Archive for category Report
Google Play is coming to ChromeOS later this year and when it does Chromebooks will become truly offline capable, will leapfrog Windows laptops in some app categories and will have an app engine that could drive development of new types of ChromeOS products.
I hope that by now you’ve heard the very exciting news that the Google Play Store, originally for Android smartphones and tablets, is coming to Chrome OS. The new, effectively virtualized, Android Marshmall OS is likely to drive development of more widescreen / largescreen apps, boost development of advanced ChromeOS products and allow Chrome OS to be one of the first desktop operating systems that has wider support for the quickly growing segments of IoT, wearables, ‘flyables’, home automation, local transport, health and data analytics, areas that Windows 10 desktop and mobile are struggling with.
There will be limitations of course, and that’s what I want to walk through now.
I’ve been testing Windows tabletPCs with 1GB RAM recently. It’s a truly poor experience if you plan to use all the features on a Windows PC. Even with 2GB RAM you can hit limits and start seeing swap usage rise and performance hit the floor. The performance degradation isn’t ‘graceful’ at all. Chromebooks face similar issues of RAM availability but in my tests with 2GB RAM I see it matching Chromebook usage scenarios well and don’t see performance degrading as quickly as it does on a Windows PC. If you’re switching between 10 HTML5 pages then 2GB is enough and if you’re prepared to accept a sub 1-second delay in switching tabs, you can go to 20 tabs without a problem. 4GB could, however, be a requirement in the near future. Watch the video demo below…
Your privacy is important. While you might be happy with people watching you doing ‘acceptable’ things, what if you change in the future? What if the definition of ‘acceptable’ changes and you don’t agree? What if you live in a country where freedom of speech is restricted? Chromebooks can’t hide you on the internet but they can perform as a clean client from which you can work and walk away knowing that there’s no locally-stored record of your activity.
Local storage on Chromebooks is minimal and in some cases it’s too little. You can stream videos and music from the cloud but that’s not practical when you’re on the go so you’ll need a lot more local storage if you want to listen to a good music collection or have a wide choice of videos on planes, trains and automobiles. Some Chromebooks can be upgraded and the C720 is a great example as we found when we we dropped a large SSD into that but what if you don’t want to open up the back of your Chromebook or what if there’s no possibility of doing that due to soldered eMMC storage as found on many Chromebooks now? You’ve got two options. An SD card or an external drive. We’ve completed testing some very fast and lightweight USB 3.0 SSD solutions from MyDigitalSSD that might just be perfect for your Chromebook.
The Acerhas the longest-lasting battery life of all Chromebooks – up to 13 hours!
Since the day I started Carrypad (the former name of this site) there’s been a continuous battle between ARM and X86 processing architectures. Remember the Nokia 770 tablet? How about the Raon Digital Vega?  Today that fight is mainly in the Android tablet space but it’s becoming increasingly rowdy in the Chromebook space too. I was very impressed with the ASUS C200 Chromebook recently (on Intel) and there’s a 13.3-inch version of that, the ASUS C300, which will go right up against something using ARM architecture that is launching from Acer soon. The Acer running the Nvidia Tegra K1 platform and will offer similar performance, similar weight, similar price and similar battery life. Where’s the differentiator?
We’ve got some great Windows 8 tablets out there with relatively fast SSDs that are costing less than Chromebooks. If you look at the Acer Switch 10 and ASUST100 you’ve even got a 2-in-1 with touch and SSD at well under $400 but what about a basic Windows laptop, with an SSD? Nope, you won’t find one. Chromebooks dominate with this specification, offer great performance per dollar and they’re selling well. Windows laptops need to do the same.
You might know M.2 as NGFF, the ‘next generation form-factor’ for plugin modules on laptop and small-form-factor motherboards. You can find out more here but in short, it’s either a SATA or PCIe interface to modules like SSD, LTE and the like. MyDigitalSSD kindly sent a half-height M.2. SATA over along with a $199 Chromebook so here’s the how-to, video and results of the Acer upgrade.