$249 in the US...£249 in the UK
What a total rip off :(
Google announced the latest generation of its Chromebook browser appliances on Thursday, featuring a higher-resolution screen, an ARM processor, and a tablet-challenging list price of $249. The new Chromebooks are manufactured by Samsung, although this time they have no specific model number. The South Korean manufacturer is …
...and you could be on to something. Internet cafes, public libraries, schools, even <shame> my parents. When plugged into a network this thing makes sense... but on the go?
I do not like it on a plane.
I cannot use it on a train.
I have no use for it on a boat...
or walking down the street, wearing a coat.
I do not like ChromeOS portables Sam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
Not Really, allowing for the exchange rate if its £199 in the uk,and it really is the same price it would be $319 in the US, or £155 in the Uk if its $249 in the US.
For a multinational company if you sell anything the UK stick 25% on it seems to be the rule of thumb.
10: Products, take for example this new Chromebook, are more expensive in the UK because the cost of doing business is higher in the UK. The cost of doing business is higher in the UK because products are more expensive in the UK; take for example this new Chromebook. See? GOTO 10.
I can fly return to New York for £350, bring back 20 of these in my suitcase (22kg in weight) having paid a total of $4980 for them (~£3112) and even declaring them at customs* and paying 20% VAT plus import duty (~£780) it still works out £738 cheaper (£350 flight + £3112 Purchase Price + £780 Tax = £4242) than buying them here (20x249=£4980) !
*Instead of wrapping them in condoms and swallowing them, which would significantly increase my profit**
**Although some discomfort may be involved....
Because it has a keyboard?
I must admit I'm confused. The whole idea of tablets and Windows 8 gets criticised here, because people don't want touch-only devices, and many of us (myself included) want to keep our keyboards and touchpads. But a major company supports not just touch-devices, but a new line of low end devices, using something other than Windows for people who want something else, and it gets nothing but moaning?
I mean sure, personally I'm happy with a Windows Samsung netbook. But it does annoy me the way that the media treat the ipad like the second coming, giving it vast amounts of free advertising even before its announced, whilst Chromebooks (as well as netbooks) get ignored, or criticised, or reported as failing.
The main problem with Chromebooks so far I think has been that they've been more expensive than netbooks, but the new ARM based ones seem targeted at the lower end of netbook pricing.
Another thing to consider is whether netbooks as we know them today will still exist, without a "Starter" version of Windows 8 (there are lots of interesting netbook/tablet hybrids announced, but these will unsurprisingly be more expensive than current netbook prices). So they'll either be more expensive if they need the full Pro version of Windows 8, or they'll switch to Windows RT and become tablet hybrids - perhaps leaving an opening in the market for Linux netbooks and Chromebooks (or just netbooks still running Windows 7, maybe...)
I've been running Linux on ARM since 2005. It's been available much longer.
Where do you think the Pi eaters got Linux? It's available for ARM. Actually isn't Chrome OS really just Linux + a browser and everything else locked? Like Android is essentially a Linux variant + Davik (Google's flavour of JVM for Google's flavour of Java) + Browser.
My LG TV isn't intel either and runs a version of Linux.
About 1000 ARM cores ship per x86 Core I think and a lot of them run some sort of Linux. Some run VXworks or QNX or Windows CE (apart from ARM based phones running iOS, Android/Linux, Brew, QNX, Windows Phone (based on CE till v8), Symbian, Badu etc).
There is a big big world out there beyond the x86 and Windows. Don't be surprised if Mac Book or Mac Air drops x86 for ARM as soon as it makes more profit and little difference to User. They want OS X to be more like iOS anyway)
Certainly, Arch Linux ARM predates the Raspberry Pi by some years (I believe it was "born" as a distro for running on SheevaPlug computers and their ilk). I've got Arch/ARM running very contentedly on my Pi - it's the recently-launched "hard float" version, which runs noticeably more smoothly than the old "soft float" one.
