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.
- Canalys: Tablets and Chromebooks the new hotspots for growth in the PC market [Canalys]
A few weeks after Gartner and IDC released their latest reports on global PC shipments, Canalys weighs in. Overall shipments up 23% year-over-year, with Chromebooks up a 122% and tablets up 43%. Chromebooks are still less than 10% of the market though.
- Qualcomm receives U.S. permission to sell 4G chips to Huawei in exception to ban [Reuters]
Qualcomm gets permission from the US government to sell some chips to Huawei again… but so far only the 4G chips that Huawei uses in cheaper phones, which could have limited impact when the industry is transitioning to 5G.
- 14 Linux Distributions You Can Rely on for Your Ancient 32-bit Computer [It’s FOSS]
Several popular GNU/Linux distros have gone 64-bit-only in recent years. But if you’ve got an older PC that you want to run up-to-date software on, there are multiple options that still support 32-bit architecture, including Debian, OpenSUSE, and MX.
- Pine64 update: PinePhone KDE Community Edition, RK3566 boards, and more [Pine64]
Pine64 plans to use Rockchip RK3566 chips for upcoming non-Pro Pine64 devices. It’s a 2 GHz ARM Cortex-A55 quad-core processor with Mali-G52 graphics and support for up to 8GB of RAM. Expect two single-board computers in 2021. You can read about the company’s latest updates plus plans for next year in this monthly roundup.
- PinePhone KDE Community Edition up for preorder in December
Possibly one of the biggest stories in this month’s Pine64 roundup is the announcement that the next PinePhone Community Edition will ship with KDE Neon, an Ubuntu-based operating system featuring the Plasma Mobile user interface and a suite of convergent apps based on the Kirigami and Maui frameworks that enables the same app to transform to fit mobile or desktop displays. Plasma Mobile is still
- Video: KDE Neon with Plasma Mobile on the PinePhone [Linux Smartphones]
A day after flashing a microSD card with KDE Neon and sharing a few pictures of the OS in action on my PinePhone, I decided to spend a little more time with the OS and shoot a short video. I’m glad I did, because, well, see above.
Keep up on the latest headlines by following Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook.
You can also find the latest news about open source phones by following our sister site Linux Smartphones on Facebook and Twitter.
I have a Pixelbook Go that I’ve been using for 6 months. Completely replace my Macbook Pro. This thing is great.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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