DO you really need Windows anymore? For the past month I've been using a laptop that has no operating system in the traditional sense. There is no software installed on the hard drive and no obvious way of doing the things we take for granted like editing photos or playing music.
The Samsung Chromebook is nothing more than a slim, lightweight laptop with a web browser attached. You fire it up (booting takes less than ten seconds) and launch Google Chrome (hence the name), and do everything via the web.
If this idea sounds incredibly restrictive don't worry, it isn't in the slightest.
Chromebooks run a modified version of
Browsing the internet is a cinch. The hardware is optimised for a pleasant web experience and it really flies. Even complex web pages load quickly and streaming video plays smoothly. Even full HD files run without buffering or break-up - which wouldn't be possible on a Windows 7 netbook with the same hardware.
Basic office needs are covered by
Obviously, they can't touch
IFyou're used to the Office "ribbon" interface there's always
Chromebooks can play your music, too. If you haven't signed up for Google Play's music service yet - what are you waiting for.
It's free and you can store a massive 20,000 tracks in the cloud which can be played back on your Chromebook, any internetenabled computer or Android smartphone.
Apple offers the same thing but it charges an annual fee.
Further functionality is catered for by web apps and extensions. Rather like Android, many of the apps are free and some are better than others.
For photo editing I'd recommend pxlr; if reading is more your bag try Kindle or Kobo; if you prefer a stripped down browsing experience then Pocket should be your app; if you're looking to discover new music you should give Pandora a try or TuneIn if you want thousands of radio stations to listen to. And so it goes.
As you'd expect, there are plenty of games, too, so a Chromebook comes in handy if you need to keep the kids quiet.
And because there's no traditional operating system to corrupt you can forget about viruses and malware, too.
Obviously, you need a robust internet connection, but some apps (such as GDocs and Gmail) work offline so a Chromebook doesn't quiet become a big paperweight if you're not connected.
Finally, a Chromebook is cheap. Very cheap. The Samsung costs about [pounds]230 and the Acer C7 is even cheaper at only [pounds]199.
These little laptops really are the start of something big. In ten years, we'll look back on today's PCs and wonder why we ever bothered with something so slow and clunky.
DO you really need Windows anymore? For the past month I've been using a laptop that has no operating system in the traditional sense.
There is no software installed on the hard drive and no obvious way of doing the things we take for granted like editing photos or playing music.