Early Reviews for Low-Cost Chromebooks Are....Surprisingly Good
In recent posts, we've been reporting on how Google is aggressively pushing Chrome OS, and the cloud-centric operating system is arriving on machines that are not only low priced, but Google is offering free incentives worth more than the computers running Chrome OS. We covered the arrival of Samsung's new Chromebook portable computer running Google's Chrome OS and selling for the strikingly low price of $249. And now, Acer is out with a new C7 Chromebook that sells for only $199 (seen here). Now that these systems have been in the wild for a few weeks, reliable reviews are appearing, and, users are liking them.
Hiawatha Bray, writing on Boston.com, had trashed an earlier $400+ Chromebook from Samsung, but has really warmed up to the latest $249 version:
"Google’s software tools are more than adequate for basic productivity tasks. These tools work even when you’re not connected to the cloud. And you can access them through a stylish, well-built device that sells for half the price of a basic Windows laptop."
Ars Technica has good things to say about the $199 Acer Chromebook:
"...its Intel-based hardware could make it an especially appealing choice if you're looking for small, cheap Linux laptop."
And noted open source pundit Simon Phipps reports in InfoWorld that he has ditched his MacBook for a Samsung Chromebook:
"Since the device is just a browser in a box, there are as many applications for it as there are Web pages in the world. Web pages that have been designed as HTML5 applications are especially interesting, though."
It's worth remembering that these Chromebooks have limitations. Chrome OS steers users toward cloud applications, so if you use a lot of local applications and are dependent on strong Microsoft application compatibility, you probably won't one of these systems. But, it's clear that there will be a market for these inexpensive systems and Chrome OS. Next, look for school systems and other organizations to standardize on Chromebooks due to the low prices.