter. Nothing you can't do with the Google stuff. DVDs are the aforementioned exception to that, but as I see it Netflix, Lovefilm et al are standing ready to solve that even for the very latest of adopters.

        And let's face it: I - and I gather most of you too - would take a Linux+Web based Google lockin over an Apple or MS lockin any time. No?

        • by Targon (17348)

          While there is clearly a market for "premium" items that cost a LOT, the non-Apple world can get a decent laptop for the $500 range. Yes, that may not have the aluminum case, but it also is a fully functional laptop that has full support for Flash, and ALL normal Windows based applications will run on it. There are also new platforms that are just starting to show up, like the AMD A4 and A6 based that are also starting to show up in very thin laptops that get acceptable graphics performance that will a

        • by yarnosh (2055818)

          For those who do 95% of their stuff online and know so little about computers they couldn't find a directory on an Thumbdrive - even with OS X Finder in 'stupid-mode', let alone know where to plug it in and how to unmount it before removal (99.999% of all users), the chromebook is a viable every-day computer.

          The whole WIndows ecosystem is driven by that last 5%. Telling users they are too stupid to be allowed to run a desktop application will not get you very far.

          If has the form, size and weight factor of a sleek MacBook Air, costs a fraction of that, has above 8 hours of uptime on battery, has zero hassles with installation and setup, needs no worrying or even knowing about such things as backup, software installation, sane security awareness and data-migrate-ability. All you need to know is how to log into something on the web, which most people do know nowadays.

          Right, except all of that comes at the cost of, you know, not being able to run apps. You can't justify it by tellign people they are stupid. You're an arrogant fool.

          And let's face it: I - and I gather most of you too - would take a Linux+Web based Google lockin over an Apple or MS lockin any time. No?

          Compared to ChromeOS, Apple and MS don't lock me in. I can install whatever I want. But on a Chromebook, you are shackled to the web browser, ,which I can already run on Apple and MS pr

        • Unfortunately, Netflix doesn't run on Chromebooks yet.

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          I personally think the Chromebook along with the Google Online Cloudstuff has its niche already and stands a real chance at becoming the prime choice for household computing.

          In my experience, one of the main things people use a "household computer" for is playing music and movies, both of which the Chromebook absolutely sucks at.

          Full disclosure: I wrote the review.

    • How are you doing programming on it? I'm actually curious. I've considered a chromebook as a travel laptop (long battery life, fast boot, and small size being my primary criteria), but I have to be able to edit plain text files, preferably stored locally. Doing it through ssh would be an option, though an inferior one. I tried chromium os out in virtualbox and couldn't find a way to do what i needed effectively. So how do you actually get any work done on the thing?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why http://kodingen.com/ of course.

      • by ctrimm (1955430)
        I use a web app called ShiftEdit [shiftedit.net].

        I'm a web developer (I mainly build web apps), so everything I work on is hosted on a remote server. Saving and opening can take a little longer online than on your computer, but it's honestly not too bad.

        Other than images, the personal site I'm working on I have created completely in ShiftEdit.
      • by yarnosh (2055818)
        Get a netbook. There's no reason for you to even consider a Chromebook.
  • Bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Howard Roark (13208) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:03PM (#36756492)

    I've had my Samsung Chromebook for about a week now and I absolutely love it. It brings an immediacy to the 'net that I have never experienced with any other computer. True, it's not good at the "heavy lifting" you often need to perform with a "real" computer, but compared to the utterly pitiful web experience you get with an iPad, it can't be beat.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You paid more (list price) than an iPad and the only winning comparison you can make is that it's a better web experience (which I don't believe)? I'm not sure what's up with all the bunny ears, but gotta tell you it sounds like it "sucks".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It has a keyboard. I can view all web content.

        iPad can't.

        What else does an iPad really do beside poorly browse the web?

        • It won't run Netflix yet. It doesn't do java or the (admittedly about to be deprecated) silverlight. It really doesn't do all the web.

          I was on the CR-48 pilot. ChromeOS is a nice thought experiment, but... no. This one is going down with Google Wave and Google TV.

        • by yarnosh (2055818)
          Apps. Games. 'nuff said.
        • by dzfoo (772245)

          I can view all web content.

          You mean, it displays Flash content using Flash, right?

          So far, all the sites I like to visit* that offer Flash content, offer the same content without Flash to my iPad, which makes sense considering that it is such a popular device. I don't care what content format is used in the other sites I don't visit.

