Given that you have stumbled upon this blog, chances are you already have a general idea of what Google’s new Chromebooks are all about. What may be disappointing for some is the amount of false and misleading information one must dig through to get to the facts. Even after reviewing Google’s official Chromebook FAQ sheet, it still feels like there are a lot of unanswered questions. With only a couple of days before Chromebooks begin shipping for the official release, it only seems appropriate to launch Chromebookguy.com with such an article.
Chromium vs. Chrome
As most people are aware, Samsung’s Series 5 and Acer’s Cromia Chromebook are the first two machines available to consumers running Google’s official Chrome OS. Kogan announced their Chromium OS laptop a few weeks ago in what seemed to be an attempt to beat Samsung and Acer to the punch. As a result, Kogan received a lot of attention for a product that they indirectly pushed as the world’s first Chromebook, which isn’t entirely accurate. As stated on Chromium.org:
- The two projects fundamentally share the same code base, but Google Chrome OS has some additional firmware features, including verified boot and easy recovery, which require corresponding hardware changes and thus also don’t work in Chromium OS builds.
- Google Chrome OS runs on specially optimized hardware in order to get enhanced performance and security.
- Chromium OS does not auto-update (so that changes you may have made to the code are not blown away), whereas Google Chrome OS seamlessly auto-updates so that users have the latest and greatest features and fixes.
- Google Chrome OS is supported by Google and its partners; Chromium OS is supported by the open source community.
What does this mean for Kogan? It means that they are marketing a netbook running unofficial software that is intended for beta testing. In one hand, consumers should be responsible enough to do their research. In the other hand, that’s not always the case, so imagine the disappointment any random consumer might face after buying into Kogan’s fabrication. Sorry Kogan, you lose. Moving on.
Both Samsung and Acer Chromebook models will be equipped with 16gb SolidState Drives. Somehow that bit of information got left in the dust, thanks to buzz-word of the century, the “cloud.” While it’s not certain how accessible this local storage will be, plenty of videos are popping up on YouTube demonstrating Chrome OS’ new file manager, so we can at least assume that the 16gb’s is good for more than caching data for web apps (specifically those with offline functionality). As for external storage, both Chromebook models have an SD card slot and USB ports.
Leasing Options For Business and Schools
Contrary to popular belief, individual consumers are not eligible for what has been mistaken for some type of individual subscription service. Google has stated that their leasing option is for business and schools only, with a minimum of 10 machines leased under a three year agreement. This means that Google will be bringing in a minimum of $7,200 every three years per contract.
10 machines + $20/mo per machine + 3 yrs = $7,200
This is where Chromebooks are going to make their money, granted Google can convince businesses and schools to get on board. Fortunately for the rest of us, the most any individual consumer has to pay for a Chromebook is $499.
Internet Connectivity and Offline Functionality
If you think Chromebooks are useless without Wi-Fi or 3G, think again. Coming soon Google will be enhancing Google Docs, Calendar, and Gmail with offline functionality. With the advantages of HTML5, there are already hundreds of apps capable of running off of locally cached data, including Angry Birds, a Nintendo emulator, and a local media file player to name a few.
Here’s to the future of Chromebooks! If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment and spread the word.