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Posts tagged ‘Chromebook’


Acer’s latest convertible Chromebook is bigger and beefier

In May, Google announced that it would be bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, finally marrying the two operating systems in a way that makes Chromebooks that much more useful (A million-plus more apps!) All of a sudden, convertible Chromebooks sound way more appealing. Acer must’ve thought so too, because it unveiled the Chromebook R13 just a few days ago at IFA. Just like its R11 predecessor, the R13 has a 360-degree hinge that lets it seamlessly transition from Chromebook to Android-esque tablet in no time flat.

As the name suggests, the R13 has a 13.3-inch display. Acer was keen to point out that this is the first ever convertible Chromebook at this size, which is certainly of note if you’re a fan of larger screens. It’s a pretty nice display too, with a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution plus it’s an LED-lit IPS LCD. Measuring 12.83 by 8.98 by 0.61 inches and weighing in at 3.28 pounds, it won’t weigh down your backpack. That said, when it was flipped over into tablet mode, I had a slight problem holding it due to its weight. This is definitely a tablet that you’d rest on your lap rather than grip it one-handed.

Speaking of tablet mode, I thought the display hinge felt pretty solid as I was turning it around. It was sturdy enough so that I could hold the R13 in a variety of positions; standard laptop mode, tent mode, presentation mode and of course as a flat tablet. I thought the touchscreen felt pretty responsive too, though I didn’t have the opportunity to run too many apps on the demo unit at the Acer booth. What I especially enjoyed was the keyboard. The keys have a nice shallow clickiness, which I feel results in super fast travel. I felt like I could touch type pretty fast on this if I wanted to.

As for internals, the R13 has a MediaTek M8173C CorePilot quad-core processor, a HD webcam on the front for those webchats, plus a USB Type-C port on the side. It also has USB 3.0, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0 and the usual microphone and headset jacks. Storage-wise, it’ll come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB varieties. Prices start at $399 and it’ll be available starting this October. Which is around when the Play Store should arrive on Chromebooks. Great timing, right?

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.


IFA 2016 day one: Battle-worn BB-8 and Acer’s new Chromebook

Even though we’ve been in Berlin for a few days, Friday was actually the first official day of IFA 2016. And, as expected, there’s a lot to see on the show floor. Yesterday, we checked out Sphero’s “Battle-worn” BB-8 and its companion Force Band, a wearable that lets you control the droid with hand gestures. We also took a look at Acer’s new Chromebook R13, a sleek $400 laptop, as well as Withings’ first smartwatch with a heart rate monitor. Much more to come from the event, but for now enjoy our recap of day one.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.


Adieu, Chromebook Pixel 2

The best Chromebook that money can buy is slowly disappearing. As VentureBeat notes, the second-generation Chromebook Pixel is now unavailable in the US, with a mere “out of stock” message displayed in the Google Store. Google has said it’s “committed” to the Pixel line, but admits: “We don’t have plans to restock the Pixel 2.” The situation might be different outside the US — here in the UK, the laptop is still in stock — so act fast if you still want to buy one. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye.

The Pixel 2 is one of the best pieces of hardware Google has ever produced. The aluminium chassis is beautiful, hiding a spacious keyboard and a high-resolution, touch-friendly display. The impeccable build quality, combined with some decent performance and battery life, make it a sublime canvas for Chrome OS. The problem is the price — at $999 it’s an expensive piece of gear, and hard to justify against a similarly-priced MacBook or Windows laptop. But then, it was never supposed to be a mass market seller. The Pixel, like Google’s Nexus phones, is a showcase for the operating system.

Earlier this year, Google put out a job opening for a Chromebook Pixel Quality Engineer. While it doesn’t guarantee a new model, the position would indicate that Google is still interested in building its own high-end laptops. In the meantime, there’s always the Pixel C, a Surface-style hybrid that’s now considerably more useful thanks to Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Source: VentureBeat


The Engadget Podcast returns!

In 2014 we said the Engadget Podcast was going on hiatus to “retool.” Well, we haven’t been sitting on our laurels. Over the last two years we’ve rethought our editorial mission, completely redesigned the website and, now, we’re launching a new and improved podcast.

If you’re looking for the Engadget podcast – we’re currently taking a break to re-tool it and make it more awesome for you. Stay tuned!

