Let's be honest: searching for a decent screen recorder for your Chromebook sucks. Most "free" screen capture software found online requires you to pay an expensive subscription to unlock essential features, like unlimited and high-resolution video recordings. Although a video capture card will give you full control, like the ability to record using your Chromebook's native resolution, not everyone wants to invest in a costly desktop computer. The developers at Google seem to have realized that people don't want to pay a subscription to get decent screen recordings, so they finally decided to add a native solution to Chrome OS.
CES 2021 has come and gone, and with it came a slew of announcements showcasing cool and wacky gadgets like LG's Rollable smartphone and Chamberlain's $3,000 smart pet door, coming later this year. Typically, not many Chromebooks are announced at the event as they are a niche product in a broad spectrum of laptops, and this year was no exception. But here, we've compiled a list of all the new Chromebooks announced at CES 2021 for your convenience, so let's jump right in.
Asus is one of the most popular manufacturers of Chrome OS devices. The Taiwanese company took to CES 2021 to announce three new Chromebooks, one of which has a gamer aesthetic. But that's not all. It also added a Chromebox to the mix that looks very much like a Wi-Fi router: the Asus Fanless Chromebox.
Are you tired of looking at your old boring wallpaper? Google recently published four new collections of wallpapers to Chrome OS, and in my opinion: they're stunning. You can download them right now — even if you don't own a Chromebook.
The unthinkable happened: You just deleted the wrong file by accident, and it happened to be a school essay that you spent days working on. If you didn't save a backup of the document on your Chromebook, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to get that file back. With Windows, the Recycle Bin gives us a second chance to restore a file or folder you deleted from the file manager, but with a Chromebook, the files are permanently erased from your device. It sure looks like the developers at Google have become sympathetic to us accidental-deleters, and are working on a way to bring back recently deleted files.
Last year's Galaxy Chromebook looked like the spiritual successor to the original Pixelbook that we'd long been waiting for. Sadly, battery life and thermal issues ended up making the model a bit of a flop. It's all well and good having a bright, beautiful 4K OLED display, but when doing so results in longevity that rarely makes it past the four-hour mark, and means the heat of a thousand stars emanating from the internals, it probably isn't worth it. Samsung seems to have seen the error of its ways and is now trimming the fat for its new Galaxy Chromebook 2, with a more optimized user experience and smaller price tag.
QR codes may have been around since the mid-1990s, but they have become more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic—you'll find them on mobile orders, Instagram, and even in Android's Wi-Fi settings. While those boxy, square designs may seem like gibberish at a glance, they offer a wide range of contactless convenience in our socially distant times. With this in mind, it was only a matter of time until compatible scanners started appearing on other platforms, including Chrome OS.
The Gallery app on Chrome OS is one of the few native apps that has stuck around since Google launched the operating system nearly a decade ago. Much like the file manager, its existence felt like an afterthought, collecting dust as the company continued to roll out OS updates. Although it received a significant visual overhaul and a name change to "Media app" in 2020, it still lacks essential photo editing capabilities. However, that's changing soon, as Google is experimenting with three new features that will really add some value.
It's been a couple of years since the Chrome OS UI got any considerable design updates, some of which were polarizing changes that stirred controversy in the Chromebook community. Google has since been steadily updating its core apps and system UI to a more modern Material Design style, including the new Media app and tablet mode experience that rolled out in the Chrome OS Stable channel this year. If there's one component that still feels out of place, it's the login and lock screen—more specifically, the password field. That's changing soon, though, as Google is experimenting with a refreshed text field to make it look more consistent with other system UI elements.