Google Unveils Chrome Laptop

Google is introducing a $US279 (N44,556.30)
laptop that runs its internet-centric Chrome
operating system, borrowing many of the high-end
features found in models that cost $US1000 or
more.

Hewlett-Packard Co makes the new HP
Chromebook 11.
Although its price is in line with most other
Chrome OS notebooks, the new model sports
many design features found in pricier devices,
including the $US1,299 Chromebook Pixel.

Unlike Windows and Mac laptops, Chromebooks
rely heavily on continuous internet connections to
run Gmail, Google Docs and other online services.
Many apps don't run directly on the device but
over the internet.

The devices also have relatively little storage, as
documents, photos and other files are supposed
to be stored online.

Google promotes Chromebooks as affordable
laptops for a wide range of people, including
schoolchildren and merchants who can use
Google's tools on the internet without the extra
expense and hassle of installing more
sophisticated software such as Adobe's
Photoshop photo-editing software or Microsoft's
Office word processing and spreadsheet package.
Chromebooks come with a lightweight photo
editing package and Quickoffice, a Microsoft
Office alternative that Google brought in last year.
The Chromebook 11 has a sleek, plastic frame
with no sharp edges or corners – or even screw
holes.

The speakers are tucked under the keyboard so
sound comes out toward the user, even when the
laptop is on the user's lap.
Devices with speakers on the back or the bottom
don't do that.
The new laptop's display measures 29
centimetres diagonally, the same as a popular
Chromebook model from Samsung Electronics.
The Chromebook 11 weighs slightly less, at 1.04
kilograms, compared with 1.09 kilograms for the
Samsung model.

Caesar Sengupta, Google's vice president of
product management for Chromebooks, said HP
approached Google after seeing the Pixel, which
Google designed and made on its own using an
unnamed contract manufacturer.
He said Google and HP made a few trade-offs to
keep the price low.
The Chromebook 11 doesn't have a touch screen,
and the display's resolution isn't as sharp as the
Pixel's.

The Chromebook 11 also uses a plastic frame
rather than metal, but there's magnesium
underneath to keep the laptop sturdy.
There's less storage, too – 16 gigabytes,
compared with 32 gigabytes for the base model of
the Pixel.

In recognition of the growing popularity of
smartphones and tablet computers, the
Chromebook 11 uses the same Micro-USB charger
common in those mobile devices.
Other laptops typically come with their own
charger, which Sengupta described as yet another
item that needs to be packed for weekend trips.
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