How to: work with Google Chrome­book

The smart watch the world wants is fi­nally in Aus­tralia, writes Jen­nifer Dud­leyNi­chol­son

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

THE Google Chrome­book, a prod­uct that has been avail­able in the US for more than two years, has fi­nally hit Aus­tralian shelves. But what is it and why would you want one?

The ba­sics

It looks like a cheap lap­top but it’s dif­fer­ent to the style of lap­top you are prob­a­bly fa­mil­iar with. Think of this as the ter­mi­nal that you can use while the main brain of the com­puter is stored else­where. The ma­chine boots up quicker than a Win­dows lap­top, and it is fast and sim­ple to switch be­tween users. A Chrome­book runs on Google’s op­er­at­ing sys­tem, which is called ChromeOS. The Chrome web browser is at the heart of the com­puter. You don’t in­stall pro­grams like you would on a Win­dows-based lap­top, you load apps through the Chrome store. While some Chrome­books have me­mory card slots, you typ­i­cally don’t store your files on the ma­chine. This is a ma­chine that’s made to in­ter­act with cloud stor­age. You start up the ma­chine and ac­cess your files through Google Docs, Gmail or Google Drive. If you plan on trav­el­ling overseas to places where you may not get wi-fi, then this may not be the de­vice for you. But if you’re al­ways on­line, then this is a cheap and very por­ta­ble op­tion. And be­cause your files are stored in the cloud, you don’t lose them if you should hap­pen to lose your Chrome­book.

The models

There are two models coming to Aus­tralia. The Sam­sung Chrome­book ($349) has a VGA cam­era, an HDMI port and two USB ports. It weighs 1.1kg, is 17.5mm thick and prom­ises 6.5 hours of bat­tery life. The Acer Chrome­book ($299) is slightly thicker and heav­ier at 25mm and 1.38kg, has three USB ports, an HDMI port and a me­mory card slot. It prom­ises up to four hours of bat­tery life. Both models have 11.6-inch dis­plays and come with 100GB of Google Drive Cloud stor­age for two years.

RC

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