Chrome OS and Computers
Many just use their computers for online access- email and see their attachments (photos, videos, doc, spreadsheets, powerpoint…), browsing online, WhatsApp, …. Something which you normally do it on your mobile but wants to have a bigger screen and keyboard at home for faster access and enjoyment. If you don’t use your computer for complicated processing like complex video editing, etc, then Chrome OS may be ideal for you. It’s built for people who just want to get on the net as effortlessly and safely as possible. It’s much much faster, cheaper and more secure….., read onChrome OS (Operating System) started off as a thin client, is a Google’s product developed specifically for use on an internet browsing platform- based on the Linux kernel and designed with web applications and cloud storage in mind. It’s been around for 6 years already and I reckon it is now mature enough for general enjoyment. It’s current stable version is ver 43.0.2357.130 announced on 23 June 2015. I tried it out this week on an Asus Chromebox and the experience can be summed up in two words – sweet and fast. It starts up in less than 10 second, log in and you are on your way to anywhere on the internet world. While it’s designed for online use, it works offline too as there are many offline applications as well. As expected, it works well with everything Google (Gmail, Youtube, Google maps, Android, Google+, Google Photos, ….).
There is really not much which Chrome OS cannot do, and many application developing companies are jumping on the bandwagon- e.g. you can edit images using Adobe Photoshop which is now available as a streaming Chrome app; you can use Microsoft Office there, you can run almost every Android apps, and for the tech savvy- you can switch on the developer’s mode and you can install a full desktop Linux system (like Ubuntu) alongside your Chrome OS system. For the majority, it may be just adequate for you, and the beauty of it is – it’s lean and efficient, cheap and fast, does what you want beautifully. Most of them runs on SSD (solid state storage devices), hence lightning fast (albeit small storage space- as most would be stored in the cloud anyway). There is virtually no learning curve too for any converted Windows user or if you have been using browsers. And the most important thing is that it’s secure – ranked by many as the MOST secure OS available now (see the full report here).
It’s typically available on minimalistic devices like notebooks and mini-boxes (Chrome notebook or Chrome box) and they are typically cheaper than conventional devices using Windows, and Apple OS. Many manufacturers are churning out Chrome notebooks like Sharp, Toshiba, Dell, Asus, Acer, etc. And for Chrome boxes (size like 4 CD’s with box stacked together) are available from Dell and Asus. Unfortunately, they are only starting to appear in Hong Kong. I couldn’t find a Chromebox in HK and have to have it shipped out from Amazon, US and at a very attractive price of US300 including courier charge (received in 3 days), just add a monitor and it’s ‘purring’ like a charm!
Yes, it’s a baby compared to Windows and Apple OS’s and have much less applications, but how many applications do you use daily? The next time you want a new PC and want to simply life too, do consider a Chrome notebook or Chrome box. Forget about Windows 10 and El Capitan!