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Google Chrome Portables Upgrades Hardware

ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8, Tablets 230

Posted by timothy
from the armed-yes-but-are-they-well-armed? dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google is whipping the proverbial curtain back from its new Chromebook, which will retail for $249 and up. The Samsung-built device weighs 2.5 pounds and features an 11.6-inch screen (with 1366 x 768 resolution), backed by a 1.75GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor. Google claims it will boot up in under 10 seconds and, depending on usage, last for 6.5 hours on one battery charge. From a product perspective, Chrome OS and its associated hardware found itself fighting a two-front battle: the first against Windows PCs and Macs, both of which could claim more robust hardware for a similar cost to the old Chromebooks (which started at $449), and the second against tablets, which offered the same degree of flexibility and connectivity for a cheaper sticker-price. By setting the cost of the new Chromebook at $249, Google continues that pricing skirmish on more favorable terms." CNET got a bit of hands-on time with the new kid, and gives it a lukewarm but positive reception.
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ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8, Tablets

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  • by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @05:59PM (#41699135) Homepage

    For £300 I got an Atom-based netbook with an 80GB SSD, 4GB RAM, slightly smaller screen and 9 hour battery life. It can run Chrome, and a lot of other things. What's the ARM bringing to the Chromebook, if it can't give far better battery life?

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @06:16PM (#41699323) Homepage Journal
    No touchscreen, shit for local storage, locked in to Google web apps...

    Nah, I'll save my next disposable $250 for a Nexus 7.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @06:18PM (#41699335)

    I wish Microsoft realized that as well.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @06:46PM (#41699607)

    Nah, I'll save my next disposable $250 for a Nexus 7.

    I'm sure Google is extremely upset that rather than buying a Samsung-built-and-branded netbook using one of Google's operating systems you'll use the money to buy a Google-branded and ASUS-manufactured tablet running another one of Google's operating systems.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @06:51PM (#41699651) Journal

    I have a better question...why would anybody want to pay $250+ for a thin client when you can get a dual core Atom and run a full OS for the same money, or spend a little more and get a Bobcat with a full OS and 1080P over HDMI?

    The only real niche I can see for this is schools, no OS means no admins and no hassles, but for everybody else? There is still too much of the country where Internet is spotty and without a net connection this thing is pretty much useless.

    If all you want is web surfing your better off with a Kindle or Galaxy tab, if you need a really portable laptop you're better off with a netbook so you can run any OS you want...I really just don't see much of a market for these things. Nice to see they have gotten a little more sane with the pricing, the first Chromebooks were over $500 which was just nuts. But you can buy a netbook for $250-$350 and have more space, a better CPU, and more options...maybe if they had these in the $100-$150 range I could see it, but with tablets running ICS at less than $200 I just don't see where a thin client laptop fits in the landscape.

  • by Zobeid (314469) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @08:00PM (#41700313)

    This looks a lot like what companies were promising a few years ago: an inexpensive netbook with an ARM processor and Linux (or "Smartbook" as Samsung labeled them). It seemed like everybody was jumping on the bandwagon, and then before they even reached the market everybody jumped off the bandwagon and cancelled them, with weak excuses like "there's no demand" and "nobody will accept a netbook without Windows". And now the tide has turned once more, and suddenly it's a good idea again??

    I've been waiting a long time with money in hand. Maybe I'll finally get to spend it. I'll wait until I see a real OS (i.e. desktop Linux distro) running on it, though. Shouldn't be that hard, right?

    WHY OH WHY is this not being sold with a full OS that can run non-web-based apps? I mean, surely it wouldn't cost any more money to put Debian (or Ubuntu, or Mint, or whatever) on this thing and let us run both browser stuff *and* regular Linux apps, right? What's the rationale for limiting it?

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:23PM (#41701253) Journal

    Use it as a drop-and-forget device to give to those members of your family/friend circle who can't be trusted/don't need a full window install.

    I know it is hard to believe but for some people, all they need is something that runs a browser and then a browser on a OS that isn't vulnerable to all the malware and other crap known to invest the Windows.

    As for it being always on and peoples complaints the carriers are cutting data plans... there are lots of people who have no need for a laptop everywhere, a laptop is used NOT to carry around but for easy folding away when it isn't used so it doesn't clash with the rest of the room. Small, safe device that can be taken out and put on the kitchen counter for catching up with email, see pictures of the grandkids on facebook, play an online browser game or two and then stores away again. All for a price that won't break the bank and won't require constant support from ungrateful grandkids.

    Not every new device is intended for consumption by nerds.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hresult (902522) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:28PM (#41701621)
    Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 share the same kernel components (they call it Shared Windows Core). That really is internal part of the OS usually inaccessible directly to 3rd party developers, who instead use various user-mode APIs built on top (such as Win32, WinRT etc). The same is curiously with Android and ChromeOS - both share the Linux kernel with different user-mode APIs.

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