The New Google Chromestick!

Google/Asus ChromebitDo you have an HD TV? Do you want to turn it into a Chromebook-like computer? Now you can!

Google And ASUS Launch The $85 Chromebit, A Chrome OS Desktop On An HDMI Stick

TechCrunch – By: Frederic Lardinois – “Earlier this year, Google and ASUS announced the Chromebit — a full Chrome OS-based computer on an HDMI stick. Today, the two companies are officially launching this new way of using Chrome OS on any screen with an HDMI port.

The $85 Chromebit is a 75 gram (or 2.6 ounces) stick that you can plug into any HDMI port — whether that’s a regular computer screen or that large TV in your living room. It comes with 16GB of onboard storage (in the form of relatively cheap and slow eMMC storage) and 2GB of RAM.

In many ways, it’s a larger, bulkier version of the old Chromecast stick. Just like that device, it comes with a dedicated charger, but unlike the Chromecast, it also features a USB port. The Rockchip-based Chromebit comes in ‘Cacao Black’ and ‘Tangerine Orange,” but overall, it’s a pretty unassuming device that’s mostly meant to disappear behind your screen anyway (hence why I’m not sure why there is an orange version).

While most people will likely want to use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to connect to the Chromebit, the USB port allows you to plug in wired peripherals as well (and with a USB hub, you could even plug in multiple devices).

Because it’s a full Chrome OS machine, you can pretty much run any web app on it. It’ll let you play movies and TV shows from Google Play, Netflix or Hulu, just like any other Chrome OS device, for example.

You could probably use the Chromebit as a somewhat cumbersome media center in your living room if you wanted to, but it’s really at home in a school, enterprise, or maybe call center. As long as the work only involves web apps (or maybe a remote connection to a more fully-featured machine), the Chromebit is up for the job and can turn any screen into a usable desktop. It’s also an option if you want to turn any modern screen into a single-app kiosk in a hotel or store, for example.

Google provided me with a review unit, and in the short time I had to test the device, it performed quite well. Don’t expect blazing performance from the quad-core Rockchip SoC that powers the device, but it’s perfectly usable.

In the U.S., the Chromebit will be available at Amazon, Fry’s and Newegg (interestingly, Google’s usual Chrome OS partner Best Buy isn’t part of this initial list of vendors). It’ll also be available in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.

Google for Work and Education customers can also opt to add the new single-app kiosk mode option for $24 per user and year, available through CDW in the U.S. and Canada.”

Long Battery Life Promised for New HP Chromebook

HP Chromebook 14The Chromebook 14 by HP looks nice!

HP Chromebook 14 promises over 9 hours of battery life per charge

Slashgear – By: Shane McGlaun – “HP has launched its next generation Chromebook called the Chromebook 14. The new computer is aimed at giving users a premium experience with HD screens and long battery life in a thin computing platform with colorful designs. The machine is offered in turbo silver and sky blue colors and starts at 3.94 pounds making it very portable.

The Chromebook 14 is 17.8mm thick and can run for up to 9 hours and 15 minutes per charge with an HD screen. The screen measures 14-inches and buyers can opt for the optional Full HD IPS screen. The Chromebook 14 supports video apps like Hulu or Netflix and the machine can be connected to the TV for viewing content on a bigger screen via a Chromecast device.

Chromebook 14 is fanless for silent operation and uses an Intel Celeron N2840 processor. It comes with 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage and has a USB 3.0 port, dual USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, and a microSD card reader.

The USB 3.0 port supports sleep and charge for connected gadgets. Internal storage is 32GB and buyers get 12 free Gogo in-air internet passes, three free Google Play movie rentals, and 90-days of free Google Play music. HP will start shipping the Chromebook 14 on November 8 for $249.99 and the Full HD versions starts at $279.99.”

Turn Your Old Laptop Into a Chromebook!

Neverware’s CloudReady Linux distro can turn any old laptop into a Chromebook!

Neverware’s CloudReady

“Broad Hardware Support

Support for almost any computer, with dead-simple installation.

Streamlined Performance

Lightweight install, great performance & automatic updates on machines up to 8 years old.

Linux, Like Never Before

With industry leading design and Google’s cloud services, CloudReady raises the bar. You don’t have to settle if you want a headache-free Linux distribution. CloudReady is an alternative to other Linux distributions that gives you a clean, modern, and unobtrusive desktop.

Integrated throughout the OS is the full potential of Google’s cloud services, from Drive to Docs. Your settings, apps, and files follow you to any machine, and everything else gets out of the way.

Broad Hardware Compatibility

Chromium was designed to run only on specific Chromebook hardware. CloudReady makes it run on virtually any machine by providing a single installer image with broad driver support and compatibility fixes.

We’re constantly improving CloudReady’s support for all the most common graphics, wifi, trackpad, and even hot-key functionality. It’s easy to install CloudReady and start using it right away. No headaches; no configuration, no expertise needed.

Streamlined Performance

CloudReady only runs one thing: a browser. This makes for a bloat-proof and lightweight OS that can keep machines up to 8 years old fast and responsive.

You don’t need to get a new machine to experience a market-leading OS or get reliable performance. CloudReady works on the computers you already have and lets cloud-services do the heavy lifting.”

The Rumors of Chrome’s Death are Premature!

Just in time for Christmas sales, the Wall Street Journal predicted the death of Chrome OS in favor of Android. Needless-to-say that was not received well by Google!

Chrome OS is here to stay

Google Chrome OS Blog – By: Hiroshi Lockheimer – “Over the last few days, there’s been some confusion about the future of Chrome OS and Chromebooks based on speculation that Chrome OS will be folded into Android. While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there’s no plan to phase out Chrome OS.

With the launch of Chrome OS six years ago, we set out to make computers better—faster, simpler and more secure—for everyone. We’ve since seen that vision come to life in classrooms, offices and homes around the world. In fact, every school day, 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in U.S. classrooms—that’s more than all other education devices combined. And more than 2 million teachers and students in more than 150 countries have the Share to Classroom Chrome extension, which launched in September and gets students onto the same webpage, instantly. Meanwhile, companies such as Netflix, Sanmina, Starbucks and of course Google, are using Chromebooks given the ease of deployment, the ability to easily integrate with existing technologies, and a security model that protects users at all levels, from hardware to user data. (Chromebooks are so secure you don’t need antivirus software!) IT administrators can manage tens of thousands of Chromebooks through a single web console, making them ideal for both classrooms and the workplace.

For everyday use, we’re proud that Chromebooks are continually listed as a best-selling laptop computer on Amazon.com. In an effort to make computing even more accessible, earlier this year we introduced the first $149 Chromebook—a fast, affordable laptop. And in the next couple weeks the Asus Chromebit will be available—an $85 device that turns any display into a computer so you can replace your old desktop with an affordable computer the size of a candy bar, or let businesses transform a billboard into a smart digital sign.

This year we’ve also worked to redefine the different forms Chrome OS can take, introduced the first designated Chromebook for Work, and brought more of your favorite Android apps to your Chromebook via Apps Runtime on Chrome (a.k.a. ARC). But there’s more to do. We have plans to release even more features for Chrome OS, such as a new media player, a visual refresh based on Material Design, improved performance, and of course, a continued focus on security. With our regular six-week software cycle and guaranteed auto-updates for five years, Chromebooks keep getting better over time. Finally, stay on the lookout for dozens of new Chromebooks in 2016.”