Chromebooks: What is a Chromebook? Should I Buy a Chromebook? Which Chromebook is Best?

chromebookWhat is a Chromebook?  A Chromebook runs on Google’s Chrome OS (Google’s operating system) and is primarily designed to be used when connected to the Internet; with most of its applications and documents living in the cloud and relying heavily on Google’s suite of applications.  Chromebooks do not require extremely high-powered hardware.

Advantages of Chromebooks

  • Cheap – most under $300, some less than $200
  • Secure – based on the Linus OS system so virus risk is almost zero
  • Fast – up and running in under 10 seconds
  • Free upgrades from Google
  • Comes with Google Drive, which is the Google Cloud Storage
  • Many free Google Apps –  Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.

Disadvantages of Chromebooks:

  • Optical drives are absent with Chromebooks and they don’t support external optical disks – can’t use  CD/DVDs.
  • Chromebooks are not good for gaming.
  • Chrome OS doesn’t have a direct printing option in its OS. In order to print a “Cloud Printer” ready printer is required.
  • Only Google chrome and other Google products and be installed in Chromebooks.  No other software and apps will work on Chromebooks

2015 Reviews of Chromebooks

Consistently Highly Ranked

  • Toshiba Chromebook 2
  • Dell Chromebook 11
  • Acer Chromebook 15
  • HD Display Pixel1920 x 1080 resolution1366x768 / HDMI 1080p outputFull HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, LED-backlit display
    Screen Size, Inch13.3" Full HD display11.6” LCD Min15.6-inch FHD (1920 x1080) IPS display
    ProcessorIntel® Celeron® processor N2840 .Processor Speed: 2.58 GHz 4th Gen Intel® 2955U processor. 2M Cache, 1.40 GHz1.5GHz Intel Celeron 3205U (dual core, 2MB cache)
    Memory (GB)2 GB($225)* or 4 GB ($310)*2GB (259*), 4GB ($379*)4GB ($329) 2GB ($239)
    Harddrive (GB)16GB solid state drive (SSD)16GB Solid State Drive32GB SSD ($329)* 16GB ($239)*
    Battery Life (hour)9108
    SD Slot Y/NYYY
    HDMI Support Y/NYYY
    USB Ports, #122
    Sound SystemSound system tuned by Skullcandy®Integrated 720p HD video webcam, High Quality Speakers, Stereo headphone/microphone combo jack, Integrated microphone two upward-facing stereo speakers
    Weight, lb32.94.85

    Parameters to Consider When Picking a Chromebook

    Chromebook Screens

    • High-definition screens: High definition is better for streaming videos.
    • Touch screens option
    • Screen sizes ranging from 10 to 15 inches or greater.
    • Lower-end Chromebooks have1366 x 768-pixel displays, which is fine for most tasks but for sharper images, video and graphics, a full-HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels) is needed.

    Chromebook Processor –  The overall speed of your processor is determined by a few factors:

    • Processor speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz): This rating indicates how fast the processor performs calculations. The higher the number, the faster the calculations.
    • Number of cores: Each core can perform one operation at a time. Multiple cores means multiple processes can happen at once. Hence, more cores = a faster processor.
    • Processor cache, measured in kilobytes (K) or megabytes (MB): Cache is ultra-fast memory.
    • Core i3 CPU.11.  offers long battery life and responsive behavior over Intel Celeron chips

    Chromebook Memory

    • Memory is high-speed, short-term storage and measured in gigabytes (GB). When you open a program, the program is loaded into memory so that it can be run. So, the more memory you have, the more programs can be run simultaneously.
    • Chromebooks, however, the only real program that runs in memory is the Chrome web browser and the websites and applications that run within Chrome, so Chrome doesn’t need a lot of Memory.
    •  Chromebook should have anywhere from 2GB to 4GB.

