In the modern day world of consumerism, where almost everything around us seems to be get bigger AND better, (with prices lowering of course) is now finally the time where the same can be said of computing?
Whenever, I get asked for a recommendation for a laptop, I always point toward a Chromebook. They are the pinnacle of great performance and affordable computing. One recent model that sums it up so well is the HP Chromebook 14-X020NA .
Launched at the end of last year, for something slightly above the £200 / €250 mark, it provides a sleek 14 inch / 35cm HD display, 2GB of Ram and 16GB HDD. Throw in the option of choosing from one of the manufacturers funky dynamic colours, and value is certainly represented with this hi spec purchase, especially for he who wants to simply wander from Starbucks to Costa, and be able to connect with minimum fuss and effort.
With the prices of chromebooks predicted to decrease even further in due course, Mr Joe Bloggs and Mr A N Other, won’t encounter a great deal of difficulty keeping apace with technological change, while having the added bonus of few burnt holes in pockets.
Innovative products continue to be released, including the Intel Compute Stick (a windows PC with plug in features for keyboard, mouse and monitor) and Google’s impending release of the Chromebit later in 2015, both for prices of less than 3 figures. While products such as these will hardly set the pulses racing of your typical PC nut or avid gamer, they can act effectively as supplementary devices to primary resources, maximising the potential of existing hardwares.
Significantly, these changes indicate that it is quite conceivable; we may eventually observe the price of computing falling to zero. Absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. That we won’t need to work any longer with redundant hardware and inadequate operating systems. That every man (and his dog) will have the ability (and the change to spare) to go about his or her daily business, using a machine that costs them next to nothing, paired with a decent smartphone and cloud data store, for all those important documents, emails, music, photos, movies and so much more.
While many of us may not quite be ready to forgo our latest hi performance desktop PC or iMac, the potential for the above scenario draws closer and closer, almost as quickly as the price of computing decreases.