Tag: Chromebook

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Toshiba Chromebook 2 First Impressions

This afternoon, I received the Toshiba Chromebook 2, purchased 24 hours earlier from Amazon. The computer tests my taste for the contextual cloud, as I contemplate moving back to the Google lifestyle abandoned in early summer 2014. While in some ways my creativity flourishes on Apple products, I also feel encumbered. Synchronization still stumbles across Apple devices; informational utility of Siri sucks; fumbling around with apps across the user interface is distracting and time-wasting.

While having used Toshiba laptops in the distance past, this is the first I paid for. I chose the Chromebook for what it has that nearly no other does, 1080p IPS panel. The screen type offers bright and bountiful viewing angles. Most other Chromebooks rely on TN panels that are typically 200- or 250-nit brightness, or likely less than your smartphone. There is one, good viewing angle—straight on! The Toshiba tops 300-nits, which is similar to my 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (late-2013 model). The published numbers I’ve seen vary, with the most consistent 339 and 320 nits, respectively.

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Google, Give Thanks!

It wouldn’t be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company’s executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray “Thanks”.

This year I to Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page’s return as CEO in April 2011. If he’s not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity’s sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind. 

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Someone Wake Me From This Nightmare of Black Friday Sales Gluttony

Cough. Choke. Collapse. That’s me nearly needing the Heimlich maneuver during breakfast while looking over Samsung Black Friday deals. You can preorder them. Seriously. What the frak is that?

The routine started all so innocently. Samsung sent a promo email, and I curiously clicked the picture of a Chromebook and “Reserve Computing Deals”. You can, today—as in right this very minute—preorder either Samsung Chromebook 2 for assured savings ($20 or $50) between November 27 and December 1 for one and until the 27th for the other. I understand that Black Friday is late-month this year, but, c`mon, beat me with a sack of cash, sales preorders

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I am a Chromebook Convert

Two years ago this month, I adopted Chromebook as my primary PC. Except for brief betrayal last summer, mine is the Chromie lifestyle since. “Can I use Chromebook as my primary PC?” It’s a question I see often across the Interwebs. The answer is different: You can use Chromebook as your only computer.

The only PCs in my home are Chromebooks. There are no Macs or Windows machines doing double duty. Chromebook is more than good enough. Most people will be surprised just how satisfying Chromebook can be—and how affordable. For 96 cents more than the cost of one entry-level MacBook Air, you can buy from Amazon four HP Chromebook 11s. User benefits are surprisingly similar. 

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Chilling Chromebook

Over the weekend, I got email from developer Jeff Nelson with his blog response to my BetaNews story: “Chromebook belongs to computing’s past, not its future“. He is among a majority of responders who disagree with my assessments about the future of PCs depending on keyboard and mouse.

Today’s Android Wear platform announcement foreshadows exactly where computing is headed. For longer perspective, please see my book The Principles of Disruptive Design. But suffice to say that Google champions “Star Trek”-like computing, where you—by sight, sound, touch, and voice—are the user interface.

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Twenty-Fourteen isn’t Year of the Chromebook

There are reasons why I am so obnoxiously loud about bad news reporting tactics. NPD innocently kicked off a writ-storm about 2014 being year of the Chromebook. A Dec. 23, 2013, press release observes strong Chromebook commercial channel sales of preconfigured desktop and notebook PCs.

Looks like NPD pulled the PR—I can’t find it—over this whole “year of #chromebook” meme; it’s a blog and press echo chamber that continues to boom. Goddamn, my ears hurt. Even The Register, of which I expect much better, misquotes the NPD press release, too. That 21 percent market share figure refers to commercial U.S. channels only, not the entire market.

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Finally, a Sensible Story sets the Chromebook Record Straight

Gregg Keizer corrects the record regarding Chromebook sales. Somebody had to. Gregg is consistently a thorough reporter who actually reports rather than hypes or falls into The Echo Chamber.

NPD’s press release clearly states U.S. “commercial channels” not all retail sales, as has been widely misreported. That 21 percent number isn’t the whole pie but a much smaller portion of it. This misreading, misunderstanding, or misreporting (take your pick) fostered an echo chamber of stories predicting 2014 as the year of the Chromebook. In your dreams.

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Chromebook Matters

My fourth ebook, Chromebook Matters, published over the holiday, and this one is available from Kindle Store, Google Play, and Smashwords. I’m done with Amazon exclusives.

Chromebook Matters is not a how-to book. It’s all “why” and “what”—why Chromebook matters and what it can do for you. I write an introduction for anyone—businesses, consumers, government agencies, or schools—considering buying Chromebook. I also address anti-Chromebook propaganda. Some claims are valid. Most are not.

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I Love Chromebook Pixel but It Doesn’t Always Love Me

When I reported the original iPhone launch in June 2007, there was sense of history among the people waiting to buy. Several shared similar sentiment: That we would all look back in five or 10 years and see the mobile as a defining moment in computing. They were absolutely right. I feel similarly about Chromebook Pixel, not that as many people appreciate what it represents compared to the larger number of folks rushing to purchase Apple’s smartphone.

Google’s computer is an acquired taste, and so delish you don’t easily go back. But there’s a Vegemite quality. Most people wouldn’t eat the spread, but ask those who do—they can’t live without it. Likewise, Chromebook Pixel isn’t for everyone, but is for me and possibly could be for you, if given a chance. 

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Chromebook Pixel isn’t for Everyone, but It could be Right for You

Fourteen days using Google’s first computer, my decision is made: I would buy one and will someday (income taxes are brutal, so my options are limited short-term). I firmly believe that most buyers willing to spend $1,299 (32GB WiFi) or $1,449 (64GB 4G LTE) will be satisfied with Chromebook Pixel. That’s because I presume they wouldn’t dole out that much without really examining how the computer would fit their lifestyle; also, Google seeks the same people coming from Windows who might buy MacBook Pro 13-inch.

Seven days ago, in my hands-on review, I looked at the overall experience and price benefits from the perspective of hardware. Here, I start to answer larger question: Can Pixel be your main and only machine? For most people, the answer is an unequivocal “No”. But “most people” isn’t Google’s target market. 

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Chromebook Pixel Review

Chromebook Pixel is an enigma. A misfit. Some critics call it a miscalculation—that Google created a pretty kit that offers too little value for the high price. For sure, $1,299, or $1,449 for the model with LTE, is more than most people pay. According to NPD, the average selling price of laptops at U.S. retail was $640 in January.

But some people do pay more. Apple laptops start at $999 and, according to NPD, the ASP was $1,419 last month. Unquestionably, I see Chromebook Pixel as priced against Macs, and after using Google’s laptop see it targeted at the same professionals who value Apple notebooks. The question any potential buyer should ask: Is Pixel worth spending as much as Google asks? I will answer that question in several parts—this initial review is first.