Display

The display is typically bargain bin stuff, though certainly a step behind the Samsung's panel. The resolution is a ho-hum 1366x768, and the viewing angles are abysmal. My colorblindedness makes it hard to discern the light blue hue that is all the rage in modern operating systems for selected text, but here it is utterly impossible if the vertical viewing angle is off by more than a few degrees. Distortion appears within a few degrees of viewing the display from any horizontal angle, but this isn’t a big screen for showing off your favorite movie; so, we’ll cut it a modicum of slack. It’s a bad display. Unless all you’re going to do is sit right in front of it and type.

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Contrast

Usability

Anand covered the details of Chrome OS before, and I won’t go into any great length here. The limitations of the OS are easy to overlook for anyone that spends most of their time in a browser. Any number of web services can fulfill the role of many standalone pieces of software, both for entertainment and productivity purposes. That includes image manipulation, a must for web publishing, though handling RAW files wasn’t a pretty experience, even with the cloud to help me out. Not all music services have a web player, so there’s some limits there, but there are enough options to choose from.


Chrome OS: Tabs on tabs on tabs

So, there are limits to what this OS can do for you. But are there ways to get around the limits of the browser? You bet. Chrome Remote Desktop is like any other screen sharing software, it allows you to view and manipulate another PC. The big difference here is that it all happens within the browser window.

The quality of the network connection is the biggest factor in whether the screen sharing experience will be good or abysmal. Connecting the Acer C7 to my MacBook Pro on the same network was a good best case scenario and showed that inputs are received with minimal latency, and responses are snappy, so long as you’re not doing anything too drastic. The stream from the host PC is only updated based on changes, so while typing the inputs are received and shown on the client screen almost instantaneously. But switching between full screen apps on the MBP showed some lag and a rather low frame rate.

Introduction and Design Performance: Core vs. ARM A15
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  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The people who read this site would never buy this as a replacement for their main device so there is no need to look at how your daily work flow would not work on this device and make it go cry in the corner.

    People are looking at this as a second device. I have a great desktop with two monitors and all the bells and whistles if I need to get work done. My second device is a old dell laptop that use in front of the couch or in bed that is the device that this was meant to be/replace.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The people who read this site act as advisers for many people who might want/need such a machine as a primary PC. Reply
  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    And any person who would consider this as a primary machine don't have that type of work flow Reply
  • phillyry - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I'd have to agree with StormyParis.

    I've actually been considering getting one of these things for my dad as a primary PC simply because he could still check his mail and do his banking while, at the same time, it would be difficult for him to mess it up.

    So, let's not make too many assumptions about the readers. We don't all fit your personal usage style or preconceptions.
    Reply
  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    You are making my point the person who ends up with it is going to be using it very sparingly. Your dad is not going to have the work flow that is described in the article, if would be much more facebook and email. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    So, I think you'd be surprised how many writers see the appeal of the Chromebook. Writing is often a matter of focus. Eliminate distractions and pull together only the resources you need to get the job done. Browser-based publishing tools are polished enough that several of us are actually using them exclusively, including some that even do image manipulations entirely in the browser.

    So, the Chromebook as a primary device has a lot of appeal.
    What I was trying to make clear is how it falters despite having plenty of potential. I have no doubt that as the performance of Chromebooks improves, and as browser-based publishing and media tools become more capable, that I could move to a Chromebook as a primary writing device. I'd still need a better equipped device for a lot of the benchmarking we do, but it'd very much end up being the second device.
    Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I have the Samsung on order to test out and have just bought a Business Google Apps account.

    I have been talking to a lot of the folks in my small business networking circle and they are really interested in it.

    All they need is basic word processing and spreadsheet capability. A group calendar and scheduling. All the documents backed up and centrally stored. Pretty perfect for a lot of small businesses.

    That and the cost per user is £2.75 a month! If you have a lot of temp staff passing through you just give them a standard App account and then reset the password when they leave.

    That and the lack of virus, not having to buy Office and the low cost of the locked down kit. Support costs are lower.

    For a lot of businesses its a no-brainer.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Correction: Any person who would consider this as a primary machine doesn't have ANY work flow. Flow sure, but work not so much.

    You said it yourself, people are looking at this as a second device to complement a real computer. But at that point, I think most people would be happier with a tablet as a second device.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    What if you were a author and wanted something cheap and not too small? Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    'an', rather... I did put writer before, hence the 'a'. Reply

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