The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

Summary: These upstart netbooks by Samsung and Acer hit the sweet spot between portability, affordability and productivity, and could even convert tablet and smartphone customers to the Chromebook.

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Chromebook is not just for corporations or schools: In fact, you can pre-order one for yourself from Amazon and Best Buy starting June 15, according to the Chromebook website. With the slightly more expensive 3G version, these upstart netbooks could dampen sales for the tablets and smartphones that just aren't cut out for serious work.

You can either go for the ultra-slim 0.79-inch thin, 12.1" Samsung Series 5, or the lighter 11.6" Acer at 2.95 lbs, but other than cosmetic differences, both netbooks are quite similar under the hood. Since Chromebooks are taking the term "netbook" to the extreme, where all your apps and software only exist in the cloud, both devices have built-in Wi-Fi with optional 3G network connectivity.

In fact, the best Chromebook feature is not that the OS boots up in 8 seconds, but that the slightly more expensive worldwide 3G option comes with free, 100 MB per month of mobile broadband from Verizon for two years. (Of course you can also pay Verizon more for more bandwidth, see this page for pre-paid data service prices.) So you can at least check your email when you're not in a Wi-Fi zone, without reaching for your credit card. Assuming the Verizon network holds up, this feature alone will convince consumers who are on the fence about paying for an expensive data plan for a tablet or smartphone, which are simply untenable for work days that requires a lot of reading or typing. Chromebook may just be in that sweet spot of being light enough for users to tote around all day, yet large and connected enough to use non-stop.

The Wi-Fi-only Acer starts at $349, with the price for the 3G worldwide model yet to be announced. The Samsung with Wi-Fi will cost $429, while the worldwide 3G version will set you back $499, as reported by Engadget.

Here are the specs available on both the Samsung and Acer so far. I will update this post as more details trickle in.

Samsung Series 5 netbook running ChromeOS

  • Display: 12.1" (1280x800) 300 nit
  • Weight: 3.26 lbs / 1.48 kg
  • Battery: 8.5 hours of continuous usage
  • CPU: Dual core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 chip
  • Connectivity: Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
  • Harddrive: 16GB mSATA solid state drive
  • Camera: 1 MP HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
  • Plugs: 2 USB 2.0 ports; 4-in-1 memory card slot; Mini-VGA port
  • Keyboard: Fullsize Chrome keyboard
  • Mouse: Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

Acer netbook running ChromeOS

  • Display: 11.6" HD Widescreen CineCrystalTM LED-backlit LCD
  • Weight: 2.95 lbs. | 1.34 kg.
  • Battery: 6 hours of continuous usage
  • CPU: Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
  • Connectivity: Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
  • Camera: HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
  • Multimedia: High-Definition Audio Support
  • Plugs: 2 USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 memory card slot, HDMI port
  • Keyboard: Fullsize Chrome keyboard
  • Mouse: Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

[via Engadget]

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Topics: Browser, Verizon, Tablets, Samsung, Operating Systems, Mobility, Intel, Hardware, Google, Wi-Fi

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10 comments
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  • 100 MB a month for 2 years or 100 MB that has to last for two years?

    "100 MB of mobile broadband from Verizon for two years"

    Either way, @ over $349 it's still overpriced. Both models are ugly and they look so cheap that if you set it down wrong, it'll be in danger of breaking.

    Once again, Google underwelms.
    iPad-awan
    • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

      @iPad-awan Good eye! It's "100MB per month for 2 years" and updated in the post.<br><br>$400+ is not cheap for a netbook but at least it's not as expensive as a non-subsidized iPad starting around $600 + plan.

      -gloria
      Gloria Sin
      • Touch&Atilde;&copy;

        @bunhead626
        Thanks for the clerification
        iPad-awan
    • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

      @iPad-awan ...you can watch one youtube video every month while waiting in the subway... isn't that dream come true?
      gunn13
      • LOL

        @gunn13
        Yeah, I guess. Except the only subway around me is the one Jared represents.
        iPad-awan
  • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

    awan is just mad because she got suckered into an iPad that costs much more and she still can't figure out to hold it properly. Poor little awan.
    MichelleMM
  • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

    1. So I am being asked to trust ALL my data to someone who is presently testifying in DC for not keeping my data secure (Android).
    2. I will have to move ALL my data to a place I will have limited access to on a plane or in a car on in the park unless I have a bigger 3G data plan/subscription which in anycase moves at cow's speed.
    3. Data, that might disappear like some emails did when GMail crashed, or that might become inaccessible for days as happened with Amazon, or that might be stolen as happened with Sony.
    Surely you are joking, Mr. Brin?
    VickG
    • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

      @VickG : no, he's actually serious. He wants your money, and is going after it with snake oil
      nomorebs
  • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

    Um, I'm supposed to jump for joy over 100MB/month on a computer that relies on internet access for all of its operations? It would be used up inside of a day! On my Android phone I use over 3GB/month. Get real!
    Colorado_AL
  • RE: The best thing about Chromebooks? Free data service from Verizon.

    I like it. Will probably buy one. I have a very expensive Ipad (set me down 829 bucks) which is great for reading news and magazines, but terrible for typing. This thing at less than five hundred greens seems very good, specially considering it includes google office and everything I need when I'm at home surfing the net while watching tv or traveling. Won't be the end of the world losing this thing since there won't be anything saved on the hard drive either. Again, I like it
    gubrig