Around December last year (2010) Google launched a pilot program in which they gave away thousands of notebook units they called “Cr-48” – a prototype of the Chrome OS-based notebook.
That prototype has now been fully developed and released as Chromebook which according to Google is:
“A mobile device designed specifically for people who live on the web. With a comfortable full-sized keyboard, large display and clickable trackpad, all-day battery life, light weight, and built-in ability to connect to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, Chromebooks are ideal for anytime, anywhere access to the web. They provide a faster, safer, more secure online experience for people who live on the web, without all the time-consuming, often confusing, high level of maintenance required by typical computers.”
With the built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity you’re always connected to the web anytime, anywhere. After all, the purpose of the Chromebook is to connect you to the internet and to your web-based applications. Go to the Chromebook site for the complete list of its features.
One of the advantages of the Chromebook is the minimal maintenance requirements of its hardware. And since it is a web-based device, you always have access to all your applications and files anytime and anywhere – that is if you have an access to the internet (a downside?). The “3G models include a free 100 MB per month of mobile data from Verizon Wireless.”
No applications (except the operating system that runs the device and other modules of its subsystem) are locally stored in the device. All your applications and data are stored in the web. This means more security and redundancy. If you lose your Chromebook, you can just log on into another Chromebook and continue to work (provided that you have a backup device).
Depending on your work habits or work style, the Chromebook – the first ever Cloud-based notebook – can help boost your productivity. Here are the
Top 10 Productivity Tools For Chromebook
People prefer Gmail for their email needs on the go. Gmail has been a reliable web client mail application since its beta days. This is “must” tool for the Chromebook.
2. Google Tasks
Add and manage your tasks from your Chromebook using Google Tasks. Your tasks are visible pretty much everywhere – on Gmail, Calendar, iGoogle and through the Google Tasks API that can be used to sync your tasks with third-party applications and devices.
3. Google Calendar
With Google Calendar you can easily manage your upcoming events. Events from Facebook or Evite can also be integrated with Google Calendar. Never miss any opportunities, and your calendar will help you remember all the events you need to remember. If you’ve been a GTD practitioner like me, you know that a calendar is an important part of any productivity system.
4. Google Docs
Do you often need to work or collaborate with other people? Share critical documents on the web with your team. The real-time access that Google Docs allows you to have can help you and your team or co-worker get things done. You can quickly edit documents anytime, anywhere as long as you have an access to the internet.
5. Evernote Web
Capture all kinds of data from the web and sort them accordingly by notebooks and tags. Save notes, ideas, and all your digital stuff on Evernote Web – audio, images, pdf’s, etc. You must have heard about the awesomeness and usefulness of Evernote. You can have its benefits on Chromebook with Evernote Web.
With Chromebook, you do not have a local hard drive to save your data to but thanks to the Cloud. Box.Net gives you a free 5GB storage on the Cloud. You can put your docs and other data online and access them anywhere.
7. Large Document
Wanting to send a large file to a client or co-worker but your email web client does not allow you to attach it because of its large size? You need Large Document which is “a secure file transfer and sharing service similar to an FTP server, DropBox or YouSendIt but does not require any login information.” Your files are available on their server up to 180 Days.
8. Podio / Cohuman
Podio App description says, “Podio gives people more power than they’ve ever had before to do everyday work better, smarter and in their own way. Combining hundreds of specialized and flexible work apps with messaging, tasks, reporting, workflow and contact management, Podio lets you build and shape the online workplace most fitting to your role.” Cohuman is an app quite similar to Podio.
9. yaM – Yet Another Meeting
Meetings are waste of time. yaM was desiged to make meetings matter. It works with any types of meeting. “Utilize existing data in Google Contacts, Google Calendar and Google Docs” and all other key benefits you’re already familiar with from other commercial collaborative applications.
10. Timer Tab
This app is essential to people practicing time-boxing productivity techniques or the Pomodoro Technique. You can use the Timer Tab as timer, alarm clock and stopwatch.
Other Interesting Chrome Apps
SlideRocket – Create impressive presentations!
Email Game – puts fun in email
Inspirational Quotes – get inspired with Productivity Quotes!
Simplenotes – quick way of capturing notes, ideas, etc
Write Space – useful for bloggers and writers. This app eliminate all the distractions of writing and put you into the writing mode.
Picnik Photo Editor – simple yet powerful photo editor
You can find and install all this to your Chrome browser or Chromebook from the Chrome Web Store.