|Samsung Series 3 Chromebook running Ubuntu Unity.|
What an amazing piece of technology! I'm mostly fascinated by it's totally fan-less design. The book is running Samsung Exynos 5 series CPU, with dual-core Cortex-A15. The chip was originally intended for smart phones like Samsung Galaxy, etc, but is proven to be equally good for lightweight computation as well. In continuous use, I haven't noticed heat of any significance.
Concerned for confidentiality issues of cloud computing?
There is option to replace the original Google operating system by another Linux variant. There are at least two projects, Crouton and ChrUbuntu providing alternatives. Google OS is based on Linux, thus it is easy to replace by another Linux. Crouton actually does not replace the original kernel and drivers, only installs an new windowing environment and middleware, reusing lower layers of the Linux OS. Chrubuntu is a Ubuntu port dedicated for Chromebooks, and it replaces the whole software stack.
Crouton is originally developed by Google engineers, thus it is very easy to install a top of existing Chrome OS. Here it is explained how:
I'm now a happy user of Ubuntu Unity, which enables me all the software there exists for Ubuntu, with easiness of apt-get. Now the book is a really a tool for software development and other purposes. An SD card increases local storage space for my files and programs. Now, it’s really not only for consuming web content, like many considers the Chrome OS. And, I can always switch back to the original Chrome OS just with a key press, as both environments are running simultaneously side by side.