If these new Chromebooks can be "rooted" and Arch/ARM put on them, then perhaps I'll hang on for a year (or shorter...?) until they're being remaindered at places like Morgan or Laptops Direct, and look again. £99 or so would definitely secure my attention... :-)
Well the interesting news here is that this is the first ARM Cortex A15 based device, and also the first ARM Mali T604 based graphics in a device.
£229 is just a bit too much still, but 1366x768 on an 11.6" is just about bearable - although some attempt at HD would have been nice - maybe next year when the prices drop.
Can ChromeOS run Android applications yet? Or is it still browser-only?
I do wonder that - or alternatively, bring them closer so that Chrome is at least compatible with Android applications.
Perhaps part of it is they're not sure if many Android applications will work well with keyboard and touchpad. There is one company that is bringing us an OS that will work with touchscreen as well as keyboard/touchpad, but I find it curious that on these forums, the whole idea is often criticised, with the claim being that people want one or the other, not both in the same device. Yet then Google get criticised for doing them separately?
Or if you mean you just want Android with touchscreen, then it's called an ASUS Transformer (if you want keyboard too), or a Google Nexus 7 (or many other devices) if you don't :)
It all looks good, one only needs to swap that chromeOS thing by Ubuntu and go to town.
Unfortunately, this is a Samesung and the usual pathetic attempt at copying everything Apple does is there for everyone to see.
At $250 I'll buy it just for fun, but I don't spend money with copyright breakers or Chelsea sponsors.
Samesung is both
If you're going to have a proper keyboard you at least need to have desktop applications available to make use of it. Otherwise you may as well choose a tablet. If you're buying a device of that size with a keyboard then you may as well buy a netbook, rather than be tied to a cut-down OS.
What are they thinking?!
Why Netbook? You can actually buy subnotebook with a properly max-ed out spec for that amount of money.
I bought an end-of-line sale Vaio with 4G RAM, AMD Fusion at 1.6G, 500G hard disk and same screen size and resolution for roughly the same amount of money yesterday. It will never be booted into Winhoze (some idiot at Sony installed 32 bit on it) and go to live with Debian on it from day one.
So frankly, this is very bad deal for that amount of money. 99£ for a chromebook - I may consider it. 200+? Forget it.
What's the weight and battery life of that machine?
If you don't care about that, then yes a standard laptop is much better. But for those that do, comparing to netbooks does make sense. (Though I do find it annoying that the Chromebooks are 11" - one thing I love about netbooks is they're that much smaller. Same problem with the high end ultra-portables, I wouldn't mind paying more for something more powerful than a netbook, yet they're all larger, at a minimum of 11".)
I should clarify that by netbook I meant those more like the Asus 1005HA-P that I've been hammering everywhere I go for the last few years. Not those original netbooks with big black bars around the screen, terrible battery life and SD cards masquerading as SSDs. My definition of netbook is 9+ hr battery, at least 1024x600 res, 1-4GB memory, space for a standard 2.5" HDD/SSD, mass no more than 1.2Kg, and size no greater than a sheet of A4 paper.
I love the idea that Google's trying to bring something different to the market, but those geeky enough to show an interest are also those that like to be geeky with their gadgets..
A laptop that only runs a limited browser is no good for me when I want to root my phone and install a new rom.. when I want to mess around with Gimp and do some graphics for work.. when I want to be able to set up complex networks and streaming systems..
As a tool for schools, it could work, but for the mainstream consumer, the Chrome OS simply isn't powerful and developed enough. A "desktop" version of Android would be a much better direction for Google to focus on if they really want to develop an OS for the desktop and laptop market
I just want a working terminal. (Ideally with alt + ctrl + meta physical keys). Don't map escape to back either :/
Very light decent battery life and a browser is enough for me.
Matte Screen. (That probably discounts this unfortunately).
They really wanted the Nexus 7 to sell but not this or the Nexus Q. (Or they would give a fair price compared to the US).
