Monday, March 25, 2013

Living with Chromebook

I have been using Chromebook for more than a week and I am in the position to comment more on how useful this device is.

For $250, it seems to be good build quality. The keyboard feels good. I love the touch-pad  The screen is nice because it is NOT glassy.

The file manager local app is good enough for users that do simple things such as saving pictures and accessing specific documents that are saved locally or on your flash drive.

The battery lasts solid 6 hours. This is a big advantage of this laptop. Instead of signing out of your account, I always shut down because that saves the battery and I only need  up to 10 seconds to boot up.

The file manager local app has ability to navigate to Google Drive. It actually scans your whole Google Drive and downloads the header information and caches it locally. 

The search button on the keyboard pops up a search field and what I love is that it searches your bookmarks, local drive, Google Drive and Google search in general.

Is this a computer for you?
It is as a secondary computer that you use to browse the web, pay online bills and occasionally upload pictures from your camera to your USB drive or to the cloud. If you plan to do anything more than this, then you need that primary computer in your house to save you. When you think about it more, we probably spend more than 90% of our time in the browser when it comes to personal computing. If you go home and continue doing programming and other technical work, then this laptop is not for you.

I say that I feel more "secure" with Chromebook. When I say "more secure", I mean the computer is very lightweight and the number of apps doing outgoing and incoming connection is pretty much limited to the browser. The more apps/services you have running, the higher chance is that some have loopholes that hackers have not discovered.

I think that the trend is going in the direction where our computers will be very lightweight terminals tapping into servers/cloud for more processing. This reminds me of Unix world where I started my software engineering career. I think that Chromebook is a bit ahead of its time because you cannot do everything on the web that you can do on your computer with local application. With HTML5 this is becoming more possible and we are heading in that direction.

Keywords: #chromebook #chrome #chromeos #cloud #cloudcomputing #samsung

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