Laptops

Your questions answered: What Chromebooks can and can't do

Chromebooks start shipping on June 15, 2011, but can you actually productively work on one? Kevin Purdy answers the questions everyone is asking.

Google's done a decent job of getting the word out that the first wave of Chromebooks, the very portable laptops that run the nothing-but-the-web Chrome OS, are available for purchase and shipping out on pre-orders June 15. There is, however, still a vast distance between Google's confidence in the cloud as a viable workspace and what most of us know about these new not-quite-a-netbook devices.

Can a Chromebook handle your regular workload? Is it worth buying now, or should you let the early adopters discover the kinks? If you've got questions about Chromebooks, we think we've got your answers.

Questions

Basically, these are laptops with nothing but a browser, right?

Yes, but not with the kind of weight the word "laptop" has come to carry with it. You're thinking of a system that takes a good bit to boot up, load your programs, activate a bunch of tray icons, and inform you of 10 things you're not doing right on your system. The Chrome OS boots in about 8 seconds, according to Google, and sometimes faster in real-world tests. Once it boots, you log in with a Google account, and you're inside the Chrome browser.

So everyone needs a Gmail account to use a Chromebook, huh?

You need a Google account unless you're using the "Guest" account on someone else's Chromebook. You can create a Google account with a non-Gmail email address. Once it's set up, you'll automatically be logged into Google services in your Chromebook, and if you use Chrome on any other system, you can set up your bookmarks, extensions, settings, and passwords to stay synced between browsers.

What applications can I run on my Chromebook?

Mostly web-based applications, which Google just calls "Apps," but also Extensions, which latch directly onto the browser and allow for interaction and notifications. Apps are written in the same language as web pages, but they're specialized for the Chrome experience. Search around in the Chrome Web Store, and you'll see apps from the New York Times, Popular Science, popular social media manager TweetDeck, and more than a few interesting games - including the modern gold standard for any platform, Angry Birds.

On the Extensions side, you'll find notifiers that can ding and show unread counts for almost any web mail service, and extensions that shuttle pages around for you - print-to-PDF tools, screenshot captures, and the like. But you'll also find essential utilities like LastPass for managing passwords, FlashBlock for preserving CPU and battery life (and putting the kibosh on embarrassing auto-play videos), and more.

No Outlook, huh?

Nope, nor Microsoft Office, Lotus, Skype, Photoshop, or anything with an installer. Chromebooks are meant to work on the web, and Google is moving ahead with them because they believe it's possible for a lot of people to do that. It's a convenient stance, too, given that they make many of the tools intended to replace desktop software.

For documents, you'll use Google Docs, or maybe Office Web Apps. Instead of Skype, you might consider using Gmail's built-in voice and video chat. There's no image editor on the web that covers all of Photoshop's functionality, but Sumo Paint and Aviary's advanced suite come close enough for most non-designers.

But what happens when I'm not online?

The slightly pricier Chromebooks come with built-in 3G cellular service, and a free monthly teaser allowance of 100 MB. The idea, then, is that you're very rarely offline. But in the thicker buildings and cheaper airplanes of this world, you will be offline. You can still log into your Chromebook, and some Chrome Apps can store data for offline use, including the New York Times and NPR, task and note manager Springpad, and even some games, like Angry Birds and Entanglement.

The heavy hitters of Google's offerings, Gmail, Docs, and Calendar, will provide offline functionality sometime this summer, the company announced in May.

So, hold out until the Google Apps arrive offline, maybe?

You could do that, and maybe you'd see some new hardware before then, too. But Docs actually does a have a limited offline mode through the Scratchpad app, which syncs any Docs you've marked with the Scratchpad label. And the offline Google Apps will be available on all Chrome browsers, and Chromebook hardware, so there's no iPhone-like imperative to hold out for the Ultimate Latest Model.

What do I do about attachments? And what about thumb drives, or the files on my phone?

The earliest builds of Chrome OS on tester hardware were a bit befuddled by actual files, it's true. But the Chromebooks shipping on June 15 have lightweight file managers that can read from USB sticks, SD cards from cameras, and plugged-in storage devices, such as phones. The solid-state hard drives aren't big, maybe 50MB or so, but they're designed to be just big enough to hold a file, then upload it to a service like Picasa Web Albums, Dropbox, Gmail, or other places - which the file system provides quick links to.

