Display

The display is typically bargain bin stuff, though certainly a step behind the Samsung's panel. The resolution is a ho-hum 1366x768, and the viewing angles are abysmal. My colorblindedness makes it hard to discern the light blue hue that is all the rage in modern operating systems for selected text, but here it is utterly impossible if the vertical viewing angle is off by more than a few degrees. Distortion appears within a few degrees of viewing the display from any horizontal angle, but this isn’t a big screen for showing off your favorite movie; so, we’ll cut it a modicum of slack. It’s a bad display. Unless all you’re going to do is sit right in front of it and type.

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Contrast

Usability

Anand covered the details of Chrome OS before, and I won’t go into any great length here. The limitations of the OS are easy to overlook for anyone that spends most of their time in a browser. Any number of web services can fulfill the role of many standalone pieces of software, both for entertainment and productivity purposes. That includes image manipulation, a must for web publishing, though handling RAW files wasn’t a pretty experience, even with the cloud to help me out. Not all music services have a web player, so there’s some limits there, but there are enough options to choose from.


Chrome OS: Tabs on tabs on tabs

So, there are limits to what this OS can do for you. But are there ways to get around the limits of the browser? You bet. Chrome Remote Desktop is like any other screen sharing software, it allows you to view and manipulate another PC. The big difference here is that it all happens within the browser window.

The quality of the network connection is the biggest factor in whether the screen sharing experience will be good or abysmal. Connecting the Acer C7 to my MacBook Pro on the same network was a good best case scenario and showed that inputs are received with minimal latency, and responses are snappy, so long as you’re not doing anything too drastic. The stream from the host PC is only updated based on changes, so while typing the inputs are received and shown on the client screen almost instantaneously. But switching between full screen apps on the MBP showed some lag and a rather low frame rate.

Introduction and Design Performance: Core vs. ARM A15
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  • Jhlot - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Can I put windows on it if I have a copy? Are there drivers from the network/wifi, sound, etc..? It is also listing over $199 at Amazon now but Best Buy has it for $199 http://bit.ly/13ZhP37 Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    lol, kinda what I was thinking. Can I install Centos 6 on this thing? Reply
  • owned66 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    1. a 100Mbps ethernet port (could used usb nics but...)
    2. low end wireless card

    it uses a custom bios that wont let u install ANYTHING else

    heard some ways to circumvent it
    Reply
  • cyrusfox - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Need a new bios to run windows (but at 800 MHz, it would be pretty anemic)

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/how-to-inst...

    ChrUbuntu will work though
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah the performance would be Anemic.
    But, again. Faster than Intel Atom and ARM, but then again you wouldn't be buying a device such as this to play Crysis and the Dual-Core 800mhz Sandy Bridge chip would still be a crap-ton better than Atom powered netbooks.
    Reply
  • Flying Goat - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Don't quote me on this, but my understanding is that all ChromeOS devices have a developer switch that will unlock the system, but it will delete all current user data when flipped. Reply
  • schizoide - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Forget about windows, has anyone tried making a hackintosh out of it? At $299 it's got to be seriously commodity hardware, seems like it might be possible. Reply
  • schizoide - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Err, $199. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    "I wanted to really dislike this experience, and in many ways it was comrpomised"

    First line after the conclusion header.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Fixed. Thanks. Reply

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