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Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Chromebook now available in US

Google has released its first laptop running Google's Chrome operating system to consumers in the United States. Its made by Samsung and doesn't use traditional installed software but rather browser based apps which store files online in "the cloud". The Chromebook doesn't have a desktop and you cant install your typical software on it. Google says that the cloud based technology enables a new way of computing and removes the need for things like anti virus software and CD\DVD drives. If you want to use your typical Windows or Mac software then you are out of luck for now.

Initial impressions of the Chromebook show that the things you can do via the browser work very well but the things you do on the desktop don't work well at all. One nice feature though is that the Chromebook starts up in less than 10 seconds and the Chrome Web Store offers around 4,400 applications you can buy or get for free. If you want to print then you will need an ePrint-capable wireless printer or use the Google Cloud Print service.

The initial setup is pretty easy. Just enter your Google account name and password, and your Gmail, calendar appointments and settings will be synchronized just like on Android devices.

The Chromebook features a 12.1 inch screen and is available in a WiFi only version ($429) or a WiFi and 3G model($499). The Chromebook comes standard with USB ports, an HDMI port, SD memory card slot and a webcam. It boasts 8.5 hours of battery life as well.

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