High-end Chromebooks Explain Convertible Laptops Better Than Anything Else
It is still with wonder, bewilderment and disbelief that the Cupertino-based company increasingly brings its tablet and desktop operating systems closer and closer, especially since it has steadfastly refused to allow a touchscreen on the Mac.
But the interaction style of the second half of the last century has been good enough for Apple, and it’s that of the world’s largest IT company.
While I still agree that the desktop-style interface is paramount among the choices on offer, it’s not necessarily the best in the circumstance where an app, which was designed for a touch interface, is lazily ported to your desktop.
Meanwhile, on the Windows side of the fence, even though Microsoft has long supported touch screens and the operating system can happily switch between traditional and touch interactions, the use of touch on Windows is second to none. class. Windows apps try to respond best to touch, but deep down in their source you know the app is best used with a mouse or trackpad.
This is where a $ 1,000 Chromebook shows another way to thread the multipurpose needle.
The particular laptop that led the way in this case was an Acer Chromebook Spin 713. A modest device running an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, 8GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and a 2256×1504 display in the nice report. 3: 2 height / width which retails for AU $ 1,000 in Australia. It should be noted that even though the battery is rated for 10 hours, in testing it went well beyond this mark.
In the US, it’s possible to get a Core i7-10510U with 16GB of memory for $ 1000, which is a lot better value, and it’s definitely the one to buy – if you can find it. . Outside of the Acer store and a few listings on Amazon, finding this device is hard work.
As it is rarer than hen’s teeth, it is difficult to give it a full-throated recommendation. This device is really good, and it would definitely be on my mind if I wanted to roll out a fleet of cheap and cheerful laptops.
The Spin 713 does a really good job of showing what Chromebooks can offer and how they’re different from operating systems with much higher sales numbers.
For starters, there’s the Usage Style which is the glorified desktop Chrome session that Chromebooks have had all along. Then there’s the ability for Chromebooks to run Android apps, which they acquired several years ago.
Looking at the two in tandem, app consistency isn’t something Chrome OS really cares about. Clearly the web app is just that, and when you run an Android app on a laptop, it can be as confusing as you fear.
When running an Android app, Chrome OS hides a title bar with a minimize and close button in the top right corner and a back button in the top left corner that simulates an app exiting on the phone. Even though it’s not very discoverable, once you know it’s there it can be useful and you can point the cursor in its direction.
But that’s not the right way to really use it, especially with a convertible laptop, the right way is to flip the keyboard over and turn it into a giant Android tablet.
Suddenly, using the touchscreen interface, an Android app behaves exactly as it should, and the temptation to use the old ways is dismissed until you need it. Chromebooks also support browsing with Android-style gestures.
It is far from a revelation that using a touch interface for apps designed to interact via a finger is a good solution, but it is an option that is lacking in the market.
Another good feature offered by Chromebooks is the ability to have a built-in Debian Buster VM capable of addressing any missing feature gaps. This means that it is possible to use Firefox, LibreOffice, or Audacity in the same way as a dedicated Linux laptop, although the applications do not allow side-by-side capture.
ChromeOS has long since moved out of the walled garden of browser-based functionality. In fact, it is possible to run the Android version of Firefox alongside the Linux version of Firefox, and if you have the right hardware, maybe even have the Windows version thanks to Parallels.
The only obvious downside to Chromebooks, however, is that they tie your device to Google, for better or for worse. And try as best you can to avoid the search giant, the Googleness starts with the need to log in with a Gmail account – there’s just no getting around it.
And yet, even with the lowest of the Core-branded processors in tow, Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 highlights what could be done with even more power.
For people with a distinct lack of artistry, a touchscreen is often nothing more than a line item on a spec sheet. On a Chromebook, if a dreaded mobile app experience but on your desktop appears, there is a solution to a more common problem.
While it’s far too late to turn the tide of this trend, there is a better solution to what the mainstays of the operating system are offering.