The Google Pixelbook is a truly excellent piece of hardware, as I stated in my review of it over two months ago. The refrain so often heard about Chromebooks, though, is that Chrome OS's limited application ecosystem prevents it from being a "serious" laptop operating system. As someone who frequently travels and has to be mobile as part of my job, I thought I'd put Google's laptop to the test in a live environment: CES.
Now, CES isn't quite the on-the-ground reporting slog it once was for Android Police. The number of smartphones announced at the show is tiny, and much of our work stems from various briefings and meetings rather than rubbing shoulders with attendees on the show floor. Read More
When it comes to installing applications from outside the Play Store, Chromebooks are at a disadvantage. On normal Android devices, all it takes is enabling 'Apps from Unknown Sources' in the settings (or doing it on a per-app basis on Oreo). Unfortunately, sideloading APKs on Chromebooks requires enabling Developer Mode, which disables boot verification and other security features. It also requires users to press a key combination when you boot up (on most models) - Google really doesn't want you enabling it. Read More
One week ago, details about widespread vulnerabilities in modern processors became public. One variant, named 'Meltdown,' affected every modern Intel chip. Two other variants, collectively known as 'Spectre,' are known to affect chips from Intel, AMD, and ARM (at the very least). Most Google products are already protected against these threats, but now the company has made it easier to tell which Chromebooks are patched. Read More
The Play Store keeps trickling down to more Chromebooks. The last time we covered it, 17 new models had received the Play Store either on the stable or beta channel, and now 10 more are joining the ranks. The most prominent of these is the Toshiba Chromebook 2, but only the 2015 model. If you're like me and you got way too excited thinking this is for your computer, hold your breath and make sure you have the 2015 model (the best way to know is if you have vents on the back next to the display hinge like so). Read More
While they might be less attractive than a full-fledged Chromebook, desktop computers running Chrome OS have their uses. The Asus Chromebox has been among the best in that form factor, and the company took to CES 2018 to announce a third generation of the device, alongside some other small form factor computing solutions. Read More
The Chromebook product segment continues to gather steam as time goes on. Acer recently announced a 2018 refresh for its Chromebook 11, adding USB-C ports and Android app support (versus mixed support on older models). For our first stop here at CES, we dropped by Acer to take a look at this laptop. Best of all, we got to see the nice-looking blue model, which immediately caught my eye. Read More
Android apps running on Chrome OS are taking a small but significant step becoming much more desktop-friendly, as the next update to Chrome OS will likely include the ability of Android apps to run tasks in parallel. Read More
Google has a history of selling very expensive Chromebooks, and that continues with the Pixelbook. Even the entry-level Pixelbook is more expensive than a lot of Windows laptops with its $999 price tag (currently on sale for $899). The most expensive Pixelbook variant has been unavailable until now. Google just started taking orders for the Core i7 version, which costs $1,549 on sale ($100 off). Read More
Amazon is making the holiday season all the merrier by offering customers a $50 Amazon gift card with the purchase of select Chromebook hardware. Google's take on the future of portable computing, Chromebooks run the search giant's Chrome OS, a streamlined operating system built entirely around Google's ecosystem of apps and productivity software.
When you consider how affordable the bulk of Chromebooks are to begin with, this Amazon deal is certainly hard to ignore. It would be easy to assume that a "cheap laptop" equates to dismal performance, but several models offered as part of this deal come close to hitting the sweet spot between price, power, and features. Read More
VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto. Read More