The Chrome OS diversification and global spread efforts continue, although there’s really nothing special about these two new web-centric machines.
Encouraged by market studies from several research specialists, which found Chromebooks even more popular than Apple iPads among students and teachers worldwide, Google keeps doling out inexpensive Windows “killers.”
Unfortunately, many of them lack all signs of originality or the smallest shred of a wow factor, relying way too much on affordability to help with sales. Worse yet, some recent models, like the just-launched Xolo and Nexian Air Chromebooks in India, aren’t cheap enough for the humble specifications they offer.
Still, in absence of a better alternative at the equivalent of $200 (Rs, 12,999), cash-strapped first-time PC buyers might be tempted by the quad-core Rockchip/2 GB RAM systems. If that’s the case, please, do yourselves a favor, go for the Nexian Air.
Manufactured by a lesser known company headquartered in Indonesia, this is built with classroom necessities in mind, looking bulkier and chunkier than the 11-inch Xolo, but for a good, noble reason. Its exterior is rugged and made to last, no matter the stern environment its services will be required in.
Meanwhile, the Xolo Chromebook can’t really be described as ugly, but it’s no looker either and the chassis is constructed of perfectly fragile plastic.
Under the hood, the two ultraportable laptops are essentially identical, with 1.8 GHz chips, 16 GB internal storage and 8-hour batteries, and the IPS 11.6-inch screens produce mediocre image at best, at 1,366 x 768 pixels resolution.
Free 100 GB Google Drive cloud storage is offered for two years to redeem the scanty flash memory, whereas a pair of “high-power” stereo speakers constitute basically the sole high-end-ish feature here. Everything else is the textbook definition of “meh” – Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, ARM Mali 760 graphics, SD card reader, HDMI, 720p webcam, 2 USB 2.0 ports.