Just noticed that NaCl does exist for ARM too, but the sandbox works in a different way. What's the betting that NaCl on ARM and x86 aren't quite API compatible? They certainly won't be equivalent in terms of compute performance.
It will be done. You can install debian on *anything* if you put enough effort into it. My NAS runs debian and it only took me a month to find the onboard serial port, figure out the kernel changes I needed to make and how to package and flash it, after that bootstrapping debian was easy...
My first thought also, nice if it can be repurposed, not really sure what Chrome-OS is for otherwise.
I really don't get this. Why doesn't it have Android installed? Why are Google marketing 2 incompatible OSes? This is confusing, I'm sure the public would expect a Google branded laptop to run Android apps or something Windows compatible.
For £220 Joe Public will be better off buying a £160 Google Nexus running Android with access to 1000's of apps, or a netbook running Windows. Where on earth does a Chromebook sit in the market place exactly? Google should have spent their money on subsidising a 10" version of the Nexus for £199 with 3G to compete very favourably with the ipad market.
I used to think that Chrome was totally pointless. But actually for many people it does give them what they want. idiot proof browser (and web based email and documents) without any OS to look after. Sort of Apple iOS for iPad taken to an extreme and physical qwerty.
Mines the one with a Nokia N9210 in the pocket.
( It would only be a problem if this was the only choice. I'll stick too Windows XP and Debian for all my devices with a screen and real QWERTY keyboard )
I truly do not understand the need for this device. Why would anyone want to carry around a dumb-terminal web browser when they most likely have a tablet or phone that does this already...and more?
I appreciate there is a move towards cloud computing but does Google think this is the answer?
I have an MSI netbook, intel atom based with the same resolution. I barely use it other than to get pictures from my DSLR to my hard drive when i am shooting sports events at the weekends. Even when I want to browse I use my phone. I don't even take my Asus transformer with me despite it being better than my other options for browsing. That device has been relegated to doing the job that the kindle in my drawer used to do and occasional tweeting from bed.
I think that Google has seriously over-estimated the market for such a device.
"I appreciate there is a move towards cloud computing but does Google think this is the answer?"
I can remember how fantastic X applications were back in the early 1990s running over 10Mbit Ethernet. Back then X was *the* way to efficiently render a frame buffer at a remote location. Web apps and Cloud Computing is just a modern way of doing effectively the same thing whilst also transferring some of the computational and energy burden to the client. Despite that transfer Web/Cloud endeavours to maintain control, so the client doesn’t actually get a copy of the whole software and data, but just enough to ease the burden on the server.
However the end result is not as good a user experience as an X app (i.e. anything Linux) running over really quite modest network links (even 10Mbit is pretty good) so long as the server isn’t overloaded. I think that 3G/LTE + updated X (improvements in security, sound, video, touch interaction) could be a very good experience from a client user’s point of view, but it would mean Google (or whoever) having to put more electricity into their data centres.
Oh, and X apps always look 'perfect' (assuming the X renderer is up to scratch), and is inherently application centric. RDP / VNC are rubbish to look at even on a 1Gb network and push the whole server frame buffer to the client, not just the application's window.
Oh dear, there are so many errors in the above comparison of X, RDP and VNC I don't even know where to begin. Any validity of the actual points is lost among the sheer inaccuracies.
Start with the most primitive protocol first. VNC does not "push the whole server frame buffer to the client". Even VNC onlys sends a region of interest. Not simply the application level - that would be spectacularly dumb - often it is merely a very small portion, around e.g. the mouse pointer or text cursor. Everything else is left unchanged from the last screen update.
Similarly, both X and RDP do not push the server frame buffer to the client - the frame buffer is firmly on the client. Both protocols get much higher performance by sending higher level graphical primitives (draw line, fill rectangle etc) to the client. Not raw pixmap data except of course where it is actually a pixmap being displayed on screen.