Bottom line: What's the value of a Chromebook over a cheap netbook, or even an iPad?

Chromebooks have a better keyboard than netbooks, and obviously a much better keyboard than iPads, and that's all some folks might need to know. They also have tremendous battery life, fast boot-ups, and none of the maintenance and fiddling of a traditional Windows, Mac, or Linux system.

The real question, though, is how much you work on the web right now, and whether you want to invest in moving more of your work into the cloud. Can you trade in Outlook for your company's web mail, or ask about importing that mail into Gmail through IMAP? Could you install Dropbox on your office computer to maintain access to your files at all times? Can you pull off quickie presentations in Google Docs, or are you in need of a full suite of corporate messaging tools?

Hopefully that's a bit more helpful than the standard "It depends." If you've got more questions about Chromebooks and their strengths and limitations, let us know in the discussion thread following this blog post.

Also read:

About

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer, a former editor at Lifehacker.com, and the author of The Complete Android Guide.

78 comments
myra22
myra22

Need a technical support for browser's u can give us cal at 18009350537

sosgood
sosgood

Have been using Chromebook C7 for several months for email, FB, games and love it.  However tonight it just froze and none of the troubleshooting fixes worked.  Any suggestions?

HarryCo
HarryCo

I have an HP ChromeBook. Can anyone tell me what format movies need to be in to be played on the ChromeBook? I can save them on a USB stick. Mostly for watching while flying.

Thanks.

doveman
doveman

All I want to do is make a secure RDP connection to my desktop at home (via WinSSHD in Windows or maybe Thinstation, which avoids the need to boot Windows). I can then use the netbook or whatever on my sofa or away from home to run applications on a fast PC, and only have to install applications on the one PC. I also don't have to trust all my data (and my privacy) to Google. Of course, I'd still need Internet access to do this, just as I would with Chrome OS, but I can install a few applications on the netbook for emergencies, unlike with a Chromebook. So all that's really important to me is the ability to run whatever software is needed to achieve this, plus a decent keyboard, screen, battery life and low weight.

ivank2139
ivank2139

The Chromebooks are for use accessing the cloud. If you need something else use something else. Embrace the cloud. Stop fighting the trend and if you try you will find that you might be able to shift your work to the cloud and forego the local stuff. The more you can do in the cloud instead of locally the better off you will be.

fortheloveoffiona
fortheloveoffiona

I've been using a Chromebook for several months now, and although at first I was skeptical of trying to do everything from the cloud, I am now a believer. I use Picnik to edit photos, which is an online service. I had some trouble at first with this until I uploaded my photos to the cloud. Now it works beautifully. I would be lost without my "Chromebook". I use it every day and very rarely use my desktop anymore. I love the boot up time (which is a very accurate estimate by Google), and the amazing variety of web apps to use. We very recently had an awful storm that knocked everything out..power, gas, phone, internet. My "Chromebook" was the only way I could access the internet, to check for things we needed (weather reports, tree services to take care of storm damage) and to contact family that was very worried about us. I was very thankful I had a netboook that had 3G capability. I would recommend a Chromebook to anyone, and have many, many times. If mine broke, I would buy another...I like it that much.

mikeline
mikeline

From the technical point of view (I mean really, just how many power users do you really think make up the profit margins), its just another lower level tool for convenience sake. As a non-technical user, what a boon! Fast, reduced hassles, easy to get at my data, no confusion between storage locations (desktop, shares, folders, backups, web locations, etc). New users, beginners, and I believe in particular the Senior population should get their hands on these units NOW. I haven't seen one yet, (it may exist) but google should have an interactive learning program tethered to Chrome in a simply content index style for new users. Price needs to be $400 or less before it can really take off. OR, it should be sold as a two or three year service @ 24.95 a month plus unit insurance, etc ,etc..

alxbermejo
alxbermejo

Being an active chrome browser user (which i love), I have still found many websites that do not fully support the browser. Since this is the only browser on the system, I will find myself and many other users limited to what websites will be available to use. Also the fact that you cannot install any programs. That and the price tag compared to a netbook, has not got me sold on it, YET. For a regular consumer that wants to play games and check their Gmail account might work great but from a business POV, still needs a lot of work.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