— Engadget (@engadget) June 27, 2014

This isn’t simply the old Engadget Podcast with a shiny new logo, no. We’re approaching it in a whole new way, and it will continue to evolve as we hear from you, our loyal listeners, readers and viewers. At its heart this is still a show about tech news, but one that is fast paced, informative and, most importantly, fun. You’ll hear editors debate the news of the week, get a peek inside the machine that is Engadget and enjoy deep dives on the stories that have changed our world (for better or worse).

We’re also making sure that you can enjoy the show in as many ways as possible. We’ve got a beautiful landing page where you’ll find every episode in audio or video format, plus a text transcription for the hearing impaired. You can watch us on YouTube, Facebook Live, listen on SoundCloud or subscribe through your podcast service of choice. You’ll currently find the show on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and Pocket Casts.

In Episode One: Your Racist Friend, editors Cherlynn Low, Devindra Hardawar and Nathan Ingraham join host Terrence O’Brien to debate iPhone rumors, explore the perks of renting gadgets, and express their utter exasperation at Snapchat’s racist filters.

Relevant links:

  • Bloomberg: iPhone 7 gets new home button, drops headphone port
  • HP Chromebook 13 review: a great laptop that doesn’t come cheap
  • Why the Olympics need GIFs
  • Yes, ‘No Man’s Sky’ has a few issues
  • Snapchat’s racist yellowface filter lands it in hot water
  • Snapchat’s 420 Bob Marley filter is just digital blackface

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts


HP’s new touchscreen Chromebook is ready for Android apps

It’s no secret that HP loves making Chromebooks, and today the company is expanding its lineup with the future of Chrome OS in mind. Enter the HP Chromebook 11 G5, an 11.6-inch laptop which features a touchscreen, meaning it’ll support Android apps when Google rolls that service out later in 2016. Additionally, the new lightweight (2.51 lbs) Chromebook comes with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and, according to HP, up to 12.5 hours of battery life. But the best part, perhaps, is that the 11 G5 will only cost $189 when it hits stores in October.

Source: HP


Android apps are now available on Chrome OS

The ASUS Chromebook Flip is the first Chrome OS device to get Android Apps after Google announced the feature at its I/O conference in May. If you own that device and are willing to download an early alpha version of Chrome OS 53, the Google Play store icon will appear on the desktop. According to Google’s François Beaufort, the build should also bring Android apps to the 2015 Chromebook Pixel and Acer Chromebook R11. However, some Reddit user say that the Play Store isn’t yet working on those devices.

Google first revealed that Chrome OS would get Android apps back in 2014, so the feature has obviously taken a long time to implement. The company recently showed a demo (above) to give you an idea as to how it would work. The takeaway is that it’s probably best to have a touchscreen and reasonably powerful machine. Android apps will benefit Chrome OS users enormously, letting them easily swap files and work offline.

For now, the laptop acts like Android 6.01 and only works with tablet apps. Reddit users say there are minor bugs with the accelerometer and racing games, but generally report that it’s working well considering it’s still a developer build. However, users who rely on their Chromebooks should wait until at least the beta software comes in about a month. Other devices will get Android apps “later in 2016,” according to Google — for a complete list, check here.

Source: François Beaufort (G+)


Google shows how Android apps will run on your Chromebook

Google was quick to tout Chrome OS’ upcoming support for Android apps during its I/O 2016 keynote, but how does it actually work in practice? You won’t have to travel to Mountain View to find out: the search firm has posted the video of a developer presentation that shows how the Play Store and Android apps will run on your Chromebook. As a rule, it appears to be seamless. Android’s intent system makes it relatively easy to share files between apps, while offline support will keep you entertained during those long flights. And yes, games appear to run smoothly.

The demo took place under ideal conditions, so you might want to avoid leaping to conclusions. The odds are that a lower-end Chromebook won’t be quite as adept with Android apps, especially if it doesn’t have a touchscreen to parallel the experience you get on your phone. Nonetheless, this clip is a good sign for anyone worried that an Android/Chrome OS union could get messy.

Via: Android Central

Source: Google Developers (YouTube)


Chromebooks beat Mac sales in early 2016

According to research firm IDC, more Google Chromebooks were sold in the first quarter of 2016 than all of Apple’s Mac line. The milestone marked the first time Google’s Chrome OS moved more units than OS X in the United States.