As for rendering accuracy that is another completely blind alley. RDP and VNC generally both drop certain on-screen elements by default (e.g. wallpaper, Aero) to speed up the experience. That is a configurable setting - you can easily specify that those elements should be preserved and the result should be bang on perfect. X is if anything more problematic here - between different instances of the same OS it is generally problem free but away from that particular case regular remote X users get used to subtle issues (e.g. the wrong font being used) after a while.
As for performance, yes, on the LAN X11 is exceptional - even video playback can be perfectly acceptable. That doesn't make it profitable to use as a cloudy solution. Compare the basic premise of RDP and X - both send high level primitives to the client but whereas X is implicitly designed for a LAN RDP extends to the WAN as well, with features that are essential to WAN connectivity but which X simply lacks - resuming a dropped session or encryption are two features that come to mind. The second is essential on the wider Internet but obviously comes with a large performance penalty. These feature can be added to X via a number of add-on layers but when you do so you generally find you lose that performance that attracted you to it in the first place.
All told then, they are different protocols for different uses. Pretending that a lightweight protocol designed for one basic use case can suddenly be extended to situations it was never intended for and not gain extra baggage, or that the designers of one system had some great insight that went completely ignored by the designers of subsequent systems is simply misrepresenting the situation.
It doesn't surprise me that everyone here is saying they wouldn't buy one - neither would I. But Reg readers are exactly the sort of person this is not designed for.
This is all about Google Drive, period. (And what used to be Google Docs).
Anyone who has worked in any kind of moderately large company will know just how many people spend pretty much every day using nothing more than Outlook and maybe Word or Powerpoint. Maybe they'll dip into Excel to make a basic 2 column table. These people are usually overpaid and over-promoted and think using only Office apps makes them senior management.
This is for them. Google of course wants to get more businesses on Apps so they will no doubt attempt (again?) to bundle chromebooks with Apps subs.
£249 is still about £100 too expensive and I don't see these working in the home, but they may have some success with some of their Apps customers.
Well I won't be buying one, but only because I shelled out for the previous gen Chromebook 550 and I am perfectly happy with it (although I wish it had been cheaper).
The cloud model doesn't work for everyone. It took me a while to get used to it as a way of working, and occasionally there are tasks that require me to kick the kids off the iMac, but for 95% of the work I do the Chromebook suits me down to the ground. Take your Chromebook on the move? To be honest, why would you need to unless you really don't get what the cloud is about. I don't take my Chromebook to work with me or when I visit my mother. I fire up a browser on any computer I can find, log in to my Google account (two-factor authentication, thank you very much) and my whole world is there again.
Chromebook has a place for people like me who want the form factor of a laptop with the convenience of the cloud. Folks, there's no need to turn this into yet another a flame war. It's horses for courses. If a fat client is what you need to do you thing then use it and be happy.
Don't get me wrong. My post wasn't to create any argument for or against a certain advice. Personally i just don't understand it. As I said, I have a netbook for around the same money. It runs windows 7 so has all the functionality of a laptop in a smaller package but also has all the functionality of a chromebook with all the advantages that having storage and software to boot.
My point was that i look at this and just think...why? had I not got a netbook and was looking for a device today I'd be crazy to choose a chromebook over a fully functional netbook for similar money. Wouldn't I?
For an extra $250+ one could have *both*. So if the Chromebook offers any "Unique Selling Propositions" (even just one or two), it might be perfectly reasonable to add it to ones' growing stable of gadgets.
I can understand that no sane middle-class human would ever want to have more than one monthly mobile phone bill (of North American proportions, $60+ per month), so it makes sense - unfortunately - to choose just ONE mobile phone (becoming a mindless fanboi to defend your decision-making skills is entirely optional).
This logic does *not* apply to one-time low-cost purchases where the fanboi instinct where they assume that they must choose just ONE or the other is based on the wrong mental model.
So long as there's still an empty outlet on the power bar (LOL), and you have the petty cash to fund the purchase, it's not a contradiction to have both.
