Good to have choice
Personally I will opt for the Windows variant but its good to have some choice :)
Lenovo has quietly slipped out a convertible Chromebook that operates in four modes: “laptop, tablet, tent and stand”. Lenovo-watchers might recognise the quote above as the descriptor Lenovo uses for its Yoga range of laptops that, thanks to a cunning hinge, can fold so the screen sits on the machine's back and behaves like a …
Looks like the laptop I'll buy for my kids. No windows, so no need for anti-virus and other bloat, small, light and flexible, and powerful enough for their needs in primary and secondary school.
Finally I'll be able to replace their ageing Aspire One (running Kubuntu). The only drawback I can see is if it is locked to ChromeOS, lets hope it isn't.
We are yet to see a locked Chromebook (it will come one day, let's have no doubts about it - do no evil, some other time). All of them so far have developer mode.
While I do not have a pending laptop replacement problem, this one is tempting me. It would make a stellar Debian typewriter. On the other side, I already have a Samsung Arm based one (Samsung chromebook with Debian and set to boot to Debian by default).
My desktop has started showing that it is ready to head for the recycling dump. If the yoga version is a cheap enough unit here in the UK then it will be the replacement rather than another desktop.
Connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse and it will do 99% of what the desktop is needed for. The other 1% ? thats what sisters and their windows laptops are for, after all I provide the tech support for it.
Google seem to have a winner. Roughly 0 to 20% of US education sales in one year is rather impressive. And unsurprising...after using one for 4 months for the sort of jobs needed for education, there are very few things it can't do at least well enough, and some things it does extremely well.
Any school looking at a saving of over £60 compared to the Windows version, and then thinking about the reduced maintenance, would have to make a strong case to buy Windows. Especially when you consider that a Chromebook rollout will enable all the Windows machines to be used for classes involving computation - which means perhaps no more Windows purchases ever as the Chrome "app gap" closes.
I suspect that the Chromebooks of 2016 will have the same graphics capability as the average school computer used for image processing now, so the lack of processing power is going to become increasingly irrelevant.
Now what's needed is a Pi desktop for Chrome, so that a Chromebook/Pi/Arduino environment can be created.
"Now what's needed is a Pi desktop for Chrome, so that a Chromebook/Pi/Arduino environment can be created."
Chrome has a VNC viewer already in the store and VNC server is in the Raspian repository. Works well after a little fiddling but shouldn't be beyond any suitably motivated schoolkid.
> If I understand correctly, in stand mode, the keyboard is facing the table?
Correct. The screen on the Yoga folds right around, so in stand mode the screen is facing you and the base sits on it's keyboard. Keep folding the screen (so the back of the screen is touching the base) and it's a tablet.
You can also open it like a conventional laptop and turn it upside down, so it balances on the front edge of the base and the top of the screen - tent mode.
This page: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/landingpage/yoga/ is for the Yoga 2 Pro, but all the Yoga machines have the 360-degree screen hinge and it shows the different modes it can do.
Anyone whom needs Assistive Technology (AT) in order to use it in the first place.
As a Totally Blind computer user, I'm required to utilize a Screen Reader Environment (SRE) in order to have access to the machine.
If the machine doesn't have, or can't be equipped with, a SRE, then it's not a computer, it's a boat anchor.
The best SRE for Windows is a program called Jaws by Freedom Scientific.
It's expensive as hell, but it gets the job done.
There's the free alternative of NVDA, but the learning curve on it makes the one for Jaws feel like the difference between learning to crawl & free climbing a reverse-incline cliff face covered in Fullerene based lube.
For *Nix there are various distros like Adrienne Knoppix & the Vinux Project, as well as SRE's like Orca & EasySpeak, but they're still "iffy" at best, and require not only learning the SRE, but the entire OS beneath it.
Since the last time I used *Nix was ~5 years ago on a copy of Ubuntu, my memory of how to use *nix is a bit hazy.
So making it a *double* learning curve is a serious draw back.
Apple machines have built in SRE, but the cost of the damned machines is obscenely prohibitive.
Seriously, when I can buy a 4th gen I5, 8Gb RAM, 500Gb SSD Thinkpad L440 for $850 running Win7Pro64, or spend nearly twice that in order to get even a lackluster Apple laptop, the choice is an easy one to make.
Sure Apple's SRE may be better, but not enough to justify spending nearly an extra $1K to get it.
So in reality, what choice does a Disabled person have?
If we need AT in order to use the machine, and the best AT solution is on a Windows machine, our options are rather limited.
Sure I'd love a *nix system that Just Worked Out Of The Box.
But in the ~5 years I've been searching for one, I haven't found it yet.
Get those *nix Gurus to get their act together & make the Adrienne/Orca/Vinux style AT bits work properly, and then I'll have a choice.
But for now I'm stuck on Windows and loathe every damned moment.
Would be really interesting if the product behaves like android in tablet mode and a chromebook in laptop mode.... with the option of using crouton to run a desktop distro for off line work it becomes a true all-in-one device. With 3G/4G, I can just picture me holding the 11.6 inch device to my ear.
They did a toughened version of the ThinkPad running ChromeOS as a chromebook for use in school.
It was robust enough for class room use by teenagers, it could survive drops off the desk etc.
I believe it sold very well, but it is only available in the US and only permitted to be sold to schools as far as I could work out.