The global pandemic has been hard on everyone… except maybe for PC makers. With more people working and schooling from home, a lot of people have been looking for laptops, tablets, and other devices capable of handling your daily Zoom quota.

That’s been enough to reverse a trend in recent years that’s seen PC shipments shrink while smartphone shipments have continued to rise — although its worth noting that shipments slumped early in the year due to manufacturing delays brought on by the pandemic.

According to the latest research, Chromebook shipments have been surging, with more than twice as many shipped in the third quarter of 2020 as during the same period a year earlier. They still make up a relatively small portion of the overall PC market, but it’s the fastest growing segment.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

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  1. I have 13.3 inch Chromebook that cost less than $200 on Amazon brand new. It does everything I need, without paying more than $1000 for an overpriced 13.3 inch Ultrabook.

    1. I have a refurbished thinkpad that cost $250, like new.
      It is 2x more powerful and durable than any chromebook, it runs Linux and everything I need (and more), it is not turning me into a product, it is not forcing me to sign-in in any remote platform, it is ultra-durable and upgradeable (ram, disk…) and a carbon neutral choice.

      1. Chromebooks are honestly pretty scary. Everyone freaks out when a random Chinese device decides to phone home with some data payload, but we completely ignore Google, and the fact that they harvest far more data than anyone else could even imagine.

        And what do you get?

        A cheap, underpowered machine that runs a browser.
        The only real upside to me seems to be the battery life. But I’d sooner wait for windows on arm machines to become cheaper, and just end up with one of those.

        1. And windows 10 has a keylogger built in, but at least you can turn that off if you know about it.
          But if you buy a windows on ARM machine, that’s like telling microsoft “I am never ever going to install a competing operating system on my machine because the bootloader is probably locked and it’s unlikely anyone else will make an OS image for my machine specifically, so if you decide to screw me over I’ll have spend money on another computer to make it stop”. Same goes for chromebooks really.
          Being able to put up at least some token amount of resistance to corporate dragnet surveillance is more important to me than only being seen in public with an unplugged laptop.