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Touchscreen Chromebooks are everywhere, but how well do they work?

Chris Hoffman | Sept. 8, 2015
Google's been slowly baking more and more touchscreen support into Chromebooks, but there's still a ways to go.

Is a Chromebook the tablet of your dreams?

Chromebooks-even ones that can transform into tablets-have more in common with transforming Windows PCs than they do Android tablets and iPads.

A touch screen is a nice bonus, allowing you to reach up to scroll on a webpage, zoom into a map with a pinch, or tap a link to click. Sure, you probably don't want to do that all the time, but it's nice to have.

But, as with Windows, Chrome OS is clearly a mouse-and-keyboard-first operating system. Just picture using Gmail on a Chromebook in tablet mode. You're using the standard desktop website, but you'll have to tap at it. Android and iPad users get custom apps that provide a richer touch experience complete with swipes and larger touch targets. This goes for many other websites, too. The web as a whole still isn't optimized for touch.

But tablet mode can still be useful. Maybe you're having a video chat via Google Hangouts, watching something on Netflix or YouTube, or sitting down to read practically anything on the web. Tablet mode could be comfortable, and-if that's all you use your tablet for in the first place-you're good to go. But Chrome OS also lacks the large app and game selection offered by Android and iPad. Sure, you can hack most Android apps onto a Chromebook, but most people won't want to bother.

Touch-enabled and convertible Chromebooks have a great bonus feature, just like transforming Windows PCs. But Google hasn't launched a Chrome OS tablet without a hardware keyboard-an acknowledgement that Android is still the best Google has to offer on a pure tablet.

Source: PCWorld


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