I’ve been obsessed with Chromebooks lately. They’re appealing to me because of their simplicity, and at the same time because they offer an intriguing new concept of computing. For those of you who do not know what a Chromebook is, it’s basically a laptop designed by Google that only has access to the internet, along with a minimal 32GB of onboard flash storage.
What this means to the average person is that this computer does not run Windows, however, for anyone who can use a web browser, it should be an intuitive experience that once you’ve tried, you realise just how effective it is. In order to replicate the experience, I have lived life in a web browser for a while now, and hunted for programs that can be used to deal with video, music and general programs which you take for granted on a fully blown Operating System such as Windows or Linux.
Ok, skip the bull… can you live with a Chromebook?
Well, the simple answer is yes! Unless you’re a dedicated gamer, or require a dedicated high-powered application such as photoshop, then there is no reason why the average man or woman on the street cannot live with a Chromebook.
Think about how often you use your mobile phone for things now, that has replaced a lot of your PC time with you doing everything from streaming music, watching video and even answering emails! If you have a tablet such as an iPad or Android tablet, then there’s a chance your PC is gathering dust for most of you, and you probably only use it now and again.
The Chromebook can be seen as one of these devices but with a keyboard. It looks and acts like a laptop, as most of the time the majority of people only ever have a web-browser open on their machines.
So for the majority of people, a Chromebook would be an ideal computer, no need to worry about viruses or constant windows update,it just turns on in under 10 seconds and away to go!
And what does cloud computing offer?
Just as an example, here are some programs that you can use in a web browser based environment. I’ve chosen some of my favourite ones, which may not always be the best, but are easy to use and do the job perfectly well. All these can be accessed from your Google Chrome App Launcher.
- Google Docs - Word, Excel, Powerpoint are all at your fingertips, these can be opened in Google Docs and if you don’t use them then you can just go ahead and use Documents, Spreadsheet, Presentation and more. What’s more, the documents sync to all your devices so you can start where you last finished off from any machine.
- Google Keep - A neat little notebook that syncs with all your devices.
- Pixlr Editor - A powerful photo editor with layers, filters and much more.
- Pixorial Video - A video editor online! This may be simple compared to some stand-alone editors, however it does the job perfectly for the average person who just wants to edit videos quickly and easily.
- Sumo Paint - Think Microsoft Paint or Paint.Net and you can’t go far wrong. This drawing/art program is powerful and even features layers. You can save your creations as you would on a normal paint program.
The above is just a brief list, but it goes to shows how versatile a browser is these days, and just how anyone can live without a powerful PC. The future is cloud computing no matter what we may think today, so why not embrace it and give these programs a try out (all can be found on Google Extensions).