back to article Dixons and Best Buy start selling Google Chromebooks

Google is trying to get its Chromebook into the mainstream and is starting to push it in retail stores, signing up Best Buy in the US and Dixons in the UK to distribute the ChromeOS systems. The Chocolate Factory's ChromeOS is the red-headed stepchild of the operating system market. Since its launch last year, the sales of …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    graphics performance equal to a $1,000 conventional laptop

    That'll come in handy for rendering web-pages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Most people buy for functionality, most people want to be able to use a laptop anywhere, not just where ther is a signal.

      I can see my gran returning it to the shop after being sold it by a spotty little youth,

      'young man, it does not work!'

      'have you had trouble connecting it to the Internet?'

      'Internet? I just want to write and print out my letters, what on earth is the Internet young man.'

      1. mafoo

        Re: Hmmm

        Dixons only let you return items if they are faulty, and not because you decided you didn't want them/didn't perform as expected.

        Should be interesting to see what happens down the line. I'm guessing they are just going to have one display model on show at the largest PC worlds and about 5 in the stock room that never sell.

        Id love to see if Dixons have stumped up any cash upfront to sell this things.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm

          Dixons don't even let you return items if they are faulty


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm

          Dixons sold me a dodgy telly, within a week of purchase it kept turning itself off. They send 4 repairmen over the next three weeks, the last replaced a part in the telly, an EPROM which I thing is the telly memory.

          Unfortunately it was a part from a different model and the set up menu was all different! The engineer claimed he had just wanted to get it going for me.

          They denied it until I produced the box the part came in. They said they would send another repairman out to which I replied no. They would offer no refund but only a repair.

          I took the telly ( remember the big heavy 32 inch ones ) back to the shop put it in the entrance between the auto doors and sat on it. Explained the situation to the manager, threatened trading standards . After twenty minutes of obstructing the entrance and telling people of the poor customer service the manager made a phone call.

          The telly was replaced with a more expensive other make they apologised and gave me a complimentary 5 year guarantee. 18 months on, the tube failed, thank you Sony, but that replacement is another story.

          1. Luna Tick

            Re: Hmmm

            Haha, so funny I had the same problem. The big ole 32" Trinitron. The guy came in, opened it up, gave it a couple of good slaps around the tube and the TV worked for another 14 years w/o a hiccup. Something about SONY's mfg process leaving particles stuck to the walls and causing discharge mumbo jumbo tech speak. Weirdest damn repair I've ever seen.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmmm

              That is the differance between a repairman and someone that knows how the various tvs work or not in this case.Of course you cannot do this with todays tvs,too delicate

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm

          Dixons only let you return items if they are faulty

          Ah, laddy, ye need a bit of know-how. All you need to do is buy it on credit. The Dixons rep will be ecstatic he/she has managed to flog you this (the working assumption is that you don't pay on time and thus end up with an expensive loan), but what is forgotten is that the Consumer Credit Act demands a complete rollback if you change your mind in 30 days.

          In other words, if you want to test something, buy it on credit. However, be aware that they will do everything including getting a manager to tell you that you have it all wrong to avoid this rollback (or they state that you've opened the box - whatever it takes). Don't fall for the BS.

          Is that an evil abuse of sales policy? Well, yes, but I tend to do this only after they have tried to bullshit me. I rather like the idea of using it against them. I know it's a character flaw, but that's why I'm a sysadmin and not a social worker..

  2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Anyone willing to bet..

    .. that the next bit of hardware to run Chrome OS will look remarkably like a Microsoft Surface device?

    Ballmer hasn't thought this one through: telling the OEMs MS will make their own kit means said OEMs have to go elsewhere for revenue. Google may have accidentally timed this to perfection..

    1. mafoo

      Re: Anyone willing to bet..

      Always on internet connection will scupper any chance of that - as will the existence of android which does everything chrome does, plus a whole lot more.

  3. David Hicks


    Hell, I can buy most of a proper computer for that, or a 'real' laptop. I guess it's not really 'expensive', but it's hardly a cheap consumer device at that pricepoint either.

  4. Mike Campbell 1

    The case for the defence

    OK, I'm going to stick my neck out on Chrome OS & current devices (Chromebox & Chromebook).

    My preference has always been for masses of local storage on PCs, Macs & various notebooks.

    Will never be a big "Cloud" user.

