Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th May 2014 20:54 UTC
Google

If you haven't picked up a Chromebook just yet, you might want to wait a little longer. Intel has just announced plans to roll out as many as 20 new Chromebooks by the latter half of this year. This new set will be thinner, lighter, more powerful and generally more diverse in terms of design. It's clear that Google is making a play for the mainstream.

I applaud any efforts to get people to buy new platforms, but in all honesty, I've yet to see a Chromebook in the wild - in fact, I don't even think I've ever even seen one in a store. Granted, I live in a small country nobody cares about, and the uptake of non-Windows platforms in desktops and laptops has always been pretty abysmal here, but you'd think you'd see more of these things.

What is the current state of Chrome OS? Owners, do you use it every day? What do you miss in a Chromebook that a traditional Linux/Windows/OS X laptop does offer?

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blue_fox
Member since:
2012-04-17

I bought my son a Samsung ARM based Chromebook for use in his final year at university and I'm convinced a more limited machine (read: no Valve Steam) helped him graduate with a degree.

Later on I inherited it and used it regularly for a couple of months. I was close to springing for a Acer C720 with a Haswell chip, since as many have already pointed out, this is a inexpensive dual purpose device: Chrome OS for the run of the mill stuff and an intel based linux via chrubuntu or similar for anything else.

What held me back ? Reliability of the software. Despite being "just" a browser on top of a linux base, the reliability of Chrome OS was for me extremely poor. I had crashes / browser restarts / the occasional hard lock requiring a power recycle and the frequency of the browser crash / restart was very high. Sometimes once every 20 minutes. Although the restart time on the ARM device was super quick (say 6-7s) this is still not acceptable for a consumer device.

Maybe I was unlucky and had a bad device ? Anyhow, I bought an iPad Air which hasn't crashed once and fulfills my current needs. I might get an old TP X220 for dicking around with Linux.

So, Chrome OS promised much and was nice to use, but I was left with a question mark over whether I would bother in future based on this one bad experience. I don't doubt it's going to be a success though, something which to me looked really unlikely when Chrome OS was first announced.

Edited 2014-05-07 07:23 UTC

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