Chromebook has 13. 3 in Display
Many years ago, IBM was slow to get into the PC business because execs were convinced that the
future of computing lay in the realm of a few huge
supercomputers connected to many dumb terminals.
This miscalculation allowed competitors to eventually
force the company to divest its PC business to Lenovo.
(It also was backhandedly instrumental in the creation
of Microsoft, as IBM decided to get its OS from an
outside vendor rather than spend the money to develop
Interestingly, because almost everyone now has a
high bandwidth Internet connection, the concept to
some extent is coming full circle in the form of
Chromebooks: a category of cheap Internet-dependent
laptops designed to be used primarily while connected
to the Internet. Most applications and storage are "in the
cloud," so as the Internet becomes "smarter," PCs can
become dumber. Gartner projects that worldwide sales
will nearly triple by 2017, reaching 14. 2 million units.
One of the latest is Acer's Chromebook 13, billed as
the industry's first to use an NVIDIA Tegra K1 4-Plus-1™
quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU mobile processor; it's
the company's first with a 13. 3 inch display. Two display
models are available: a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution,
and a 1366 x 768 version. The latter claims up to
13 hours of battery life, which drops to 11 hours with the
Even though the unit is primarily for Internet use, the
3. 3 lb (1.5 kg) machine does offer two USB 3.0 ports and
an HDMI port for connection to a larger display. It also
sports 720p audio/video recording with stereo speakers
and microphones. Depending on the configuration, it will
run you between $279.99 and $379.99. More details at
EVENTS, ADVANCES, AND NEWS
COMPUTERS and NETWORKING
Get Off Their Cloud
From the very beginning, one of the concerns about "cloud computing" has been the potential for criminals to hack into huge
sensitive databases. In fact, it has happened so many times that it's
almost old news. It is worth noting, however, that you can protect
your personal data by simply creating your own personal clouds.
One available system — designed for "creative professionals,
prosumers (i.e., amateurs who wants professional-level equipment),
and workgroups" — is the My Cloud® EX2, from Western Digital
( www.wd.com). The unit is a two-bay network attached storage (NAS)
device that allows you to protect your videos, photos, music, and
other files using a choice of various drive management options. The
key is the WWD My Cloud mobile and desktop app that provides
access anytime, anywhere via iOS® and Android™ devices, as well as
laptops and desktops.
For PC users, backups are implemented with the company's
Smart Ware Pro™ software, whereas Mac users can utilize Time
Machine®. Standard drive capacities run from 4 TB to 8 TB. If that
isn't enough, you can always move up to the EX4 and double up.
The entry level configuration (you have to add your own drives) is
priced at $199. For $569, you get the loaded 8 TB version. It seems
pretty reasonable compared to the potential costs involved with
having your data stolen or destroyed. ▲ ■ Western Digital's My Cloud® EX2 allows
creation of your own private cloud.
offers a screen
resolution up to
1920 x 1080.
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