Chrome Show: Which is the better low-cost experience, Windows or Chrome OS?


Credit: Gigaom Illustration

With [company]Microsoft[/company] realizing that Chromebooks aren’t just a passing fad, the company says it will work with hardware partners to compete at the “value” end of the market. To that end, [company]HP[/company] looks to be among the first to help Microsoft out with the HP Stream 14, a $199 Windows 8.1 laptop. It competes well on price with [company]Google[/company] Chromebooks but it still comes down to the overall experience.

Meanwhile, Chromebooks are moving up the price chain with Lenovo’s ThinkPad Yoga 11e costing $479. This could be the mid-range Chromebook for those who want more than a bare-bones device but don’t want or need to spend $1,299 on a Chromebook Pixel.

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Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Here come the cheap Windows laptops set to challenge Chromebooks

Speaking of HP: The company looks to have a 3rd generation 11-inch Chromebook. And it won’t use a Samsung ARM chip

Yes, the Nvidia Tegra K1 powered Acer Chromebook 13 is real and can be pre-ordered

Is the Lenovo Yoga 11e the mid-range Chromebook we’ve been waiting for?

Firefox for Android is getting Chromecast support

A small YouTube bug found its way into the Chromecast platform

Chrome’s New Tab Page is starting to get a Material Design facelift

Chrome is better at protecting you (or at least warning you) from installing malware

App/extension of the week: Elmnts




I think one problem affecting the user experience of nearly all low-end Windows laptops is slow, 5400 RPM mechanical hard drives. Windows is a disk-intensive OS to begin with, and mechanical storage just worsens the experience.

Microsoft is aware of this, and they worked hard in Windows 8 to reduce boot and resume times, and in Windows 8.1 to reduce the size of the on-disk footprint. I suspect they have been working directly with OEMs to bring solid state storage to entry level devices. For example, the new (fanless!) $200 HP Stream will have 32Gb of eMMC flash storage, which should greatly improve overall responsiveness for this laptop, similar to the current class of ARM and BayTrail Windows tablets. Chrome OS is still a lighter weight platform, but it should put Windows in a competitive ballpark.


If you have ever tried to run virtualization software on Crouton or Chrubuntu, you are going to pick the Windows machine…


As much as I love many of the concepts surrounding the Chromebooks, they end up being limited in capabilities, just like Tablets, and if I have to reach back to another computing device to fill in those gaps, why use the Chromebook in the first place?

I am sure there are people who can fit their computing needs into what Chromebook offers, but it still feels like your are fitting your needs into the product rather than the other way around.


I look forward to listening to the podcast. I love Chromebooks (I have two HP 11s and two more Chromeboxes) but I found out the hard way this week that Chromebooks/Chromeboxes do not have very robust PDF support. I sent my son’s textbooks away this summer and had them converted to PDFs so he could simply use a Chromebook and his Nexus 7 tablet to access them. Well the HP 11 simply can’t handle large PDFs. So disappointing. Do you know of any workarounds? I tried a couple of PDF apps from the store but keep running into the same problem – the books/PDFs will not fully load. Thanks, love the show.


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