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Google Ponders About a Chromebook Pro (venturebeat.com) 138

Google is currently surveying people about what a Chromebook Pro should be like. VentureBeat's report cites two people who recently shared the development on a forum. One user was asked the question, "How would you think a Chromebook Pro is different than a Chromebook?" whereas the other user was asked, "what a Chromebook Pro should be like in [his/her] opinion and what type of people would want to use it." From the report:The word "Pro" would imply a high-end laptop running Chrome OS, just like, say, the MacBook Pro or the Surface Pro 4. But there are many other companies -- Asus, Dell, HP, and Samsung, among others -- that make Chromebooks, along with Google. It isn't clear from these survey questions if Google is thinking about making a Chromebook Pro itself, just as it has made high-end Chromebook Pixel laptops, or if Google is just wondering how consumers would perceive a Chromebook Pro made by a third party. Meanwhile, Google last month published a job posting entitled "Quality Engineer, Chromebook Pixel," suggesting that a third generation of that device could be on the way.Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular. They outsold Mac for the first time in the United States earlier this year. The majority of the Chromebooks available today, however, pack in entry-level specifications, giving users very limited choice. Though we have seen devices like Chromebook Pixel, a range of high-end Chromebooks could entice even more customers.
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Google Ponders About a Chromebook Pro

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  • Just give it a bigger display and a stylus.

    And next year forget about the bigger display.

    • I thought the Chromebook Pixel was already some kind of high-end hardware, am I wrong? What more could you want from a $1000+ laptop that runs an android-flavoured OS?

      • I thought the Chromebook Pixel was already some kind of high-end hardware, am I wrong? What more could you want from a $1000+ laptop that runs an android-flavoured OS?

        You may have conflated the Chromebook Pixel, which runs Chrome OS, with its successor the Pixel C, which runs Android. To which did you refer?

        If you're referring to the Pixel C
        More than one window on the screen. The Pixel C doesn't have [engadget.com] and won't get [androidpolice.com] any form of split-screen multitasking. From Devindra Hardawar's review on Engadget: "Using one app at a time is [...] no way to get through a day's worth of computing." Using a computer is more difficult if you cannot see a document and the notes you are taking
  • As free as possible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 27, 2016 @09:06AM (#52398517)

    No hidden management engine. As little binary blobs as possible. Runs well with free video drivers.

    C'mon, Google. You're big. You can pull it off.

    Show us you are *not* the NSA.

    • I feel like that'd be more like a "Chromebook Dev" or something. Valuable for someone who wants to hack into it, but not really adding value to normal professional users.
    • No hidden management engine. As little binary blobs as possible. Runs well with free video drivers.

      Is that your entry into the line that people care about the least when discussing what makes a laptop "Pro"? Because seriously very few people care even about Google's snooping. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone outside of a select few internet forums to support your call for non management engine, few binary blobs, and free video drivers. Hell to me "pro" implies the opposite, the existence of a management engine complete with TPM and remote control.

      And there's no need to compare Google to the NSA. At

  • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a touchpad that was anywhere near as good as the trackpoints I have had on my laptops over the years.
    • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a touchpad that was anywhere near as good as the trackpoints I have had on my laptops over the years.

      As long as it doesn't have a trackpoint. Trackpoints suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a trackpoint that was anywhere near as good as the touchpads I have had on my laptops over the years.

      In other words, YMMV.

    • Speak for yourself (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @10:14AM (#52398957) Homepage

      I find trackpoints utterly unusable. Using them to guide the pointer is like trying to guide a drunk across a busy road using sign language from 2 miles away. A trackpad is much better, but the small trackballs that used to be incorporated into laptops back in the day are far superior to both.

      • I find trackpoints utterly unusable. Using them to guide the pointer is like trying to guide a drunk across a busy road using sign language from 2 miles away. A trackpad is much better, but the small trackballs that used to be incorporated into laptops back in the day are far superior to both.

        Kinda hard to do Pinch-to-Zoom on that Trackball...

        • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

          Who cares. If you want that then get a touchscreen or a tablet.

          • Who cares. If you want that then get a touchscreen or a tablet.

            Actually, I didn't even know that my MacBook Pro's Trackpad even did that, until I just accidently "Did it" (I own an iPad, too) when I wanted to Zoom something on the screen, and it Just Worked.

            Quite handy, actually...