ChromeOS based systems will ONLY get recognition because of the word Google. Google took the word Google away and it wouldn't sell. The only others that will use it will be techies and Linux geeks. Why? The OS - no matter how it is - is not Windows. The consumer doesn't know Linux. Most netbooks were returned [when they were available with Linux] because they had Linux on them. So what has changed since then? Other thing I could see as a problenm is malware. Google's desktop is a web browser. If that gets hit with malware, the system is toast.

roystreet
roystreet

Has anyone tried the Acer W500? I've had battery life lasts an incredible amount of time. (I'm sure over 6 hours)The screen size is 10.1". Also, a 32 gb SSD hard drive. It runs a FULL OS - Win 7 which runs all of my applications I'm used to using. It's a perfect design in that it can connect to it's own keyboard (Slides right on it) or you can take on the go without the keyboard. It is a capcitive touch screen so I can even write on it. I can also plug via HDMI my extra large monitor into it, my wireless keyboard & mouse - And you wouldn't even know it's really a tablet. I heavily use MS Office, google docs doesn't come close to competing with it. The W500 tablet will lay on top of it's own keyboard (Snaps together) & it appears as if its a little laptop. It's good to note on the Acer that it has a sleep button that puts windows to sleep & you press it again & it's instantly gone. It's quick, just like pressing the unlock button on my iPhone. Instant availability - So Chrome doesn't really have much of an edge there. Since I can press the button & check my weather instantly. Why use something (Chrome OS) that is so internet dependant & so limited on what it can take advantage of? Ultimately, what matters is your own needs & what you enjoy using. Each unit has it's advantages. The iPad was something I was seriously considering before getting the Acer, but it couldn't (Just as the ChromeOS) couldn't fulfill my productivty needs. The iPad or Chrome OS is for "light-weight" productivity, more optimized for media - Entertainment (ie music & videos) Like I said, it always goes back to preference & needs...No matter what anyone else says.

sharpear
sharpear

Not that I hate google, but this sounds like the worst thing to buy for the price. What is the point of a device that you can not customize to your liking and you will not be able to use your normal everyday apps. What if you get disconnected by a weak WIFI or moving, will it be able to link you right back to what you where doing, or will you have to start all over? I am willing to bet that most websites will just dump the data and you will come back having to start the project over. This may boot up in 8 seconds, my laptop is only double that, but then it will still take the same amount of time or longer trying to get larger applications to load over the web. On top of that Google seems to monitor too much of what my phone does that half the time I am stuck on frozen screens, and waiting for my phone to connect to Google and dump off my data to them before I get it. What will make this any different? I am sure there is a way around this, but I don't care to have a device that needs connected and synced with google to do a task such as sending an email, or being able to open .doc file from usb. They need to scrap this project now before it costs them too much and they over produce these with little sales. I would rather have a full functional computer than a netbook that has google chrome and needs constant access to the internet for production.

leptium
leptium

Hey I'm a netbook HP Mini and I have dual booting, I used Windows 7 Ultimate & Jolicloud OS, for the first I don't have comments, but Jolicloud is a excellent OS for use in the cloud even has a interesting Offline mode: Skype, Opera Web browser, Open Office and a lot of application and I can work very security and very easy.

dave
dave

you cannot guarantee what you will find for Internet access. If you are in your home, great. I have travelled to all 4 corners of the US, Hawaii, some Mexico and parts of Canada and the only thing that is consistent is the inconsistency of Internet access. Our spreadsheets are 1.5-4 MB. Working with those in the cloud would mean that you would become a WiFi guru always seeking out the best WiFi, least used, strongest signal, etc. If you are using 3G then you???d better have the best data plan around. We work with many suppliers and have to match to their requirements. We use OCS internally so that would mean changing the entire company. Corporate wise I see a lot of hurdles. Consumers maybe but again everything is tied to having reliable Internet access.

deepakverma1981
deepakverma1981

My stand will be in favor of notebooks or laptops with comes with an option to install chosen OS and you can access if you wish, all the things that the chrome book is offering using your OS web browser, for me it will not be economical as well not wise to go for only browser based hardware. What about my music dumps, my movies, my graphics hungry games???? think about it before going for a chrome book.

