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TechCrunch: The Google Chromebook Breaks Cover

2176 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  rdlviper
The Google Chromebook is here for reals now. Google first announced the nondescript CR-48 Chrome OS Notebook back in December of 2010 but the production version, now called Chromebook, was just announced at Google I/O 2011.

The idea is the same as the original in that it’s basically a barebones computer that runs Google Chrome OS. In many ways the philosophy is a lot like Apple’s iPad in that the hardware takes a backseat to the user experience. Google is selling a Chrome interaction platform, not a traditional notebook.

The hardware seems like a dream machine: built-in security, “all day battery”, multiple connectivity methods that keep the hardware always connected. The production version now sports an unnamed Intel dual core CPU and feel much more polished than the CR-48 pilot program. External file storage now works, and unlike on the CR-48, users can plug in a camera and the Chromebook will mount the storage.

However, as great as the Chromebook seems, it’s launching as what sounds like a post-beta product. The company announced on the stage of I/O that Chromebook updates will roll out every few weeks. Sort of awesome but also sort of scary.

The connectivity of Chromebooks allows users to always have access to their personal cloud. The file manager works in the OS as another tab but seems to feature most modern file manager features including specifying default apps for certain file types.

Chromebooks don’t always have to be connected, though. There are offline versions of Google Gmail, calendar, and docs and Google has reportedly been using these offline flavors internally for some time.

Google has partnered with Acer and Samsung for the hardware and Verizon for connectivity. “Leading carriers” all over the world will power Chromebooks internationally. Samsung’s first Chromebook features an 8-sec button, 8 hour battery, 12.1 display, and is, of course, always connected. Acer’s is much of the same, but features a 6.5-hour battery and a 11.6-inch screen.

The Sammy will run $425 Wifi and $499, which includes 100MB data service while the Acer will cost “$349 and up.” Expect the duo on June 15th from Amazon and Best Buy in the US with leading retailers selling the two in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Italy.

Google is also targeting the Chromebooks for Education and Business. The education editions cost $20 per student while business pay $28, which also includes new hardware upgrades
Original Source: The Google Chromebook Breaks Cover At I/O 2011, Hits Retailers June 15th
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Android updates have typically been pretty stable and so have the few Chrome OS ones previously, I don't see any reason to be concerned about Chromebook updating frequently. Updates get a bad name because of Windows user experience, but in itself updates serve as improvements to the device and OS, so the fact that it will constantly be worked on is exciting to me!
I am a Nexus S owner myself, and when Google actually owns the hardware (in a sense, because there is no carrier involvement) they do a tremendous job of updates. I am a very satisfied owner, and hopefully the Chromebook will be the same.
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