Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

Summary: The Google Chromebooks are coming, and at a decent price point that will surely attract casual users. What most folks will have to determine is can the cloud computing model work for everything?

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TOPICS: Google
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The Google Chromebooks are coming, and at a decent price point that will surely attract casual users. What most folks will have to determine before picking up one of the shiny new Chromebooks coming next month, is can the cloud computing model work for everything? This is a hurdle that Google and its partners must overcome in the marketing of these new notebooks. If consumers buy them and run into even one task they can't do the reaction is going to be swift and loud.

I didn't participate in Google's Cr-48 beta program so I can't say for sure I can live in the Chromebook cloud completely. I have spent a few days in experimentation recently, just working in Google Chrome on a laptop as if I only had a Chromebook. That went pretty well, as I am someone who fits the cloud computing model perfectly. I live and work in a web browser all day, so it wasn't a big sacrifice on my part to live only in the browser all day.

Even so I still ran into a few things I just couldn't do, like getting photos off a camera memory card to use them in my work. I suspect given enough time I would find a way around this hurdle, in fact Google announced today that Chromebooks would soon handle SD cards. I still can't be sure a Chromebook alone would service all my needs, and I suspect I'm not alone in that regard.

The first two Chromebooks coming on June 15 are decent models from Samsung and Acer. They have 12.1 and 11.6-inch screens respectively, and will start around $350 for the consumer models. That's a good price point, and there are benefits for most home users with the Google Chrome OS model. The biggest benefit for most users will be the automatic system updating. People can be lax about keeping systems updated, and Chrome OS takes care of that perfectly. There's a lot to be said for self-updating systems that are always running the latest software and apps with no user intervention.

Whether the Google Chromebooks will take off is yet to be seen, but we'll soon know as they get ready for release. I suspect marketing will play a big role in how fast or not these devices are accepted by mainstream consumers. Google and partners would be wise to stress the ease of operation and lack of waiting for things to happen. They will also have to deal with the "can I connect my iPhone/iPod to it" question that's bound to be asked over and over.

Topic: Google

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12 comments
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  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    "There?s a lot to be said for self-updating systems that are always running the latest software and apps with no user intervention."

    Except for when different is not better and you'd rather stick with the old version. One quickly reaches a point where features I don't need cause changes that interfere with what had been working just fine.
    wkulecz
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    It's gonna be a tuff sell. I am part of the beta and I can say that I didn't participate very long. The system was too slow to even load web pages in a timely manner & with no local storage, it just didn't make sense. Not to mention that you can only run what works in a browser. For a little more $$, you can get a good net/notebook that will run what you want.

    I forsee a LOT of returns on these things.
    bump911
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    If its faster than my early Macbook AIR, you bet!
    Cintra2
  • Google can't even live in the cloud

    but they want us all to?
    John Zern
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    No, I will never give anyone that much control over my data. My backups, maybe.
    hayneiii@...
  • A Case of Android Cannibalization

    Third party cooperation required for full functionality of a "Chrome-book." Don't bet on it!

    IE9 works better on my Netbook than Chrome, for reason of the ergonomic flaws of the latter.

    The realm of usage for a Chromebook is better served by tablets, I'd judge.
    PMC-CON
  • Disliked Chrome....

    And this is taking that even further. Not a chance.
    Tholian_53
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    No, a computing device that REQUIRES ubiquitous Internet access is useless until there is ubiquitous Internet Access available.

    @Cintra Buy Parallels and install Chrome. If you have a recent Mac Book Air it will be faster than these upcoming Chromebooks.

    But if you could not figure this out, you probably need a Chromebook.
    OracleOfReason
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    No, for the same reasons I don't need a smartphone, tablet or a netbook. I don't travel, I sit in front of a desktop at work and at home. one with two 21" monitors and the other with a 22" monitor.
    gitwut
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    "I suspect given enough time I would find a way around this hurdle"

    Isn't this one of the biggest problems with the Chromebook. There may only be one way of doing things. At least with a PC/Notebook/Netbook there is always many ways of doing things because there are a gazillion third party products.
    global.philosopher
  • What Is It?

    After days of reading about the Chromebook from "technical" reporters, I confess, I still really don't understand it at all.

    Questions:

    1. Is it running Linux at the core, like Android?

    2. Does it just boot up a browser? Or is there a desktop?

    3. Can I plug stuff into it like a mouse, or a camera.

    4. What is the network that connects it to the Cloud? Is it 4G?

    5. Do I buy it, or rent it?

    6. If I rent it for the $22 (or $28) a month, does that include connectivity?

    7. Is it like Android -- needs to be connected to a network to be useful?

    8. Can I plug my Clear Wimax 4G USB modem into the Chromebook and is there a driver for it?

    9. Can I run my Android apps on it?

    10. Can I make a phone call with a Chromebook?

    I have read tens of articles reproducing the same text over and over again without getting answers to what I feel are basic consumer questions.
    jabailo1
  • RE: Can you live in the Chromebook cloud?

    I have just sold my iPad 1st generation in order to buy the SAMSUNG silver 3G chromebook. It is awesome! Flash player, physical keyboard, camera and a mouse pad. Also you are buying a laptop that doesn't even offer those thousands of software applications that only performance computer workers would ever use. For the majority of people, this is all that they need! Flash player, javascript, automatic updates, great security, and it has a webcam.
    branrules101