- (Photo: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)
It is still too early to tell if Google's Chromebook – still up for pre-order, except for the Samsung S-5 3G model, on Amazon.com – will make a significant impact on the notebook, netbook and/or even tablet industry currently dominated by Microsoft and Apple.
What could be told until now, however, is that the web-browser based notebook has so far received mixed reviews from tech analysts with one saying, "Google's cloud-only Chrome OS vision is simply not baked, and it's not likely to ever to come together(Galen Gruman, Infoworld)," and another saying, "strikingly svelte machine outclassing other sub-$500 netbooks currently on the market...performance wasn't a problem(Darren Murph, Engagdet)."
The reviews from tech experts continue to roll in from both sides and it seems, for the most part, that the Chromebook is being met with a pinch of excited anticipation in addition to skeptical forecasts on what seems to be Google's attempt to revolutionize operating systems by basing it on "cloud" computing and providing a fundamentally better experience for consumers.
The devices start at $350 following the Acer model and cost less than conventional notebooks, netbooks, and tablets. They also surpass their counterparts in booting and shut down times at an electrifying 5 to 8 seconds to make them even more appealing.
Most importantly, however, is the web-browser/internet based interface that is making all the noise. Google claims it's the natural evolution for operating systems and that it's taking the right step into the future. Are consumers buying it?
See how consumers have responded to Google's arguably greatest product of the year so far.
(Comments don't necessarily reflect CP's opinion)
It took me some minutes to teach my grandmother how to do everything she ever did with her PC in the Chromebook. She is the typical consumer who browses news, regular info, the weather, schedules, food, products. Simple. People like her will purchase the Chromebook. This was Google's philosophy when launching the search services, this is the philosophy with chrome. Google understands that consumers will buy the technology that provides the cheapest solution possible that does what they want it to do, no matter how off topic it seems to techies, if it makes sense to the consumer, gameover. -Redbob57
A light connected device like this could be used for light-duty tasks like e-mail, web and presentations. Being light makes it travel-friendly. However, half the time when I am doing a presentation at a customer site there is no internet connection or there is one that does not work well. There is no connection on the plane to work on that presentation either. Hotels have flaky connections too. Chromebook will only work if it never leaves the office. But this erases an advantage of a lightweight laptop...Could work in an environment like a classroom or a library, but this is a rather small niche. -nothingness, zdnet.com
I can't see businesses going for this. Its going to be fun to live in the cloud but for how long? If they don't have a connection they are dead in the water. It can't run native applications that were custom built for the business. Too many things to stay away from on this Google venture -Scrabbler, zdnet.com
Hm. Ubuntu laptop about $500, and then you OWN it. You can update its OS, add applications, and manage it in your own space. Chromebook costs something first, and then $20-25/month for cloud computing. You can't really "own" it, you can't/don't update anything on it, and Google lets you manage it in THEIR SPACE. I don't know... Show me why I should not be apprehensive... -bryanzth zdnet.com
I don't think people really understand these. The Chromebooks are meant for businesses and schools ... they are significantly cheaper than Windows based PCs (Note: for businesses!). If you are looking at this as a techie consumer, you're not going to like it. That price includes free hardware upgrades and maintenance. No viruses, no local servers, no $1500 MacBooks. -terroh8er, huffingtonpost.com
Trust Google after reading its terms of service stating that using of such services grants google intellectual property + rights to profit from it? To the purported new cloud service, let's just have it the old way: No way Hosay. Here's the link -Mr. Jolt
I like my Cr-48, as far as doing actual work on it, no way. But for just getting online and looking at my social sites, youtube, or just checking email, its perfect. Too many people are not giving it a chance or saying "your cloud stuff might get hacked." Well that is true and very possible, but, you have to be smart nough with what you put on the web. It was meant for individuals to connect to there social, and individuals who want to connect to their businesses through there businesses portals. I think it is a great idea and see this getting bigger and bigger. Businesses can buy a cheaper laptop that runs lower grade hardware and give them to the employees and not lose a lot of money, win win in my book. -vanhicksjr, huffingtonpost.com