Chromebook

Chromebook Pixel – A Bad Idea?

Chromebooks have been a bit of a mixed bag for many people. Some users love the idea of a lightweight, browser-focused operating system, and others feel like a computer that just runs browser apps is a waste of money. When Chromebooks occupied the $199-$300 space, they fit a niche as a lightweight “secondary machine”. Yesterday Google branched out in a shocking new direction, announcing the touchscreen, high-resolution, Chromebook Pixel. A touchscreen Chromebook is big news all by itself, but the price is really generating buzz. At $1,299 for the WiFi model, is Google overestimating the appeal of ChromeOS? The Gear…


2012, the Year the Netbook Died, a Eulogy

It’s been widely reported over the web that Acer and Asus are pulling out of the netbook market as of today effectively ending the netbook as a viable platform.  It says a great deal when Asus, who practically invented the netbook, has said they are done.  I write not to bury the netbook but to praise it for what it was: a great and cheap way to get things done on the web. I remember the very first netbook, the Asus EeePC 701.  It wasn’t the most powerful thing out there.  It had a 900 MHz Celeron, 7 inch screen…


Lessons Learned from a Week of Road Tripping

Sarah and I have had a busy summer, but the big finale was definitely this past week. We started out Labor Day weekend, where we headed to Virginia, before returning to New Jersey for a day and then heading to Maine for a friend’s wedding. Lots of travel, lots of packing, lots of gear. What did we learn? Read on to see our hard-earned lessons and tips! Technology: Let’s start with travel gear. I opted to travel light to VA since we were driving to Richmond, then Virginia Beach for a race, then back to Richmond and then finally home….


A Gear Diary Quick Tour of Chromebook

It is easy to forget in the flood of Android tablets that Google has another operating system in their quiver-Chrome OS. It has been maligned as “too late” and dismissed as just another netbook option, but it is so much more. If your primary work is in the cloud, especially Google services, and you’re looking for a fast computing option with great battery life, hold off on that tablet purchase. First, watch my quick Chrome OS overview video, then consider this: for $499 you can have a Chromebook with WiFi and 3G. Plus Verizon and Google will throw in MB…


Could This Be the Computer for Your Grandma?

A lot has been said about the iPad and how suitable it could be for people who have never used a computer. Way back during the late 90’s there were many companies attempting to make an appliance computer. That is, a computer that doesn’t require the overhead of a Windows PC, Linux PC or a Mac. Netpliance tried and utterly failed with the iOpener, which was a darling of the hacker community back when a 180 MHz computer was considered acceptable. Other than the iPad and Google’s Chromebooks, others have also tried at bringing the appliance computer to reality; Telikin…


Chromebooks Market Niche Still Mystifies

I’m not sure I understand the Chromebook pricing model. Acer is introducing an 11.6″ Chromebook [Ars Technica] in June, with wifi-only for $350. Samsung’s 12″ model will come with 3G wireless in addition to wifi, and cost $500. I could buy a Gateway dual-core Windows 7 11.6″ netbook today for $330 [Amazon]. The Gateway has 160 GB of hard drive space; the Chromebooks are limited to a much smaller amount of SSD space (16 GB). So, where’s the market for a notebook computer which costs as much as (or more than) a notebook with a known OS? Don’t get me…


One Week with Chrome OS: A Mini-Review

It’s been just about a week since I received my CR-48 Chrome OS netbook. In that time I’ve turned on my Toshiba netbook (running Windows 7) twice, and only used my Macbook to check my email a few times. Otherwise all my home computer use has been on Chrome, including writing posts for Gear Diary. While it is still quite early in my Chrome experience, and the OS is very, very young, I thought I’d share my likes and dislikes thus far…think of it as a mini-review…a miniview! Likes: Getting started is dead easy. Once I did the initial setup…