May 30, 2012
Google Updates Chrome PC With Quicker Specs, Revamped OS
Google´s Chrome operating system has been updated and the company has released two new hardware options from Samsung that run the web-based OS, but is it worth the effort?
Samsung´s Chromebook Series 5 550 looks the same as the Chromebook Series 5 from last year. However, the 550 has a few important upgrades that Google insists make it a much better value. The netbook retains its 12.1-inch display and 3.3-pound weight, but doubles its RAM from 2GB to 4GB. The 550 also gets a processor upgrade to Intel Celeron dual-core processor, instead of last year´s Intel Atom processor.
Speed is integral to the Chrome experience. The new Chromebook and Chromebox - a small PC that resembles Apple´s Mac mini but requires you to add a monitor, mouse, and keyboard on your own - are built on Intel Core processors, which are 2.5 times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks, with a boot-time of 7 seconds instead of 10, reports PC World´s Melanie Pinola.
However, a shorter battery life rating of 6 hours versus the previous generation´s 8.5 hours, is being reported and the pricing is a bit higher too: $449 for the Wi-Fi version (versus $430 last year) or $549 if you want built-in 3G ($499 last year).
A new user interface allows quick and easy app launching. You can pin commonly-used apps for quick access, display multiple windows side-by-side or experience your favorite apps in full-screen mode without any distractions, Google writes on its Chrome blog.
A Chrome OS is based on the notion of an always-internet-connected operating system. Consumers have so far not felt this was a feature worth clamoring for as it will only “work” when it´s connected to the web, writes Sean Ludwig for Venture Beat.
Chrome´s OS was designed to be used in conjunction with Google Drive making it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Drive will be seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS in six weeks.
With Google Docs offline support (rolling out over the next few weeks), you can keep working on your documents even when offline and seamlessly sync back up when you re-connect. In addition, there are hundreds of offline-capable web apps in the Chrome Web Store.
Many apps work best installed locally on a machine rather than operating through a browser. As such, Chromebook and Chrome OS adoption has not been widespread.