Chromebook – What Makes It Different?

Google's laptop

Techie sites are abuzz over the upcoming release of the new Google Chromebook, retailing at $279.00. Hooray! World peace is at hand! Only 279.00!…You have no idea why this matters do you? Hey, it’s okay. I find keeping up with technology exhausting. One moment the Apple II is king of the world, blink, and it’s in a museum next to the gramophone. Fear not, I’m here to slow things down and get you caught up on the big trend in everything, and what makes it different: Google’s Chromebook.

In regards to its physical design, Chromebook is a sleek laptop, a little heavier than a tablet. This is not unusual. Netbooks are similar in this regard. Cheaper, lower priced lap tops that are smaller, lighter, and for those on the go. Netbooks though are traditional in their internal machinery. You’ll find a standard hard drive bundles with the use usual Windows greatest hits: MS Office, explorer, media center, etc. Google cut the netbook open like a watermelon, scooped out the meaty pink fruit, and sold it at the techno-geek farmer’s market and and laser pistol emporium.

Ah. I know what you’re thinking, “why in the hell would I want a hollowed out watermelon?” Unsurprisingly, I have an answer. This watermelon has received the Google blessing. This watermelon is tripping on another vibration. This watermelon has transcended the earthly confines of its thick, green body. This is a watermelon floating on the cloud.

I think I lost some of you. Here’s a different explanation. Chromebook is minimalist technology. It runs on the Chrome OS which consists of  the chrome browser, media player, and a file manager. Chromebook isn’t bundled with much else, but that doesn’t mean Chromebook is without its own tricks. Google has invested a lot of time in effort into technologies that implement cloud drives. Essentially, a cloud drive is like a computer spirit. It holds information like a hard drive, but it has no physical form. It exists only the internet. In other words, it’s an internet drive (Why people say cloud drive as supposed to internet or web drive is beyond me).

So a Chromebook is designed with the assumption that you are going to spend a lot of time near a wi-fi connection, but Samsung does sell a 3G model (You pay for coverage like a cellphone). With that out of the way, you’re probably wondering how specifically the Chromebook takes advantage of these net-drives(I like that term better). This is where cloud based applications, like YouTube, come in.

But there are lesser known applications like Google Drive. Drive is Google’s answer to the MS Office Suite. It’s not perfect, and their alternative to PowerPoint needs work. However, if word processing is a big part of your day to day life, give it a try (any computer can use Drive). In addition, it allows several people to work on documents collaboratively. From different locations you and your friends can work on a poem or an economics project at the same time, on the exact same file. The free version is 15 GB, and you can purchase more space from Google. If that’s not enough, you can always install DropBox.

What makes ChromeBook different? It anticipates a world where everything will be online, hard drives included. It’s not for everyone one. Security is still an issue, but if you use your computer for a limited range of tasks, most of which can be done online anyway, a Chromebook is worth considering.


Written By David Arroyo

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