Google have recently launched their own laptop in an attempt to offer an alternative to the might of Microsoft and Apple. The Chromebook will only run one piece of software – Google’s own web browser Chrome with all email, word processing and other applications being operated via online tools. All data will be stored on secure internet servers which Google claim will increase the level of security as your work will be safe even if the laptop is stolen.
The low-cost laptop is the culmination of a six year development and Google say it will be far easier to use than traditional laptop computers with schools and the Government already expressing an interest in them despite mixed reviews in the US.
A potential major pitfall of the technology is its reliance on having an internet connection which restricts it to use only in locations with 3G or WiFi connectivity available. The Chromebook is available with an inbuilt 3G modem as well as WiFi but this is still no use in locations with no connectivity available.
This issue unfortunately detracts from the machines positive aspects such as its ease of use and long battery life. If you are a Google customer setting up the machine is as easy as logging into your Google Mail account, with all your contacts, bookmarks, email and calendars being instantly imported. In addition to this the main laptop operations for most users of web browsing, email and document editing are particularly straightforward.
Overall the Chromebook will appeal to users who are looking for a highly simple and user friendly platform, but those who require the ability to use their laptop away from an area of internet connectivity will have to stick to a standard laptop for the moment at least.