Variety

Xolo Chromebook: the perfect office buddy

Amrit Ramakrishnan | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 03, 2015

Xolo Chromebook

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Xolo Chromebook

If your world revolves around the internet, this is the device for you

When the first commercially available Chromebooks, the Samsung Series 5 and the Acer AC700, were unveiled in May 2011, at the Google I/O developer conference, it set the ball rolling for a new genre of devices. It is a different breed of computer and it focuses on what computing has been all about since the late ‘90s – the web. Basically a mini laptop that runs Chrome OS as its operating system, the Chromebook has quickly grown from a curiosity to a force to be reckoned with, dominating 2014 with record sales and cementing itself as a permanent fixture in schools and colleges across the world.

Also, last month tech giant Google planned a pilot project to provide schools in Arunachal Pradesh with these devices in Itanagar and Ziro.

Design and build

We get our hands on the Xolo Chromebook, launched late last month, to see what the fuss is all about. This open and shut device oozes simplicity. It looks slick with its thin form and the Chrome and Xolo badging make sure you know what device you’re holding. Talking of holding, don’t be fooled by its thin form; the device is not featherweight and feels a bit heavy on your palm. The keyboard is nice and simple, and the keys are easy to use and have reasonable distance from one another.

The test mule we got had one bizarre drawback, the double quotes (“) and at the rate (@) symbols were interchanged. The area around the mouse tracker has this carbon fibre-like finish, which will definitely appeal to petrol heads and young users. It is just a shame that the pad is a fingerprint magnet.

The left side of the device houses a micro SD card slot, one of two USB ports, a HDMI slot and the charging port. The second USB slot and a 3.5mm jack are on the other coast.

Performance

The Xolo Chromebook is powered by a 1.8 GHz Rockchip 3288 quad-core processor paired with ARM Mali-T764 GPU for graphics and 2GB of RAM. It features an 11.6-inch IPS display with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution and houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded thanks to the SD card slot on the side. The front camera is a 1MP unit that is useful for video chatting.

The battery is adequate at 4,200 mAh. Start the device and you’re immediately asked to sign in with your Google account. Special mention to the boot time; it took less than six seconds. The company claims, in its website, the boot time to be within 10 seconds. Once you get access to the home page, you have on offer a plethora of Google’s stuff and have the choice of installing new apps from the Chrome Web Store, something like the Play Store for Google. It has cleverly added many utility software to its app store and also allows installation of selected apps that are available on the Android platform. All your documents will be stored on Google drive and Xolo has thrown in an extra 100 GB of storage as gratitude for choosing its device. Mind you, it is valid only for two years. You may not find the exact offline Windows app for the Chromebook, but chances are you’ll find a decent alternative.

With respect to day-to-day usage, something the Chromebook was built for, it is hassle-free as long as you don’t open heavy applications. Take browsing for instance, light websites are a breeze to open but when you venture into content-heavy sites there is a noticeable dip in performance. Video playback was adequate and 1080p videos rolled on without much hassle. Battery life is good for nearly 8-8.5 hours, which is commendable. However, the track pad is one stubborn animal to tame. I found it really difficult to manoeuvre the scroll and it is especially annoying when you’re scrolling through pictures. Best to get a mouse. The Chromebook is making news thanks to its aggressive price of ₹12,999. At this price-range, there is a lot going for the device. You can use your docs, sheets, make calculations, prepare slides for presentations and all of these can be done on Google’s peripherals. And the extra 100 GB makes it a tempting proposition.

However, this is not a replacement for your laptop. It is great for students and even employees who want to use Google’s productivity tools and do a bit of surfing on the web.

Price: ₹12,999

Love: Simplicity in form and function, lightening quick boot and great price

Hate: Deceptively heavy, fingerprint magnet,

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Published on June 03, 2015
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