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    Now’s the best time to ditch Windows and switch to Chromebooks

    Beyond the Alphabet(Image credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)Beyond the Alphabet is a weekly column that focuses on the tech world each inside and outside of the confines of Mountain View.Last April, I wrote a bit concerning the adverse stigma that also surrounds the concept of somebody utilizing a Chromebook. By and huge, that stigma stays, however I believe that there is by no means been a greater time to purchase a Chromebook over a Windows PC.If you ask round right here at Android Central, there is a fairly good likelihood you may discover that I’d simply be probably the most pessimistic member of the group. While I like and have an affinity for numerous gadgets, my thoughts largely defaults to the negatives. This contains Chromebooks and ChromeOS, so when our equipment editor, Namerah, requested for my opinion about an article she was engaged on about switching to Windows, my preliminary impression was one in all settlement. However, after letting my ideas stew and marinate for a bit of bit longer, I got here to a stunning and totally different conclusion. In her piece, she explains why she’s giving up on Chromebooks and can as an alternative be choosing up a Surface for her subsequent pc. There was a time after I would have stated, “Hell yeah, I can definitely get behind that.” However, the times of scoffing on the thought of utilizing a Chromebook over a Windows laptop computer or MacBook are gone, not less than in most regards.Namerah’s piece demonstrates how the stigma round Chromebooks remains to be very a lot alive. That’s to not say her expertise utilizing one is not legitimate—it very a lot is—as all of us have our preferences, and never everybody will take pleasure in utilizing a Chromebook as a lot as a Windows PC. However, Chromebooks are far more succesful machines than many individuals suppose they’re.(Image credit score: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)One instance identified within the piece is attempting to resize “an image to a specific size or sharing files to and from a ChromeOS tablet.” For the primary one, I might argue that it is truly a bit simpler to perform, as there are two alternative ways to go about resizing a picture.When utilizing the native Gallery app, there is a button on the prime, after which you possibly can both manually resize it or select one of many presets on the backside. You may open the Google Photos app, view your “On Device” photos, click on the Edit button, and make adjustments from there. Not to say, Google continues so as to add different enhancing choices, equivalent to Magic Editor with ChromeOS 125.As for sharing information between gadgets, that is one thing I’ve complained endlessly about, as nothing appeared to work as seamlessly as Apple’s AirDrop. Although it is nonetheless not fairly as easy appropriately, Google’s continued enhancements to Quick Share have paid dividends. Get the most recent information from Android Central, your trusted companion on the earth of Android(Image credit score: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)Then there’s Phone Hub, which additionally works fairly properly, even whether it is restricted to solely exhibiting you just a few latest images and information. If something, I’d like for Google to make it in order that I can view the entire information and images on my cellphone, not only a handful of the newest ones.The piece goes on to speak about issues with numerous peripherals not working with Chromebooks. This is not one thing I’ve skilled ceaselessly, and the one instances I’ve personally run into issues have been when utilizing a gaming mouse. The majority of the time, it is a “connect and go” state of affairs, even when the peripheral would not explicitly have the “Works with Chromebook” stamp. I’ve even managed to get a spare Apple Magic Trackpad paired with a Chromebook, and it really works fairly darn properly.That’s to not say there is not room for enchancment, nevertheless it’s additionally one thing that the ChromeOS group is engaged on. Back with ChromeOS 123, added the power to customise what your mouse buttons do, supplied that you simply’re utilizing a mouse with greater than two buttons. It additionally added a flag to allow keyboard shortcut customization earlier than it was enabled by default with ChromeOS 124. Ultimately, Namerah explains how the Surface Go 3 “checks all the boxes” because it “can be used as a tablet, too, and because it runs Windows 11, you can use it like any other computer.” This was the half that actually caught my consideration, just because I discover Windows on a pill to be downright terrible.(Image credit score: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)I’ve realized this increasingly more as I’ve gone deeper into gaming handhelds such because the Steam Deck, ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, MSI Claw, and others. Trying to do something exterior of the OEM’s dashboard with out a mouse and keyboard is simply asking for punishment. That’s why I’ve an arsenal of foldable Bluetooth keyboards with built-in trackpads—properly, that and my continued love of foldable telephones. Again, I’m not saying that Namerah is fallacious or that I’m proper. What I’m saying is that ChromeOS is far more succesful now than it was even six months in the past. The proof is within the pudding, as evidenced by the discharge of ChromeOS 125 and the announcement of six new Chromebook fashions.At the top of final yr, I wrote concerning the issues that I hoped to see from ChromeOS and Chromebooks over the course of 2024. With one fell swoop, Google and its {hardware} companions checked off two of the 4 packing containers. ChromeOS 125 introduced with it Gemini integration, one thing that I’d argue ought to have been there from the beginning. Meanwhile, ASUS launched a brand new ChromeOS pill, and it appears we may very well be in retailer for just a few extra choices.(Image credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)Admittedly, I do not anticipate to go 4/4 with my predictions. Doing so would require Google to resurrect the Pixelbook successor and for a Chromebook to be launched with a devoted GPU together with greater than 128GB of storage. I do not see both of these issues taking place, however hey, a man can dream.If you are deciding between a Chromebook and a Windows machine, I’d advocate pondering twice. Sure, the entire Copilot Plus options appear cool, however in the event you look a bit deeper, Microsoft is morphing Windows into the last word platter of adverts.Recently, Microsoft has been testing out alternative ways to serve customers extra adverts, however I’m not simply speaking about hounding you to set Edge because the default browser. I imply precise adverts from corporations aside from Microsoft that present up within the Start Menu or Settings app. As identified by Sean Endicott of Windows Central, “The fact that Microsoft won’t even allow people to pay to remove ads suggests the company makes more money off promotions than people would be willing to pay.”(Image credit score: Sean Endicott / Windows Central)It’s reached a breaking level the place individuals are creating user-friendly instruments to change the registry in an effort to do away with adverts. It’s additionally the identical cause why I’ve been trying to turn into extra acquainted with Linux, because the writing is on the wall for the day when I’ve to look at a 30-second advert simply to unlock my desktop Windows PC.For the time being, Microsoft is the one one doing something like this with its working system. Google and Apple shove “ads” in your face, however they’re those that we have mainly ignored for years and are not being blatantly added to issues just like the launcher. If something, I’d argue that now’s truly the right time to change to ChromeOS, particularly as extra Chromebook Plus gadgets hit the market. There are nonetheless kinks to work out, nevertheless it’s clear that Google is dedicated to the platform. How usually can we are saying such a factor about one thing that Google affords? 

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    Now’s the best time to ditch Windows and switch to Chromebooks

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