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A few words on Chrome Notebooks

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Google recently unveilved the longly awaited Chrome Notebook. For a general PC user, “Chrome Notebooks” might still be a newish term. So what is a Chrome Notebook? Well, it’s a notebook having a Chrome

The Chrome OS's start up screen. Apparently, Chrome takes seconds to start up and wakes from sleep instantly.

Operating System – this operating system is fast, sleek and clean. The notebook has no hard drive, nothing and whatever you do is done on the “Cloud”.

Long story short, this is a notebook where a Google Chrome browser is natively used as an “Operating System” and whtever you do, is done on the cloud i.e. on the Web. Documents, images, high-end photo/videoshopping, listening to music and every lil bit thing that you do on your Windows or Mac, with a Chrome notebook you’d do on the web.

Tempted?

Don’t be. For one thing’s sure, it doesn’t mean whatever Google comes up with needs to be awesome. No. And if you think I’m talking bullocks here, just try and remember something so-called Google Wave. Right?

So now that I’ve proven my point that “not everything Google does is awesome”, I’d say, the idea of a Chrome notebook is pretty, pretty LAME. At least for now, it’s lame.

Yeah.

Before I rest my points to the case I’d like to tell you what exactly has Google done to a normal notebook in order to build a Chrome Notebook.

  1. Made it looking freakishly tempting. You might say there’s nothing in its’ design but my friend the idea of having a notebook with a classy black matt-finish, no badass company logos and no extra stickers is every high-end, sophisticated computer user’s dream. Google did that.
  2. Chrome Notebook's Keyboard

    The Chrome notebook's Keyboard. Observe what happened to the function and caps lock keys. (Click to enlarge)

    Changed the keyboard layout. Google changed the function keys to standard browser keys – Back, Forward, Home et al. It also tweaked the “Caps Lock” button to a “Search button” – pressing it opens Google.com on a new tab.

  3. Installed the Chrome OS which is well, basically, a Chrome browser but an extended version of it. Still, it’s a browser damn it.

And that’s about it. They did the above three things to make a Chrome notebook and well, I don’t think why it can’t be a disaster.

You see the idea of cloud computing is nice, its niche. The concept of having no hard disk is again reasonably cool, reasonably nice – it saves the power, reduces weight, makes it slim and in short gives you the power of having all of your data anywhere you go, on any machine.

But having a browser as the Operating system? Come on. I mean that’s alright for users who use their machines just for the Internet. Yeah alright for documents and music and video. But what about professionals, what about power users? What about developers?

Now I haven’t dug much into what kinda apps are available on Chrome OS, but I’m damn sure that there’s no way an image editing software like Photoshop can run on a Chrome OS. And well, Photoshop is the daddy.

Not just that. There are internet downtimes everywhere. Come out of the first world countries and you’ll find people are still learning how to use internet. And that’s not it, how about having a power downtime at your place (Boom Wifi’s gone!) and you having no 3G plan? Where will you access your data then? Desktop users might not have a problem about power cuts, but laptop users will.

At least with a normal notebook, you can access your documents anytime, anywhere without any prerequisites, given the fact you have some battery backup, which most of the time is.

Whatever it may be, the looks are rugged, very appealing to the eye.

Cutting the crap, I’d say in simple words, Chrome Notebooks, for now, are pretty impractical. Apart, Google didn’t even care to just re-design the browser for at least fuck sake! A whole OS inside a browser isn’t a good idea. They could have simply shifted the tabs to the bottom on the window just to make it comfortable for the users instead of making it weird. Every bit of your stuff is inside a browser. No taskbars, no docks, no windows. Only tabs. Whoa!

I think instead of wasting their development time on building a notebook entirely for cloud computing, Google should have worked on how the current users can go to the cloud without having to change their notebooks. Sounds impractical but again, Chrome OS is the height of impracticality. Right now we need cloud alright but something more than Chrome OS. We need a platform that allows users to use their native OSs and still be on the cloud. I’m not talking about online storages but well, something in that line though a wholly extension of online storage.

On the contrary however, this is just a beginning. Chrome isn’t available to consumers as yet and if you’re in US, you can get it but only for testing purposes here. Those who have used the notebook have given mixed responses. Chrome OS is expected to hit stores somewhere in mid-2011 around the price range of 400-500USD.

More developments to come in for sure as time progresses and I’ll keep track and let you know if something pops.

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Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Chrome Notebook/OS, Google

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. […] Google Chrome OS has been making the news columns since awhile now and Google is infact giving away free Chrome Notebooks for beta testing, however only if you’re in US. […]

  2. […] eh? Just in case if you’re late to catch the news on Chrome OS, read my first thoughts and then you can go through my quick tutorial on how to try the operating system right […]


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