Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Pointless technology : The Chromebook
The Google Chromebook is just such a product...
Now I'm all in favour of a laptop that boots up a little bit quicker than the 5 odd minutes my XP machine takes but, to be honest, it does give me time to make a cup of tea while it starts up and, when it's actually running, it does do the things that I want it to do.
The Chromebook on the other hand, doesn't. Let's look at some of the 'advantages' that are claimed for it :
"Chromebooks are always connected to internet." Well that might be true for you, but frankly where I live - which is not in the middle of nowhere - I think we need to add "provided there is a connection, otherwise you can't use it!"
"Your apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud" because there's no hard drive to keep them on. See comment above and, let's be honest, do you really want all you data stored on someone else's hard drive?
"Software updates itself" just like with Microsoft updates - which is why mine is disabled!
On top of all this there is no USB port and no printer driver. It comes with a card slot and 16Gb of solid state memory. If it's not on an app, then it doesn't run. No spreadsheets, no word processing. It won't run movies or play music. There's minimal storage except on the web. If you want to print anything, then you need an internet connected printer - and we've all got one of those!
And, of course, all the apps have to be obtained from Google.
As far as I can see, you can get a pretty good laptop, an iPad or a good NetBook for about the same price - so what's the point of it? It's a bit like an iPhone that doesn't make phone calls!
So if you want to impress your friends that you have the latest gadget and don't actually want to do any computing, then this is the perfect product for you...