I’m by no means offline anymore.
i have Wi-Fi at home and on the administrative center, virtually every hotel or espresso keep on this planet deals connectivity, and for the uncommon in-between instances, my cellphone serves as a wonderfully usable (if quite awkward) mechanism for getting on the web. the one time i can’t get online now could be underground on the subway — and even that might not be true for long.
meanwhile, my pc is increasingly more turning into just a portal to the web. i take advantage of word and Outlook and Photoshop, however even those apps are designed to be forever linked and intertwined — and browser-based approximations of those apps are ever improving. Even computer games are supposed to be performed online. If I haven’t any Wi-Fi, my MacBook Air feels pointless, empty.
This new order is one during which a Chromebook, an all the time-linked pc that is explicitly designed to be used on-line, may in reality make sense. And don’t seem to be now, but the trade is noticing: Toshiba, Acer, Lenovo, and different manufacturers are saying units operating Google’s Chrome OS, and Chromebooks are now utilized in 22 % of US school districts and in countries world wide.
the brand new head of the lineup, the device designed to united states remaining 12 months’s Samsung Chromebook at the prime of the Amazon best-vendor list, is the HP Chromebook eleven. At $279, this eleven.6-inch pc is priced to maneuver. And if it’s “only a web browser,” it’s a beautiful one.
Google’s on a mission to attach the arena to the web, somehow. (Or by way of balloon.) The Chromebook 11 is our finish of the wire.
“Unapologetically plastic” is it appears not simply an Apple thing. Google and HP learn from the identical playbook, crafting the Chromebook 11 out of shiny plastic on top of a magnesium alloy frame. It comes in black and white, with four accent colours on the white edition — pink, yellow, blue, or green stripes encircle the keyboard and coloration the rubber feet on the underside. mostly it’s black or white, although, and each make a striking first affect. The white is bright and fun; the black stealthy, ominous. The Chromebook eleven’s lid is empty shop for the lit-up stripe of Google colours on the highest, and the ultra-minimal look is lovely eye-catching.
just right ideas, HIT-AND-miss EXECUTION
but whereas Google and HP could have imagined and even designed an excellent computer at an inexpensive worth, HP’s apply-through comes up quick. The Chromebook 11’s plastic feels low cost in locations, and its construction now and again seems haphazard. both colors decide up and prominently show fingerprints, and the physique tends to flex and creak if you happen to decide it up in no longer reasonably the right position; the lid particularly flexes violently and terrifyingly every time you touch it. It’s not really to break with out some effort, however as long as you could have your arms on the palm rests and your fingers on the keyboard, you won’t overlook you’re the use of a $279 pc.
there are methods to do low cost neatly, although. Take the display, an eleven.6-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution you should lift off any laptop from 4 years ago. There’s more to reveal quality than pixel count, though: with nice color copy, deep blacks, impressive brightness vary, and solid viewing angles, this can be a some distance higher show than most with the identical checklist of specs.
The Chromebook’s design is in any other case full of good, sensible concepts. Sound comes out of the keyboard, offering quite loud and whole audio for this type of small pc while not having any ugly speaker grilles. The tool’s ports — two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a charging port — all sit on the left-facet part, the place they’re much more uncomplicated to search out than on the again of last yr’s version. There aren’t any useless trademarks or overwrought design flourishes; the Chromebook 11 strikes a chord in my memory of the unique Chromebook, the awesomely barren CR-forty eight.
HP’s smartest transfer used to be making the charger a Micro USB port, and including an ultra-powerful USB charger with the Chromebook eleven that works with phones and tablets too. that you would be able to even cost your laptop from some other laptop, in the event you’re into that — anything but HP’s integrated cable takes a very long time to charge the Chromebook’s huge battery, but it surely does work. There’s virtually no likelihood you’ll find yourself chargerless and out of success. It’s a wise, customer-pleasant transfer from Google and HP, and i hope different manufacturers follow swimsuit.
