Google says Chromebooks will be available at slightly lower prices in the US, in time for Christmas. However, it remains to be seen whether this will help the struggling format. Even at $299, Chromebooks look too expensive for consumers, and the price cuts are too small to make a significant difference to business buyers.
In a blog post, Tis the season for Chromebooks, Google said: "we’re excited to share that beginning this week Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will be available starting at $299." However, the current prices at Amazon.com were still $349.99 (reduced from $429.99) for the Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi and $449.99 (reduced from $499.99) for the 3G version.
The Wi-Fi Chromebook is still $100 more than a popular 10-inch netbook at Amazon.com, such as the Toshiba NB505, and there is a choice of Windows 7 Home Premium laptops at around $400.
Google has not announced any changes to UK prices, which have stayed the same at £349 and £399.99 at Amazon.co.uk. Again, netbook prices start at about £200, at you can get a decent notebook for £350 to £400.
A straight conversion of $299 looks more attractive at £191, but adding VAT would take that up to £230, and it wouldn't be a surprise if $299 Chromebooks were actually priced at £299 in the UK. For comparison, Amazon.co.uk currently sells a Lenovo IdeaPad S205 with an 11.6-inch screen and Windows 7 Home Premium for £278.
In a post on 10 November, Chromebook looks like another Googleflop, I noted: "it appears that not all is well on the Chromebook front". It remains to be seen whether a $50 price cut will help.