The evening before my final exams1 I bought a Samsung Chromebook, to be precise the 303C12 A012. It was one of these eBay bids which you do when you are nervous and try to get your mind of things – 210€ for a Chromebook, which retails for 299€ in Germany3 is what I consider quite a deal. But that’s not so important.
What do I think of the device? It is a great little laptop. Keyboard, Display and Touchpad seem better to me than the ones of my Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E320, which wasn’t exactly super expensive either, but still, this is impressive. Then there is the software, which is beautiful, but not too feature rich. Chromebook still lacks a few apps for me, but it is pretty much ok, and I knew before that it would be difficult to do the switch. And then, there is always the option to Crouton and have “a real OS” like Ubuntu.
What is disappointing though is the following:
that Google Docs isn’t enabling offline mode per default on your Chromebook
that offline GMail is strangely broken on my unstable dev-version of ChromeOS ;)
that I couldn’t find a way yet to get a decent frontend for Feedly (I strongly dislike their website), which is for now my feed reader of choice (and which is great via Reeder on my iPad)4
that I couldn’t figure out yet how to use Evernote offline
that I couldn’t figure out yet how to use WordPress offline
Maybe I will upgrade to the 3G version, but even with Germanys 2nd best mobile network, Vodafone, you face some offline time here and there. So many of the problems described may remain.
Still, it’s a good first impression with plenty more to figure out and even more to try out.
There is not much to write about this years Computex, as almost every news has spread a thousand times throughout the web. This is thus more a personal note: Intel have finally managed to win quite a few smartphone and tablet designs, and at the same time they have managed to really lower the consumption of their performance platform with “Haswell”. Finally, thin, light, powerful and long lasting mobile computing solutions are possible. Thumbs up!
Jolla, that group of ex-Nokia employees working on an ex-Nokia smartphone OS (MeeGo, which is now “Mer” – and on the foundations of Mer Jolla built their “Sailfish OS”), have finally announced their first piece of hardware1, which will ship “at the end of this year”.2 It’s nothing too funky, hardware wise, but Jolla is about software, anyway.
Sometimes you happen to stumble on products you have been waiting for. Today, this happened to me once again. In fact, if I hadn’t been so busy lately because of an exam (which went well, as far as I can tell), I might just have written a post asking why there are no E-Ink tablets or at least eReaders with a dual core chip and Android. Why? Well, eInk is great,1 and my Nook Simple Touch is not only an eReader to me, it also serves as a simple Android tablet from time to time, as it is light and super portable (in comparison to iPad) and has a pretty decent battery life. But the Nook Simple Touch is still on “Eclair” or Android 2.1 (which runs nicely with the 600MHz ARMv7 and 256MB, but it’s getting really old). And until I read this post at “The Digital Reader” the only hope for a slightly better eInk-Tablet was the Tolino Shine, which ships with Android 2.3 and a higher-res eInk screen.
Now, as I write this, there is hope for such a product which can be significantly faster. But head over to “The Digital Reader” and read the facts yourselves.
The world, back in late march, knew 3-4 popular browser engines: WebKit, the engine that once was created by Apple (based on KDEs1 KHTML&KJS) and picked up by Google for their own Chrome browser2, Mozillas’ Gecko3, and Microsofts engine for (mobile) IE104. The fourth one, for the curious ones, would be Opera Softwares ‘Presto’, which Opera is replacing by WebKit in order to achieve better rendering, especially of mobile Webpages, where Apples mobile Safari alone has a huge market share.
Now, as of April 6th, there are 2 more entries to the list. Continue reading “Servo & Blink”
Ubuntu just announced that it will be on smartphones soon, too. While there have been many players announcing to enter the (very) mobile space with their own OS (in 2013, Samsung is believed to bring Tizen to market, Mozilla’s Firefox OS will launch (at least in Brazil) and Jolla will release their first Sailfish OS phone), Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions and quite popular.
Being an Ubuntu user on my notebook, I am really excited, especially after I have seen Mark Shuttleworth’s announcement video.
As an Android Linux kernel is all that is said to be needed to run the new QML-powered Ubuntu mobile OS, porting it to your Android smartphone should be as easy as with Firefox OS, but most likely a lot more tempting than the latter (which is tempting, too).
That’s all I have to say for now, head over to the link above and watch the announcement or just get your Galaxy Nexus ready.. ;-)
Engadget have a nice hands on video, that makes the whole thing a lot more believable (MPEG4 video for those on desktops without flash)
The Verge have another hands-on (this time with out the “benevolent dictator”)