        • A simple "zoom" button next to the trackball fixes that. Touch the button while you roll the ball, same motion but more accurate. I use a Logitech M570 an have one of the "extra" buttons programmed this way.
          • A simple "zoom" button next to the trackball fixes that. Touch the button while you roll the ball, same motion but more accurate. I use a Logitech M570 an have one of the "extra" buttons programmed this way.

            That's the same sort of thing that Macs have supported with Control-Scroll for a long time in OS X. That's what I normally use; but I accidentally did the Pinch-Zoom "gesture" on my MBP's Trackpad the other day, and was pleasantly surprised that it "Just Worked".

            Kinda handy to have Gestures in common, like the "Natural Scroll" Direction, for those people who go back and forth between an iPad and a Mac. It's one of those things that you don't notice until you use a computer that isn't designed to be "consi

      • by I4ko ( 695382 )
        You don't know what you are talking about. IBM trackpoints were a superb pointing device - one that you can even play FPS games with. I've never had a touchpad that doesn't suck, regardless of maker or brand. On the other hand non-IBM trackpoints, like HP were utter garbage, with Dell trackpoints being somewhere in the middle. The fact that most people lack fine motor control skills and want to mash with their fingers like a 2 year old is not really my problem. A lost of people do fine in motor control skil
        • I've never had a touchpad that doesn't suck

          Apparently, then, you have never used a Mac laptop.

          Touchpads are for fat people.

          Trackpoints are for dumb people. You can't even do the most basic operation (two-finger scrolling) using a trackpoint. The only thing you can do with a trackpoint is point. That's it. That's dumb. Enjoy the dumbness, though, if that's your preference.

          • You can't even do the most basic operation (two-finger scrolling) using a trackpoint.

            Why would I want to do that? I can use the third mouse button to do that, and have been able to do that for a very long time. Scroll vertical, scroll horizontal, etc. All without taking my fingers off the home row.

            Enjoy the dumbness, though, if that's your preference.

            If you want to be ignorant of superior pointing devices, you can make that choice. Don't call other people dumb just because you prefer an inferior and less productive way to move your cursor.

            • Why would I want to do that? I can use the third mouse button to do that,

              Mouse != Trackpoint

              If you want to be ignorant of superior pointing devices, you can make that choice. Don't call other people dumb just because you prefer an inferior and less productive way to move your cursor.

              Me on my trackpad can run circles around anyone on their trackpoint.

              • Why would I want to do that? I can use the third mouse button to do that,

                Mouse != Trackpoint

                We can call them trackpoint buttons if you want, or anything else you like. They work like mouse buttons for the trackpoint. Trackpoints have had three buttons longer than touchpads have supported two-finger scrolling, and the third button has pretty much always been available for scrolling with those trackpoints.

                If you want to be ignorant of superior pointing devices, you can make that choice. Don't call other people dumb just because you prefer an inferior and less productive way to move your cursor.

                Me on my trackpad can run circles around anyone on their trackpoint.

                I didn't know I had entered in cursor olympics. Maybe when I'm done doing actual work with my trackpoint you can show me the clever games you love to play with your touchpad.

    • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a touchpad that was anywhere near as good as the trackpoints I have had on my laptops over the years.

      Never owned a MacBook Pro then, have you?

      • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a touchpad that was anywhere near as good as the trackpoints I have had on my laptops over the years.

        Never owned a MacBook Pro then, have you?

        My wife owns one, I use it only when I have no better option. She uses a mouse when she has real work to do as the touchpad on there sucks for her work. For me the only pointing device that is a bigger impediment to work than a touchpad is a touchscreen.

        • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period. I don't care who makes them I have never seen a touchpad that was anywhere near as good as the trackpoints I have had on my laptops over the years.

          Never owned a MacBook Pro then, have you?

          My wife owns one, I use it only when I have no better option. She uses a mouse when she has real work to do as the touchpad on there sucks for her work. For me the only pointing device that is a bigger impediment to work than a touchpad is a touchscreen.

          Some people just don't grok Touchpads, I guess. But I have never had problems with my MBP's Trackpad. Now my work Samsung's Trackpad is TOTALLY unusable, and I have a mouse plugged into it; but I have never been tempted to plug that into my MacBook.

    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      You've tried the apple ones? They tend to work a lot better than whatever-was-cheap-that-day-so-they-stuck-it-in trackpads from random companies. The ones I really hate have the scrolling regions permanently activated on the side and bottom. Infuriating.

    • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period.

      Oh, Sweet Jesus Christ. I'd rather slice my throat wide open and bleed to death than use a trackpoint. The touchpads on Mac laptops are awesome.

      • Give me a trackpoint and I will buy it. Touchpads suck, period.

