The bounty of budget Chromebooks continues to grow year by year, but most of them aren’t worth your time or money. Lenovo recently launched its C340 Chromebook, which shook up the budget segment by offering great specs at a low price. Now, Acer has a similar offering, the Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD), offering decent hardware and incredible battery life for just $320. The mediocre touchpad and disappointing display keep me from whole-heartedly recommending this device for everyone, but in broad strokes, the Spin 311 is a fantastic value for students and basic personal use if you're not too picky.
What if you could give your janky old laptop PC a fresh-faced Chrome OS-inspired makeover? That's the promise of CloudReady, a free operating system based on the open-source Chromium OS that essentially converts legacy Windows, Macs, and even older Chrome OS devices into brand-new Chromebooks. Now Neverware, the company behind the endeavor, has announced that it's officially joining up with Google — but there may be some unwanted consequences for consumers.
It's been a few months since we covered Google's ambition to bring tighter integration to two of its core hardware products. Dubbed Phone Hub, the feature aims to enhance the relationship between your Android smartphone and Chromebook. Shortly after a visual prototype made its way to the Canary and Dev channels via a Chrome flag, it mysteriously vanished from the system tray and—until recently—has not made a return. While we still don't have a functional version of it today, Phone Hub received many visual and backend updates that give us a glimpse of what Google is cooking up to bring your phone and Chromebook closer together.
There are several new features and tweaks in Chrome OS 87 that are not yet part of the default Chrome OS experience. They are likely not stable enough to be enabled for everyone while they're still in development. Some of these experimental features are tucked behind a page where they can be manually switched on or off. You can find these switches, or "flags," by typing chrome://flags in Chrome’s URL bar and hitting enter. Here is a list of flags we recommend trying out.
The Chrome OS Stable channel received a significant milestone update recently, from 86.0.4240.199 to 87.0.4280.88. As with every big new bump, this brings substantial changes to the table, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to improve your Chrome OS user experience. Due to this update's sheer size, there may be a few things we missed, but here is everything new we've found in Chrome OS 87 so far.
It's been over six months since we reviewed the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, but it's still one of the only options on the market when it comes to tablets running Google's Chrome OS. It also presents a pretty great value for the price — and now that price is even lower than usual. Right now, Best Buy is offering the 128GB storage model of the Chromebook Duet for just $229, a savings of $70.
A couple of weeks after Chrome 87 was released to desktop and mobile platforms, Google is rolling out Chrome OS 87 to the Stable channel, the final update of the year. Like the previous major update, 87 brings several new features and improvements to Chromebooks to enhance the user experience. Here are a few of the things Google announced today that are coming to eligible devices.
Android apps have had a rough history on Chromebooks ever since Google brought them to Chrome OS in 2016. From a lackluster app ecosystem to nasty bugs like the app scaling issue that nearly made it into Chrome OS 86 Stable, Google has attempted to create a compelling Android app experience for users to enjoy, but with little luck. With Chrome OS 87 due in a few more days, Google's operating system finds itself in another predicament that makes the typing experience in Android apps incredibly frustrating.
Let's face it: the retina-burning startup animation on Chrome OS is incredibly annoying. Thanks to Chromebooks ramping up the brightness during boot, I find myself closing the lid to shield my eyes, especially at night. With Google working hard to bring a system-wide dark theme in the OS and its apps, many users hoped that the developers would also apply a dark background to the boot screen. Unfortunately, there's no evidence that Google is currently working on a dark startup animation, but it does look like the recovery mode UI on Chromebooks will soon get the dark mode treatment.
Asus is among the better-known Chromebook manufacturers, and it's not too long ago that it launched the Chromebook Flip C436. And now the touchscreen-equipped convertible is already discounted by $100 on Amazon and Best Buy ahead of Black Friday. You can get the i3 128GB/8GB version for $700 and the i5 512GB/16GB variant for $800.