So I bought one of the new Samsung Series 3 Chromebooks, and for all its limitations, I really like the little thing. It has a great keyboard, boots insanely quickly, has seven-hour battery life and a no-maintenance operating system, and doesn’t break the bank. (Oh, and THANK YOU for using a matte screen, Samsung. I hate the glossy ones with a passion, but you can hardly get a laptop without one anymore.)
It’s not a great primary laptop (all you get is the Chrome browser and whatever can run in it), but as a mobile web futz-arounder to toss into your European carry-all on the way to the latte shop, it’s close to ideal. Yes, you need to be connected to the Interwebz to get proper use out of a Chromebook, but there are damn few places I go where there’s no Wi-Fi available (and there’s always cell phone hotspot use). Plus, Google’s document editor has an offline mode, so I don’t need a web connection just to write.
For $400+, the Chromebooks were a little ridiculous, but for $250, it’s a good buy if all you want is a quick and easy little portable web browser with a proper keyboard.
This? Is quite possibly my new Favorite Thing.
Saying that it takes better shots than the iPhone 4 is like saying that an Aston Martin DBS V12 is a little faster than a Fiat 500.
We have now passed that developmental milestone where the kids can out-play the Old Man on the Xbox 360. They each got a new 360 game under the tree last month, and both of them have finished the “Brave” game from start to finish. I know that as children of the Gadget Generation, mastery of a gaming console is practically encoded in their DNA, but it’s still amazing to see how quickly they figured out the Xbox controller and the game mechanics without any prior instruction (and in Lyra’s case, without being able to read the on-screen directions.) This is especially remarkable because our gaming console prior to the Xbox 360 was a Nintendo Wii, which has a controller that’s completely unlike the two-handed/dual-stick multi-button affairs for the Xbox and the PS3.
(I tried a first-person shooter on the console once and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. As a PC gamer, my hands and muscle memory are calibrated for mouse and WASD keys.)
It’s absolutely amazing to see the strides that gaming consoles have made since the days of the Atari 2600. Playing Iron Man or Batman:Arkham Asylum on the Xbox 360 driving a 47” screen with the audio coming from a Bose home theater speaker set would have reduced 12-year-old Marko from 1983 to an incoherently blubbering pile of gamer bliss.
Now I just need to get the kids their own World of Warcraft accounts and teach them tanking and healing, so we can do our own little in-house instance groups on Saturday evenings.