Sunday, March 23, 2014

Android as a home computer


I have been testing the recently released 'Android for a PC' operating system for the last month. The test machine is a four year old Toshiba 10" Laptop with 1Gb RAM. Installation took aroud five minutes on a 4Gb SD card. Once booted a Google Account needed to be signed in and everything was automatically set up. Using Google Play I put the following extra Apps on: Astro (File Manager), Open Office (Documents and Spreadsheets), Skype (Video calling), iPrint&Scan (Brother wireless multifunction printer and scanner), Adobe reader (PDF's), Overdrive (Library books), Firefox(Internet browsing), E-mail (Pre installed) and Media player (Pre installed for Pictures, Music and Movies). Ethernet and Wireless connections both worked well along with the external mouse. The only disadvantage was that only one application at a time can be displayed on the screen, although some manufacturers can allow a split screen to give two apps side by side. This post was written on this described system. I found this system to be reliable and as fast as a normal PC. Virus checking is not required. USB flashdrives can be used for extra storage.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Asus builds cheap Chromeboxes

Asus are moving back to making Desktop computers again, but with a Chrome operating system. These are designed as a modern system so Legacy Windows programs will have to be run remotely from a another computer via 'Remote desktop software'. Like all Chrome Os systems these are maintenance free. At US $179 this is very cheap and probably aimed more at businesses although would make an excellent home computer if Web browsing and e-mail are the main use. A full off-line media player is standard.