          I suspect this trend will continue to expand as time goes on.

          -dZ.

          *yes, pr0n too.

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

      by realityimpaired (1668397) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @09:38PM (#36757468)

      So... you paid (minimum) $430 for a 12.1" netbook that only lets you use Chrome and not do anything else with your system when you could have gotten one of these [dell.com] for less money, and gotten a system that's just as portable (I have been shopping for laptop cases... they don't make many 12.1" laptop bags, so you're probably buying one for a 13.3" screen anyway), has a better processor, a significantly larger hard drive, and comes with a stock Ubuntu preinstalled (to say nothing of the 1 year NBD onsite warranty)? If you got the 3G version that is *slightly* more understandable, but not really when you consider that you can get a USB data stick for less than the price difference between the two, and you're at the same place of needing to buy a data plan for it.

      I loathe Ubuntu... the first thing I did was wipe the hard drive and install my distro of choice. But even then, I think I got much better value for money than you did.

  • by eobanb (823187) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:04PM (#36756514) Homepage

    Remember when thin clients were all the rage, guys? Remember Bill Joy telling us the network is the computer? It was true!

    Well, kinda...

    As it turns out, internet access isn't ubiquitous, at least not yet. In the age of 4G smartphones and tablets we'd like to think it's ubiquitous, but you really only notice that it's not when you have a system like a Chrome OS laptop that literally does not function at all without a network connection.

    Even if it were available all the time (airplanes, underground, in the wilderness) it's still not fast enough. And even if it were fast enough, presently we have to deal with usage caps.

    Chrome OS is an idea way too far ahead of its time. Right now there's no reason to ditch native software that works perfectly well.

    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      At the same time, with so many services revolving around network services there is an argument to be made for an almost thin client. A pudgy client? Thin client with a bit of padding.

      After all, Facebook and G+ and e-mail and a dozen other things that eat up a huge chunk of time are not much good when there is no network. So a clent that caters to those kinds of services is going to essentially be a thin client anyways. Build in some local caching so that things automatically sync when the network becomes av

      • by luther349 (645380)
        so in otherwords a netbook with any other os and a small ssd oh wait eepc did that with there entire surf line.
    • While the 'pure' thin client is largely a loss outside of certain slightly paranoid corporate setups(even there, the "thin" client pretty much has to be a full PC running some lockdown OS, just so that you can replace your Citrix/etc. clients to keep up with protocol version churn...); you'd have to torture the truth pretty hard to argue that "the network" hasn't made some significant enroachments into "the computer".

      The "thin" as in "For reasons best known to ourselves, we decided to use an expensive, s
    • by grantek (979387) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @09:36PM (#36757458)

      I think the problem is that to have a slick, user-friendly UI that doesn't get in your way with latency caused by inadequate performance, you need enough performance that doing thick-client stuff is trivial, and there's no reason not to include it.

      I think if you used the SSD to hold a fairly large cache of applications, you could practically work "in the cloud" a bit like distributed RCSes (eg. git) do, and re-sync everything when the laptop can connect. You can still have backgrounded automatic update of the cached apps, and you can manage the cache completely automatically (or allow more power to users to "pin" data and apps to the cache). I haven't used ChromeOS before, but if it's on its way to working like that (TFA suggests it isn't there yet), it would be workable for some use cases.

      I'd also like to see some open-source web apps rise to fame, I'm sure most companies deploying these things would be happy to contract with Google, but for government work or running a small company that competes with Google, I'd prefer to recompile the OS to point at a privately-managed cloud (which would probably be as simple as a couple of clustered web servers and maybe a DR site)

    • Chrome OS laptop that literally does not function at all without a network connection.

      According to many sources, handily compiled in the Chrome Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org], you can edit docs, view pics, and playback media offline.

      I have no idea why people keep repeating the 'does not work at all without teh internets' meme

      • Because if you forgot to load up a doc before you left home, how can you edit it?

        Yes some stuff works offline but it's not long before you hit a wall.

        • Yes some stuff works offline but it's not long before you hit a wall.

          Well done for not repeating the 'does not work at all without teh internets' meme.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Well, the OS itself supports full offline operation. However, you need to be using an offline-capable application (ie HTML5). Very little is written to work well offline, including Google's applications. So, this is the biggest gap - it isn't the OS so much as the applications.