    Chromebook Hard Drive

    The hard drive is where a computer’s data, including software, music, videos, etc  is stored.  A Chromebook with 32GB to 64GB of hard-drive storage is more than adequate because software is not install on a Chromebook and Google offers cloud storage where music, documents, videos, and other files are stored

    Internet Connection

    • All Chromebooks have built-in Wi-Fi to connect to wireless networks.
    • Some Chromebook models have cellular options so that you can activate a wireless Internet data plan with a national provider like Verizon or AT&T.
    • A Chromebook be connected to the internet with phones  through a mobile hotspot.

    Chromebook battery

    Battery life that is over seven hours is ideal.

    Chromebook SD card slot

    Chromebooks with an SD card slot have the ability to quickly add external storage.  This is valuable, especially if you have a large collection of photos or other files that you want to access quickly.

    Chromebook HDMI Support

    HDMI ((High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a type of interface primarily used for high-definition video and audio.  A HDMI port is needed in order to use a high-definition external monitor and make it possible to use a television as an external monitor.

    Chromebook USB Ports

    Have enough USB ports to accommodate a mouse, keyboard or other external storage devices.

     Chromebooks Apps

    • Microsoft Web Apps –  free cloud version of Office
    • Google Drive  – create text documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

    Winners of the Golden Hammer Awards at the 2015 National Hardware Show

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    Celebrating trends and innovation in hardware, the 2015 National Hardware Show® was held May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    During the 2015 show, 45 awards in 11 categories, were presented, including the Golden Hammer Awards.

    Presented By

    Presented By

    The Golden Hammer Awards were given for “Tools of the trade”, “Retailer of the year”, and “Home Channel Hall of Fame” and are designed to recognize “the best of the best” of home improvement.

    The Retailer of the Year Award: Orchard Supply Hardware

    • SJMN_NTSPIZARROorchardsupplyhardwareOrchard Supply Hardware began in 1931 when a group of farmers, struggling through the Great Depression and 2 years of drought and crop failures, each put up $30 to form a cooperative in order to buy supplies. Soon non-farmers discovered Orchard Supply as a good place to shop and get helpful advice. Today, Orchard Supply Hardware is a thriving retail hardware company with more than 70 stores located throughout California and Oregon, with expanded services and product in all-things hardware, backyard and paint. In September, 2013 the company was acquired by home improvement retailer Lowe’s, but remains a separate business unit.
    goldenhammer 20151

    BOB TELLIER: Photo taken by Ken Clark of the Hardware Building Supply Dealer

    “This award celebrates the improved Neighborhood concept, and recognizes the balance we’ve worked hard to achieve between a fresh approach to home improvement and a deeply rooted history of Legendary Customer Service. We’re thrilled to share this award with our associates across California and Oregon, who make sure our neighbors are taken care of day in and day out,” stated Bob Tellier, President Orchard Supply Hardware.

    BOB TELLIER:   Photo taken by Ken Clark of the Hardware Building Supply Dealer

    BOB TELLIER: Photo taken by Ken Clark of the Hardware Building Supply Dealer

    Tellier continued, “Orchard Supply Hardware was built upon a sense of community and quality, which is something we strive to bring to our shoppers on every level of product and service. Our local store teams pay close attention to the needs of their local communities which are then reflected in the store. When you walk through the doors at OSH we treat you like a neighbor, not just a customer – we’d like to think this is what earned us this award.”

    Find your local OSH here: www.osh.com/store-finder or reach us at 1-888-SHOP-OSH

    shelllumber2

    Shell Lumber and Hardware has been a leader in Lumber & Hardware sales since 1928 and has built a strong infrastructure in Miami to be the key suppliers for all of Florida.  Shell Lumber and Hardware’s market has grown since its founding and has worked with international companies; from islands in the Caribbean, to Nasa, and even Singapore.

    joescarlett TSC_logo_FLOHJoe Scarlett, the retired Chairman of Tractor Supply Company and Founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute in Franklin, Tennessee, was honored for his over 30 years of leadership at Tractor Supply Co, which led to the remarkable growth at Tractor Supply Company, and his overall commitment to improving business leadership skills and emphasis and encouragement of ethical behavior.

