Why Chromebook Just can’t replace your computer

Google’s Chrome browser is fantastic, when you are casually browsing with it. It feels right because of its minimal design and few clutter. Not offending other browsers but they just bloat the browser screen that gives the worst user interface. Though keeping these things aside, what if I tell you to own a laptop or rather I should say use a laptop that has Chrome. No big deal, right? Adding to the last line, what if I said “Use a laptop that has chrome and nothing else.” Big deal.

Even though we use our laptops basically to browse the web, we are just not going to give up using the full operating system. What does an average person do on the web--Facebook, Email and Twitter. These tasks don’t really require a proper laptop. Operating system→Browser, there is an extra step for reaching web rather in chrome you just boot to a browser, which happens in 8 seconds. This is what Google advertises and wants to sell Chromebook for.

Everything happens in the cloud. It has a basic concept of always connected and always on computer. Though it hasn't been quite anticipated in the market. Google wants you to ditch all the local stuff you do in primitive ecosystem and turn your workflow to apps that work on cloud. Simple.

But a big problem is in the cloud. Bad weathers aren’t invited. Ever. But it can affect your cloud based apps. Good chances are most services can have a downtime while hurricanes like Sandy strike cities like NYC.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/11/acer-c7-620.pngKeep aside the downtime of a service, you got to make sure you are near or are connected to an Internet connection that don’t suck. No big deal for countries like the US, where you can find free Wi-Fi service anywhere--may it be public or private. But in the countries where you cannot, it’s like carrying extra lbs everywhere.

Though Google is making available some of the core applications like Google Docs, Gmail, Image Editor (Pixlr) offline. So even if you don’t have an Internet connection you can use your chromebook quite flawlessly. But the number of offline apps is still limited.

Also, there are way too many shortcomings like streaming 1080p video can hang chromebook a little bit.  Not all chromebooks though hang when streaming clips from YouTube or like services. Series 5 chromebook by Samsung for example is a capable machine but the price is a let-down.

Wifi only version comes cheap as compared to Wifi+3G version. There is near about a difference of $150 between both the devices. So adding $150 for a wireless network is outrageous. What’s the catch? When you’ll get the Wifi+3G version of chromebook, Verizon Wireless will offer you free 100MB of data for every month. Seriously 100 MB, and no typo made.

Okay, another catch is when you’ll buy any of these chromebooks, you’ll be given a free 100GB of cloud storage space on Google Drive for 2 years. Google has done a lot in marketing these chromebooks, but they have seemed to fail every time because this is not what people want right now.

Acer announced a chromebook--C7 Chromebook, which ships at $199. Samsung announced earlier that new chromebook will ship at $249. Cutting prices on a machine that does nothing won’t help.

Google’s own 7” flagship tablet Nexus 7 is priced at $199. Lets compare Acer’s offering to Google’s Nexus 7. Price is the same, Acer has got a keyboard and mouse but Nexus has got a touch screen, a stock android experience, and a very capable hardware. Plus you get a decent 9-10 Hour battery life. Acer’s chromebook has a poor 3.5 Hours battery life.

Nexus 7 just nails every bit of the $199 price. Acer and Google are just overdoing it. Nexus 7 has apps, and you can use it whether Online or Offline. Offline apps work just as well as any online app would work, but always better.

Over time using chromebook can frustrate you. Not being able to compile even a single letter offline is a letdown. You will always wish--if you could add offline support of different file formats.

So if Google wants to sell chromebooks, as they certainly want to do, they need to build a chromebook that not only connects to the Internet but also does support and work with all file formats offline. I would like to see standalone apps of all the services of Google, which they offer, and not the web version which each browser shows by going to the link of that service.

For now, if you are thinking of getting a chromebook, sure you can get one but you’d always wish after getting it that if you could do more. Rather than going for a chromebook I suggest you to go for a Tablet. The time isn't right for Chromebook right now, sure it has a future potential but right now, people want more than web, a feature packed operating system.
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