Little T in the Cog linux

Archive for February 2013

High-End Chromebook?


Google's Chromeboook is hardly new - they have been talking up the low end notebook concept for a few years now. The previous efforts by manufacturers were always a bit expensive to really take off (who would pay ~$450US for a notebook that was basically a web browser?) but recent advances in Chrome OS itself which make it more like a "normal" OS coupled with the new Samsung ARM powered Chromebook at only $250US now make it a serious contender for consumer dollars. I've read a bunch of reviews for the new ARM powered Sammy and they have all been fairly positive (being ARM powered there is no fan in the unit meaning it is completely silent and never really gets too hot), to the point that I actually want to get one for myself. I've looked at the apps available and thought about how I use my current ancient PowerBook and think that I could actually use this device for some serious work (we currently use the Google suite of apps at work anyway, the hardest thing to get around will be the lack of a proper shell and the Chrome apps/extensions don't really offer anything quite as good as a traditional bash terminal).

Now that they have hit the price/performance curve and are apparently selling really well (the ARM powered model is forever out of stock and apparently is being used in a few thousand schools in the US) we see this video leak out. I'm not sure if it's a fake or a real product, but if it is real it looks pretty high end (complete with a 2560 x 1700 resolution touch screen) so I doubt it will fall into the cheap 'n' cheerful category like the current ARM powered model does. It'll be interesting if the Chromebook can scale up to compete with "proper" notebooks with a hi-res display and quality construction, but still be in essence a web browser with not much off line ability (though the Google doc suit now supports off line document editing). One interesting prospect is if it is priced well geeks like me may well buy one anyway just to install Ubuntu onto (the same way the current ARM powered device makes an excellent Ubuntu machine) as it could be a cheap hi-res solution.

I hope this does turn out to be real and not just a rumour - and even more importantly than that I hope that it will be for sale here in NZ unlike all the Chromebooks to date...