        Oh, Sweet Jesus Christ. I'd rather slice my throat wide open and bleed to death than use a trackpoint. The touchpads on Mac laptops are awesome.

        Then please don't ever come into my server room, I don't want to have to clean up the blood.

  • by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @09:16AM (#52398577) Homepage Journal

    The word "Pro" would imply ..

    ..that the machine is for people who use it for work, rather than for recreation. For most people's work, that means it wouldn't need to be as powerful, since it's just running text editors or entering/submitting forms, instead of 3D rendering monsters, figuring out dwarves' paths, etc.

    • Re:"Pro" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @09:29AM (#52398669) Journal
      How about 'runs the Chrome web apps on infrastructure that my company controls instead of Google?' If you want people to trust it for work, then it has to not be sending all of their commercially sensitive data to a third party.
      • Or Google could provide and interface Drive such that the end user or their company could install their own trusted encryption module so that anything stored on Drive is encrypted on the way up using the end user or their company's keys, and decrypted on the return trip.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Give it a switch to go between Chrome OS and a full Linux distro.

      Maybe boost the RAM to 4 GB and the HDD to 100 GB. Chromebooks already are quite good at what they do!

      It's obvious that a lot of people here don't use one, based on their comments about what it cannot do...they must have read the Microsoft ads about Chromebooks.

      • A number of Chromebooks already come with 4GB. On a Pro model I'd want 8GB. Also 100GB or more flash, and an SD card socket where the card goes all the way in so it can be left in semi-permanently. The card slots where the card only inserts halfway are fine for data exchange, but not for expanding the normal storage capacity of the system because you have to take them out every time you bag the system for carrying.

        Other things I'd want: multiple USB ports (including legacy USB 3.0 as well as USB-C; two of e

    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      Pessimistically:
      I work in health care, and the entire industry is (generally) deeply entrenched in the MS ecosystem. With all of the MS tools, protocols, etc. in use, I just don't think Chromebooks could be utilized on a wide scale; although I do a fair amount of browser-based work myself, and I use Chrome for it.

      There may exist workarounds for all of the problems, but I doubt we'd want our IT staff managing that environment or dual environments. I also doubt the health care industry is the only segment whe

  • If google wants to know what I would consider a "pro" level chromebook it would have to have the following in order of importance.
    1. Longer service life - I want both the hardware and software to be supported for more then 4-5 years.
    2. No advertising - If this is a pro model then its probably aimed more at a work computer. So do not spam be or hit me up for upgrades or anything else during business hours for sure.
    3. Ability to turn off all telemetry

    If they did just those three things I would probably

    • Managed Encrypted local storage. A good policy editor and the ability to remotely manage policies, updates, installed software. Actual software that can be installed locally and function off line. A bunch of the most used and common office software.

  • Create? (Score:4, Informative)

    by BlackHawk-666 ( 560896 ) <ivan.hawkes@gmail.com> on Monday June 27, 2016 @09:30AM (#52398675) Homepage

    Do the people who use a Chromebook create anything or are they simply consuming web content? If they are consumers, there is literally no reason to create a Pro version of the device.

    If they actually create lasting useful content that has meaning, then perhaps there is a reason to have a Pro version of the device. I'm doubtful.

    • Chromebooks are just laptops without the Microsoft tax. Booting Linux via Crouton is trivial.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Booting Linux via Crouton is trivial.

        Until someone else turns it on and presses Space. Then what happens to your data?

        • Booting Linux via Crouton is trivial.

          Until someone else turns it on and presses Space. Then what happens to your data?

          You have to press Space and then Enter, so it's not like you could accidentally wipe your data with a sneeze. But to answer your question, the same thing that happens if somebody were to drop your laptop and break its drive.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            You've outlined two possibilities:

            • A. Someone will press a sequence of two keys that the firmware explicitly prompts him to press.
            • B. Someone will drop your laptop hard enough to break its drive, especially if it's an SSD.

            I find A far more likely than B, especially for someone who knows about laptops in general but doesn't know about Chromebook firmware.

          • Can you explain this more, or point me to a resource that explains the whole Space+Enter thing? I just did a Google search and didn't turn anything up. You're saying that pressing Space+Enter on a Chromebook is hard-wired to do bad things?

            I don't have one — and am not likely ever to buy one — but my curiosity is now piqued.
            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              A Chromebook can be used in verified mode or developer mode. Verified mode cannot run user applications written in languages other than JavaScript. Switching modes requires wiping the drive. Every time a Chromebook is started in developer mode, the firmware offers to switch back to verified mode. Pressing Space (at the prompt to press Space) then Enter (at the prompt to press Enter) begins a wipe and switch; waiting 30 seconds or pressing Ctrl+D (instead of Space) continues the developer mode boot process.

              • Jebus. Wow. Thank you for elaborating on that. Wow. Pretty messed up.
              • Dude the only people likely to enable dev mode are those for whom their Chromebook is solely for their own use.

                Let alone the fact that people shouldn't touch others personal technology.

                You are way too obsessed with ranting about walled gardens that only let you run javascrpt or that don't hand everyone and their dog a devkit. You have to deal with how things are, walled gardens exist, and they have reasons for doing so. You can code for OTHER platforms. Of course nobody is that much interested in same sc

              • by Teckla ( 630646 )

                A Chromebook can be used in verified mode or developer mode. Verified mode cannot run user applications written in languages other than JavaScript.

                This is not true. Chromebooks can run Chrome applications written, for example, in C++, and compiled to native code.

                • by tepples ( 727027 )

                  Is this Native Client?

                  Can C++ Chrome apps be built directly on the device, or must they be cross-compiled?

                  • by Teckla ( 630646 )

                    Is this Native Client?

                    Yes.

                    Can C++ Chrome apps be built directly on the device, or must they be cross-compiled?

                    They can be built directly on the device using the NaCl Development Environment, available in the Chrome Web Store for free.

                    Here's the description from the Chrome Web Store:

                    In-browser development environment for Native Client

                    Native Client In-browser Development Environment.
                    Bash, make, git, gcc, python, ruby, lua, in the browser. Online or offline.
                    Limited arm supported (interpreters, but no compiler).
                    (Beta)
                    https://developer.chrome.com/n... [chrome.com]
                    http://gonacl.com/fire [gonacl.com]

                    Disclaimer: I've never used it--it mig

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      Thank you. After the discontinuation of netbooks [slashdot.org], I've been looking for something to replace mine. Now I know there are two now and one coming soon:

                      • Chromebook with x86 CPU running NaCl Development Environment
                      • Chromebook running Crouton, with conspicuous warning on screen bezel not to reenable OS verification
                      • Tablet with clip-on keyboard running Android N, once it is released
                    • by Teckla ( 630646 )

                      Another potential option: Chromebook and a Linux VPS. Of course, that introduces a monthly fee for the VPS. But you can get pretty good ones for as low as 5 or 10 USD these days. (That being said, local development = lower latency = nicer user experience, imo.)

                      I'm still bummed out that Microsoft successfully killed netbooks (by only selling Windows Starter to netbook makers if the netbooks themselves were spec'd so low as to guarantee a poor user experience). I'm glad Google managed to revive the segment.

                    • Another potential option: Chromebook and a Linux VPS.

                      If I'm not mistaken, you're referring to leasing a VPS and using it as an app server through SSH, X11, VNC, or RDP from your online Chromebook. This might be useful for someone who is online all the time, such as someone who A. drives, B. rides transit in an area where transit provides Wi-Fi, or C. already subscribes to a tetherable cellular data plan and has more data allowance left at the end of the month than he knows what to do with. (Someone like me would have to subscribe to cellular data in order to

        • Hypothetical edge case. Chromebooks tend to be used by ONE person. They're so cheap that a family could give every family member their own personal Chromebook exclusively for them. But you'll make up some OTHER contrived reason to keep your axe going.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Hypothetical

            Then let me offer a personal experience in a similar situation that is not hypothetical. Years ago, my brother was using the custom graphics editor in The Print Shop on an Apple II computer. While I was taking a shower, he accepted the offer to "initialize" a floppy disk to store a graphic that he had created, not knowing what "initialize" meant. Data loss ensued.

            • Apple II? Just how many years ago was this? Need I remind you how much has changed since the days of Print Shop on the Apple II?

              Part of the blame goes to you for letting an untrained user use your machine.

              Part of the blame goes to Apple for using “ nerd words“ like “initialize“ instead of “erase“.

              This is why users having their machines truly be personal is a good thing and why that is becoming ever more the norm. Except for edge cases like yourself it seems.

              As an aside

    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

      I do, it's my writing machine for when I wake up from a particularly vivid dream and want to record it for later.

      Writing writing, however, is done on my desktop with a mechanical keyboard because the keyboards on just about every chromebook I've tried are horrible.

      Ideally, in a "pro" configuration, they'd give us, I dunno, a thinkpad (x201 and older era) keyboard).