          Now, the fact that not even Google is investing in offline capabilities for its cloud apps might be a red flag. On the other hand, Chrome OS really strikes me as a 95% solution, and it is a good solution if you can live with the l

          • Also, if you can tether to a phone or use the built-in 3G then you're also fine.

            But with any other computer I don't have to tether to do pretty much anything offline, and with most plans there's an extra tethering fee. So then the "cheap" chromebook ends up costing even more. I'd rather get a low end Macbook air, and load Chrome on it! Now that's a portable solution...

          • Now, the fact that not even Google is investing in offline capabilities for its cloud apps might be a red flag.

            I am almost certain that I have read a few weeks ago that Google is using off-line enabled Google Docs and Gmail already internally. And if I recall correctly, they mentioned it would be rolled out this summer.

    • I completely agree, native software is in my hands, I can re/move it whenever/however I want. I don't like giving up power to the man.
    • by fermion (181285)
      I don't know if it is the same thing. Years ago I had to decide whether to spec a vertical application with a unix server of local window machines. The cost for the real Unix licensees, and machines to run them were too expensive. Home built Intel machine with MS software was cheaper, so we simple had a peer to peer, with one heft peer running the software. Years later when I was working on another project the world was different. MS was the dominant provider, There was no way run MS Windows on a truly
    • by yarnosh (2055818)

      As it turns out, internet access isn't ubiquitous, at least not yet.

      And even if it were, you'd be stupid to shackle yourself with a web browser as your ONLY way of using that internet access. To me it is a "cake or death" type decision. Given the same hardware, I can either run Linux (or WIndows XP if you're into that) and have access to apps AND a web browser. Or I can run a system that can ONLY run a web browser. Hmmm. Not really much of a choice there.

      Chrome OS is an idea way too far ahead of its time.

      Is it? Or is it just the wrong approach to an idea that vendors like Apple have already gotten to work? Turns out you can

  • Hey, remember when the iPhone first came out, and how everyone thought it was so awesome you could only write web apps?

    Good times.

  • Was there really no photos af the actual product?
  • It's as if Google hasn't learned the lessons that are to be learned from the success of the Iphone and Android. Smartphones are popular because they are both easy to use and more powerful than the phones that came before them. Not just easy to use. Part of their popularity stems from that they have standalone apps that you can install. Remember how Apple claimed it didn't need apps because browser apps/websites would give you the full experience? Wrong!

    People don't need dumbbooks. People need smartbooks. Ba

    • Doing (almost) everything on a Chromebook takes some readjustment. The idea of using cloud apps for everything is still new. As far as I can see, the phenomenon is only going to become more ubiquitous as time passes.

      The machine is a lot more secure than regular laptops, and battery life is almost a full work day. It also has a nice SSH terminal, if your IDE is Vim. But if you can't live without installable software, you can always hit the developer switch, and install/use Ubuntu in dev mode.

      • by yarnosh (2055818)

        As far as I can see, the phenomenon is only going to become more ubiquitous as time passes.

        It will, but it won't be limited to the web. One could say that droid and iPhone are essentially using the cloud for apps. They're just utilizing native apps AND web browser to do it. That's what Google doesn't seem to get. They think that the only way to use the "cloud" is through a web browser. When, in fact, any app can hit a web based API and exchange data. So basically you can get the best of both worlds, the power and functionality of native apps and cloud based storage for essential data.

        The machine is a lot more secure than regular laptops

        Of course it

    • by couchslug (175151)

      The difference between "dumb" and "smart" being a trivially expensive hard disk, I prefer locally hosted apps and the disk.

      You can do anything the "dumb" version can with a "smart" version.

      • There is an SSD on Chromebooks, and you can download things to it. You can also access external memory cards.

        Not that it matters all that much for most uses, with the availability of cloud storage anyway.

  • From ChromeOS. I only like it cause they gave it to me for free with a 100MB/month data plan. OK for the commute, but the darn thing doesn't even run Java. Saw these were going for like $500 - which is asinine.
    • by luther349 (645380)
      only way i would run that os is if they sent me one free. but dont trust in that eyther i would probly hack it to run a real os.
  • by Dracos (107777) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:39PM (#36756920)

    It's the answer to a question no one even thought to ask.

    Whatever resources Google has put into ChromeOS should be diverted to Android.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Well, that's the whole point in opening new markets - you have to have a product to sell before you can tell whether it will sell - at least to some extent.

