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Chrome Google Portables Hardware IT

At $250, New Chromebook Means Competition For Tablets, Netbooks, Ultrabooks 283

Posted by timothy
from the very-cute dept.
Google's new ARM-powered Chromebook isn't a lot of things: it isn't a full-fledged laptop, it's not a tablet (doesn't even have a touch screen); and by design it's not very good as a stand-alone device. Eric Lai at ZDNet, though, thinks Chromebooks are (with the price drop that accompanies the newest version) a good fit for business customers, at least "for white-collar employees and other workers who rarely stray away from their corporate campus and its Wi-Fi network." Lai lists some interesting large-scale rollouts with Chromebooks, including 19,000 of them in a South Carolina school district. Schools probably especially like the control that ChromeOS means for the laptops they administer. For those who'd like to have a more conventional but still lightweight ARM laptop, I wonder how quickly the ARM variant of Ubuntu will land on the new version. (Looks like I'm not the only one to leap to that thought.)
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At $250, New Chromebook Means Competition For Tablets, Netbooks, Ultrabooks

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  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @08:35PM (#41724867)

    This is incorrect. The boot loader isn't locked down - it still allows developer mode where you can put whatever software you want on it.

  • Re:three questions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @09:06PM (#41725017)

    > Can it mount an external USB drive?
    Yes

    > Can it play flac audio?
    Yes
    https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/dev/audio-video
    " When build Google Chrome OS, the following codecs/containers are also included:
    FLAC audio codec"

    > Can it route audio to a USB DAC?
    http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/21/chrome-os-update-includes-custom-wallpapers/
    "audio can now play through either HDMI or USB."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @09:16PM (#41725063)

    I'm pretty certain you meant to be funny there but it's not as strange as it sounds. By selling in volume, you get a LOT of devices out there which can be used for money generation in other ways. Haven't you ever wondered how Google makes money despite the fact that their flagship product (search) is free to use (as are quite a few of their other products)?

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @09:27PM (#41725119)

    So it's slightly cheaper than an older iPad, but gets worse battery life. It has a fraction of the software of an iPad, and isn't as easy to whip out and use since you have to fold out the keyboard. It's less features than an netbook (which you could restrict down to be malware free) but at the same cost.

    I'm just not sure about the value on these things.

    iPad2 [apple.com]: $399 ($529 with 3G). 9.2" 1024x768 screen. No keyboard

    Samsung Chromebook [samsung.com]: $249 ($329 with 3G) 11.6" 1366x768 screen, keyboard, touchpad, USB 3.0/2.0 ports, SD Card slot

    I'm not sure I'd say that $150 - $200 is "slightly cheaper".

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @09:50PM (#41725229)

    It only runs a web browser. No ios apps, no android apps, no x86 apps. You won't be able to upgrade its miserable 2GB of ram or attach an ethernet cable and it hardly has any cache. Might as well fuck yourself in the leg with it; it's a DOA POS that will be filling landfills by the end of 2013.

    I spent the same amount on an Acer last year and I can read/write DVDs on it, have a moderate HD (250 GB), 15.6" screen and dual-boot Win7 and Linux w/o hacks. I upgraded the mem to 10GB for ~$25 and it has a Radeon 6310. Even before the mem upgrade, I could compile FPGA code, FV-1 code, AVR code, STM32F4 code and develop games with Game Maker on it. Oh yeah, I can also run what the Chromebook "cellphone in a laptop body" does. faster.

    Fools and their money.

    How much does your $250 15" acer weigh, and how long does it last on batteries? I wouldn't buy a Chromebook as my primary machine, but sounds perfect for travel or catching up on email on the train on the way to work. (the keyboard makes it more convenient than a tablet for replying to emalis)

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @10:31PM (#41725397)

    And you can even open it up and unlock the firmware to install your own boot loader, as stated by Google engineers at https://plus.google.com/u/0/109993695638569781190/posts/3EoeZU8QnNG

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Informative)

    by germansausage (682057) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @11:10PM (#41725541)
    Actually, our office runs full-on engineering workstations with $800 video cards in $2000 PCs. And they're bricks without a net connection too. What's your point?
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tough Love (215404) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:03AM (#41725753)

    And given the same Watt-sucking screen as any other netbook, you'll see at most a 10% improvement in battery life.

    Where did you get that number, out of your ass? Try some actual data. [wikipedia.org]

    MSI Winpad 100, 10.1" display, 5 hours battery life. Samsung Galaxy Tab, 10.1" display, Android, quad core, 10 hours battery life. Looks like Intel chipsets suck a lot more than you thought.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday October 22, 2012 @10:52AM (#41728625) Homepage Journal
    I switched to delivering resumes in PDF format years ago. I write my resume with LaTeX so getting it into Word format would mean a fair amount of work, and I've yet to come across any potential employer who both demanded Word format and was interesting enough to me that I was willing to put in that effort.

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