I think there are absolutely compelling use cases for a stateless device like this in many IT shops.
Ex complaint: "[ZOMG my lappy just caught fire and burnt itself into a bubbling puddle of goo on my desk]"
Ex response: "[Go to the admin at the end of the hall, ask her for a new lappy from the cabinet and to log the serial number into asset tracking under your name, boot up and login]"
Use Citrix for those desktop-only apps you can't live without.
The only problem with ChromeOS is that the design is really dependant on using Google's cloud. If this could be back-ended and managed by internal systems like the ones already in use as a standard for managing desktops and logins... this would be a much easier sell for business.
But I was surprised to see all the hostile comments here. Just to be clear, I don't have any particular feelings for or against Samsung, but I think the google has definitely gone to the evil side, and whenever there is a good alternative, I favor it.
Latest ugly grin was getting invited to use a new Google system, but when I poked at it, I found my participation is still censored. I've been trying to figure out what that is about for a couple of years now, but the google ain't talking. However, it's only one of a long list of reasons I don't trust the google now--and why I won't consider buying a Chromebook.
They're ideal for schools now I'd say. Like a tablet, but useful. They're very cheap compared to other hardware, but the warranty and support for them is somewhat limited - ie. no replaceable batteries in the older models, means they're basically a replace 2 yearly device. The non-replaceable keyboard is another issue.
Marketing for them is not very good though - schools are hardly being told about them. Google hasn't managed to create any buzz.
My sister has a netbook (ASUS/ACER - something like that), she mainly uses it for email and web browsing at home. The only "local processing" she does is to store the images from her digital camera. As long as it has a usb connection to allow uploading of the images it would suit her needs.
Not everyone wants/needs anything more than that.
I'd choose quad-core ARM over any Atom flavour - better performance per watts or dollars.
It's easy to build software or install it from repos, unless one wants to download some funny binary stuff.
But the thing should have GCC toolchain installed, mature Linux distro with all bits and bobs, and enough RAM/HDD space to make use of that all!
If this had been priced at the honest currency conversion plus VAT, which would bring it out at £155.08 + VAT = £186 with some marketing rounding to £189, then I'd have been sorely tempted. Even allowing for some fluctuation and going with £199, this would appeal to me as something to waste my money on and regret like I did that £249 Dell Mini 10v the last time I decided I wanted a laptop which was tiny and light on features and power. By keeping it above £200, you've saved me. Thanks, Google!
I read the Google site on them; two points:
1) They mention "apps", so it must allow more than just the browser.
2) Upon reboot it reloads the factory OS from a hidden read only partition (sounds like custom hardware) if there's any hint of hackery. If this process has any bootstrap in hardware then loading an alternate OS might require hardware hacking (cutting traces, etc.). They mention multiple layers of security. .: It might the hacker community an entire week to properly root them. LOL.
Over 95% of my home computer use is browser based. The other 5% is organising music/podcasts for my iPods or the occasional connection to work using Citrix. For this I use a HP Vista laptop, which takes 5 minutes to boot and now has a 20 minute battery life. I bought a Macbook Air, but my 11 year old has now claimed ownership. The Chrome laptop will suit the bulk of my computing needs. Google's marketing should focus more on:
1. Use when not internet connected. I like to read PDF technical documents, when not connected to the internet. This seems to be supported but it is not obvious.
2. Citrix client usage. The Google message is somewhat arrogant. "It is up to your IT department to figure out how to cater for Chrome laptops." My message to Google is: If you want enterprises to accommodate Chrome laptops, then you have to make it simple for them, including security certificate usage.
3. I occasionally have to do Powerpoint presentations while not Internet connected. I need it to be simple to transfer a powerpoint to Chrome.
I try to avoid having to do any kind of presentation, but I'm fairly sure you can just install the Google Drive client on your PC or Mac, drop the pptx in there and it'll be available for you to dazzle the self-important people with on your chromebook — assuming your meeting room has wifi :)
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