mjc5
mjc5

Everyone will always be connected to the net, eh? That is these devices fatal flaw. I have many computers that only connect to the internet when it's time for updates. I have a few that are in use in vehicles. But the folks in the know, simply know that everyone is connected. Would you buy a computer with a hard drive or solid state drive that only worked in some places and not others? Memory that you had to be connected to the internet so that it would work? People would never buy such a device. Yet here we are, singing the praises of devices that don't fully work all the time. The real reason for all the cloud stuff is that when everyone is converted and using the cloud, the software Manufacturers will be able to sell us software as a service, and we'll be able to send them money every month. It's a better business model than the "update every 2 years and hope they buy it" software model in use now.

anrabaro
anrabaro

Chromebook is a waste of money what google should do is offer ChromeOS as a alternative bootup OS the same way HP has theirs, your paying the same or higher price for something that does less then a regular laptop or netbook

LarsDennert
LarsDennert

Tied to the net means it's dead on an airplane, dead in the woods. No longer really portable. No thanks. I'll take a windows netbook with an SSD. Sounds like my Droid X has more capability offline than a Chromebook.

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Seems to me that this OS would make a more appealing tablet than mini-laptop type device.

a.portman
a.portman

I built a laptop with PepprmintOS. The base hardware is about 6 years old. As downloaded, Peppermint boots to login in about 15 seconds, less than 30 from power off to desktop ready. It uses GoogleApps and a host of other web apps. With Prisim, you can turn any web app into a desktop app. If you want fast booting, cloud computing that you can still really store things on and print to real paper from, try it.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

... just a bad Google idea. After all not all Google ideas are good. Honestly I wonder why we waste our time even talking about it. Well, I am sick now so I got nothing better to do, but still. So many interesting ideas and use cases people here mentioned. However, why pay that money for a keyboard + browser when you can get a nice netbook or laptop for a similar amount. Regardless of what other people here said the chromebook costs is what makes it useless. Not to mention the future, which seem to be even more grim: Software as a Service has the potential to increase your monthly costs a LOT. So put these on the table and many business and individuals will say no thanks.

jimengel1209
jimengel1209

This would be almost useless in Vermont, where high speed internet is the exception not the norm and 3g is only available in small areas. Plus why would I want to put all my data in the cloud and run the risk of being hacked. Especially since hacking is becoming a large trend lately.

suzgruba
suzgruba

I have ordered a Chromebook for my home portable computer. Can't wait to be rid of Microsoft slow start-ups, constant updates and other annoying stuff! I have been using the Chrome browser for a few months and have all my computers synced and am excited about an alternative to microsoft!

rodcaicedo
rodcaicedo

A Chromebook is just a packed Internet browser with a nice keyboard... not diferent from a PC with Chrome and any supported OS. You can use SSD to mimic the same with your actual machine..

justinm001
justinm001

I boot my Windows 7 laptop up in under 10 seconds, reboot in about 15 seconds, and resume from sleep faster than i can open the lid. A cheap $100 64GB SSD does this for me (crucial C300) and thats just running SATA 2, with SATA 3 on my desktop (and newer laptops) it's even faster. 90% of bootup is the BIOS. Most of the time I'm on the laptop is to do work, not just surf the web. Usually I don't need the internet, A lot of times i'm in the car writing emails and such then when I'm at my hotel or home and have Wifi it'll send all the emails. This saves me from spending $50+ a month on internet hotspot.

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

That happened to me on two postings yesterday. What happened at my end was that hitting "Submit Reply" produced no apparent result - as if the computer had gone off to do something else. Hit it again. Same thing. Gave up after five tries. Returned to the forum appalled to discover five identical postings.

AG4IT
AG4IT

If you are considering Chromebooks but don't want to leave your Windows apps behind, you should look at Ericom AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops ??? and run their applications and desktops in a browser. This means that you can use AccessNow for instant, turnkey web-enablement of most any Windows application. Running entirely within a browser, AccessNow works natively with Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (with Chrome Frame plug-in), Firefox and any other browser with HTML5 and WebSockets support. Ericom???s AccessNow does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices. In addition, IT staff do not have to manage / maintain separate product versions and updates for multiple clients (end-point operating systems) ??? an HTML5 browser is all that is required. For more information, and to download Ericom AccessNow please visit: http://www.ericom.com/html5_rdp_client.asp?URL_ID=708 For a video demo: http://www.ericom.com/AccessNow_Demo.asp?URL_ID=708

