I've been using a Chromebook as my sole productivity machine for about a month now after introducing Chrome OS to my workflow over a year ago. While I've been surprisingly happy with the experience, it took me ages to find the perfect PDF reader to replace the excellent PDF Expert app on macOS. I ended up testing quite a few tools and created a fine selection of solutions that might help you find your preferred workflow for your PDF needs, too.
I personally need a PDF reader to annotate film and TV scripts mostly, but your workflow might differ from mine.
Chromebooks make for good laptops if you're heavily invested in Google's ecosystem of apps and services. If you're looking to get one now, you might want to check out the recently-launched Galaxy Chromebook 2 that's available for $100 off, starting from $449.
Linux for Chromebooks has come a long way since Google introduced it in Chrome OS 69 a couple of years ago. On supported devices, it opened the door to an extensive library of desktop apps for users, like video editing tools and IDEs. GPU acceleration was an important milestone that made graphic intensive Linux app usable on Chrome OS. This is thanks to Virgil 3D, a component that allows the Linux container to tap into the hardware's GPU. In exciting news shared by Luke Short from VMware, Google is working on adding Vulkan passthrough into Virgil to improve app performance.
We exclusively reported that Google is working on bringing official Steam support to Chromebooks back in 2020. Parallel to developing a new Linux container better suited for games, the company is now additionally experimenting with a new "Game Mode" that could bring some further performance to the upcoming Linux container.
On Chrome OS, the browser and the operating system are deeply intertwined. Google can't update one component without the other, making development a hassle. The company is looking to change that by introducing a decoupled version of Chrome (dubbed "Lacros"), which could simplify processes for developers and might even extend Chromebooks' lives. New evidence suggests that Google is inching closer to publicly testing Lacros.
The Pixelbook Go is a sturdy, friendly Chromebook. But as Google's premium statement piece starting at $649 for an Intel Core m3 model, there might've been a disconnect between its humble industrial design and the price tag. Alas, if you do want a Pixelbook Go right now, you can the more robust models for a good discount at several retailers.
Sharing your computer with multiple people is a mess when using Chrome. You might run into your spouse's saved password or bookmarks, interfering with your browsing session and potentially even syncing over to your phone. You can mitigate these problems with the possibly little known Chrome profiles, accessible by clicking on your account image to the left of the ⋮ overflow menu. Google is rolling out a redesign to these profiles today, making it easy to pick your own color scheme.
Chrome OS started out as an operating system for people who do everything online, and while Android and Linux app support allow for more offline capabilities, most Chromebooks still aren't equipped with loads of internal storage. That's where SD cards and microSD cards come in — many Chromebooks have dedicated slots you can use to expand your storage. Here's how to set things up if you want to download content from apps like Netflix and Plex to your SD card instead of your internal storage.
When I bought my first Chromebook back in 2020, I imagined a bright future. I specifically wanted a convertible so I could replace my aging third-gen iPad (yes, the one from 2012). And due to Android app support, I thought I would be able to use it as my new media consumption machine. Unfortunately, things turned out to be more complicated, particularly when it comes to video streaming and downloading, and I wish I knew what I was getting myself into beforehand. To spare you the same disappointment, here's what's going on.