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Chrome OS Lives: New Chromebook And 'Chromebox' Debut

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, May 29, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Chrome OS lives: New Chromebook and 'Chromebox' debut - Gadgetbox on msnbc.com (click for full article)

    "Hot on the heels of the new version of Chrome OS come two new pieces of hardware from Samsung: an updated Series 5 Chromebook and a "Chromebox," which Google is hoping will sell as a low-cost desktop or media device. The new gear won't be toppling any empires, but it is handsome and possibly practical.


    The new Series 5 550 laptop isn't any bigger, but adds much-needed horsepower in the form of a new Intel Core processor and 4GB of RAM. It also has an improved webcam and a much more modern video-out port: the new one will work with HDMI, DVI or VGA, which means it should be easy as pie to connect to a monitor or T


    There's been a significant but not drastic redesign: more squared-off corners, a handsome slate finish,and an aluminum palm rest. The trackpad has been "built from the ground up" for the new laptop.


    Unfortunately the improved processor results in a slightly lower running time: 6 hours versus 8.5 on the old Series 5. And the build changes have added a third of a pound to the weight; it's now 3.3 pounds. But the trade-off is almost certainly worth it. It's available now for $449.


    The Chromebox is a "compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office." It's a bit underpowered compared to most tower desktops, but the price is right at $349. It too has a new Intel Core processor and 4GB of RAM, but it also has three display ports (good for multiple monitors or connecting to a TV) and a ton of USB ports.


    Shipping with the new hardware is the new version of Chrome OS, which features a more desktop-like interface complete with task bar and desktop. They're adding deep support for Google Drive as well, including offline access, so your files will be available whether you're online or not.


    Google is constantly updating the software, and new features are already on the way. But the addition of more up-to-date hardware makes the Chrome OS device family a bit more realistic for budget-minded buyers. More information can be found at Google's blog post."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google's Chromebox: A better business play? | ZDNet (click for full article)

    "Google and Samsung have launched new Chromebooks, which feature the latest Chrome OS, and an interesting desktop play dubbed the Chromebox.


    The Chromebook overhaul features better hardware, revised software and improved handling of cloud documents. CNET's Stephen Shankland has the hits, runs and errors with the Chromebook. In a nutshell, Google's Chromebook is improved, but still out of the mainstream.


    However, the Chromebox could be an interesting corporate play as well as a way to dabble with the Chrome OS. Google's Chromebox is akin to an Apple TV or Roku box form factor. The price tag is too high at $329, but you see where this could be headed: Cloud desktops for $199 and below. "
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google Chrome Blog: Next step in the Chrome OS journey (click for full article)

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | 12:00 PM

    Last year we announced
    a new kind of computer
    This is the next step


    All of you haiku fans (like many of us on the Chrome team) can stop here; the rest can read on for more details.


    A year ago we introduced a new model of computing with the launch of Chromebooks. We've heard from many of you who've enjoyed the speed, simplicity and security of your Chromebooks at home, at school or at work. (Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and stories!) Today, we wanted to share some developments with you-new hardware, a major software update and many more robust apps-as we continue on our journey to make computers much better.


    Next-generation devices

    Our partner Samsung has just announced a new Chromebook and the industry's first Chromebox. Like its predecessor, the newest Chromebook is a fast and portable laptop for everyday users. The Chromebox is a compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    HDTV Magazine - HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #533: Amazon, Dishtenna and Google Chromebox

    Google Chromebox


    Google has been making slow and somewhat quiet attempts to enter the Operating System space for a while. The last major concerted effort manifested as a new form of netbooks running the Google Chrome operating system dubbed Chromebooks. These new netbooks were supposed to be a huge hit, but haven't quite taken off yet. Samsung recently announced an upgrade to the Chromebook line as well as a twist on the Chromebook with a new offering called the Chromebox.


    The new Chromebooks from Samsung are higher powered than the previous models and also include an updated version of the Chrome operating system. The new version looks and feels a bit more like a traditional desktop OS, so it should be more intuitive for users. However, it inherits the same primary gripe: Chrome assumes constant connection to the Internet. Without an Internet connection, Chromebooks are very, very crippled. That makes them tough to use on the road - which is how many people use their Laptops and Netbooks.


