It has been three years since laptops operating on Chrome OS in Cloud option was launched. These laptops popularly known as Chromebook will work without any hard disk, software or operating system but simply with full time Internet connectivity. Chromebook is yet to reach India, probably because the country is not as advanced with regard to Internet. However now the Chromebook called Acer C720 will begin sales in India.
The term Browser Computer is most suitable for this gadget rather than Laptop. A diehard fan of Google Chrome Browser, can blindly buy it. It can perform anything a chrome browser does though nothing more. The Acer C720 has a 11.6 inch display with 1366 X 768 pixels resolution. It also has a 720 pixels webcam. The Chromebook is only meant for people who can manage to remain online all the time. No programmes can be installed in this device since it does not have a hard disk. Required programmes has to be downloaded using the Internet.
Google provides each Chromebook customer 100GB of free cloud storage. Files and folders can be saved in Cloud servers. The manufacturers of Chromebook lists out the advantages of this process. One of the main benefits of not having a hard disk in a laptop is that it will weigh less. The laptop weighs only 1.25 kg. All it carries is a 16GHz memory chip and 1.4GHz dual core processor. Absence of a hard disk also means better battery life. Acer claims that once fully charged, the Acer can be used for 7 hours continuously. There is no need to be wary of a virus attack or spyware since the gadget does not have an OS. Also there is no need to regularly format the system. Chrome also misses a two-minute long booting process, similar to the one in an ordinary computer. Within 7 seconds of switching ON the system, the Chromebook starts its work.
Even if a Chromebook gets stolen, the user can log into another Chromebook and retrieve all data. Though a Chromebook has two USB jacks, webcam, memory card slot and headphone jack, it lacks Bluetooth facility and a DVD drive. By connecting a pen drive, the data in it will appear in a web browser. However not even one file can be copied to the desktop; the simple reason being a Chromebook does not have a desktop. Necessary files have to be saved in Cloud. Google experts who invented the Chromebook say that since the device facilitates the user to select from among thousands of programmes available in the chrome market, there is no need for a separate software.
The laptop facilitates the use of WiFi and 3G. A Dongle is needed to get 3G connectivity. It also has applications like Calculator that works even when offline. Documents and spreadsheets stored in the device’s 16GB memory can be opened even when offline. However it needs to have Internet connectivity to open a new document. One of the main drawbacks of a Chromebook is that no other softwares other than those of Google will work on it. The user has to look for anther device to open Photoshop or Skype.
Another concern is how secure it is to store secret files in Cloud option. It’s price too disappoints Ace Chromebook fans. The laptop costs INR 22,999. At this price there are other brands of laptops with better features. So it does not seem the Chromebook may be able to attract many.