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

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.

TOPICS: Google

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.

Topic: Google

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

    Hell, at those prices, just drop your cash on an actual note/netbook.
    • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

      @Aerowind Err, if it's got two years of data service then the price isn't so bad. I imagine the price of the hardware will fall over time anyway.

      I don't know, it seems intriguing at least. There are a lot of web apps, more everyday. I do like the idea of a machine that needs NO looking after. Sure, it is a bit like the first iMac (What! No floppy drive?!) but we got over that, so here's a system with no local storage (in a conventional sense). Yeah, it's still a bit shocking. But maybe we'll get over it.
      • Still, it is old Larry Ellison's thin client network computer from 1996

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

        @jeremychappell The 100MB is pretty worthless when the netbook is worthless offline. It will rip through that pretty darn quick. My phone uses way more than that, and I don't even do that much stuff on 3G.

        And the prices for the other data plans aren't much better than if I bought 3G/4G service for a regular laptop or tethering plan.

        You are paying the same for much less computer at this price point.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        @jeremychappell 100 mb is like one or two youtube videos.. that's nothing. i mean..cmon..does not make financial sense, some google fanboys might want to buy one. future is in the cloud...but right now, it's still hybrid.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        @gunn13 I'd not converted that in ?'s. Ouch! I pay ?15 a month for 10GB, 3GB would be half that (?7.50). In $'s that's $23 a month falling to $11.50.

        So yeah, that's not great.

        If they are going to compete like this in the UK, they'll probably need far lower pricing.

        @denisrs Yeah, but Larry's Network Computer never actually had many applications, and none that were in widespread use. I agree this IS the same concept, but there are applications, and they are widely used.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)


        Normal netbook prices will drop just as quick as they are all the same commoditised components..
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        I insist on this. It seems that Google was preparing all this stuff when the netbook was king. When apple brought the (mediocre) iPad, netbook sales decreased. Now, everybody seems to want a tablet.<br><br>Google should let it go, and focus on Android for phones and tablets. That's where the meat is right now.
    • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)


      Yep it's the thin client scam, again.

      I love how they avoid showing their lame slow apps and pretend this is a new idea.

      But then it's an advertising company, it only does software development to display ads.
    • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)


      But it has a SSD in it. That's gotta make it a better value than if it were a normal HDD netbook. Plus like Adrian said, the rental option is attractive.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)


        $28/month for a business comes to $1008 for a typical three year cycle. Not sure how attractive that price really is. Plus, how many businesses are truly capable of moving anything more than a handful of employees to only web-based applications?
    • It is not for consumers

      @Aerowind This is for companies and education, not for consumers. A minimum of 10 Chromebooks is required to rent it (not a problem for institutions). The point is reducing hardware, software and maintenance costs that otherwise would be expended in full-blown PCs that don't need to be full-blown PCs.

      Many companies and education areas would be well served with a simpler machine that has software upgrades and hardware support covered in a $20/$28 month plan. Less IT infra-structure needed, less software and hardware to support, less software licenses to pay for etc.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        Not just companies and education -- it's for companies and education who subscribe to Google Apps. You can now outsource 90% of IT for $20-28/mo plus $0-50/yr per user. If your company can get by on GA, it's not a bad deal, especially for start-ups.
  • Atom Processor

    This is a netbook craze 2.0 but I think the lesson learned the first go-round with netbooks is the concept of "good enough" is just not good enough.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

      This is not netbook 2.0, but network computer 2.0.
      This concept was already tried in 1990s by Oracle, Sun, IBM and others. It did not take off the ground then...
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        Same problem as before. Enterprises are NOT fully and solely web enabled. There are still requirements for PC's that run Windows software. This will sell very marginally well by Google fanboys but even they aren't just dumb consumers. Many I know, and who own Android phones, still buy iPads because they know it is a better consumer device with better support by third-party providers. ie. Most people still base purchases on best bang for buck and not so much on philosophy so essentially these Chrome devices will never take off.
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        Yeah, so thats why cloud companies say they underrate cloud value (cash value for them). Citrix for decades puts all business apps on servers (and you can run MSOO on ChromeOS using Citrix solutions!), and netbooks are selling well.

        World have changed a bit!

        And Chromebook is craze netbook 2.0 and ChromeOS is crazy network OS 2.0.

        Google merged two of them!
      • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

        Nothing like google apps, SaaS, or any type of cloud apps existed then. Different story. I know, I worked with SunOS when "the network" was the computer. At the time, the concept of "network" mostly scaled to what we would call "LAN" now.

        Fast forward to mobile devices, wifi, wireless broadband. I agree with the previous poster - You can see this as a device which is stripped down to provide just what you need to use Google Apps. The sticking point to me is as others have posted, the cost of wireless broadband. But as an IT infrastructure person who is well aware that HW costs represent a teeny portion of TCO.. And having worked with school districts who are underfunded for support.. I believe they would find this extremely attractive. Small business, and K-12 - this solution could provide more reliability than what they currently have.
  • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

    The advertisement is fantastic. Apart from faster boot times it doesn't really offer anything you can't have on a regular linux distro like ubuntu. O.K. get a nice notebook with a 60 GB SSD and you can probably boot almost as fast. Still I think lot's of people are going to love this. Will this put MS out of business? Definitely not!
    • RE: So, who wants a Chromebook? (I don't)

      I liked the ad as well.

      So, I have one question about the ChromeBook(s). Does it run Linux?