The keyboard is strong, too: clicky and comfortable despite a budget, plasticky feel of every of its keys. Chromebooks have a near-excellent set of perform buttons, as neatly, giving you straightforward media playback and settings control — and if I may flip every pc’s caps lock button into a dedicated search key, i would.
CHROME OS does not need so much power, but it desires greater than A SMARTPHONE
The trackpad, then again, is beautiful bad. It’s sticky and plastic, and doesn’t permit your finger to drift easily in any respect; my fingers jittered around as i attempted to maneuver the cursor, and the screen jittered even worse as i attempted to scroll with two fingers or pinch to zoom on the reveal. It’s a frustrating alternate from the graceful, responsive Chromebook Pixel, which obtained all this proper — and had a touchscreen too, just in case. after all, the Pixel is also six occasions the cost.
The Chromebook 11 doesn’t want six times its energy, without a doubt — the Pixel is overkill in virtually every experience — but it may possibly use a little bit extra. For $30 greater than remaining yr’s Chromebook, the Chromebook eleven comes with exactly the identical specs: a dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of inner storage. It’s basically a Nexus 10 with a keyboard hooked up to it. And the Nexus 10 additionally has a better monitor, a richer app ecosystem, and excellent battery life; with so little energy distinction, for many individuals a pill like that’s almost certainly a greater purchase.
simply by way of virtue of its type issue, the Chromebook 11 is best than a tablet for a lot of things, however the specs right here don’t add as much as the rest different. it really works high quality, with out a deal-breaking issues, but it’s not exactly fluid — scrolling is gradual and stuttery on heavy webpages, HD videos steadily stutter and drop frames and occasionally simply stop playing solely, and even typing can lag in the back of your fingers. Nothing surprising for a $279 pc, but Chrome OS is designed to be so gentle, really easy, so fluid that it may possibly run smartly on any hardware. the use of a Chromebook eleven next to a MacBook Air or perhaps a Pixel is like using an Android phone from two years in the past: it runs, however it’s misplaced a step or two. Intel and Google have already shown off Haswell-powered Chromebooks, including a $299.99 edition from HP itself and the $249 Acer C720 — the extra i exploit the Chromebook 11, the more I’m excited by these.
CHROME OS IS way more THAN just a BROWSER
With a little more power, Chrome OS is usually a doable operating machine for many people. Google’s vastly more desirable its offline capabilities, so that the whole thing from Gmail to docs to various packaged apps work great with out an web connection. these packaged apps lend a hand so much, too, giving Chrome OS apps that really feel native and separate slightly than simply another browser tab or a thin wrapper around one.
Making full use of the OS requires some purchase-in, especially to Google apps — 100GB of pressure storage and 60 free days of Google music lend a hand with the swap — however with administrative center 365, with so many great be aware-taking and to-do listing apps, a whole lot of how you can monitor time, bills, and do spreadsheets unless you’re blue within the face, there’s now not that much which you could’t do with Chrome OS. You’ll simply have to switch apps and be k with lighter, more effective variations.
the two exceptions are media modifying and gaming. each have theoretical Chrome OS counterparts, however internet-based totally Picnik is to Photoshop as my cat Gumdrop is to a lion. And in the event you’re trying to exchange Battlefield four and Grand Theft Auto V for working Fred and Bouncy Mouse, neatly, I’m sorry.
What i would like from Chrome OS, and Chromebooks, is inconspicuous: be a killer computer for e-mail and internet searching, a computer i will be able to use in the living room or take with me to the library. That’s why the most important difficulty with all Chromebooks, including the Chromebook 11, is battery life — at between four and five hours of standard use, it’s solid, but it’s neither enough for a cross-u . s . flight nor sufficient that i can depart it on my coffee desk for weeks at a time, like i can with an iPad. Chromebooks need Haswell processors not for their energy, but their toughness — I’m still crossing my fingers that HP’s Chromebook 14 lives as much as its promised 9-plus hours of battery existence.
original article: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/10/4822576/hp-chromebook-11-evaluate