Thought $199 was cheap for a Chromebook? Or how about $179 for a Chromebox? Get ready, because the race to the bottom for a Chrome OS device has not even started. Found within the code for the backbone of Chrome OS is support for a low-end processor with the source being MediaTek. Low-end means that the prices would drop; however, do know that performance would also drop. Currently, there are Chromebooks out there that experience problems with multiple tabs being opened at once. That is why Intel stepped forward to support the operating system with quality processors at decent price points. That company has backed Chromebooks with its Bay Trail, Celeron, and Haswell processors.
At Google I/O last week, Google announced that Chromebooks would soon be able to run Android apps — which ones? Well, according to Google, that’ll be up to you.
While we can’t expect Google and developers to make all of our favorite apps available on both platforms, we can certainly ask.
Until now, there has been no way to own a desktop running Chrome OS. The only similar option would be to purchase a Chromebox and hook it up to a sizable monitor. With the new Chromebase, there is an affordable Chrome OS desktop. On Amazon, LG’s Chromebase costs $329, down from $349. It ships with the all-in-one monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
Specifications for the LG Chromebase are pretty good considering the price. The 22-inch display has 1080p resolution and inside is an Intel Celeron processor (2955U) with 2GB of RAM. The RAM is a little iffy, but we’re sure not everyone is throwing a whole lot at a Chrome OS device. There is also a 16GB solid-state drive (SSD), but the cloud will be backing up this machine with the included 100GB of Google Drive storage. On the rear is one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and even an ethernet port.
Sundar Pichai took the stage again at Google I/O to let us know what Google has up its sleeves for Chromebooks and Chrome OS.
Today, Google has 8 OEMs making 15 different Chromebook devices (with more coming), available in 28 different countries.
Pichai even noted that all 10 of the top 10 rated laptops on Amazon are all Chromebooks. Not too shabby. There’s even been a 6x growth of use of Chromebooks in K-12 schools in the past year.
Google will be adding more to Chromebooks and the Chrome OS in order to make sure these trends continue.
Multi-user support on Android tablets is a very attractive feature, allowing administrators to create accounts for others who live in their homes, and even restrict access to specific apps/settings on those alternate accounts.
Now, Google will be bringing a similar feature to Chrome OS, called “Supervised Users.” Chromebook and Chromebox owners will be able to set up secondary accounts on their Chrome OS devices. These secondary accounts will not require an associated Google account, and the administrator will be able to view the supervised users’ browsing history and put limits on web surfing.
Source: +Francois Beaufort
Some recent forays into the code for Chromium reveal a project called Athena that could be a new touch-optimized interface for Chrome OS. While Google could just be working on a major facelift to their Ash interface that has been used for a couple years now, it does appear Athena could open the door to Chrome OS being deployed on a smartphone or tablet.
In early May, information surfaced suggesting that Google was toying with the idea of allowing offline playback for movies to Chromebooks. Today that information becomes a reality as Google took to Google+ to announce that there was a new app in the Chrome Web Store available allowing just that. With the app you’ll be able to watch movies and TV on your Chromebook regardless of having an Internet connection.
The icing on the cake includes info cards, and improved Chromecast support. This is on top of the local playback experience in the Chrome web browser. So if you’re on a Chrome OS device head over here to get access to offline movies and much more.
source: +Google Play
For quite some time, there has been rumblings that Google would eventually merge Chrome OS (or Chromebooks) with Android. Fuel has been added to the fire as a Google patent shows a mystery laptop with a smartphone built-in that can be detached. The patent was submitted way back in September 2012 and granted just this February.
The idea of it all is very simple. The smartphone would send over its data to give the laptop some function, especially considering a Chromebook is designed for a wireless connection. Think back to the Motorola Atrix and things look familiar. The smartphone would dock into a laptop, but in that case the interface of the Atrix was mirrored. With this patent, it may simply mean a wireless connection transfers over.
Earlier today Google and Intel unveiled a number of Chromebooks, but there was also another tidbit. Chrome OS is going to get the ability to play Google Play content offline. Google Play Movies will be the first, but we suspect Play Music will be added at some point as well. Look for this new feature to be available in the coming weeks.
The Chromebook scene will be getting more crowded after today. Lenovo is the first company to unveil some new devices running Chrome OS. Here we have the N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook, the latter of which features a touch-enabled display. Both of them are 11.6-inch displays with a 1366×768 resolution.
Inside is an Intel Celeron processor based on Haswell microarchitecture. The maximum storage available will be 16GB and RAM will top out at 4GB. For these maximum specifications, though, you will obviously be paying more than the starting price.
On the sides, Lenovo gives you a ton of ports. There are two USB ports, one HDMI port, and an SD card slot. While the non-touch N20 Chromebook is your run-of-the-mill Chromebook, the N20p Chromebook’s display can be folded back to be put into Stand Mode (or Tent Mode as Lenovo calls it on PCs). The N20 Chromebook will arrive in July starting at $279 and the N20p Chromebook will carry a $329 price tag in August.
Hit the break for the full press release.