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New Chromebooks Land In Australia, But Still No Assistant

An expanded range of Chromebooks has hit retailers and online as Google attempts to lure customers away from Apple and Microsoft, but are still yet to include Google Assistant.

Windows and MacOS both feature voice-activated assistants in the form of Cortana and Siri.

While ChromeOS has Google Assistant built-in, turning it on requires some digging around in developer settings until a stable version is included in an update expected later this year.

The new range of laptops running ChromeOS includes devices from Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Asus, which are all designed to meet Google’s own specification requirements around battery life, cameras, keyboards, styluses and displays.

The devices are less focused on storage and memory, as most of the computing takes place on external servers.

Chromebooks are able to download some apps through the Google Play Store to run offline, but the majority of the OS functionality is built around the Chrome browser, running apps over the internet.

ChromeOS is geared towards speed and security, “sandboxing” individual tabs away from the rest of the computer and automatically updating the OS in the background to stay ahead of new threats.

The affordability, simplicity and syncability of Chromebooks also make them useful for sharing amongst children, with settings and apps being linked to individual Google accounts and Google’s Family Link service allowing parents to monitor and restrict usage.

New Chromebooks range in price from around A$349 to A$1199 and are available through Google, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and Amazon.

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