     

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The National Hardware Show celebrates a rich history spanning 70 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement

    Squirrel-Be-Gone III Bird Feeder Keeps the Raccoons and Squirrels Out

    racconsquirrelbirdfeederFor the past two years we have hung numerous bird feeders off our deck hoping to attract and enjoy the diverse array of backyard birds in the mountains of North Carolina. Unfortunately, regardless of the type of feeder and attempts at greasing the feeder poles, the local wildlife – raccoons, squirrels, even bears –  would eat every last bit of the feed as soon as the sun went down.

    Finally we have found a feeder that the creatures can’t pillage – the Perky Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone III Bird Feeder.

    20150520_073215Five days ago we filled our new Perky Pet® Squirrel-B-Gone III Bird Feeder, which I purchased at Ace Hardware on sale for $35.00.  So far, only birds have consumed the bird feed.

    We wondered if the raccons had just not discovered the feeder yet.  But this morning, just before the sun came up,  I looked out on my deck and saw a large, fat, grey, hunchbacked raccoon, schlepping and pacing under my Perky Pet®-Be-Gone III bird feeder.  He couldn’t get to the feed.  Soon, he disappeared over the side of the deck; hopefully not to return.

     

    squirl-be-gone3.jpg squirrel-be-gone5.jpg squirrl-be-gone6.jpg

    Winners of the NRHA Top Gun Awards at the 2015 National Hardware Show

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    Celebrating trends and innovation in hardware, the 2015 National Hardware Show® was held May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    During the 2015 show, 45 awards in 11 categories, were presented, including the NRHA Top Gun Awards.

    Presented By

    Presented By

    Presented By

    Presented By

    The NRHA Top Gun Awards is industry’s chance to hear what today’s top independent retailers are thinking. NRHA and Hardware Retailing magazine once again assembled a panel of the industry’s most successful and innovative independent retailers to share their stories and thoughts on the industry.

    Winners of the 2015 Top Gun Awards

    Fuller and Son Hardware has been serving central Arkansas since 1921. Being family owned and operated, Fuller and Son Hardware takes pride in providing top notch service to each of their customers through thier Triple Guarantee. Fuller and Son Hardware is a complete hardware and lumber provider; they carry a large selection of rental tools, and even operate their own small engine repair shop.

     

    Ninety years of continuous reinvestment in facilities, technology and expertise, allows HPM Building Supply to be a dependable source of the basic building blocks of development in Hawaii.
    HPM Building Supply has over 2,200 lines of pro-grade lumber, building materials and tools. Plus, they manufacturer to custom specifications wood trusses, wall panels, metal roofing, and pre-hung doors. Fohpmbuildingsupplies3.jpgr those looking to build a new home,HPM Building Supply also offers 15 proven house plans, building materials conveniently packaged to save you money, and the know-how to help save you time and headaches.  And with five locations and the largest trucking fleets around, HPM Building Supply is always just around the corner from every Big Island projects. And now, with HPM Building Supply expanded Oahu sales office, they can also easily service projects on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

    Jason Haley of Great Lakes Ace in Michigan

    jasonhaley In 1946, Joe, Ted, Valeryn, Mariongreatlakeshardware.jpg and Frank Traskos opened their first hardware store in Dearborn Michigan known then as Hardware Depot. Their plan was to provide friendly and knowledgeable service, low prices and to carry products their customers needed.

    In 2014 – the organization (known recently as ACO Hardware) joined the number #1 Hardware brand on the planet and is now known as Great Lakes Ace Hardware. This year Great Lakes Ace Hardware had undergone a major renovation, from new lighting, to counters, signs and fixtures along with an incredible influx of over 30,000 new items into our stores. All of their over 800 associates, are proud to be the largest independent Ace retail chain in the world – with world class stores, delivering the same core values our founders put in place nearly 70 years ago.

