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Here Comes Chromebook

In a couple of days and weeks, new exciting products will be introduced to the market – Apple iPad Mini and Microsoft Windows 8.  Both touted as game changing innovation in the world of information technology.

The iPad Mini will be Apple’s first entry in the 7.8″ tablet market while Windows 8 is billed as the biggest and most dramatic makeover compared to the other Microsoft operating system since this OS was designed to run on touch-based tablets, as well as notebooks and desktop computers.

But even before the iPad Mini and Windows 8, Google and Samsung recently announced the availability of a $249 (PhP 11,500.00) device called “Chromebook” – running on the ARM platform and powered by Chrome OS.  The Chromebook is a collaborative effort of Google and Samsung.

Before we go any further, lets check out the Chromebook specs:

Model Number: XE303C12 / Display Size: 11.6-inches / Display: 1366×768 resolution; 200nit brightness / Weight: 2.43 lbs ( / Less than 0.8 inches thick (17.5 mm) / Battery Life: over 6.5 hours / Processor: Samsung Exynos 5250 / Memory: 2GB / Storage: 16GB SSD / Webcam / Ports: 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, combo headphone/mic jack, secure digital memory slot / HDMI Port / Bluetooth 3.0 Compatible / Speaker: 1.5W speaker X 2 / Keyboard: Full-size Chrome keyboard / Wireless: 802.11 abg/n 2×2.

Given that the Chromebook does not have a hard drive, Google is including 100GB free online storage.  Google is also bringing into the table all of Google’s services, including its search engine, Gmail and YouTube video site making it a ‘cloudbook’.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of a Chromebook compared to a full specs notebook?

Without a doubt, the price point is the biggest advantage of Chromebook.  At $249, I would say its a bargain.  Another advantage is it’s backed by two of the world’s most respected technology firms – Google and Samsung.

The Chromebook also opens a lot of opportunities to the education sector and the business sector.  Education being one of the most price sensitive market, the $249 price tag will provide students and teachers as well to own a notebook that will allow them to do research, collaborate and communicate with their friends.  Most of the notebooks carries a price tag of $500 to $1,000.

For the corporate mobile workers, the Chromebook will allow them to work and access their corporate cloud applications without the worry of outdated software since everything will be updated via the cloud, including security applicatons.

The only disadvantage that I can think of right now with the Chromebook is because of its storage of 16GB SSD, most of the applications will be stored up in the cloud, which means connectivity will play a vital role here.  Without the internet or a slow connection, the Chromebook will be rendered useless in some way.  Remember that in the age of the internet – waiting is a big No to web users.  And given its price tag, the Chromebook may not be the best device for those who regularly use higher-end apps.

I will not be surprised if other manufacturers will follow with what Samsung did, other brands might have their own Chromebook versions as well.  And if this happen, expect that the pricing of Chromebooks will still go down – it will become more affordable which will be to the benefit of the consumers.

For now, I would say that the Chromebook was created with usability, affordability, portability and quality in mind.  The Chromebook is a great testimony that a great device need not be expensive, and everyone deserves to be given the chance to join the world wide web – I hope the Chromebook is really the key.

(Article written by Jerry Liao)

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