Google Chromebooks Shipping June 15th

From Samsung and Acer.


Samsung one is too expensive

The Wi-Fi version will sell for $429 and the 3G for $499.

The acer one is a little more inline.

The Acer Wi-Fi version is expected to be priced at $349.

I have so much techlust for one of these. The price is a little higher than I’d hoped, though. Still, $349 might be doable. Gotta wait and see if the build quality is solid on the Acer.

I think at 299 they could have a winner once you start creeping up to the 500 mark you lose a lot of your target demographic.

In actuality, Best Buy customers aren’t their target demographic. It’s businesses, which will lease units for $28 / month ($20 / month for educational institutions.)

Do we actually see a large market for that? I would assume that Dell, HP and others already offers businesses the same sort of lease.

Not interested, personally. I’d much rather have Android in a laptop or a tablet/notebook hybrid like the ASUS Transformer. Either way (ChromeOS or Android) you get the benefits of a low-maintenance system but with Android you have a lot more flexibility in apps since not everything has to be in a web browser.

Get PNaCl out there and get it solid and then get back to me on a web-only netbook, Google.

Here is some information about the Verizon side of the 3G connectivity pricing. Not sure how the Chromebooks will attach to your account if you already have a Verizon data plan.



I think the use case for businesses is severely overestimated for now. I mean, obviously IT people would love the lower maintanence, but good luck getting the executives to give up their MacBook Airs or whatever fancy status laptop they are currently using, and good luck getting everyone else ChromeOS laptops if it means any extra work for the executives who want to share their documents with the plebs without having to wrangle everything through Google Docs or whatever.

I could see it doing OK in educational settings, though.

The Acers are pretty much the same machines that were handed out to Devs last year, right?

They look like the same machines my friend had but I might be mis-remembering…

Even $350 is way too much for one of these things. They’re supposed to be really cheap-- why would anyone buy a chromebook over a netbook?

I think there are niche business where the Chromebook $28/month model makes sense. Not a lot of them, but if you mainly use your PCs for email and light documentation (invoices/billing, simple presentations, etc.) then a Chromebook makes sense, but only if you’re also super technophobic so the promise of no maintenance makes it worth paying double for a Netbook over three years.

I do like the idea of ChromeOS though. Always-on connectivity can lead to some very creative solutions.

I dunno, I’m too much of a media junky that’s way too wary of connectivity, either my own internet or 3G coverage. Maybe growing up and spending most of my life in rural areas has made me paranoid, but I want all my stuff ON my stuff, accessible 100% of the time.

At $350, I don’t want to give up that certainty.

On the other hand, this thing probably runs websites better than my 6-year-old Inspiron 9300. That’s a weird feeling.

Just at a hardware level, these are nicer than most netbooks. The $429 Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is a dual-core machine with a 1280x800 12" display, 2GB, a (small) SSD, a legacy-free keyboard, apparently-nice trackpad, .7" thick, just over 3 lbs, and with 8.5 hours of battery life.

I can name machines that have any of those specs, but for $429, I don’t think I can find one with all of them.

And then the other side is the advantage of ChromeOS: Freedom from sysadmin drudgery (I know you don’t think of this as a big thing; neither do I, when I’m not simultaneously being nagged to upgrade by Windows, Adobe, and Java – but a lot of people are flustered and bothered by their computers’ inscrutable demands), freedom from antivirus/virus worries, freedom from backup concerns (given that you’re living in the cloud), a UI that is simple and uncluttered with none of the legacy nonsense of Win7 or MACOSX, and fast boots.

In exchange for all that, you give up the ability to run Windows software, and there aren’t a lot of apps written especially for Chrome yet (though HTML5/WebGL Angry Birds appeared today, so it’s got that going for it). It’s not a tradeoff that makes sense for everyone, but there are a lot of people who would do better on the Chromebook side of things.

Thinking about it more, it seems like a Chromebook is great for someone who just barely out-paces a tablet. Like you’d use an iPad but you just have a little too much email and document typing for the soft keyboard to be of use.

