Late last week Google introduced the “New Samsung Chromebook”, a new laptop running the Chrome OS and mysteriously looks and feels a lot like a MacBook. For anyone paying attention Samsung intro’d a Chrome notebook back in May, but that was a $450 model. This new version comes in at the very intriguing price point of only $250!
Now, it should be noted this a laptop that does run a full feature OS. It is running Chrome, and that simply means that all of your computing and work will be done via the internet as the whole concept of Chrome is that your laptop is more like a local terminal connecting to a larger system. Chrome notebooks play up on the promise of fast boot ups, instant on, and storage of your data and software in the cloud. Using Google webaps like Documents, Drive, Mail, Calendar and everything else Google provides you can do a tremendous amount of true computing work with a very nicely built laptop for under $300. You get 100GB of cloud storage for two years, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. The 11.6″ display isn’t “retina” quality, but you do get a HDMi out and two USB ports.
But you have to be connected to the internet via wifi for it to really work. And that maybe a real obstacle. Especially considering that you can buy several off brand laptops that run a fully featured OS and don’t require you to be tethered to the ‘net for just a touch more money.
Google really wants you to consider this as an option as the device you and your family just uses around the house and to have multiple ones just sitting around the house to access the net and data. Chrome notebooks have been for sale for a while and the concept of buying a notebook that isn’t full featured and required a connection for $400+ really made that a highly questionable purchase. But at $250 that opens Google to a new market, whether or not enough people will buy into the concept is a big question.
Should you consider it? Sure. Go to a local Best Buy, where there will be giant promotional kiosks, and give it a test run. $250 is pretty cheap and if you know what you’re getting going into it, a Chromebook can be a nifty, easy to use tool that can allow you to do actual work beyond what you can do on a tablet. But, don’t buy one without really understanding the ChromeOS and the concepts behind it.
- Will you buy $249 Google Chromebook? (betanews.com)
- Google and Samsung shun Intel, announce Exynos-powered Chromebook (digitaltrends.com)
- New MacBook for me? No, Samsung Chromebook on the way (zdnet.com)