Today I took delivery of a review Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, one of the first of the new breed of netbook running Google's Chrome operating system. I'll write up a full review of the machine next week but it's only fair that I try an experiment and see if I can actually live with Chrome OS as my primary operating system.
Most of us live in our browsers and perform 90% of our computer-based activities either in the browser itself on in an app that replicates something you can do in a browser, such as Windows Live Mail or Tweetdeck. It stands to reason then that an operating system into which there isn't any actual installable software, with the exception of some browser plug-ins from the Chrome OS App Store, is one that the average user would be happy with for around 90% of the time.
Well I'm a dedicated Windows user and generally not a huge fan of Google. That aside though I'm going to give it my best try to live with Chrome OS as my primary operating system for the next week.
I'm starting right now, writing this article on the Chromebook in a browser that has tabs open for my email and social networking, so I'm off to a good start. Do I see any problems though? Well currently I'm working on a document in Microsoft Publisher. Sadly there's no online equivalent to this software from Microsoft, Google or any other company so I might have to revert to the PC for just doing that job for a few hours and music might be an issue. There's no in-built media player in Chrome OS but I could try Spotify and see how I get on with it.
Initial impressions of Chrome OS are good though, and so far I like it. It's not perfect and it's clear to see where it can be improved (malware protection and better accessibility options jump out at me as being the most obvious). Generally though the overall experience with Chrome OS, given that I've not been using it for very long, is very positive.
So I'll feed back to you next week just what its like living with a Chromebook. In the mean time though it would be interesting to hear from all of you who own one what your experiences of it are, and if you've managed to switch to it.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.