Google Chromebooks have finally gone on sale at Best Buy and Amazon. Available for pre-order in the United States at this stage only, the devices will start shipping from the 15th June; just under a week's time.
Google tweeted a couple of hours ago:
"Nothing but the web: Samsung & Acer #Chromebooks now available for pre-order from @Amazon and @BestBuy in the US http://t.co/LpY0jWU"
Since 2009 when the slimmed-down laptops were first announced, many have waited for this day. Google tempted testers and developers with the Cr-48 prototype notebook, but since bowed out to more powerful hardware provided by Acer and Samsung.
There are half a dozen new Chromebooks available, and prices range from $379.99 through to $499.99.
I for one, however, will not be buying one. Whether these devices are truly compatible with student -- at seemingly such a steep price for little desire from either the hardware specifications or the 'nothing but the web' appeal, only time will tell.
Students, however, will be able to buy a Chromebook for $20 per month. Nevertheless, it is a relatively sweet deal for those in education; roughly equating to $180 throughout the academic year.
A Google spokesperson told me today that though Chromebooks will be launching in six European countries including the United Kingdom, "pricing has not been announced yet" for these regions.
The $20 a month price also includes a web console, updates, warranty and replacements, as well as support for central administrators.
Though Chrome OS will be largely cloud-dependent, the devices will have 3G access and offline functionality. 'Offline mode' allows users to work on Docs, Gmail and Calendar and other applications while working whilst disconnected from the web.