    However, I think there is real potential for Chrome OS & I'll be buying a Chromebox soon.

    This will hang off a second DVI port on a 30 inch monitor.

    I'll either power on the Chromebox or the PC, depending upon what applications I wish to run.

    Also will very likely buy a Chromebook soon in preference to a MacBook Air, not that I need yet another laptop. Give it a few months for the price to fall by £50 - £75.

    I'm attracted by silent "instant on" with no application or operating system updates.

    No anti-virus & spyware worries. In other words, pretty much "hassle free" computing for web, email & videoconferencing. Plus there's some local storage & USB connections.

    Getting really bored with gigabytes of updates on PCs, Macs, iOS devices.

    Now that I'm in my twilight years I want to spend more time doing & less IT maintenance.

    This is an appealing proposition for everyone but especially schools, sports clubs, internet cafes & for the less expert users. No more IT support required for the IT illiterate.

    I'll comment on my experiences in a few months.

    Don't much care whether I buy this stuff on Amazon, John Lewis, Dixons or PC World/Currys.

    Will also be getting a Nexus 7 in preference to one of the smaller Samsung tablets or Toshiba 7.7 (yet to ship). Vendors need to ship quickly to multiple Channels, post announcement. So kudos to Google.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: The case for the defence

      Erm, it still is an OS on a computer, you will get updates. The difference is where it stores your data.

      I think perhaps you are confusing a terminal with an OS rigged to use cloud services and storage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The case for the defence

      "No anti-virus & spyware worries"

      Sorry, this might be a little harsh, but are you really suggesting that any Google product is spyware free?

      The top and bottom is that "official" spyware is part of the price of doing business with Google! I'm not going to comment as to that being a good or a bad thing, but privacy is the last attribute I'd label Chrome or Android with and to me privacy is very important.

      I really don't see how any device that insists you log into any service before you can do *anything* can be considered anything else but spying.

    3. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: The case for the defence

      "Don't much care whether I buy this stuff on Amazon, John Lewis, Dixons or PC World/Currys"

      Probably doesn't matter as much as whether you buy it in a shop or by mail order. If you do the latter, you can send it back if you don't like it, even if it works perfectly; if you do the former you may find you have to argue your case unless the item is faulty (or sometimes, even if it is).

  5. Anonymous Coward 101

    What is Chrome for?

    The purpose of Android is clear. Chrome just seems weird. Why couldn't they change Android so that it worked with a mouse?

    1. Andy Roid McUser

      Re: What is Chrome for?

      Android does work with a mouse. If you plug a USB host cable into an Android tablet you can connect a standard USB Keyboard and/or mouse to it. Pointer pops up and off you go.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is Chrome for?

      It's a way of locking a computer into using Google services, thus expanding their profits while claiming to offer a great way of ensuring your data is easily available across multiple devices.

    3. Only me!

      Re: What is Chrome for?

      Mouse support came in on 3.1 of Android.

  6. Robert E A Harvey

    Odd decision

    Will there be any branches of Dixons open by the time the shippments arrive?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd decision

      @Robert E A Harvey : "Will there be any branches of Dixons open by the time the shippments arrive?"

      If any are still hanging on by their fingernails, decisions like this should finish them off.

  7. Dave Bell

    So it depends on a reliable connection to the Internet?

    I am looking at what happens sometimes to my internet connection, which seems to go wrong in my ISPs network, and I just can't see the sense in a Chromebook.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many people who bought a netbook with mobile boradband returned them as they wanted Windows.

    I imagine people will return these too. Looking the OS to Google services is counter-productive and Google could well face anti-trust investigations over that fact.

    While Microsoft shipped with their own tools for web and mail, they could be replaced and weren't tied to their online services.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      >they wanted Windows.

      I think that world has been changed since then by IOS and Android.

  9. Mike Campbell 1

    And I failed to mention...........

    For those with a genuine interest in Chrome OS there are two excellent eBooks via Amazon Kindle Store:

    - My Google Chromebook by Michael Miller (he has many IT Books)

    - The Chrome Book by C.H.Rome (this is really Tony Loton who also has a good book on ePublishing)

    Some good stuff in both books.

  10. auburnman

    Wonder what kind of hardware they are shipping ChromeOS on? Depending on price it might be worth picking one up and slapping some real Linux version on it -way round the MS tax on new PC's anyone?

