$149 Chromebook Battle: Hisense vs Haier

A year and a half ago when I bought the Acer C720, I asked myself, “How good can a $200 laptop really be?” My expectations going in were quite low, but the C720 proved itself to be a surprisingly capable device.

Today, the question I’m asking is, “How good can a $149 Chromebook really be?” If you’re reading this, you may be asking the same question. I bought both a Hisense and Haier Chromebook to find out, the latter from Amazon and former from Walmart, both being exclusive to only those retailers.

And again, to my surprise, the answer wasn’t what I expected: the $149 Hisense and Haier Chromebooks are both solidly made budget-class devices that provide users with decent performance at an impressively low price point.

Today I’ll offer some insight on the differentiation between these two Chromebooks, which will help if you’re looking to make a purchase decision. If you’re more interested in specific detail on the performance and capabilities, please start out instead with my detailed Hisense Chromebook Review; in terms of performance, the Haier is so similar (having the same processor, RAM, storage, and I/O) that the brand is name is interchangeable from a performance perspective.

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Razer Forge TV “Review” – $149 Android Micro-Console

Announced at CES in January 2015, the Razer Forge TV is an Android TV-based streaming device as well as an Android gaming platform. It is available with just the console for $99 or with the Serval Bluetooth controller in a bundle for $149. In addition to offering streaming video content and native Android apps and games, the Forge TV will offer Razer’s proprietary PC game streaming service via an update in the future, apparently Q4 2015, but launches without that functionality.

Today, I’ll give you my thoughts on this device and whether it is worth purchasing over competitors like the Nexus Player and Roku 3, and how it compares to spending a little extra for a low-end PC like the HP Stream Mini.

This was intended to be a full review, but due to certain events related to this device that I will detail below, there’s no real need for a full review.

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Chrome Extensions: 6 MORE You Should be Using

Google’s Chrome browser may be a bit of a RAM hog, but for most people, the stability, security, convenience, and speed of Chrome make it the web browser of choice. In order to maximize your Chrome experience, regardless of platform, you need to have your Extension game in order.

A few months ago, I posted a list of ten of my favorite Chrome extensions. For my list, I tried to avoid very obvious and popular extensions, focusing instead on hidden gems, like YouTube Subscription Grid.

Today, I’m going to show you six more Chrome Extensions that will add value to your web browsing experience, no matter which desktop operating system you’re using.

As with last time, all of the Extension names in the list below are links to those extensions in the Chrome Web Store.  Enjoy!

AlienTube for YouTube

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Hisense Chromebook Review: $149 Walmart Exclusive

Preface

Late in March, four new Chrome OS devices were announced, all using the same Rockchip RK3288 SoC (System on Chip). Powered by the ARM Cortex-A17, the specs – at least on paper – seemed reasonable for a low-end Chromebook: a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, a Mali GPU, and support for 4K video and H.265 video decoding.

The first two devices using the RK3288 are now available for purchase, and both are 11.6″ Chromebooks from names you may not be familiar with: Haier and Hisense. Today, I’m going to give you a detailed review of the Hisense Chromebook.

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May Update: Upcoming Articles & Videos Preview!

I haven’t posted as much content the past few weeks as I would’ve liked, but I’m hoping to fix that this weekend!  I’m finishing a number of Chromebook-related articles you can expect up the next few weeks, including:

  • Hisense Chromebook Review – Full review of the Walmart exclusive $149.99 Chromebook
  • Haier Chromebook Review – Full review of the Amazon exclusive $149.99 Chromebook
  • $149 Chromebook Battle: Hisense vs Haier

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