Google has launched Chromebook in India. Chromebooks are laptops –but of a very different concept. These nice looking machines are a huge deviation from how we see and use a conventional laptop. That’s why, in developing countries with poor to moderate Internet accessibility, these might not immediately sell like hot cakes. Let’s look at the major reasons that might concern buyers from these regions.
In India, Chromebook is available in two screen sizes. The smaller one, manufactured by Acer, with 11.6″ inch screen, is available for about Rs. 23,000 while the bigger one from HP with 14″ inch screen is priced at around Rs. 27,000. Users of traditional computers will find a host of better options within this price range.
This price is not really cheap for a machine powered by Intel Celeron processor. The same machines are being sold for much lesser price in the US (on Amazon.com)
Google Chromebook comes pre-installed on these laptops and you can not install any other browser. So, if you are a Firefox affectionado –you’ll have no choice but to make do with Chrome.
You also can not install any other software on these machines! Very popular software like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office can not be installed. All you have for your regular office work is Google Docs and various extensions for Chrome.
Google Chromebooks are designed to store all the user data in Google Drive. There is no internal hard disk –so you can not save data locally. USB ports are, however, provided and you can use pen-drives to store files locally but no hard disk.
As Google is promoting cloud-based storage, with these laptops Google gives you 100GB of space on Google Drive free of cost. But this space is given only for two years and after that you’ll have to pay for it. This space costs over $100.
Forget about playing your favorite movie from a DVD in Chromebook. There is no DVD drive available. Although you can attach external hard drive to UBS port but compatibility may be an issue. One will have to try and find what external hardware will work with Chromebook.
You may find it hard to digest but you can not directly connect a printer to your Chromebook and take printouts. You’ll have to route printouts through Google Cloud Print. Although there are some advantages of this mechanism but for a conventional user –not being able to print directly to a printer is almost preposterous!
With no Bluetooth and no streaming audio, Google Chromebook essentially does not have anything that might be of taste to a traditional computer user. Chromebook requires Internet connection for virtually everything –in a country like India where Internet still has umpteen number of corners to reach –Google Chromebook might not be a good buy. In contrast, however, places where Internet connectivity is easily available everywhere –Google Chromebook is an exciting new concept that should be tried out. But for most Indian users –Chromebook is a futuristic product that has come before its time.
I hope it was useful for you. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions on this topic. I will be happy to try and help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin.