I admit it. I have been interested in Chromebooks since they were first introduced over a year ago. I can’t help it – they have buttons and a screen, don’t they? When I first visited them, I wasn’t really moved by the specs or the reported performance. But, oh, what a difference a year brings.
Year two brings some new Chrome-puter offerings. Google has been working hard over the past year to improve its browser-based OS. This shows. And Samsung, the manufacturer of Google’s computing brainchild, has just introduced a couple of new Chrome-powered devices that step up the hardware. The Chromebook laptop and the Chromebox desktop. Both hover around the size of an iPad. Both run the Chrome operating system. And both offer worthy, reasonably priced options for all but the most hardcore geeks and power-users. Versions of the computer range from mid $300s for the desktop model to mid $400s and $500s for the wifi only and 3G laptop models.
Like booting your computer up in 7 seconds? The Chrome-puters have your back. The new OS is faster, able to work with Microsoft Office documents natively and offers viable multitasking. Another great reason to consider the Chrome-puters is the ability to sync your Chrome browser settings across devices – simply log in to the Chrome browser on your Chromebook and elsewhere and you will have the same exact experience.
There is no doubt that the Chrome-puters will be a great fit for heavy users of Google’s various applications. And don’t mind the browser-based apps – many of them look and perform just like local apps and often include off-line modes. There are apps for most any purpose – check the Chrome Store if you doubt it.
Bottom line: Chrome OS has always been easy to use, but the hardware deficiencies and glitches kept me initially at a distance. The newest offerings are starting to look very interesting. At least for a second, more portable computer than your bulky laptop. Especially if you love some Google. Yes, I’d say the Chrome-puters are getting viable. You can check them out online, or at select Best Buy stores in the U.S. Check out the official Google video below: