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Mountain View-based everything giant Google announced on Friday that there are now 2000 schools using Chromebooks for Education all around the world. Rewinding three months there were only 1000 schools, which shows that the adoption rate over the last three months has been a very nice 100%.
Once the milestone was reached, Google showed off a list of schools that recently joined the Chromebook world:
Transylvania County Schools in rural North Carolina deploying 900 devices.
St.Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida going one-to-one with 2,200 devices.
Rocketship Education in the Bay Area of California using 1,100 Chromebooks.
It shouldn't be long before more and more schools take advantage of the Chromebooks, but this list would be a bit biased toward Google as those schools most likely ordered the most Chromebook's out of all of the additional 1000 schools from the past three months.
Anandtech is reporting that some Samsung laptops can be bricked by booting Linux via UEFI. UEFI is the successor to BIOS and Samsung's implementation on some laptops appears to cause the system to brick when trying to boot Linux. This problem likely stems from the systems not being fully tested and validated.
While only a small subset of users will likely be affected by this issue, it's important to pass along information that could keep you from bricking your laptop within seconds.
The problem appears to stem from compatibility issues in the kernel driver with Samsung laptops. The problem first popped up last year when a user tried booting Ubuntu 12.04 on a Samsung laptop. Samsung fixed the bricked system under warranty by replacing the motherboard, after which the user had the same problem again.
Ubuntu is working with Samsung to get these issues resolved, as they likely face every Linux distribution. Samsung is working on a firmware fix, while Ubuntu is putting protections in place to prevent damage from occurring to systems. If you're looking to install Linux on a Samsung laptop, I would hold off until a definite fix is provided.
We're seeing some leaked details of HP's first Chromebook become available, where we should see it as the HP Pavilion Chromebook. We'll be greeted with a 14-inch screen and a 1366x768 resolution, unfortunately.
Inside the Pavilion Chromebook, expect an Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD and a 37WHr battery that should provide around 4 hours and 15 minutes of use. Not too bad, but not the best specs either. We should expect HP's Pavilion Chromebook to become available on February 17 for $329.99.
It looks like Chromebooks are here to stay. Leading laptop manufacturer HP accidentally leaked information on their new 14-inch Chromebook Pavilion. The new Chromebook will see the light of day officially on February 17. Specifications are light, as are all Chromebooks, but the machine should prove formidable for most web tasks.
It will come sporting an Intel Celeron 847 CPU, which clocks in at a mere 1.1GHz. Graphics will be provided by an Intel HD GPU. RAM is a mere 2GB of DDR3, which could prove to be a problem if you surf the web like I do. It will store data locally on a 16GB SSD. The 14-inch screen will pump out a resolution of just 1366x768.
As far as connectivity, you'll get three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet, and an SD card reader. The battery is only 2.55Ah, which is slated to run for four hours and 15 minutes.
It's hard to pass up a good deal, especially when it's on something that rarely ever gets put on sale. For instance, an Apple MacBook Air. Best Buy, as part of its Winter Doorbuster Days sale, has the Apple MacBook Air on sale for $200 off, which is quite the deal. This means the 11-inch Air with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD is only $799.99.
The 13-inch MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD is $999.99. You can get the sale both online and in store, though the offer is only while supplies last. You can also pick up an OtterBox case for 30 percent off, or get a free $20 gift card with the purchase of a 16GB iPod nano.
The MacBook Airs are available on BestBuy's website.
The Ultrabook market continues to swell, especially now that Windows 8 is here. LG have unveiled a new Ultrabook, dubbed the LG U560. LG's U560 sports a 15.6-inch display and wait for it... an optical drive!
Yes! An optical drive in an Ultrabook - with it all being crammed into an Ultrabook that weighs in at 4.3 pounds and is just 0.82 inches thick. The 15.6-inch panel is of an IPS variety, an Intel Core i5 CPU cranks along inside, with discrete GPU, a normal HDD as well as an SSD. The U560 will launch in South Korea at first, but it should float across the pond eventually.
I was one of the lucky Australian's, and lucky overall, to get a Nexus 4 with the first stock that dropped, but now the super popular smartphone will reach Australian stores on February 1.
The 16GB version will set you back $499 which is much more than the $399 pricing on the Google Play Store ($349 for those in the US). You can get it slapped onto an Optus plan, which will drop the total price to around AUD$35 a month, which is not too bad at all.
When compared to unlocked competitors' phones, the Nexus 4 is still not priced too badly. The new iPhone 5 will still set you back hundreds more.
If you want one of Apple's shiny 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros but don't want to pay sticker price, you're now in luck. Apple has added refurbished models of the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to its online refurb store. The best part about this is that the sticker price is 15 percent less than a new model.
Apple's refurbished products are basically new. They are packaged like retail products and come with the same one-year AppleCare warranty. It's interesting to note that the 13-inch version of the Retina MacBook Pro made it into the store quicker than the 15-inch version did. The 13-inch version came to the store just about two weeks after the 15-inch version did. However, it released months later in October.
Since its release the Chromebook has been a two-way street with only two companies choosing to build the Google OS devices. Lenovo has decided to join the ranks of Samsung and Acer and produce a Chromebook of its own.
Lenovo has announced that it is producing a Chromebook based on its X131e ThinkPad. It seems that the only hardware difference between the X131e and the X131e Chromebook is the lack of an AMD processor, and of course one runs Windows and the other Chrome OS.
Lenovo says that the X131e Chromebook is the perfect solution for K-12 schools because it is rugged, sports an 11.6-inch screen, and only runs light-weight web-only software and will not increase the schools IT department's overhead. The new Chromebook will only be available to institutional customers making volume bids, so don't count on owning one yourself at this stage.
We already have Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung, but it looks like another player is about to put boots on the ground in the war on Chromebooks. Lenovo are set to add their devices into the Chromebook fight.
The news comes from TheStreet, and would see Lenovo diving into the fight if they could get business-orientated users on board with the plan of offering up a cheap notebook solution. TheStreet thinks that Lenovo could start selling Chromebooks as early as mid-May, with pricing starting at just $299.
Lenovo would offer up a higher-end Chromebook, which would see pricing scale up to $499. We should expect screen sizes of 11.6-, 12.5-, 13- and 14-inch. With multiple models on offer, Lenovo would show confidence to the world that they're not just experimenting with Chromebook, but they're in it for the long haul.