    Rolando Robles of Anawalt Lumber in California

    hardware44.jpgAnawalt Lumber is one of the last family-owned and operated lumber companies in Los Angeles. They pride themselves on having just what you need at prices you can afford. Anawalt Lumber has friendly, knowledgeable staff, an extensive inventory and four convenient locations to serve customers; in addition, special orders are never a problem and they offer prompt delivery service.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The National Hardware Show celebrates a rich history spanning 70 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement

    Winner of the Gameball Awards at the 2015 National Hardware Show

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    Celebrating trends and innovation in hardware, the 2015 National Hardware Show® was held May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    Presented By

    Presented By

    During the 2015 show, 45 awards in 11 categories, were presented, including the Gameball Awards:

     

    Best Overall Product: dometicDometic Corporation.

    Dometic Group is the preferred development partner and equipment supplier to RV manufacturers, boat builders, commercial- and passenger-vehicle manufacturers, hotels, retailers and more than 12,000 dealers and technical service companies all over the world.

    Ultimate Tailgate Events

    Ultimate Tailgate Events

    FishboneGrillOysterBar-Logo.jpgBest Marketing Concept: Fish Bone

     

     

     

    Best Innovative Product: Burnie Grill

    burniegrillLight your Burnie and you’ve got fire. Burnie weighs around  three pounds. It’s 100% natural—all wood, zero chemicals.  When you’re done, the Burnie burns itself out.burniegrill2 No waste. No cleanup.  And its great for the environment.

     

    selectoutdoorkitchens.jpgBest New Product: Select Outdoor Kitchens

    selectoutdoorkitchen

    Finding an outdoor cabinet for your Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe grill has never been easier. Select Outdoor Kitchens endless options and possibilities for you to consider.

     

     

    Best Tailgate Concept Product: A-MAZE-N Products, Inc.

    amazenThe A-MAZE-N-SMOKER (AMNS) PATENTED is a smoke generator that was created out of my need to Cold Smoke meat, fish and cheese. After months of testing, A-MAZE-N found the perfect combination of design, materials and sawdust that gives consistent results every time. Even though the AMNS was created for Cold Smoking, it can also be used to supplement smoke at temps up to 180° inside your smoker.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The place to be for new products, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies celebrating trends and innovation.

    The National Hardware Show celebrates a rich history spanning 70 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement

    Winners of the American Manufacturing Awards at the 2015 National Hardware Show

    Sponsored By

    Sponsored By

    American Manufacturing Awards

    Winners reflect American manufacturing excellence in design, quality and innovation.

    1003_sgpp_forget_me_notEverything you need to start your seedlings with Walter Seed Company’s BIODEGRADABLE PLANTER BOX. Includes: Seed, liner, and growing medium. Simply place the peat pellet in the liner, add 3 tablespoons of water; wait 15 minutes for pellet to expand; Place in box and sow 2-3 seeds. Water as needed; Transplant seedling when 2-3″. Recycle liner and plant entire box into a larger container or the ground after all danger of frost has passed.

    riteintherainThe Rite in the Rain story began nearly a century ago in the forests of the Great Northwest. Entrepreneur, Jerry Darling, recognized the logging industry’s need for a durable material that could be written on and survive in poor weather conditions and consequently developed a special coating that created a unique moisture shield on the hand-dipped sheets of paper that he and his wife, Mary, processed at their home.  Over the many years, Rite in the Rain has perfected and patented their environmentally responsible coating process.

    Newpreston-1 Haven Hardware has mastered the art of designing and manufacturing architectural hardware. Years of market research and product design have29_6276_copy_1e resulted in a refined, and flawless series of sliding door hardware. Each set of hardware is manufactured solely in the United States, refined over years of development and production to produce the highest quality results. Each piece of hardware is made to delivee29_6230_1r the ultimate customer experience, and aesthetic appearance..

     

     

    8080-60-3700_Rocking_Chair_Earth_BrownAdams’ rocking chair is designed for long-lasting comfort. The curved seat and comforting back support delivers a relaxation that rivals the classic wooden rockers of yesteryear, incorporating a smooth and peaceful rocking action. More affordable and easier to maintain than wood, Adams’ Stacking Rocker is built from high-quality resin for all-weather performance.