mjc5
mjc5

Everyone will always be connected to the net, eh? That is these devices fatal flaw. I have many computers that only connect to the internet when it's time for updates. I have a few that are in use in vehicles. But the folks in the know, simply know that everyone is connected. Would you buy a computer with a hard drive or solid state drive that only worked in some places and not others? Memory that you had to be connected to the internet so that it would work? People would never buy such a device. Yet here we are, singing the praises of devices that don't fully work all the time. The real reason for all the cloud stuff is that when everyone is converted and using the cloud, the software Manufacturers will be able to sell us software as a service, and we'll be able to send them money every month. It's a better business model than the "update every 2 years and hope they buy it" software model in use now.

Slayer_
Slayer_

So for example, can it access network shares on windows and nix machines? Also, does it have a built in media player of any sort. It would be really nice if it can hook up to a network share and play HD movies or something, maybe some netflix. Is any of this possible?

Madsmaddad
Madsmaddad

She has often talked about the possibility of having a laptop, so that she wasn't tied to the desk for all the Home and voluntary activities that use a computer, But I think she would be worried about having the home finances spreadsheet in the cloud. She also uses an Access database as a membership list. I wonder about accessing these files on the Home (XP) PC, and using a cloud application to work on them? As a play I did take her access database and convert it to OpenOffice Base, so I could also go the linux route. I fancy a Chromebook, but will it do these things?

lj011
lj011

major question I will ask is - if I am using this as "kiosk" machine, what my security options are? or how much these machines "record" of private data and how easy is to "clean" your credentials from them ???

lj011
lj011

I foresee this solution to be very interesting as "rentals" or "kiosk" machines. Say you travel and since carrying laptop is somewhat of a "problem", especially on airplanes, you move your info for the travel to cloud and fetch one of these when you need at the spot. For example as machines used at the conferences, conventions, seminars etc... There is a lot of application (not software but business) where you do not have to carry heavy guns, but need to occasionally be in email contact, maybe little chat or use of some online reporting system or blog.... Most of us are already carrying smart phones, so larger keyboard and screen would be just a convenience. Lets see what actual use will be....

laferrieren
laferrieren

Does the chrome book support ssh/telnet going in both directions. Is their a good app such as say putty that will simply work with it. And can you shh/telnet into the chromebook itsleft?

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

To me the most important part of any computer is the screen. I want it big enough in physical dimensions and of appropriate resolution that I can read it comfortably and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL it must NOT be glossy with consequent high reflectivity. Are there any matte screen Chromebooks or have the manufacturers retained their current madness of not producing laptops etc. with matte screens? If some people want gloss screens, give them the option by all means, but please cater for us gloss haters too!

Luke G.
Luke G.

Dear TechRepublic, Would it be possible to get some visible form of acknowledgment that a post is accepted? I click the button and get *nothing* at all to tell me it was accepted. :/

Luke G.
Luke G.

I was one of the beta testers provided with a CR48 Chromebook a short while back. It's fast, does much of what I need, and it was free (can't beat that!). That having been said...Netflix is very important, and although they are working on it, I would wait until the app is available. Offline document editing? Same deal, to me...wait. The Verizon teaser is a nice touch, and it would be nice if they continue providing this with the retail units. It would be nice to be able to install normal Linux apps more easily...but...I can totally see why they can't support this directly in their 'steamroller effect'*-proof vision. (*if it gets run over by a steamroller, you can boot up another one and be right back where you left off) I've been blogging about my experiences with the CR48 on my site, FWIW. http://www.lukegerhardt.com/

crissgoodlookingguy
crissgoodlookingguy

With everything in the IT Industry moving into the Cloud (Windows8, Google, iCloud) working online, in the cloud is going to become the norm. Remember Outlook and other desktop based solutions cost you BiG money in Licensing, Support etc etc Especially in the Enterprise. $29.99 per month or the cost of a Chromebook is a better option by far. Soon people will come into work and either just use their Chromebook, wireless mouse, keyboard and DLNA enabled 24" LED monitor / their Tablet with the same Wireless functionality built-in. When they need to "go mobile" they'll just get up and go... Who wants to be tethered to a desk in the 21st Century? I welcome this rise in mobile and Cloud based computing (remember the Cloud replaces the need for on-site Servers and all the costs incurred from maintaining them. Chromebooks, more powerful SuperPhones, Tablets and better SoC with serious GPU power is definitely the way forwards. re: native applications If it's running native apps you want then remember the underlying Chrome OS is capable and failing that; you can always boot Ubuntu 11+ off a USB. Problem Solved.