    Speaking of 'real' linux, I seem to recall there are versions out there that are cut down and streamlined enough to run in RAM. Why couldn't Google build something between ChromeOS and Android that works like this - light footprint, quick to boot? I'm sure they'd get a load more takeup than with the current 'crippled without a connection' approach.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Punters will want to told one simple thing


    Why should I buy a ChromeBook? What does it do that other devices don't? What problems does it solve?

    Unless Google can articulate reasons to buy, these will never be more than a geek curio. Yes, I know this is all just marketing. But unless you have either marketing, viral advocacy, or rock-bottom prices, product stay on the shelves.

    Wait a few months and you'll be able to pick one up from an eBay outlet for next to nothing

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Punters will want to told one simple thing

      Yup. It's just a really bad idea. I can't see anyone forking out a laptop's worth of money for nothing even close to the functionality. Even a smartphone's more use offline.

    2. Mike Campbell 1

      Re: Punters will want to told one simple thing

      Well I thought Google articulated the benefits very well. Masses of stuff at their web site. Some of them I cover in my earlier Post & are also featured in the recommended eBooks. Of course, it's not for everyone but I'm going to dip my toe in the water & give it a go. Chromebox first.

      All Register readers will be very IT literate. I suspect many spend hours of their lives "fixing" PCs for family & friends who are too ignorant or lazy to update their AV etc. Chrome OS fixes these hassles at a stroke. 90% of users use their PCs for Web Browsing & Email 90% of the time.

      Think of this stuff as an IBM 3270 on steroids, at a fraction of the price, with a huge mainframe behind it. Provided nobody cuts through the broadband connection........

      It merits serious consideration.

  12. Fail01

    I had a play with one in the Redhill branch of Dixons (not a super store by any means, so they're presumably getting quite good coverage around the branches) and the lack of internet connection didn't do it many favours - reducing it to a desktop background with app launcher and an empty browser window). What was more worrying was the lack of any signage indicating it as being different to the similarly priced Windows 7 laptops/netbooks next to it.

    I'm still waiting to see one in the wild (i.e. being actually used by a real human being) so I shall reserve full judgement until then. Personally, I can't see myself having much of a use for one, but I know I'm in the minority being a techy/part time musician.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old laptops

    Chrome is a great way to breath life into an old laptop. I've got it running perfectly on an old Dell D410, if I could put an SSD into it that thing would really fly under Chrome, as it is, the sleep and suspend work perfectly so just don't bother shutting it down.

    I can't get the WiFi working on a Dell D600 though :-(

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Old laptops

      I hadn't realised that you can run it on other hardware. I was wondering what I was going to do about the old D610 my dad uses (XP is running like a dog). given that he mainly only uses it to listen to iplayer, and occasionally use gmail, it'll be the perfect choice, with less maintenance for me to do.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't PCWorld (part of Dixons Group) already sell Chromebooks? They have a special section for them in my local PCWorld ... its the bit with a large table with half a dozen Chromebooks waiting for people to try and a couple of staff in special Chromebook t-shirts looking very bored and desperately hoping that one day a potential customer will ask them for a demo!

  15. Irongut Silver badge

    Was this story supposed to be published 12 months ago?

    "Google is trying to get its Chromebook into the mainstream and is starting to push it in retail stores, signing up ... Dixons in the UK"

    Interesting idea since Dixons don't have any stores except in airports. Ok Dixons group have PC World & Currys but they already sell teh Chromebooks and have done since last year.

    So who is the clueless numpty, Google or Iain Thomson in San Francisco?

  16. Paul Hayes 1

    Google should be pushing to get it's Nexus 7 tablets into these shops. Chromebooks would only work if they are significantly cheaper than a normal laptop. As it is, you can buy a normal laptop and still use google docs, gmail etc... on them but have the option of using it offline too if you want.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No thank you...

    Given the direction of Internet access and data costs I prefer to squirt as little data as I need to across the Infrastructure.

  18. h3

    The only really decent laptop graphics I have ever used was Quadro 3600M

    Any laptop that isn't a mobile workstation (Hint they are the ones you get 16:10 not 16:9 - 1920x1200)

    is going to have poor graphics and a glossy screen.

    I don't get why these are not the price of the original netbooks (When they came with Linux and were really cheap). Then I would probably pick one up.

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