Chromebooks on the Rise As Big Hardware Players Announce Devices

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 29, 2013

When Google began promoting its Chrome OS platform a couple of years ago, there was lots of criticism. For one thing, Google hadn't quite ironed out some of the "cloud-only" issues that the operating system imposes on users, many of whom are used to using local applications. Since then, of course, Chromebooks running the operating system have improved dramatically, and are now available at $200 price points that challenge the laptop status quo (a $199 example from Acer is shown here).

In case you haven't been taking Chromebooks seriously, Lenovo--a very heavy-hitter on the portable computing scene--has just announced new Chromebooks.  And, reports are arriving that HP is joining the fray as well.

As IT World notes:

"Apparently HP had an issue with their online store and leaked the fact that we're going to see an HP Chromebook starting next month. The story comes from Slashgear, and the article links to a PDF on the HP site, though when I tried to check it out it came up blank. Ars Technica also covered this story and they seem to have grabbed a copy of the PDF that is accessible. Assuming this is all on the up and up, HP will roll out a Pavillion Chromebook with a 14" screen and what looks to be a full-sized keyboard."

Wow, Lenovo and HP carry substantial clout on the laptop scene. Add to that the fact that Acer's President recently told Bloomberg that the C7 Chromebook seen at the top of this post accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released in November.

The appeal of these Chromebooks goes beyond Chrome OS, too. We've had a number of comments on OStatic from people interested in buying a low-cost Chromebook and simply putting a favorite Linux distro on the machine. 

Google and its hardware partners would be wisest to carefully target certain markets with Chromebooks, as Apple did with its early computers.  It's clear that there is room for Chromebooks in the market, and Google officials have pledged to continue to advance Chrome OS.