    According to Dan Stainer, director of marketing for Adams Manufacturing,
    the Adams’ Big Easy Rocking Chair is an industry first and 100% Made in USA.

    danssteinerStainer said, “The Adams’ Big Easy Rocking Chair is the world’s first stackable resin rocker and rated to hold 350 lbs. It was selected as the “Best New Product” based on three judging criteria: Product Innovation, Product Design and lastly, Product Quality.”

     

    “The Adams’ Big Easy Rocking Chair is new for this year/2015 selling season and can be purchased at participating retailers such as Lowe’s and Walmart – or even local retailers such as Trader Horn. Please check with your local retailer for availability – as it is a new product and is starting to make its way out to the broader market.”

    The Adams’ Big Easy Rocking Chair
    www.adamsmfg.com,
    800.237.8287

    Winners of the 2015 Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards at the National Hardware Show

    Lawn-Garden-Retailer-v0002

    Presented By

    Celebrating trends and innovation in hardware, the 2015 National Hardware Show® was held May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    Celebrating trends and innovation in hardware, the 2015 National Hardware Show® was held May 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    The Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards, at the National Hardware Show, focus on innovative, new products within this product category.

    Ratx.jpg
    ecoclear.jpgGold:
    Company: EcoClear Products, Inc., Product: RatX Rodenticide.

      EcoClear’s flagship product line is completely safe for People, Pets and Wildlife. RatX is 100% Green and 100% effective. Now you can have the peace of mind that your family is safe and still be free from pests.
    cstidd“RatX is the safest way to effectively control and kill rats and mice and is very effective,” stated Christopher Stidd, president of Ecoclear Products, Inc. “RatX is safest rat and mouse bait ever developed, it is safe for People, Pets and Wildlife with NO RISK to anyone’s family or family pets.”
    Stidd continued, “While RatX Rodenticide has only been on the market less than one year, it can be found in over 1,000 independent locations as well as The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply, Bi-Mart, Do it Best Hardware, ZamZows Lawn and Garden, Intermountain Farmers Association and more!!!!”
    EcoClear Products, Inc.

    Visit EcoClear Products, Inc at the following upcoming trade shows:

    National Hardware Show – Las Vegas – May 5th – 7th – Booth # 37151
    Do It Best Buyers Market – Indianapolis – May 15th – 17th
    Intermountain Farmers Association Fall Show – Las Vegas – July 7th – 8th
    SuperZoo – Las Vegas – July 21st – 23rd
    Ace Hardware Fall Buying Show – Chicago – August 20th – 22nd
    Central Garden Buying Show – Las Vegas – August 23rd – 25th
    L&L Nursery Market Show – Reno – October 7th – 8th

    amesSilver: Company: The AMES Company, Inc., Product: True Temper Dual Tine Leaf Rake, with the detachable Hand Rake.

    The AMES Companies, Inc., introduces the world’s first Dual Tine Leaf Rake from its True Temper® brand. The new rake has been specially engineered to reduce leaf collection time. Available in two styles, Standard and Combo, the Dual Tine Leaf Rake features a unique one-sweep design with two rows of tines durable enough to rake even the most stubborn damp leaves without damaging lawns in the process.

    Bronze: Company: BBQ Dragon, Product: BBQ DragonBBQ-Dragon-Logo-foot

     

    bigdragon1. HIGH POWERED FAN
    Delivers a large volume of cool air at a low velocity to ignite the coals fast without blowing ash all over.

    2. INLET AND DISCHARGE GRILLS
    Keep unwanted things out of the BBQ Dragon.

    3. MICRO-USB PORT
    To recharge the optional NiMh batteries using your existing home and car chargers.

    4. VARIABLE SPEED MOTOR
    For just the right amount of air to any size fire.

    5. ERGONOMIC HANDLES
    Placed outside of the grill so they’re always cool.

    6. VERSATILE SPRING-LOADED CLAMP
    Opens wide and attaches to a variety of grills, fire pits and more.

    7. GRILL LOCK DESIGN
    Locks onto the grill to hold tight and reduce movement.

    Black-Diamond-Logo-LU_h75.jpgHonorable Mention: Company: Black Diamond International Forest Group, Product: Organic Hardwood Charcoal

    CharWood is certified organic hardwood lump charcoal