When the first Chromebooks launched more than a decade ago, it was probably fair to say that they shipped with a browser-based operating system designed to run web apps. But in the years since then, Google has built a lot of additional functionality into the operating system and added optional support for Android and Linux apps. Meanwhile web apps have only gotten more powerful and versatile.

All of which is to say that every time I write about a Chromebook that costs more than $400, some folks ask why anyone would spend money on such a thing. So it makes some sense that Google appears to be planning to build out its Chromebook brand to help identify mid-range and premium models with better specs and performance for more demanding tasks. But Kevin from About Chromebooks argues that the solution Google appears to be planning isn’t solving the real branding problem: letting people know that there’s a reason premium Chromebooks are a thing in the first place.

Google

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

Why Chromebook X branding is the wrong approach for Google [About Chromebooks]

Google is allegedly planning to roll out Chromebook X branding to differentiate mid-range and high-end Chromebooks from entry-level models. But the bigger challenge might be battling misconceptions about what Chromebook is.

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23486 [Microsoft]

Microsoft leans into passkeys with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23486 – users can now use Windows Hello to login to any website or app that supports passkeys, allowing you to login with your face, fingerprint, PIN, or phone.

Pixel Tablet may be getting a stylus and keyboard, according to a Google app [Android Authority]

Google has done a lot of work to make Android more tablet-friendly in recent years, including adding better stylus support. While the new Pixel Tablet supports USI 2.0 pens, Google doesn’t offer its own. But official Pixel Tablet pen & keyboard accessories could be on the way.

Windows 11 vs. Linux Gaming Performance On The ASUS ROG Ally [Phoronix]

You can play games reasonably well on an Asus ROG Ally handheld gaming PC running Ubuntu Linux, but WiFi and audio are still buggy and Windows users can still get better performance in Turbo mode.

Nate from Gadgetonomie bought that 8 inch mini-laptop that showed up at AliExpress recently. It’s a mixed bag: performance is decent, battery life is awful, the keyboard layout is annoying and software seems buggy. 

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with the latest open source mobile news by following LinuxSmartphones on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Chromebook itself is a great brand, why splinter it, especially with a connotation heavy X, bad move. Google can provide a range of 3 premium badges and accord these 3 corresponding levels of premium previleges on its servers and support.

  2. Completely off topic:

    Brad, I wish to ask you in email about something off topic. I don’t want to use your web form, because it says that I can not click the box that says ” I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to my inquiry”, I don’t want to check it for privacy reasons, but I’m afraid it wont go through.

    Are you willing to provide a contact email so I can get in touch with you? It’s about your site. Sorry to use this article to contact you, don’t know of any other way. And no, the email addy I use to post these replies are not my real email.

    justsomeone1.

    1. FYI, that box just means that there’s literally no way for me to reach out to you unless you give me your email address. For somewhat obvious reasons I’d prefer not to post my email address in a publicly visible space.

      But if it makes you feel any better, I use the free version of WPForms Lite for that contact box. It doesn’t actually save any information you enter into our database. It just processes the info you submit and forwards it to me as an email. Nothing is saved on our server.

  3. I don’t know if this was cleverly timed marketing on Google’s part, but it came to light in the last week that there is supposedly a major vulnerability baked into Linux called io_uring that apparently opens up a major attack surface on modern linux distros, and is so new that there are no known mitigations as yet. And as such, Google has disabled io_uring on chromebooks, so I suppose that might be the only advantage right now to having a chromebook.

    io_uring is enabled on my Fedora machine. The only way to fix it is to compile it out of the kernel, and I’m not that advanced of a user.

    Am I allowed to post a link? For reference: https://www.phoronix.com/news/Google-Restricting-IO_uring

    Just wanted to put the word out. I don’t know how serious it is, but as yet there is really no fix. 🙁

    1. Selfishly I love it. Bought a (4GB) Samsung Chromebook 3 for $30, removed the write protect screw, flashed UEFI and running arch. It works great.

  4. High end Chromebooks remain a solution looking for a problem, which might not exist at all. No amount of marketing and rebranding can solve this dilemma.

    1. Strong agree. Higher end laptops are for gaming, compiling, and photo and video editing. You cant do any of those natively on a chromebook. You have to essentially do it in a vm via android or linux. Additionally chromeOS updates are finite. Windows or real linux updates are not.

      Cheap chromebooks are great for what they are. EOL chromebooks are great to pickup second hand for cheap if you can unwrite protect them and install linux/windows. Normal mid to high end chromebooks are silly.

      1. I’m pretty sure that high end chromebooks are intended for people who grew up using chromebooks in school, and couldn’t imagine using any other operating system.
        I would still encourage such people to branch out and try something else, for a variety of reasons.

    1. Is that the reason why I’m finding so many lewd AI deepfake pics of myself online whenever I Google my name?