So what’s the good news, sparky?
For all the 500’s drawbacks, it’s important to note that I still got a lot of work done. Support for USB peripherals such as my external mouse and keyboard made writing easier, while the Chromebook’s built-in Wi-Fi radio consumed bandwidth almost as fast as I needed.
As an investor, I draw three lessons from all this:
- The Chromebook is a decent alternative but not a substitute. Bring me a machine that’s so loaded with memory and CPU power that there’s never a need to idle a page. Performance matters on the Web, and constant loading and reloading make the Chromebook less a workhorse and more a luxury machine. Alter the equation, Google, and profits will follow.
- Google Drive and Dropbox are disrupting storage. Computer makers are displacing high-capacity magnetic hard drives in favor of power-friendly flash drives. That’s good news for the likes of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Toshiba. But that’s not the end of the story. I’d have been lost if all I had done was back up my Mac to Time Machine, since the Chromebook doesn’t use the Mac OS. Fortunately, I store most of my work in the cloud using a combination of Google Drive and Dropbox. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has a similar service called SkyDrive for those who prefer to work online but within the Office suite of products.
- Chips and memory will be the next big breakthrough areas. Flash won’t be the only benefactor. Cloud services that execute scripts — i.e., tiny snippets of code — directly in a browser have a way of taxing even the most advanced processors. Expect Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to push the boundaries of efficiency in its newest designs as ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH) brings its own finely crafted chips to newer laptops.
There will be a day when the Chromebook is every bit as good as the laptops it hopes to displace. But we’re not there yet, and it probably won’t be for a few years. Do you agree? Disagree? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.
The article The Day My Mac Died originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Tim Beyers.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim’s Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, and Intel and owns shares of Apple, Google, Intel, and Microsoft.
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