      If I managed IT for a small business I'd probably be giving ChromeOS a good look unless I was an empire builder. Google managed to eliminate almost all the overhead of properly managing a corporate laptop. The only way Windows can come out cheaper is if you're not backing it up, encrypting it, properly updating it, and provisioning it.

      The main issue is

  • So how do I... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __Paul__ (1570) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @08:44PM (#36756968) Homepage

    ...use this thing on a train in the middle of nowhere where there's no wireless access?

    Frankly, my netbook was much cheaper, has a real operating system (Debian) and I can use it offline.

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      Depends on the work. Documents and many other things are cached locally so any changes you make will be synced up when you resume connectivity.
    • Which kind of wireless, and what are you trying to do?

      If you are trying to surf the Web or do Internet-based tasks, then you obviously need wireless, either Wi-Fi or 3G. If neither is available, then you obviously cannot do those tasks. Of course, if there is no wireless connectivity you cannot do those tasks on a laptop, tablet, netbook, or cell phone either.

      If you have no wireless Internet connectivity, then you are admittedly limited by your options, unlike a laptop, netbook, or tablet, but you do have o

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      First, you're supposed to know before hand that you are going to be on a train in the middle of nowhere where there's no wireless access. Because you already know this, you should synchronize all your local documents and application data from their online sources to get ready.

      This includes opening and caching locally any news or other reference web sites you may want to read on the train. You do all this before leaving home of course.

      Second, when you get on the train, you start working on the local copies

  • The only real questions are is the licence is cheaper than Win 7 Starter (hopefully free) and how good the the out of box Linux support is?
    I guess it did bring back the SSD to netbooks.

    A local media player inside a browser is just terrible. The review summary really makes it seem like CromeOS is still in alpha and not even close to feature freeze.

    • by Animats (122034)

      Which reminds me. Whatever happened to that Asus subnotebook with Linux pre-installed [slashdot.org] which was talked up on Slashdot a month ago? The models mentioned are only available with Windows 7 Starter.

    • by luther349 (645380)
      ssd never left the netbook. its just the hdd models tend to have more space and sell better. dispite the fact the ssd wile smaller will last mutch longer.
    • They'll never freeze the features. Google updates the OS frequently, and you can choose an update channel to hook into from Stable to Development version. The updates are fully automated and basically foolproof. Since all your data and state info is stored in the cloud, it all gets restored after an update which is cool. It's really quite difficult to lose data. The machine is stable and usable. They're pretty careful about usability, even in developer mode.

      Most of the hardware is pretty well supported for

      • by nzac (1822298)

        Most of the hardware is pretty well supported for a Linux install.

        That's to be assumed at least with if you use a distro with a bulky kernel. What is interesting is how close to full support with negligible bugs it ends up. But if you can use the ChromeOS kernel then it should be close.

        Not that i have used it but having to open up termial (or a gui) to extract a zip file (according to the review) is something that generally gets fixed before release. SSH has been cloud capable for years. It appears file associations are just not there though there not technically needed i

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      I have all of my music synced with Google Music and I find the in browser media player to be quite good. Thw great thing is it frees me from having to sync my music between devices and I dont have to bloat my smartphone up with gigabytes of mp3's. And this is coming from an old winamp power user turned Amarok power user. Tell me what's wrong with the browser one?
      • by nzac (1822298)

        Obviously by local media player i mean one that gets its music from the 'cloud'. Because for something like a media player what’s so hard about making it native there is no good reason for it to be in the browser the API and required function should be able to stable enough that it can be done with a native application that does not need the JavaScript overhead. I guess you could settle for an indefinitely cached NaCl app but how do add 3rd party plugins work? do you download them and store them in a

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          All I can say is that on my Acer Aspire one which is the weakest PC I have, there is no noticeable performance loss from using the in browser music player vs audacious or Amarok. And since my web browser is always open, the libraries are always loaded and the music player starts instantly unlike native players using qt and gtk Widgets which can be glacial sometimes. I have the music player set to run from a shortcut on my panel that starts it without browser chrome so you would be hard presses to realize
          • by nzac (1822298)

            Looking at the pic of it again the player appears to be native and files added with what looks to be the chrome file browser which appears as a mix between FTP and a real file browser. Having a JavaSript player (it does not appear to use one) may not hurt the CPU to much if optimised but it defiantly chews up more memory than would be needed this may be noticeable on a 1 GB no swap system with multi tasking. Computers these days can handle music by its self with ease possibly even with JavaScript. How you

