For all the problems of being a cloud computer, there are some huge advantages. First of all Google insists that viruses will not be a problem. With the updates managed server side and the storage more or less in the cloud the company is confident that it can prevent malware ever being a significant problem. It also does away with a need for a lengthy scan which is welcome news indeed.

More significantly, Chrome OS is built to be up and running quickly both on initial setup and every time you press the power button or open your Chromebook.

In fact it's an incredibly elegant system to a point. Setting up a box-fresh Chromebox to the stage where we could browse took us a matter of a couple of minutes. After plugging in the mouse, keyboard, power cable and monitor the box fired up to a log-in page and after joining the network and sticking our Google log-in on (and skipping a tutorial page) we were checking out TechRadar.

Login screen

When resuming a session it's a matter of seconds to get back online and surfing again. Instant browsing is something that tablet users are used to, but it remains a nice trick for those familiar with Windows PCs.

Joining a network did raise a minor problem; our office guest account has a changing password which means that you can get stuck in a cycle of having the Wi-Fi not work (because the password is expired) and not being able to get online or change the network password.


It's, in truth, a minor gripe and not one that will afflict many people, but it's worth mentioning because forgetting a Wi-Fi network remains fiddly even when logged on, which is a shame for a device that is all about connectivity.

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'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.