Chromebook Offers New Alternative for Laptop Users

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by johnlee, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. johnlee

    johnlee Networkin' Nut Member

    Google's new Chromebook, a small laptop that will run the company's own Chrome operating system, will be available for purchase starting June 15. The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog explains the benefits and drawbacks of the new piece of technology from the search giant and tech innovator:

    The Chromebook will be a small, lightweight laptop with an extremely streamlined interface that uses a browser interface rather than a desktop-style interface (as currently employed by both Windows and Macintosh computers). It will be integrated and frequently updated with all the latest Google applications and software. The unit will have virtually no hard drive space, with free storage for files being provided online by Google, eliminating the chance of losing one's files by damaging or losing the laptop.

    In addition, each Chromebook will come with two years of free 3G internet service from Verizon wireless, cutting down on an expense usually accrued by laptop owners who want to be able to use the web at any time.

    Other options on the market offer a comparable product for a cheaper price. Lightweight “netbooks” sold at most electronics stores are sold for slightly less than a typical Chromebook will be sold for. These netbooks also feature internal hard-drive storage that can be used in addition to or separate from Google's free online storage, giving a user more backup options.

    Chromebooks will not run a number of games and popular programs needed by many of users, including Microsoft Word. When a unit is not connected to the internet, many features will be disabled, since the browser interface requires internet access to update and store documents as well as launch a number of applications.

    Additionally, some computer users may be uncomfortable with “cloud-based” storage, wherein files are stored not on the unit itself but online. While these files are backed up on Google's servers and thus quite secure, “some people may not like the idea that all their data is being maintained by someone else," writes the Times.
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