    • by aunchaki ( 94514 )

      I'm writing this on my Chromebook Pixel, with its glorious screen. I run Linux via crouton and do plenty of creation on it. I thought I'd just use it as a Linux machine, but the ChromeOS front-end offers such a great browsing experience, that I spend plenty of time there, as well. I love mine.

    • Chicken and Egg.

      Do people not create something because they are running shitty little locked down tablets? Or are they running shitty little locked down tablets because they don't create things.

      I used to think of tablets as toys too and I openly mocked the Surface, and Surface Pro. Now I'm a huge supporter of the devices and glad to see other companies joining the party too.

    • If they are consumers, there is literally no reason to create a Pro version of the device.

      I agree. There is no reason for a Pro version of the device, but not for the reasons you outlined.

      Do the people who use a Chromebook create anything or are they simply consuming web content?

      Chromebooks are not great for consuming content. Android tablets are better for that. The very fact that Chromebooks have keyboards means that you can do some light office work and light content creation with them. That being said, they're very limited, and their limitations can be considered their core strengths.

      The old chromebooks for instance have extremely good battery life. You can give your kids a Chromeb

    • Lots of people use Chromebooks as writing tools. They work well for that, even offline. (Google Docs won't do everything that a good standalone word processor will, but it does everything you need if you are a writer as opposed to a publisher.) They're OK as spreadsheet tools, though a bit lacking for the serious spreadsheet guru because the spreadsheet in Google Docs isn't as powerful as Microsoft Excel or even LibreOffice Calc. And they're fine for most of the cloud development platforms that are increasi

  • If ChromeOS could run a slicer and something like Pronterface, I'd be happy.

    For now, Windows 10 is the viable solution. Dual-boot to Ubuntu, better. GCodePrintr could be one part of that.

    But I can use my M8 when I retire it, as a controller, and not bother with another notebook-sized device where space is already tight. I can velcro the M8 in place.

  • Touch screen, 11 inch, 3K display, softcover keyboard, large internal storage, 64GB? apps to cache whole web pages for browsing without the net, media storage and playback.
  • full Ubuntu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @09:59AM (#52398863)

    Google is currently surveying people about what a Chromebook Pro should be like.

    How about running a full Ubuntu system, while still supporting all Chrome and Android apps?

    • Throwing in Ubuntu is easy to suggest, but watch out here! I am very happy with many aspects of Gnome3 myself. Still every once in a while, i am thinking of switching from using an Ubuntu laptop to a Chromebook. This has an important reason: graphics performance! X11 is for many reasons depreciated, but linux desktops still heavily rely on it. Canonical and other Linux desktop development sadly put their graphics efforts in different projects: Mir and Wayland. Both are at the moment not mature enough to use
      • There aren't meaningful performance differences in terms of desktop rendering or 3D graphics (and if anything, Linux often comes out slightly ahead). X11 on Linux in practice is a client/server system with direct rendering, just like Windows and OS X. Mir and Wayland are good and necessary efforts because after 30 years, a lot of crud has accumulated in the X codebase, but their introduction won't change much about the user experience.

        Furthermore, what kind of native graphics subsystem a Chromebook uses is

  • If it had a 17" display (QHD at minimum, 4K preferable), user-swappable drives and RAM, and a decent GPU, and it would be infinitely superior to everything else on the market.

    Keep in mind that Chromebooks are basically regular laptops, $100 cheaper because of the lack of Microsoft tax. Google could break even on the 5% using Crouton and profit off of the 95% that would use ChromeOS.
  • I'm a SRE at a large (non-Google) tech company, and I have a Chromebook Pixel as a secondary system I use all the time, at work and at home. It's incredibly useful and I'm quite happy with it (with ChromeOS in developer mode, which just gives me a shell that's occasionally useful). The idea of high-end Chromebooks makes a lot of sense (for some people) even though I couldn't've guessed it would before I had one. Still, right now to me "Pro" is just a word. It's unclear to me how it'd be different from what I already have.

  • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @10:12AM (#52398949)

    The Acer Chromebook 14 inch is a nice $269 Chromebook, but I returned it because I could not boot off the USB.

    I really liked this cheap computer: 14 inch 1080p IPS matte display. 3.5 pounds. No fan. Aluminum body, Quad core celeron (N3160) . 4GB RAM. 32GB flash. USB 3 ports. It felt and looked like a $800+ Ultrabook.

