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chromebooks

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Dell Inspiron 14 hands-on: A powerful 2-in-1 Chromebook that’s not just for school

Thanks to the IFA 2018 trade show in Berlin last week, we now have several new Chrome OS options available to us. Lenovo announced three different Chromebooks, including a higher-end model with a 4K screen that Ryan took a closer look at, and Acer unveiled a follow-up to its popular Chromebook 14, although I wasn’t overly impressed by the quality of the pre-production hardware I got my hands on.

Until now, Dell hasn’t shown much interest in the consumer Chromebook space, choosing instead to focus on the education market. It would appear that the company is ready to change that with the introduction of a brand new model.

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Acer Chromebook 514 hands-on: Possibly the flimsiest Chromebook you can get for $350

We've seen a few different Chromebooks announced at IFA 2018 in Berlin, including 3 models from Lenovo and a consumer-targeted, premium device from Dell. Not to be outdone, Acer unveiled a long-awaited refresh of its Chromebook 14, although the press release was suspiciously devoid of pertinent specifications such as the processor, storage, and RAM. Thankfully, we were able to check it out in the press area of the Acer stand here at IFA — keep on reading for our initial appraisal.

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Hands-on with the 4K Lenovo Yoga Chromebook: All those pretty pixels

Most Chromebooks follow a minimal design philosophy. They're small-ish, have modest processors, and don't take up a lot of space on your desk. The new Lenovo Yoga Chromebook is none of those. Lenovo's first premium Yoga-branded Chromebook comes with a display up to 4K resolution, and it's almost large enough to be considered a desktop replacement.

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What to look out for when buying a Chromebook

Chromebooks are just like any other tech products - some are good, and some are not so good. While they avoid some of the pitfalls of Windows laptops, like spinning hard disks and bundled malware, you still have to deal with potentially under-powered hardware or a lack of support for certain features.

This guide highlights what you should avoid when buying a Chromebook, especially older models that often appear as refurbs at major retailers, or used on sites like eBay and Swappa.

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Google Assistant for more Chromebooks is still on the way

When Google released the Pixelbook last year, it was the first Chromebook to have Google Assistant. The company said Assistant would eventually come to other models, but there hasn't been much news about that since early this year. Thankfully, the feature is still in development, and it appears to be nearly ready.

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[Deal Alert] Google Pixelbook (i5/256GB) $909 on Amazon ($290 off)

The Google Pixelbook is indisputably the best Chromebook around; in fact, it's one of the best laptops running any operating system. It's so good that many of my colleagues now use it as their main computer, David included. Seriously, spend even five minutes typing on that wonderous keyboard and I guarantee you'll fall in love.

If there's one downside to the Pixelbook, it's that it isn't cheap. Thankfully, we're starting to see more and more deals on it, and this is one of the best yet. For just $909.32, you can get the 256GB model with an Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of RAM from Amazon.

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Acer Chromebook Tab 10 now widely available, starts at $330 [Updated]

Acer is one of the busiest OEMs when it comes to Chrome OS hardware, although recent efforts have been mixed. The Chromebook Spin 11 didn't offer the best value, but the Chromebox CXI3 impressed as one of the best in its class. Unsurprisingly, Acer was first to announce a tablet running Chrome OS, and now the Chromebook Tab 10 is on sale at several retailers.

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Weekend poll: Do you use a Chromebook?

The long-term future of Android tablets is a bit concerning, but thankfully Google seems to be pushing Chromebooks to fill that niche. Analysts seem to agree the platform could have a future in that market, especially given the continued decline in tablet sales. And since most recent models have touchscreens and support Android apps—some even come in a tablet form-factor—chances are good some of our readers have picked one up.

So, do you use one?

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Android Messages v3.4 continues work on pairing with Chromebooks, dark mode, and automatic spam detection [APK Teardown]

A new version of Android Messages began rolling out late last night. Beyond a few small cosmetic tweaks, this update appears to be almost entirely focused on preparing upcoming features. There's activity related to pairing with Chromebooks, further developments in dark mode, and forward progress on fighting spam.

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[Update: Last few hours of deals] 2018 Prime Day deal roundup: All the best phones, Chromebooks, and smart home gadgets on sale [Updated continuously]

Prime Day is in full swing, but it can be hard to keep track of all the different sales happening. Even a few third-party retailers seem to be trying to divert a bit of that attention to themselves with their own promotions. To make things a bit easier for our readers, we're keeping track of all the stuff that we spot together in one place, right here.

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