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Getting The Most From Your Chromebook

Getting The Most From Your Chromebook

When it comes to making our online computing experience easy, Chromebooks take the prize. Initial setup and startup takes literally seconds, but once it’s up and running, you may run into a few problems trying to connect it to your existing hardware such as printers, projectors, or another display. No worries though, C2G is here to save the day with our USB, HDMI, VGA and DVI adapters. So when do you need to use adapters?

Chromebooks are outfitted with the latest and greatest connection types, such as USB 3.0, HDMI and Slimport. And while having the latest connections is optimal for a sleek, light weight form factor that meets the demands of most users, there are still a few legacy connections that may be necessary.

USB to Serial Adapter- Configuring network hardware or interfacing with control systems can be a chore with a traditional laptop which suffer from poor battery life, bulky weight and a startup time in minutes. A lightweight Chromebook with a lightning fast start up time of 7 second along with a battery life that can last an entire work shift is an installer’s best friend. Plug in a USB to DB9 or USB to DB25 adapter along with your favorite terminal app and your Chromebook is now transformed into a serial terminal. There are no device drivers to install or progress bars to wait through to hold you back from getting the job done! Shop USB to Serial Adapters

USB to Fast Ethernet Adapter- Wireless networking is preferred by most users due to its flexibility and cable free hassle, however there are still instances where a hardwired connection is necessary or preferred. Hardwired connections offer reliable, faster throughput and secure network access for screen casting, video streaming and remote desktop assistance. Due to its slim form factor, Chromebooks lack an RJ45 jack for a hardwired connection. Thankfully adding a hardwired connection can be made in seconds by plugging in a USB to Fast Ethernet adapter. If a 10/100 network is not fast enough for the task, a USB to Gigabyte Ethernet adapter can be added to any USB 3.0 port. No device driver or software needs to be downloaded or installed, just plug in the adapter and you are connected! This adapter can be a lifesaver for the frequent traveler who may encounter hardwired hotel internet connections. Shop USB to Fast Ethernet Adapters

USB Hubs- Once you have discovered the usefulness of USB adapters with your Chromebook, you may inadvertently exceed the number of available ports. Fortunately, expanding USB ports on your Chromebook can be accomplished the same way as with a PC or Mac by using USB hubs. Hubs are available with 2, 4 or 7 ports and can be in a cable or box form factor to suite your preference. Powered hubs provide optimal support for external store drives, mobile device charging and extending connections beyond the five meter length limitation of USB technology. Shop USB Hubs

HDMI to VGA or DVI Adapter- Now that we have covered most of the data challenges, let’s move on to the most commonly encountered roadblock which is video output. Since Chromebooks are outfitted with the latest and greatest connections, HDMI is the primary video output for a secondary monitor. Unfortunately many of the projectors or monitors you might encounter at work, school or home lack the corresponding output of your Chromebook. Because of the unique operating system on Chromebooks, USB video adapters are not currently an option; however there is an alternative option that is just as easy as USB adapters. HDMI can be easily converted to VGA or DVI using special adapters. Similar to the serial and Ethernet adapters mentioned above, no driver installation is required. Just plug the adapter into the HDMI port of your Chromebook and adjust video settings in the same manner as an HDMI connection. These adapters are lifesavers in some schools where projectors and displays are limited to VGA inputs. Shop HDMI, VGA or DVI Adapters

With just a few adapters, your Chromebook now has the capability to connect in the same way as a traditional laptop, only faster. As the Chrome operating system continues to evolve, additional adapter options for USB video and docking stations are likely to emerge. The simplicity of the operating system provides a true “plug and play” experience the way that USB was intended. With the ease of device installation and lightning fast performance, it’s no surprise that more of the market is migrating toward Chromebooks as the primary computer platform. Before long, the progress bar that has annoyed and frustrated us for decades may become a thing of the past.
-Christopher Cowlan, CTS

photo credit: vernieman via photopin cc