Does anyone remember Google Chromebooks, which first made an appearance in the Indian PC market two years back? Quiz the average PC user and chances are that other than the Google device, a large number of Microsoft Windows-based notebook computers from various vendors have a strong brand recall. If I may put it bluntly, Chromebooks weren’t exactly a rage here like they are in the US, for the simple reason that these devices were designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing in the cloud. Moreover, the average Indian user saw more value proposition in fully featured laptops running the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Cut to present. Google has announced a new range of affordable Chromebook devices in India. It has introduced Chromebooks in partnership with Xolo and Nexian. Both the devices are priced at Rs 12,999, they work offline too and are targeted at first-time computer users and households seeking an additional computer. Company officials reckon that Chromebooks are easy to use, easy to share, and easy to manage. Based on these parameters, they can be the ideal computing devices for teachers and students as well. The new Chromebooks can be bought online from Snapdeal.com and Amazon.in respectively. Recently, I got the Xolo Chromebook for a product evaluation and here are my first impressions about the new Google laptop.
First things first, the Chromebook is a really fast computer. It starts in seconds and offers plenty of apps. It has built-in virus protection, and backs up your stuff in the cloud. Switched on, the Xolo Chromebook boots up in about 10 seconds and, unlike a traditional computer, doesn’t slow down over time thanks to regular, seamless updates. The patches and security updates are downloaded at regular intervals and installed automatically to give your device an improved security and performance. Multiple layers of security help to keep you safe from viruses, malware and other computer nasties.
The Chromebook has a 29.464 cm display which enables you to enjoy your content on a big (11.6-inch) screen that offers a rich display with a resolution of 1368 x 768. You can experience video calling with pretty good clarity. Probing the innards, the machine is loaded with fairly powerful processor (Rockchip RK3288 Quad-Core Cortex-A17, upto 1.8 GHz) that processes everything you throw at it in a jiffy. The device clocks upto 1.88 GHz making it super-fast without any lags or waiting. It boots up in less than 10 seconds making it easy and speedy to toggle between apps, allowing multitasking. Many Google apps come built-in, including a whooping 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage (free for two years). In other words, all your photos and videos are stored in your cloud which can be accessed anytime, anywhere from any device.
Moving forward, a user can switch between multiple accounts on the Xolo Chromebook. Let me elaborate a little bit here. The Xolo laptop allows multiple users to sign in still keeping your private data separate. In the Multiple Users Mode, users can have their accounts on the same device. Therefore, your data is secure and not shared with other users. In the Guest Mode, you can share your Chromebook with others without giving them an access to your personal data and information. In the Supervised Mode, you can control the environment and let your child explore the online world that you can manage. You can also block unwanted sites and give an access only to certain sites.
Importantly, the Xolo Chromebook allows you to work offline too. Apps like Gmail Offline and Google Docs let you keep working when you are not connected to the Internet. There are more offline apps in the Chrome Web Store too. A powerful 4200 mAh battery fuels the Xolo Chromebook by means of which you can play games, check your emails, browse your favourite sites or watch movies; do everything you want to, all day long without the need to recharge. Yes, the Chromebook works upto 10 hours in a single charge and the device will easily fit in your backpack without making it too heavy to carry. So, whether you are home or on the go, it’ll always be with you and let you work charge free. It’s convenience at its best!
In my hands-on experience, the Xolo Chromebook came across as a stylish yet serious machine with zippy performance. It is surely a smart laptop and can be an excellent low-cost Windows computer alternative. Given its affordable price tag, students will love to flaunt it around.