Google Slashes Price of its Chromebook Laptop
Google is cutting the price of its very own Chromebook laptop to $299. The new $299 puts it in the same price range as netbooks, the lowest cost version of computers with a physical keyboard, designed mainly for online activity.
The Chromebook runs the Chrome operating system (OS), which is effectively an upgraded version of the better-known Chrome web browser.
The device links directly to tools such as Gmail, the Google Docs office suite, and online image editing, requiring an Internet connection.
Originally, all files were stored online, though an update earlier this year added support for storage on SD memory cards.
Samsung Black Series 5 Also Discounted
The Samsung Black Series 5 Chromebook was released just this week and also received a price cut, just in time for the holidays.
Note that we've linked to the Samsung Black Series 5 version of the Chromebook in this story (valued at $349 via Amazon.com, including free shipping) which is by far the nicest looking, feature-packed version of any Chromebook we've seen to date.
Amazon also has a video tutorial which demonstrates the unit - just surf on over to take a look.
Samsung also happens to produce some of the nicest monitors for computers -- and this Chromebook is no exception, featuring an exceptionally bright 12.1" LED display.
The LED (light emitting diode) display is approximately 40% brighter than LCD monitors and use considerably less power. Battery life of this Chromebook is pegged at 8.5 hours.
Aside from the display, the Samsung Black Series 5 features a beautiful matte-black 12.1-inch LED display, a dual-core Intel Atom processor, two USB 2.0 ports and a memory card slot.
Design-wise, "it's a step up from most netbooks, with a comfortable keyboard and surprisingly solid 0.8-inch-thick chassis." (Source: engadget.com)
Price Cut Accompanied by OS Upgrade
The upside is that the Google Chromebook needs relatively little storage space or memory, helping keep the cost low.
It's also very simple to set up, with most users simply needing to sign in to their Google account. The downside is that the device is almost entirely reliant on having a solid Internet connection at all times.
The price cut is accompanied by a revamp of the operating system designed to cut down on visual clutter, make it easier to access the most commonly used services, and search the Chrome Web Store to find new applications more quickly.
Chromebook Now Aimed At Non-Techies
Google has also given an indication that it may move its marketing focus away from hardened techies and gadget lovers.
The company says the updates and price drops from the Chromebooks are designed to make the computers more suitable for gifts and is putting the emphasis on the ease of use and simplicity.
If you're someone who's often called upon to provide tech support when you're home for the holidays.. .you'll be happy to know that the Chromebook gets your loved ones up and going on the web quickly," said Google. (Source: blogspot.com)
While that change of tactic is getting the thumbs up from many industry experts, some believe that because the device is so reliant on a broadband connection, it may be more effective to market the Chromebook in the same way as a smartphone: with mobile networks or even Internet providers subsidizing the price in return for a customer signing up for an account. (Source: sfgate.com))