It seems like yesterday that we reviewed the inaugural Samsung Series 5 Chromebook running Google's Chrome OS, an operating system for laptops based on Chrome. It was, from the start, a world in which everything from music playback to document creation happened in browser tabs. Since we last checked in a year ago, Google has addressed some early complaints -- the browser can actually stream Netflix now! -- but it's only just getting around to ticking off some other long-standing grievances, like multitasking.
The company just announced two new Chrome OS devices -- the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550 and Chromebox Series 3 -- and both run a spanking-new build of the OS that ushers in a simplified desktop with customizable wallpaper and the ability to minimize, maximize and close windows -- oh my! More importantly, you can now view multiple windows onscreen, edit docs offline and pin shortcuts to the bottom of the screen -- a combination that promises some seriously improved multitasking. Other goodies: built-in Google Music, Google+ and Hangouts, along with a basic photo editor, redesigned music player and enhanced remote desktop app. So does all this add up to an upgrade meaty enough to make the skeptics give Chrome OS a second look? Could it be time for you to get the low-tech person in your life a Chromebook? Let's see.
Gallery: Chrome OS screenshots (version 19)