Category: Chromebook

Chrome OS Could Soon Have Model Specific Wallpapers at Launch

An interesting tidbit of code has shown up in the Chromium change log for Chrome OS.  The change outlines that the default wallpaper on a device can be controlled by the master configuration.  In other words, manufactures like Acer, Dell and HP could have specific wallpapers for specific Chrome OS devices.

The ability for an OEM to set a default wallpaper has been in play for some time now.  Both Acer and HP have a custom wallpaper that they have all their Chromebooks show when you first power them on.  Google is incredibly strict with what OEMs can do to the Chrome experience.  To this point, the manufactures had one wallpaper they could add and it was the same on every Chromebook.

Minor Update Comes to Chrome OS

A small security update has been released by the Chrome OS team for all devices running the platform.  The update is 55.0.2883.105 (Platform version: 8872.76.0) for those keeping score at home.  There are not many details in the release notes about the update other than the customary bug and security fixes that come with all updates to the platform.  Still, if you are running a Chromebook or Chromebox, get the update so you have the latest and greatest (and safest) version.

All devices will have the update pushed to them over the course of the next few days but if you want to force the issue now, you can do so by going to chrome://help on your Chromebook and tapping the Check for update button.  This will download the update and after a reboot you will be running the new build.

Chrome OS Update Available for Most Devices

The Chromium team at Google has rolled out a new update to Chrome OS in the Stable channel.  The updated build is 55.0.2883.87 (Platform version: 8872.70.0 or 8872.70.1) and is available now on eligible devices.  The update, however, is not available for the following Chromebooks:

  • HP Chromebook 11 1100-1199 / HP Chromebook 11 G1
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 11″
  • HP Chromebook 14

If you have one of these devices, an update is likely going to be coming your way in a few weeks.

As with all Chrome OS updates, this one includes a number of bug fixes and security improvements but also has a number of new features too.

Chrome OS Update Rolling Out

The Chrome OS team has pushed out a small but important update out for the platform.  Build 54.0.2840.101 (Platform version: 8743.85.0) is available for all devices running the OS and should be hitting your Chromebook or other device over the course of the next few days.  You can, of course, always force the issue by typing in chrome://help in the browser bar and it will automatically go and look for the update for you.

As is very often the case, the Chromium team did not disclose exactly what was addressed or fixed in this update to the platform.  They usually limit the amount of information released to assure that hackers don’t know about it and exploit it until a large swath of devices are updated.  In this case, no information was released.  That either means this was truly a minor update and there was nothing worth mentioning or there was a major flaw and they will be mum about it until updates are complete.  Given that there is no indication further notes will be released later, I tend to think it is the former.

Acer Chromebook R13 Announced At IFA

Today at IFA in Berlin, Germany, Acer announced a new Chromebook that looks pretty impressive.  The new Chromebook R13 will be hitting stores in October and it sports not only a touchscreen but also has a folding design so you can use it as a slate.  This is the combination that many Chromebook users have been waiting for from the platform and with a price tag of around $400, it is still reasonably affordable.

As the name suggests, the R13 has a 13″ LCD display that provides 1080p HD, has 4GB of RAM and will start out with 16GB of storage.  Acer plans to have 32GB and 64GB models available at the time of the release.  The R13 is powered by a MediaTek MT8173C quad-core processor, has a USB Type-C port, HDMI port and a 720p webcam.

Google Drops The Chromebook Pixel 2

Google has stopped selling their remaining flagship Chromebook device, the Chromebook Pixel 2.  The store shows that the $1299 powerhouse is no longer in stock and according to VentureBeat, the company has no plans of restocking the device.

“We’re committed to the Pixel program but we don’t have plans to restock the Pixel 2,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

While there are certainly high-end Chromebooks out in the market thanks to the like of HP and Acer, having a Google Chromebook in the mix for the “ultimate” experience was fun to see – even if it was a steeply expensive “ultimate” experience.

