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chromebooks-portability

Chrome OS Myths Debunked

One of the biggest issues with Chromebooks and related devices are the myths that surround them, especially in regards to Internet access.  In a previous article, I wrote about one reason why Chromebooks are real computers.

In this article, I’ll be expanding on some of the other myths pertaining to Chrome OS devices while debunking each of them.

Without Internet, You Can’t Create Documents

Now that Offline Mode is available, this isn’t true.  While inserting images isn’t an option, Google Docs can be created and edited while offline.  Furthermore, one can even create drawings in offline mode.  This was covered in a previous article, but I figured I’d go over this again.

Without Internet, You Can’t View Videos or Listen to Music

There are plenty of options for audio and video without the Internet.  While Chrome OS has built in audio and video playback, there are other options out there.

For instance, there’s Remo Music Player.

Remo Music Player

One can drag MP3 files into the playlist area. The app even includes an equalizer.

Remo is a packaged app, meaning it will run in its own window.  Entire directories of songs can be loaded and even shuffled.

Another option is Acshar Player, which is a Chrome extension.

Achsar Player

Playlists can be navigated, and the theme can be changed.

As an extension, the player operates in a browser tab.  The theme can be changed, an offline mode exists, and the playlist has more navigational options than Remo.

As for video playback, there’s the native ability to play various video formats, especially WebM.  Subtitle Video Player is another option, especially for those wanting subtitle support.

Subtitle Video Player

One of the main draws is the subtitle loading feature.

The main feature is the loading of subtitles, which can come in handy when watching shows from countries such as Japan or South Korea.  As a packaged app, it can be run offline, which brings us to the next myth.

There’s Not Enough Storage Space on a Chromebook

While Chromebooks do have small SSD’s for storage, there’s a good reason for it.  Smaller SSD’s that are high performance contribute to fast loading times.  For larger files, USB ports are available.  This means you can attach an external hard drive and add or remove files.

Chrome OS even supports NTFS.

I Can’t Watch DVD’s or Listen to CD’s

While Chromebooks aren’t able to utilize external optical drives, they aren’t the only devices that don’t have one built in.  Even portables with Windows 8 or 8.1 exist without an optical drive.

Let’s face it.  Less people are using optical drives as streaming media is becoming more popular.

There’s Still Things I Can’t Do on a Chromebook

Even if there is still something that Chrome OS doesn’t have, it will either be replaced by HTML 5 based packaged apps or third party solutions will fill the void.  IN one instance, the latter has already happened.

Enter Crouton.  There are numerous tutorials guiding users on installing Ubuntu in a chroot environment inside of Chrome OS.  Though it’s intended audience happens to be power users, Crouton can be used to supplement the existing capabilities of the device.

The best news of all is that rebooting between the two environments is not necessary and the existing Chrome OS drivers are used.

Conclusion

Arguing that Chromebooks aren’t real computers makes as much sense as referring to smartphones as pretend computers.  Multimedia can be enjoyed, documents can be created and edited offline, storage can be expanded through USB drives, and Ubuntu can be installed for additional functionality.

We are looking for aspiring bloggers and journalists for The Mukt. If you are interested, apply now!

So when anyone asks if a Chromebook is a real computer, feel free to say, “Absolutely!”

Thomas Holbrook II

Thomas first encountered FOSS while visiting the University of Central Missouri (then known as Central Missouri State University) during high school. Mandrake was the first distribution he ever attempted to run. He has had experience with SuSE, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, and other distros. He currently does a podcast each week and publishes a monthly digital magazine covering Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture at www.thenixedreport.com.

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