I find it interesting how the cost of a laptop seems to get cheaper and cheaper, there is word in the industry that manufacturers will drop the price significantly, but then charge a fee for a program on the computer to be activated, which really would be a good idea. That way consumers would only pay for programs they will use.
Really on your computer, do you use every program installed on it?
Last week, Intel announced plans to dramatically increase its commitment to Chromebook, the generally inexpensive Chrome OS laptops designed to work well with the cloud.
Intel plans to release 20 Chromebooks before 2015, including the first devices that will feature 64-bit Chrome OS. Samsung also will release a high-profile Chromebook, Chromebook 2, this year.
With Microsoft ending official Windows XP support in early April, device manufacturers are hedging their bets to figure out where prospective laptop and tablet buyers will go. Windows 8′s lukewarm reception and the lack of built-in keyboards on most tablets have given low-priced Chromebooks an opening in the market.
Chromebooks are powered by Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system heavily streamlined to work with Web applications and the cloud.
The idea is that most users in the market for a cheap PC can be served by a machine that surfs the Web, handles email and has basic productivity software, such as word processing and spreadsheets. Chromebooks, armed with Google’s suite of apps and access to the Web, hit this market.
The big downside to Chrome OS is that the apps available to users are limited to Web apps and websites accessible through the browser, or specific apps made available for specific functions, such as media players or file browsers. Chrome OS cannot run traditional Windows applications. Developers can create apps for Chrome OS, available through the Chrome Web Store (chrome.google.com/webstore), but the selection is limited and isn’t as deep as Windows or iOS.
Other than the operating system, Chromebooks are like any other laptop. They have rechargeable batteries, nice screens, keyboards and built-in storage. Most basic Chromebooks retail in the $200-$300 range, but more expensive models offer premium features and upgraded components for an increase in price.
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