Today’s Deal – Acer 14″ Chromebook 4GB/32GB Storage for $269

Today’s Deal over at eBay is on a great Chromebook from Acer.  Right now you can get the Acer 14″ Chromebook with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for $269.  This deal is being offered by Best Buy through eBay which means that you can buy it online through eBay and pick it up today at your local Best Buy store (assuming they have it in stock).  That in store pick up is free and if you don’t have a store nearby, you can have it shipped to you free as well.  Equally as important, this Chromebook is on the list of devices that will be able to run Android apps when that feature is released later this year.

Full List of Chromebooks That Will Get Android Apps

Earlier today I posted Today’s Deal on the Asus C201 Chromebook over at Amazon.  That post generated a couple of comments and questions around just which Chromebooks are going to see the Chrome 53 update that will bring Android apps to them.  For the record, the C201 is one of the Chromebooks that will be able to run Android apps when it is released later this year.  But what about the others?  Fortunately the Chromium team at Google have put together a comprehensive list.

To be clear, this list was originally posted by the Chromium team back in May and there have been some additions of newer Chromebooks that have hit the market.  It is likely that most new Chromebooks that meet the minimum specifications will be added to this list so bookmark this link for the most up-to-date list.  After the break I’ve posted the most recent update to the list from the Chromium team.  It’s searchable so just Ctrl+F to find your Chromebook in the list.

Today’s Deal – Asus C201 Chromebook for $160

Today’s deal over at Amazon is on a great little Chromebook.  The Asus C201 has an 11.6″ display, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and is currently down to $159.99 for the Navy Blue model.  Equally as important, when the Chrome OS 53 build is made public, the C201 is going to be able to take full advantage of it and run Android apps.  That makes this deal a bit sweeter.

The C201 is powered by the Rockchip rk3288 processor that runs at 1.8GHz and the 11.6″ display renders at 1366×768 and is an LED display.  Like most other Chromebooks, you have 3 USB ports (2x USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0), an HDMI port, a SD Card Reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack.  Overall, a solid package.

Today’s Deal: HP Chromebook 11 G4 – $175 on Amazon

Today’s Deal over at Amazon is a great one for those of you who are looking for a solid performing 11″ Chromebook.  The HP Chromebook 11 G4 is down to $174.89 at Amazon and that is for the 4GB of RAM model with 16GB of storage.  I reviewed this Chromebook back in February and it remains my day-to-day Chromebook.  I have to say it is one of the best 11″ Chromebooks I have had the privileged to test and review. It’s performance is solid, the keyboard is smooth and responsive, as is the trackpad. I found the display to be very good for an 11″ device while the battery life, for some, will be lacking. All that said though, with a price of $200 for the 4GB, 16GB of storage model on Amazon, it is hard to beat. I have no hesitation in recommending it for the vast majority of readers.

HP Announces the Chromebook 11 G5 With Optional Touchscreen

HP, like many other traditional PC manufactures, is getting serious about Chrome OS.  The company has announced the new Chromebook 11 G5, an 11.6″ Chromebook that will start at just $189 when it is released to partners this month and retailers in October.  The new Chromebook 11 will be available with an optional touch screen display which, given that upcoming release of Android apps on Chrome OS, is something those of you in the market for a Chromebook should seriously consider.  It will be powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 and likely will have configurable memory and storage options once it does hit the HP store.  Equally, it was have an impressive 12.5 hours of battery life.

Google Drops The Entry Level Chromebook Pixel From the Google Store

Google, much like what that did with the Nexus 9, have quietly dropped the entry level Chromebook Pixel from the Google Store.  The $999 premium Chromebook is gone although you can still pick up the beefy $1200 model in the store.  The timing of the removal from the store is not coincidental.  Just last week Google and HP announced the far more affordable, yet premium, Chromebook 13 G1 that has an all metal body and starts at $499.  That’s half the cost of the base Chromebook Pixel with an improved processor and essentially the same high resolution display.