    The new Chromebooks also cost more than you'd expect. When you consider the limitations, you'd think a Chromebook would seek to beat every other Netbook on the market by price. That just isn't the case. The new models start at $449. Sure that's quite a bit less than a full laptop, but it isn't a full laptop. That isn't much less, and is in fact a bit more expensive in some cases, than other Netbooks on the market running Windows or Linux. Shouldn't the ChromeOS at least cost less than a Windows version?


    A smaller, fixed location version of the device, however, could make sense. When we first read about the Chromebox, we assumed it would fall somewhere between the media streamers of the world like the Apple TV or Roku and the Nettops that never quite took off. We didn't think it would be a Mac Mini competitor, nor did we think it would displace full desktop PCs. The price of $329 seems to put it right in that range, just between streamers and full computers.


    The concept behind the Chromebox, however, leads us to believe Google wants it to be more like a Nettop or PC replacement than a media streamer for your home theater. In fact, Google's quote at chrome.blogspot.com is: "Chromebox is a compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office." The box has two USB ports and a headphone jack on the front and 4 more USB ports, an Ethernet jack, a DVI port and two DisplayPort++ outputs on the back. All the makings of a "just add KVM" device.


    The first thing that struck us from a Home Theater perspective is the lack of an HDMI port. Sure the DisplayPort++ outputs support HDMI, DVI, or VGA, but to get them to use an HDMI TV, you'd need to bring your own adapter. Not a great out of the box experience. The second issue is the total lack of audio output options. Sure there's a headphone jack in the front, but where will you get a 5.1 or 7.1 audio stream from? Those two items alone remove the $329 device from serious consideration for your home theater. Of course the price is a bit high as well.


    Admittedly, it would be odd for Google to compete with itself, marketing the Chrombox against any potential dedicated Google TV devices that may pop up in the future to replace the failed Logitech Revue. But at the same time, if you could get a full featured HTPC, in the form factor of a media streamer, for the reasonable price of $329, it would be worth taking a look. Building an HTPC can be costly. Nettops tend to be underpowered to run as HTPCs, so the Google Chromebox could have filled a niche. Granted a very small niche, but a niche nonetheless. And Google still needs to find a way to get SageTV back out to the masses.


    So what good is a Google ChromeOS based PC? Great question. We're asking ourselves the same thing. Google is responsible for all software updates and security patches on the device, so the IT overhead is greatly reduced. If there are companies out that that are Google Docs based, or otherwise use mostly web available or SaaS based software to run their business, the device could work as a simple desktop replacement. As a home computer for kids, so you don't have to worry about viruses and malware, it could make sense as well.


    While the Chromebox concept got us excited when we saw the first article about it, our excitement quickly fizzled when we did a little further reading. Sure there might be some great uses for it, but we're not seeing them in the Home Theater. We'll still have to wait for Google to bring a device to market that provides SageTV functionality for TV viewing, recording and streaming, along with the web enabled features of Google TV. It could make for a killer home theater device.
     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article in my previous post about the pros and cons of using the new Chromebox as a home theater PC (hooked up to the TV). Also maybe kind of like a low cost Mac Mini? However the bottom line is it's not really a good HTPC - and I don't think that was Google's intention.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Can We Go Chrome Now? - IGN (click for full article)

    "This week Google announced and released the latest Chromebook and Chromebox, a laptop and desktop that are both small, lightweight, and run Chrome OS, Google's desktop operating system.


    The two computers are unique featherweights when compared to the likes of Ultrabooks or small form-factor desktops. What they lack in hardware muscle they make up for in simplicity, boasting a smartphone/tablet-style app store, a quick app-driven OS, and nothing but 'net.


    Software: Chrome OS, Apps, and the Chrome Web Store

    If you want to get a sneak peek at Chrome OS, look no further than your Chrome desktop browser. The browser is just about all you use in Chrome OS, so if you (like many of us) live on Chrome, Chrome OS will feel like home."
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012

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