Companies keep trying to make tablets for education happen. Two weeks ago, Acer announced the $US329 ($428) Chromebook Tab 10, a confusingly-named slate running Chrome OS that was designed with students and teachers in mind. Then Apple followed that up with a revamped iPad featuring some new education apps and Apple Pencil support. But to me, neither of these devices truly hit the spot, because they still lack the one feature you need for real productivity: A keyboard.
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It was inevitable as soon as Android apps were made available on Chrome OS devices. Like an immortal highlander, there could really be only one dominant Google OS in the tablet and laptop space. And with the news that Google has killed the Pixel C Android tablet and Samsung's next Chromebook is a detachable 2-in-1, it's clear who is coming out on top. Sorry Android fanboys, Chrome OS is likely the future of cheap tablets and laptops.
Chrome OS is getting there. What started out as a way to make an OS that runs well on inexpensive laptop components is slowly marching to a point where it may actually be a real competitor to Windows, macOS and Linux. And based on a some code found in the developer preview for Android 8.1, Google's next addition to its desktop OS could enable Chromebooks to send and receive texts.
I had to change how I think because of Google's new $US1000 Pixelbook. This gorgeous 2-in-1 is some of my favourite hardware for the price, but it's loaded with Chrome OS, the worst operating system you could put on your computer. If you've grown up a power user of MacOS, Windows, or Linux than Chrome OS feels like getting cut off at the knees, and hardware can't possibly distract you from how hamstrung Chrome OS is compared to its more mature competitors.
So in order to not spend another Chromebook review complaining about the severe inadequacies of Chrome OS, I decided to think like an ideal Chrome OS user. It was worse than that time I tried to stop drinking sodas, but as painful as living a wholly different existence was it made one thing very obvious: If you are an ideal Chrome OS user this is the very best laptop you can buy.
Looking for the right place to watch Google introduce its next Pixel phone -- and assorted goodies -- to the world overnight? Here you go.
I was working on the new Samsung Chromebook Pro, furiously putting together a post that needed to go up. The final touch was an image, but I needed to edit it and didn't want to reach for my normal work machine. So I popped it open in the Adobe Lightroom Android app, flipped the screen around so the computer was in tablet mode, and pulled the stylus out from its holster in the side of the computer. I had my image edited and ready to go in less than two minutes. It felt completely natural, saved me a little bit of time, and hinted at exactly what the future of the Chromebook could be -- genuinely good alternative to the fussiness of Windows and the priciness of MacOS.
Android apps have arrived on Chrome OS. Right now they can be run on three Chromebook models, a number that will increase during the rest of 2016 and into the start of 2017 (Google has a full list). To save you the wait, we got hold of an Asus Chromebook Flip to show you how the Android experience works on a Chromebook.
Chromebooks are on the up and up. If you're using a laptop running Google's lightweight, web-based Chrome OS software, there are a bunch of hidden tricks you might not be aware of, from safely giving others access to your Chromebook to getting the newest features for the OS before anyone else. Here are 10 tips for becoming an expert Chromebook user.
Chromebooks may have started life as very basic laptops that were useless without an internet connection, but they have become more powerful and more useful with each passing year. Now, not only is it possible to run Linux on your Chromebook, you can access the operating system through a browser window.
When Chromebooks launched in the winter of 2011, they seemed destined to fail, much like the underpowered, internet-dependent netbooks that came before them. But in the five years since, Chromebooks have defied expectations, becoming the most used device in US classrooms and even outselling Macs for the first time this year. Still, people complain about their inability to run useful software, but that's all about to change.
There are really good Chromebooks out there if you know where to look, and HP has made some very solid -- if very cheap -- options. Sadly their plastic clamshell Chromebooks still felt low budget in the face of quality devices like the Asus Chromebook Flip. But a new HP Chromebook shrugs off the failures of the past and looks towards a hopefully higher quality future.
Just like the Chrome browser, Chrome OS offers several channels for you to choose between: stable, beta and development. Each one offers a different mix of new features and stability, so you can access updates earlier if you're prepared to put up with a few bugs. Here's how to switch between the available channels on your Chromebook or Chromebox.
Five years ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt proclaimed that laptops would become disposable. We're nearly there. Starting today, you can buy a new Chromebook for just $US150 -- the cheapest price ever. And this spring, there's a $US250 Chromebook coming that looks pretty incredible.
Google's original Chromebook Pixel was a beautiful, wonderful laptop. It was also absurdly expensive -- so pricey that it became a tech nerd joke. Now Google's following it up with the Pixel 2, and surprise: it's better, cheaper, and dangerously close to buyable.
Remember the Pixel, that beautiful, high-end, ludicrously expensive Chromebook that comes with a laundry list of reasons to not buy it? Get ready for number two. Google has announced it has a sequel "coming soon."
Now that you can buy a decent Windows laptop for $US200, does anyone need a Chromebook? That's an existential question we hope to answer soon. But if you want a big, honking 15-inch Chromebook, it looks like Acer's got just the Chromebook for you.