Chromebooks continue to be a tough sell for some folks: Why buy a computer that does less than similarly priced Windows machines? You can always run the Chrome web browser on another computer to get much of the experience you’d get with a Chromebook after all.
But Chrome OS is a case study of less-can-be-more. The browser is the most important app for many folks, and it’s an increasingly powerful tool at that, with a growing number of web apps that you can run online or offline to perform PC-like tasks including editing documents and media or playing games.
Meanwhile, Chrome OS is designed to be fast, simple to use, and relatively secure since apps are sandboxed in a way that makes it very difficult to install malware. Meanwhile, Chromebooks sync most of your important data with the cloud, which means you can pick up where you left off on another machine.
Here’s a roundup of tech news and opinion from around the web.
- In defense of Chromebooks
GigaOm’s Kevin Tofel is a card carrying member of the Chrome OS fanclub, and he’s penned a rather interesting response to folks who dont’ seem to understand why anyone would want to use Chrome OS. The short answer: It’s not because it does more… it’s because it does less (like less waiting for Windows Update, scanning for viruses, etc). [GigaOm]
- iPad mini Retina has the same chip as the iPad Air, but it runs *slightly* slower
The iPad mini with Retina is basically a smaller, cheaper iPad Air. But while it has nearly identical hardware, the Apple A7 chip in the smaller tablet is clocked at 1.3 GHz instead of 1.4 GHz. [TechCrunch]
- Fedora 20 “Heisenbug” beta released (Linux)
The first beta of Fedora 20 comes on the heels of the 10th anniversary of this open source operating system, and includes support for ARM as a primary architecture, enhanced cloud and virtualization tools, and more. [Fedora/Red Hat]
- Microsoft releases Surface 2 software update to improve performance, battery life
Microsoft’s new Windows RT tablet should now get better battery life and improved wireless, camera, and audio performance. [The Verge]
- Google Glass Explorer Program is now letting anyone (in the US) request invites
Waiting for someone to invite you to join Google Glass Explorer program? Now you can Request an invite from Google. Just be prepared to sit on a waiting list for a while… and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever actually move off the list and into the ranks of Glass Explorers. [Google]
- NVIDIA compares its DirectStylus with a standard capacitive stylus (video)
The NVIDIA Tegra Note may not have an active digitizer, but this video shows that it does support palm rejection and pressure-sensitive input. [YouTube]
- Status update on ReactOS, the crazy project to build an open source, Windows clone
This thing’s been in development forever, kind of looks like Windows 2000, and doesn’t run as many Windows apps as you’d like — but it’s still kind of fascinating from a technical standpoint, if not a practical one. [Slashdot]