Although IDC doesn’t usually separate Chrome OS or Chromebooks from the PC category, the group did confirm the numbers to The Verge, saying “Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16.” The firm noted that Macs sold about 1.76 million units in the first quarter of 2016, meaning Chromebooks sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million units or more. Overall, however, PC shipments are on the decline.

IDC also pointed out a large reason for the Chromebook’s success: the low-cost devices have been a hit with K–12 schools in the United States, even though the company is still looking to break into consumer and business markets. But, in that regard, Google may have tipped its hand at this week’s I/O developers conference, where it showed off plans to make Chrome OS compatible with over a million Android apps already in the Google Play Store.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2016, follow along here.


Google donates $5.3 million to support refugees


Working as part of NetHope’s Project Reconnect scheme, Google has donated $5.3 million in Chromebooks to educate refugees based in Germany.

Speaking more about the project, Jacqueline Fuller, Director of, said that Google hopes to offer support to refugees that need an education.

Fuller explained that once refugees have found shelter, food and care, the next logical step is to learn local languages and gain skills that’ll help them survive in a new country against new challenges.

She said:

“Today, we’re making a $5.3 million grant to support the launch of Project Reconnect, a program by NetHope to equip nonprofits working with refugees in Germany with Chromebooks, in order to facilitate easier access to education.”


Chromebooks have proven to be a good tool for learning purposes in the past, easily configured to run education apps or language-learning software.

Google says that the Chromebook’s strengths make the product a vital piece of equipment for nonprofit organizations, mentioning that the computers are automatically kept up to date with new features and virus protection.

The Director added:

“[Chromebooks] can run an educational game for children, a language course for younger adults or even feature information about the asylum application process on a pre-installed homepage.”

From today, nonprofits can apply to join the movement via the Project Reconnect website, where each organization can put its name down for a grant that offers 5,000 Chromebooks. The computers are scheduled to arrive at the start of March.

Earlier this month, the Google for Education team posted a letter today to their “Friends and Family” claiming that customers are activating an average of 30,000 Chromebooks every school day.

Source: Google Blog

Come comment on this article: Google donates $5.3 million to support refugees


Didn’t spring for a touch screen Chromebook? AirBar can fix that

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Some love touch screen laptops, others can’t stand them. I am still a bit on the fence myself. While reaching up and tapping a link or image is sometimes easier than using a touch pad to move a cursor, I still rarely touch my screen. Which is odd since all our phones and tablets are touch screens. It is nice to have the ability for scrolling through lengthy pages of a website, document or book though. There are a number of Chromebook offerings that offer touchscreens as part of their feature set, but often times the price reflects the technology with a minimal jump in hardware additions. The other side of the coin is that your Chromebook, or even your Windows-based laptop, is a pre-touchscreen generation device and the added expense just isn’t worth it. Welp, there is an accessory for that called the AirBar.

AirBar Chrome OS

Swedish company Neonode Inc. will be showcasing the AirBar at CES in Las Vegas this January. The accessory is a small bar that you place just under your laptops screen and plugs into an open USB port. The AirBar uses invisible light to detect where on the screen you are actually touching. It is capable of recognizing your simple taps, swiping, pinching, zooming and scrolling. The additional perk is since it uses light, it will recognize your touches even if you are wearing gloves, have long nails or want to use a pencil eraser tip.

“Imagine taking a non-touch PC, and within seconds making it a touch interactive device. Our sensor does not require installation of new drivers or lengthy instructions. The user simply connects AirBar and can then start to interact with the display immediately – it´s Plug and Touch. Compared with today’s PCs with built-in touchscreens the AirBar sensor keeps your high quality matte display glare free and without greasy finger prints,“ said Remo Behdasht, SVP Business Development at Neonode.

You can order the AirBar today, but they aren’t officially available for shipping just yet. The first variant of the AirBar is designed for a fairly common 15.6″ screen and comes in the matte black finish seen in the video and images. It will work on all Windows 8 or 10 PC’s as well as Chrome OS devices with a minimal price tag of $49 to pre-order now. Feel free to check it out on more detail at and pre-order one for your device.

The post Didn’t spring for a touch screen Chromebook? AirBar can fix that appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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