Chromebook are mobile computers that use the operating system Google Chrome OS. The first models of the Chromebooks were produced by Samsung and Acer, optional with UMTS support. The Samsung Chromebook is delivered with a monitor resolution of 1280 × 800 pixels, the Acer Chromebook with a 11.6″ monitor with a 12.1. Both versions have a HD-capable webcam, so that the videoconferencing services of Google can be used directly.
In addition, so-called stationary Chrome boxes applications are modeled after the nettops available. Every Chromebook has both a Trusted Platform Module and a customized firmware chip. This chip is used to check the boot sequence if the read-write firmware is signed by Google.
So you can work on a Chromebook without permanent internet connection, Google specifically configured it for “offline” versions of its software (such as Gmail).
For professional users, government agencies and educational institutions Chromebooks are marketed as a combined hardware and software.
Comparison with conventional notebooks
The biggest difference is based on the operating system Chrome OS. The system has been reduced to the web browser Chrome. Each application should be invoked as Web App on Chrome. For this reason, no software needs to be installed. Therefore, upgrading to a new version or to install security patches by the user is unnecessary. Updates to the operating system and browser are automatically distributed through the Internet. Updates of web apps made on the provider’s servers.
Despite limited hardware, complex and computationally intensive applications such as cutting of videos can be done if this service is offered by a suitable Web service. To enable this online editing, the user data must, so for example the video, but to be uploaded.
Privacy advocates complain that Chromebook users not only lose control over their data, but also on the programs. On withdrawal of an app and a security leak, all users are affected.
Success and sales of Chromebooks
Samsung and Acer sold considerably less than 200,000 Chromebooks worldwide, though these figures keep changing. This was disappointing not only to Google, but also the manufacturer. Acer might want to stop the production of Chromebooks.