So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

Summary:So, Google has finally unveiled the devices that will run its Chrome OS - they'll be collectively known as Chromebooks.So, who wants one? One thing's for sure, I don't.

So, Google has finally unveiled the devices that will run its Chrome OS - they'll be collectively known as Chromebooks.

So, who wants one? One thing's for sure, I don't.

Here's a video that'll bring you up to speed on the Chromebook idea.

Chromebooks will go on sale in the US, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy June 15th.

There are two Chromebooks:

Samsung Chromebook

  • Screen: 12.1-inch, 1280-by-800 resolution
  • Processor: Intel Atom dual-core
  • Weight: 3.26 pounds
  • Battery life: 8.5 hours
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot
  • Mini-VGA port
  • Webcam
  • Price: $429 Wi-Fi | $499 3G

Acer Chromebook

  • Screen: 11.6-inch, 1280-by-800 resolution
  • Processor: Intel Atom dual-core
  • Weight: 2.95 pounds
  • Battery life: 6 hours
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot
  • HDMI port
  • Webcam
  • Price: Starting at $349

Buy a 3G device and you get 100MB of 3G data transfer per month for 2-years. Beyond that you can pay $9.99 for a day pass, 1GB for $20 a month or 3GB for $35 a month.

For those interested, there's also a rental agreement with a month-to-month pricing arrangement. Businesses pay $28 per unit per month, schools $20. This fee covers hardware, software, support, warranty, unit replacement and hardware upgrades.

OK, when Google announced the Chrome OS, I was pretty jazzed by the idea, but I've now cooled off on it. Why? Well, first off, a lot has changed. Specifically, tablets have landed and made a big impact, effectively taking the shine off PCs, notebooks and netbooks.

What else? Well, when I look at these Chromebooks, all I really see are a neutered notebook/netbook hybrid device with limited local storage running a cut-down, basic OS. For basic interaction with Google services and surfing the web then, yeah, sure, it'll work, but I can do that with any netbook, notebook or tablet.

Bottom line, it's not a consumer device because folks can certainly spend heir money better. But what about schools and enterprise?

The biggest advantage offered by the the Chromebook is cloud storage of data. Lose or break the device (something that tends to happen a lot to enterprise and school hardware) and you've down the device, which Google will replace. That's compelling. But unless you can find a way to do everything that people will want to do on the Chromebook, there will have to be an overlap with existing hardware. In other words, this device won't replace netbooks and notebooks in general, and as far as I see doesn't any immediate threat to Windows.

So, who's interested in a Chromebook?

For more information hop over to the Google Chromebook site.

Topics: Google

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.