I've never been a fan of buying expensive laptops, even once I could actually afford them. Just like with smartphones, there's a certain point where the added features can't justify the $1,000+ prices, unless you are doing heavy productivity or gaming. My first laptop was the ASUS Eee PC 1001PXD netbook, which I was pretty happy with at the time (now the 1024x600 screen sounds atrocious), but the casing eventually started to crack apart. I later switched to the original Dell Chromebook 13, but the limitations of the browser-only environment were too much to bear, so I bought a Surface Pro 2. Read More
Chromebooks compose an interesting product category and provide a new perspective on the question "What do I need my laptop to do?" While I've been a fan of Chrome OS and its accompanying hardware since its inception, I have not been able to convince myself to buy one in recent years. Part of this has been due to the fact that Chromebooks typically don't come in larger screen sizes. Read More
Chromebooks have come a long way from the dark, buggy days of the CR-48 and laggardly Intel Atom processors. Back when Chrome OS really was just a browser, it was fairly easy to write off as just another strange Google experiment, unlikely to succeed and conceptually far ahead of its time. Who could get by on a laptop with just the web? I, like many people, thought Chromebooks wouldn't appeal to anyone.
But 7 years after the first Chromebook, Google's browser-based OS is still with us. And, much to everyone's surprise, it's going stronger than ever.
The reason for that, primarily, is the browser-focused laptops turned out to be ideal terminals for students accessing web applications. Read More
We've all heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none," and there's a distinctly negative connotation to it. The more something tries to do, the worse it is at any one task. Unfortunately, it still holds true today. But some products, like this one, are starting to toe the line.
ASUS' latest Chromebook Flip C101PA combines performance with excellent build quality in a convertible package. So not only do you get a great Chromebook, to a certain degree, you also get a good Android tablet. And it will only cost you $299 — and a somewhat disappointing screen. Read More
Let me get this out of the way right out of the gate: I love Chrome OS. I wanted to love it back when I reviewed the original Chromebook Pixel some years ago, but it just wasn’t where it needed to be for me. Fastforward a bunch of months, and Google made a ton of useful and thoughtful changes that made Chrome OS a legit desktop contender (for me at least). So, like I said in my recent What We Use post, I made the leap to Chrome OS as my main laptop about 18 months ago (or so) and haven’t looked back. Read More
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
And what an experience it is. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, $250 Chromebook. Far from it, in fact – the Pixel is jam-packed with some of the best hardware on the market (rivaling most Ultrabooks), and has the most beautiful display I’ve ever laid eyes on. Read More