Use of inexpensive ARM SoCs could pave the way for sub-$200 Chromebooks
When Acer recently introduced the C720 Chromebook, a Haswell Core i3-toting device, we couldn’t help but wonder if users would be comfortable shelling out $350 or more for a Chromebook. This is an especially pertinent question because if there’s one thing that has helped these nifty little devices carve a niche for themselves, it is their greater affordability compared to entry-level Windows machines. The good news is that Chromebooks are likely to get even more affordable in the near future.
Chromebooks continue to acquire new offline functionality
Adding to the still small, albeit growing, list of things that can be done on a Chromebook while it’s offline, Google earlier this week updated the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome app with support for offline media playback. Coming at a time when Chromebook availability is being expanded to nine new countries, the ability to watch your favorite movies and TV shows when stuck with a Chromebook without internet access is definitely a positive development from both the standpoint of usability and marketability.
Chromebooks didn’t exactly take the world by storm when they first hit the market. Far from being an instant hit, they were widely panned for their limited functionality. They have clearly come a long way since then, though. The over 2 million Chromebooks that were shipped in 2013 are a testament to how much Chrome OS has matured since its early days, when it was probably nothing more than an overhyped browser. Now, the cloud-based OS is all set to tick another key box: document scanning support.
Many devices preloaded with the free SKU to be unveiled over the coming weeks
Microsoft is now getting very serious about taking the fight to all those low-cost Android tablets and cheap Chromebooks. Hot on the heels of its decision to begin offering OEMs free Windows licenses for building sub-9-inch devices, the Redmond-based tech bellwether on Friday announced a new version of Windows that will be offered free of cost to device manufacturers regardless of screen size.
Will concentrate on expanding its Chrome OS and Android device portfolio
Back in December 2012, Acer president Jim Wang said it was too early to say whether Windows 8 was a success or not. Some seven months later — a period during which the company suffered a quarterly loss and the world a shoddy 8-inch Windows 8 tablet from Acer — the Taiwanese company seems to have found the answer.
Chromebooks from the likes of Acer and Samsung have been on the market for over six months now. In this time, there have there have been reports of these Chrome OS-running netbooks selling very poorly. Google even slashed their prices last month in a bid to spur demand among holiday shoppers. It’s difficult to say how helpful that move has been, if at all. But there is something that will definitely be very helpful for existing Chromebook users looking to do more with their machines while offline.
Thanks to the impressively wide repertoire of modern web browsers, these days it’s possible to accomplish so many different things within them. Soon you will be able to enjoy web-based games a lot more than you already do. This is due to the fact Google is getting ready to include plug-and-play support for gamepads in Chrome.
Google on Wednesday announced the release of Chrome 15 on the Stable Channel for Chromebooks. This Chrome OS update brings a number of new features, but perhaps none more noteworthy than support for the NTFS file system. Hit the jump for a list of new features and enhancements introduced by this update.
Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS was seen as a threat to Windows by some (highly excitable) people when the search giant first talked about it in 2009. This was especially thought to be a possibility where the limited computing needs of the less tech savvy were concerned. That threat, however, never materialized. But Google isn’t ready to give up yet. It’s now trying to convince PC vendors to begin selling desktops with the cloud-based OS.