Everyone's excited about getting less from computing. What am I missing?

A fellow TechLore editor recently picked up a CR-48 Chromebook running Google Chrome, and has since been sharing mcuh about his experience using Google's browser/quasi OS combo. Once I got past my initial "shiny gadget I don't have jealosy moment," I was surprised to hear a fellow tech geek get so excited about so little. It's a notebook that doesn't do everything a notebook does, yet people are clamoring for devices like this.

Below are several things I've heard him (and others) while telling me all about their low power computing device and their reasoning for believing that these devices are superior to the notebook. And of course, why I don't get it.

"I've been working for a few hours this morning, and it says I have 6 hours of battery left. I could work all day with this."

In this case, I'm not sure why he was so excited about battery life with an outlet sitting two feet away from him. Still, I won't argue that long battery life is an important element for many people. The longer the battery lasts, the longer you can use the device when electricity is unavailable. Chromebooks and other low power computing devices do have an advantage here.  

Realistically, how often are people really in a position where electricity isn't available for 8 hours? An airplane maybe, but when else? It's also not like all small notebooks only get 30 minutes of battery life.

"I can do just about everything on this using webapps. Except..."

What's the point then? Notebooks of roughly equivalent size are available for not much more than that, and they can do all those things. Even my 8 year old laptop (yes, I know it's time to upgrade) can do all of those things. It can even run Chrome, which is essentially his entire device.

"Best of all, it's not running Windows."

I really don't get the current mindset that anything Windows is bad. I won't lie and admit I have a few reservations about the app-store locked Metro interface Windows 8 is going, but the Windows 7 PC today is a swiss-army knife of functionality. It offers and endless amount of compatible software that includes games, productivity apps, and more... a lot of which is free.



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