Posted: January 28, 2014

Double Click

Last week, I focused on the features offered by Google’s Chromecast. I so enjoyed the column that I purchased the device for use in my own household.

After the install completed — which took less than ten minutes — we were watching streamed shows immediately.

Unfortunately, when I went to the local big-box store to purchase it, another Chrome item caught my eye. I bought it. This item is another Google product, named Chromebook. Yes, Google has a theme: The browser is called Chrome; as the Chromebook relies on the Chrome browser as its operating system, thus the name.

The Chromebook resembles a notebook computer. It is slimmer and lighter than a regular Windows notebook and mine has an 11-inch monitor, basically making it smaller all around.

I can surf the Internet, use email, play games and do things online. One big difference with a Chromebook is the online component. Some functions can be performed without an Internet connection; however, in order for everything to operate properly, the Internet must be used. Chromebook is a cloud-based device, meaning that everything is stored on or taken from the web. Another difference is that the devices do not have an internal hard drives; they instead have small internal solid state drives, or SSDs. The one I purchased has only a 16 GB drive — the same as my phone.

Since Google created Chromebook, a storage system — called Google Drive — has also developed. Drive offers 15 GB of storage. To understand the amount of space, consider all of the columns I’ve written since Jan. 2002 —  more than 1,100 — take up only 109 MB of room; that is less than 1 percent of 15 GB.  

You can also store photographs and any other files. Google offers a deal in which you receive 100 GB free cloud storage for two years; anything beyond that 100 GB costs $4.99 per month, currently.

Or, I can store files on a thumb drive. I would prefer not to purchase online storage, but rather save documents easily on the SSD.

Since Chromebook runs on the Chrome browser, it has an Internet feel to it, with which most everyone is familiar, so it’s easy to use.  Google Docs serves as the online replacement for Microsoft Office and effectively emulates its features and capabilities.

I will use it to write my columns for the foreseeable future, since I usually write while on the road. As long I am connected to Wi-Fi, I can do most everything I need to.

Contact Ron Doyle at

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