The propositions they offer are pretty similar from a practical standpoint.

Except for the keyboard, wouldn’t an Android tablet offer pretty much all of that with a similar no-Windows-software tradeoff, a significantly wider app base and the more intuitive interface of a touchscreen?

I got my tablet for $285, to boot.

So will the Chrome OS run the Android apps? Yes, I’m especially ignorant of just what Chrome can do and can’t do.

If I could buy a netbook and install Linux, why would a Chromebook be better? And let’s assume all I want to do is word process, email, and net surf. That’s about 90% of what I do on my Windows PC.

Yeah, that about sums it up, though in that situation I’d still rather use an Android-based system than Chrome-alone, which is why I now own the ASUS Transformer.

Except for the keyboard, wouldn’t an Android tablet offer pretty much all of that with a similar no-Windows-software tradeoff, a significantly wider app base and the more intuitive interface of a touchscreen?

Yeah that’s basically my problem with this (as mentioned above). Also you can use a keyboard with Android tablets (again… ASUS Transformer… but I also used a USB keyboard with my Viewsonic G-Tablet, all you really need is an Android tablet with USB host mode, the ASUS Transformer just gives you it all in a very pretty package, and with a nicely thought out default key mapping).

With the expanded USB support coming in Honeycomb 3.1 (including support for Xbox 360 controllers, etc), ChromeOS starts looking worse and worse compared to Android IMO.

For anyone seriously considering this as a consumer device (it makes a bit more sense as a biz/edu device, though I’m skeptical of it even there), I’d urge you to really consider the ASUS Transformer when they are more widely available. It has you covered on tabbed web browsing, also has you covered on tons of Android apps, many more game options than are available on ChromeOS (especially if you run emulators), has a nice multitouch gesture touchpad (and of course a full touchscreen you can use while in laptop mode, if you want), an IPS screen better than you find on even most highend small laptops, the ability to easily pull it out of the dock to make it a nice couch-surfing tablet, etc. Or if you’re willing to wait or absolutely need built-in 3G, see what comes out on the Android side in the wake of the Transformer – I know Lenovo is working on something in this space and I suspect everyone else will be soon too.

No. ChromeOS (and Chrome) run apps that are written in HTML5 or Flash. They can download from the store; they can run and store data entirely locally; they can have GPU acceleration; but they are written to the HTML5 set of APIs, not to the Android APIs.

Google is also working on a project called Native Client (NaCl) and libraries for that, which would allow people to write low-level apps in C that run directly in the browser in a safe, managed way, but that’s not really fully-baked yet. But when it is, the combination of Javascript/HTML5 for normal apps and NaCl for the perf-critical computational-intensive stuff, should work perfectly well.

(Note that the Angry Birds thing that’s out there now is not written in Flash (though it apparently uses Flash for music), it’s all HTML5.)

If I could buy a netbook and install Linux, why would a Chromebook be better? And let’s assume all I want to do is word process, email, and net surf. That’s about 90% of what I do on my Windows PC.

Because ChromeOS’s UI is more suited to the purpose than UBUNTU’s comparatively heavy UI. Because updates happen automatically with no effort on your part, so you don’t need to worry about patching your system appropriately. Because the Samsung Series 5 is lighter, thinner, and has better battery life than just about anything else you’ll find in that price range. Because you’ll never have to worry about security. Because it’ll be faster than other Atom laptops, due to its SSD. Because the hardware is custom-designed for the software, so you never need to worry about driver-compatibility issues.

Sure, but it’s still a touchscreen OS, and using a laptop where you keep touching the screen is a really weird thing. (My old TabletPC had a broken pointer at one point, so I used it that way. Admittedly, that was with Windows, so it’s not touch-optimized, but the part where you keep touching the screen on a laptop is just awkward.)

Plus, the ChromeOS boxes are going to be faster. Dual-core Atom is just going to blow away even fast, modern dual-core ARM, and ChromeOS isn’t heavier enough to eat up that difference.