    I got it to run XFCE via Crouton which was easy, but I really wanted to boot off a USB flash drive. I tried everything, and there's even an announcement on the developer screen saying "having trouble booting USB? try entering 'enable_usb_boot' ". Nothing. Endless forums and articles ended in failure.

    So, the "pro" version of Chromebook should behave like a normal BIOS or EFI x86 PC. It should allow for booting via USB, and the installation of whatever I want to put on the damn machine.

    BTW, if you like a Chromebook or are okay with running Linux via Crouton, this is a nice machine.

    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      They're not intended for that use since they're subsidized web browsers. A bit like the Kindle Fires.

    • So, the "pro" version of Chromebook should behave like a normal BIOS or EFI x86 PC. It should allow for booting via USB, and the installation of whatever I want to put on the damn machine.

      But then, what would be the difference between a Chromebook and a regular PC Laptop be?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I tried everything" clearly not. For one thing, this affects all but the oldest chromebooks, so it's not like you're the only one with this issue. ChromeOS does not use a standard BIOS, although it can emulate one. If you want that, enable it [archlinux.org]. I've had three Chromebooks so far. Mostly I've been using crouton for linuxy tasks, but I was always able to enable USB boot, and once I went so far as to install a full Debian system. It's not that hard, especially compared to the process involved in getting an actu

  • Cheap powerful laptop that runs Linux. Sorry, I couldn't come up with a better subject than my comment.
  • A powerfull Chromebook "Pro" would be the opposite of the whole Chromebook concept that is build around small, cheap, easily replaceable machines that are basically restricted to run a browser.

    So if you want to do anything "professional", put it into the backend as that's where the chromebook horsepower should reside.

    e.g. upgrade Google Docs to something that doesn't make you miss a local office anymore. I'm sure that running MS Office will be named more than once when asked what a "pro" laptop should be ab

  • by xororand ( 860319 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:33AM (#52399549)

    I find it puzzling that not a single vendor goes to market a laptop with a fully free as in freedom software stack, including the initializing program or BIOS.
    Programmable components apart from the CPU, say hard drive controllers or 4G modems, should be isolated with an IOMMU.
    The last laptops that don't tread on your freedom are from 2008: https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl... [libreboot.org]

    Is this problem too hard for corporations with billions of R&D money at their disposal?
    Are they forbidden to develop hardware that doesn't subjugate the user's freedom by 3 letter agencies?
    Or, is it simply that most people do not care?

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      99.9999999999999999 of users wouldn't even know what you're on about, never mind care.

  • The word "Pro" would imply a high-end laptop NOT running Chrome OS. "Pros" tend to not like being crippled or locked in.

    • The word "Pro" would imply a high-end laptop NOT running Chrome OS. "Pros" tend to not like being crippled or locked in.

      Then use Crouton or GalliumOS?

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:40AM (#52399597) Journal

    It's an interesting idea... I mean, I certainly looked at Chromebooks before but took a pass on buying one due to the low hardware specs. I've worked in I.T. for decades - and it's a fairly regular thing to run across a 5-6 year old notebook computer that someone is happy to get rid of free. Spend $20 on a new battery for it from some vendor on Amazon and maybe upgrade the RAM or swap in a new SSD, and you have a laptop that performs at least as well as any Chromebook for very little money. (And you recycled something existing, instead of buying more gear. Arguably a good thing.)

    But I have a feeling the appeal of the Chromebook as it stands today is the low price-point. You get something that looks modern, is relatively thin and lightweight, and for less money than the Windows laptops they're selling everywhere. They're good enough for schools (their biggest customers) too.

    If you beefed it up to deserve the "Pro" moniker - how would that affect the price? IMO, the vendors selling the "nicer" Chromebooks with more RAM and so forth are already nearing the price points where you wonder why you'd still buy one instead of a full-featured notebook on sale, running Windows 10.

  • So I think the obvious answer here would be something like "fancier and faster hardware". That's the the traditional kind of difference between the "normal" and "pro" version of laptops (e.g. the Macbook Pro ran the same stuff as the Macbook, but was faster hardware in a nicer case).

    But it seems to me that the more interesting ideas would not be about a "Chromebook Pro" but a "ChromeOS Pro". Could they, for example, take the best parts of ChromeOS, Android, and Linux desktop distributions to build a real

  • Let us edit videos, run photoshop and run the Unix command like and it would make a lot of developers happy.
  • Make sure it has "Pro" on it in big letters so I can impress all the hiptarded fucksters at Starbucks.

"May your future be limited only by your dreams." -- Christa McAuliffe

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