|By Bob Gourley||
|November 21, 2012 08:45 AM EST||
I recently (finally) received the Google Chromebook in the mail. After over 2 weeks of intense waiting, it is here, and has absolutely matched all of my expectations. The device is thin and light and amazing looking. It is quite and never gets hot, even after extended use. The battery life has easily outmatched the advertised 6 hours, with pretty standard web use and writing (some streaming video and some streaming music as well). After a few hours, I did not want to trade it for anything else, and preferred it to any other laptop I’ve ever had.
I’ve looked at a couple of Ultrabooks, the MacBook Air and tablet/keyboard options, and nothing touches the power, simplicity, weight and price. While the Intel (x86) based ultrabooks and MBA are great, powerful and capable, they are easily 3 to 4 times more expensive than the Chromebook, a cost which is hard to justify in my mind. I have used the Asus Transformer Prime with keyboard dock, as well the Nexus 7 with Bluetooth keyboard, and neither experience rivals the ease of use and content creation that the Chromebook offers.
The Chrome OS provides the web, unedited. you can use Flash, HTML or whatever, all within the familiar confines of your Chrome browser. Simply linking it to your Google account provides synchronization of bookmarks, open tabs and passwords. Chrome OS regularly updates itself, more like a mobile OS than your Windows or Mac box. You can instantly allow other users “guest access” or have multiple Chrome users, something mobile operating systems are missing right now (yes I know you will be able to provision guest accounts in tablet mode for Android 4.2). I’ve heard many complain about the speed of this little ARM monster. I have not found that an issue myself, because I installed the “block Flash” Chrome extension, and only have to deal with it, when I want to. Netflix is not working right now, either from the browser or the Chrome extension, but Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video have played video without a hitch. Unsurprisingly YouTube looks great (duh) the only thing that will stop you is a slow connection.
The Chromebook has HDMI output, and I displayed 1080p easily on my TV. You could easily use it to control a presentation or just share information on the larger screen (or movie night!). If you need a traveling, writing computer as well as a clutch living laptop, I see the $250 Chromebook meeting your needs. If you are looking for something more (i.e. video/photoediting, gaming), it will let you down. The biggest concern many of you might have now is the inability to install iTunes. There are numerous ways around that, and if you upload your music directly to the Google Music Application you’ll find it accessible on any device.
There are some weaknesses to the Chromebook. If you have too many tabs opened at the same time, it will sometimes reload individual tabs when you switch to them. While it does have offline mode (and syncs well when you go online), if your connection is unstable it can be annoying. While the Chromebook isn’t “For Everyone,” I think most can find use for it, and it will replace most users’ travel or living room needs. I know that it easily replaced the Asus Transformer Prime in my lineup, and think that coupled with either an iPad Mini or Nexus 7 is far superior to any iPad or Android tablet option. Google is transforming computing by bringing the cloud to mobile devices and your living room, in manageable and functional bites.
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
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Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
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