  • by brim4brim (2343300) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @09:35PM (#36757438)
    You need an OS powerful enough to run a web browser with multiple tabs and flash. At this stage the processor requirement is high enough to make the costs not competitive against a full featured desktop OS so your asking your users to cut off their nose to spite their face. Unfortunately the logic doesn't work, not even for dumbo the office salesmen/marketing person. They can all spot the con when they see the price tag. In order for a WebOS to take off like this is basically trying to be, you need to have a price tag of about a 100 Euro at which point, you can't provide the hardware necessary and satisfy the hardware manufacturers profit margin needs. Rock and a hard place unfortunately. Then you have the additional problems of connectivity on top of that. For the 50 Euro extra (not even in some cases). Also, the review shows tellingly that there was never a worse time to kill Google Gears for offline access since clicking your excel file can't open it in Google Docs. A clever interface with Google Gears could have made a short development time frame to get that implemented. Just looks like Google doesn't have a full realised idea here and has implemented the theoretical idea in full without trying to test it properly with user needs when the connection drops.
  • by Twinbee (767046) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @11:18PM (#36758340) Homepage

    I see the pattern now. In another decade, Google will become passée, but the Chrome browser will have become dominant by that point. From here, the new giant corporate of that future era will build an OS *inside* the Chrome browser (itself running on Linux or Windows). A decade after that, someone will then build a browser inside of THAT.

    In a couple of centuries, we will be stuck with a giant crumbling 20 layer behemoth with the top layer inheriting all of the bugs of the previous generations. "Hello World" will therefore take no less than 4000 lines of code to work around the bugs (as long as you include the 20 necessary semi-compatible 100 MB libraries), and will require numerous other kludges to implement correctly.

    I like Google, maybe more than most, but let's just stop the insanity, cutting the numerous bloated layers of mess, and make the OS (which shock, doesn't need a browser to access the internet!) the base from which to build all else upon. Unnecessary layers are kludges; always have been, always will be.

    • It does seem odd to me how much history repeats itself in the computer world. In the 60s, there became so many OSes and so many incompatibilities for mainframes, that IBM finally solved the problem by running everything in a VM. Then we started over again, with computers that were coded to the metal (C64, TI etc), and then OSes became such a mess, that once again we are running them in VMs. Is it an eternal pattern of computation, that as soon as you have enough power, you want to run things in VMs? I don't
  • One with windows 7 or 8 or hell Ubuntu like the Dell 9 minis. They have the apps and functionalty. If I want to save power I can use an Arm with linux or windows 8 snd still watch movies. I just dont understand the chrome book? Perhaps someone who used it can enlighten me on why they are better?

  • I wonder what happens when you enter the US with a Chromebook?

    Currently it appears that custom agents can seize and search your laptop, possibly even force you to divulge passwords to encrypted files. [We're waiting for this to hit the US Supreme Court... it will eventually.]

    With a Chromebook nothing is on the laptop. Its all in the cloud. You are not importing anything other than a bunch of wires and transistors (very very tiny ones...)

    And your data is in the clouds, who knows (well maybe your cloud provid

  • I am confused by the notion that this thing is a netbook. And the comment about having a poor file manager. My iPad do 90% of the things I want from a computer, and don't even have a file manager. Why a good Web OS have a filemanager? Is because this thing is a netbook, and not a tablet pc?

    Most of the ./ comments seems offtopic of weak. Ahead of his time, need constant conection. I already know, everybody knows. But you know what? my iPad (sorry to tell you again about it) is also ahead of his time by

  • As an owner and user of Google's CR-48, I have to say that I am very unimpressed by the prices of these new Chromebooks. The Chromebook concept is solid--I've used my CR-48 in many scenarios, and I find it to be exceptionally useful. The instant-on feature and its overall light weight makes it a dream to use and tote around.

    That said, they dropped the ball on pricing.

    Had Google priced it in the $199-$299 range, I'd definitely consider one.

    Had Google included reasonable free 3G access (say 1 or 2GB per month

  • But its low-end hardware, ...

    Hey, what'd you expect from Google? All their server-farms basically consist of cheap commodity hardware.

    • by yarnosh (2055818)
      I would expect it to be much cheaper than it is. Only a fool would pay for a $500 web browser in this day and age.

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