Crimson Avenger
Crimson Avenger

Until there is universal, reliable wireless internet access, I can't see it taking off

2U0BGE
2U0BGE

Two questions arise which maybe require answering, they are: How do you connect to a local printer? Is the cloud connection & storage free, or is there a hidden charge in there somewhere

Slayer_
Slayer_

Because it sounds like exactly what I am looking for.

viruser
viruser

This issue should be fixed now. Let me know if you are still having problems.

wlmeng11
wlmeng11

When you login, all of your browsing data is locally encrypted. So they need your Google account password to decrypt it. You can just click the "x" by your icon on the login screen. Alternatively, you could browse in Guest mode, which is just like Incognito in regular Chrome, and erases your history, cookies, cache, etc.

kspurdy
kspurdy

Chromebooks support a very basic terminal: ssh, but no key authentication, only password. Not sure about shell-ing into the book itself! Good question

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

on a computer display should be staked out in the burning desert in the center of an array of parabolic mirrors. I can only assume those displays are cheaper, because they sure don't benefit the customer.

kspurdy
kspurdy

The "test unit" Cr-48s had a notably matte screen. As for the retail units, I believe they may be matte, too: " 12.1" high-resolution, non-glare display ideal for web browsing"

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

We have a strange bug where some posts are posting up to 5 extra times and some posts are hanging. We're working on it - hope to deploy a fix today.

kspurdy
kspurdy

I too received a Cr-48, and agree that Netflix and offline functionality are two (very different) priorities for next features to arrive. As for the Verizon teaser, that seems to be in place for at least this round of retail units.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"If it's running native apps you want then remember the underlying Chrome OS is capable and failing that; you can always boot Ubuntu 11+ off a USB." Assuming the apps you want to run are Linux-based; hardly the case in most workplaces.

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

I just purchased the above on sale for about $150. This is not a plug for HP but it allows me to print remotely from anywhere in the world by sending the document to its own email address (no fees of any kind). Across the continent or across the room - it's all the same.

kspurdy
kspurdy

The printer connection, right now, is handled through Google Cloud Print (http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/p/cloudprint.html), which is, admittedly, a bit wonky: another computer, running Chrome and Windows, needs to be hooked to a printer. In the future, presumably, more printers will support Cloud Print natively (or not). As for the cloud connection and storage, that's the same as if you were using Chrome on any computer: free up to a pretty sizable limit.

roystreet
roystreet

I am giving this thing rave reviews. I purchased it from Amazon (Got free shipping too!) I can't say enough about this unit - I keep telling myself I'm so glad I bought this. I consider it a wise investment. Hope this helps!

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

That happened to me on two postings yesterday. What happened at my end was that hitting "Submit Reply" produced no apparent result - as if the computer had gone off to do something else. Hit it again. Same thing. Gave up after five tries. Returned to the forum appalled to discover five identical postings. [And now, using Edit on this existing posting, I can add that it's just happened again--clicked on Submit Reply, got no response. This time I didn't try again, so when I refreshed the browser this single posting was here, waiting. Hope that helps your diagnosis.]

joels
joels

Printing, scanning and connecting usb devices. I see nothing about that listed. When I use my laptop at home, I'm usually scanning documents, uploading photos to the web from the SD card reader, printing, or accessing files from my SAN. Working on documents and storing them in the cloud is fine, but what about the rest of these basic functions?

zdnet
zdnet

"When I use my laptop at home" Don't think of chromebook as home laptop or desktop replacement - the comparison with a tablet is much more informative... This tread reminds me of what many were saying about iPad / tablet 15 months ago... The difference is that Google are attempting (q. admirably in my humble opinion) to give businesses, schools, and ordinary folk a device that just works like a browser, doesn't constantly nag about all sorts of technical stuff and if it breaks or fails all your digital resources are safe in the cloud, available from almost any Internet connected device.

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