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ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8, Tablets

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the armed-yes-but-are-they-well-armed? dept.

Google 230

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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Why? (0)

AbhiTheOne (2717543) | about 2 years ago | (#41699049)

Why google is maintaining 2 different OSes? Microsoft has gone in different direction to make same OS for its phone, Table and PC.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Slazer (988420) | about 2 years ago | (#41699099)

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are actually 2 different OSes. Just my little non-harmful nit pick.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 2 years ago | (#41699335)

I wish Microsoft realized that as well.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699103)

Microsoft does not have the same OS on phone and PC. They have similar names and similar interface, but no where to close to being the same OS. I cannot run a application designed for PC on the phone (the viceversa may be possible (well, I hope it is)). I would rather see incompatible OSes have different names and purpose build UIs.

Re:Why? (1)

AbhiTheOne (2717543) | about 2 years ago | (#41699165)

with Win8 and WP8, they both have the same kernel, so for e.g. any device drivers written for one can be used on the other directly without any changes. Although I agree it's not exactly the same OS, but the most of major OS component are same with special components as per different uses.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699729)

Ah, in that case Chromebook and Android run the same OS too (the kernel is called Linux, you might have heard of it).

Re:Why? (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 years ago | (#41700031)

Mod Parent up. They share the same kernel. Thats like saying Fedora isn't Linux because it using the Redhat user space instead of the the Debian User space. They both have the Linux kernel, they are both Linux though variants of Linux user spaces. Windows8 and windows Phone 8 both have the same kernel with varying degrees of user space tools and glue bits.

It frankly doesn't make sense to say they aren't the same when they share a Kernel.

Re:Why? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41700561)

It frankly doesn't make sense to say they aren't the same when they share a Kernel.

Indeed. Kind of like Chromebook and Android sharing a linux kernel?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699523)

Microsoft does not have the same OS on phone and PC. They have similar names and similar interface, but no where to close to being the same OS. I cannot run a application designed for PC on the phone (the viceversa may be possible (well, I hope it is)). I would rather see incompatible OSes have different names and purpose build UIs.

But you can run apps bought in the windows store on phone, tablet and PC

Re:Why? (0)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699565)

So Microsoft is allowing Phone apps to run on PC. So my hope (the one I referred to in my post), is infact true.

Re:Why? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41699979)

No, GP is simply wrong.

Re:Why? (0)

hoth (2737993) | about 2 years ago | (#41699719)

No. Win Phone 8 apps run only on phones. WinRT apps run only on tablets and PCs.

Re:Why? (1)

composer777 (175489) | about 2 years ago | (#41699621)

You are confusing the end product (build) with the source code. Linux is still linux whether or not it is running on a refrigerator, router, or a workstation. The same goes for versions of Windows that are built for different hardware. Yes, they are different builds, but run on the same source kernel.

Re:Why? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699703)

Interesting, so would you claim Chromebook and Android run the same OS. I dont think GGP would, I would prefer not to.

Re:Why? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 years ago | (#41700783)

Well, let's see.

They have exactly the same kernel for one thing. Then there's the fact that the metro UI component of Windows 8 and the Windows 8 phone metro component are, well exactly the same code. And of course any Windows RT app you write will run on Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone(and the tablets for that matter). Oh and of course it's all the same code base, but aside from that they're entire different of course.

Win Phone 7 and Windows 7 were totally different, and originally Microsoft was planning on going that way with Windows Phone 8, but they didn't. Sure pure Windows 8 has a whole bunch of additional stuff in it that Windows Phone 8 doesn't, but the bit they share is the same god damned code.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41699307)

Why google is maintaining 2 different OSes?

Android was Google's short-term response to the threat that a dominant mobile OS vendor would emerge that would use market power in that OS market in a way which would prevent Google from being able to profit from their online services (similar to how investment in Firefox was the short-term response in the web browser space.) Chrome OS is a piece of the longer-horizon, broader (e.g., not limited to "mobile") part of the response (much as the Chrome browser was in the browser space); I say "a piece of" because Google's announced a number of times that their long-term plan is to converge Android with Chrome OS in the long term.

Microsoft has gone in different direction to make same OS for its phone, Table and PC.

No, Microsoft has three similar-but-different operating systems with partially overlapping functionality and confusingly similar names (Windows 8, Windows 8 RT, and Windows Phone 8) for, respectively, traditional PCs and some (i.e., x86-based) tablets, other (i.e., ARM-based) tablets, and phones.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699397)

Google didn't invest in Firefox. They paid Firefox for funneling searches to them.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699431)

If Firefox were not a non-profit entity, it might have been cheaper for them to invest in, rather than pay them for services. What they did it also a form of short-term investment (they pretty much were the only source of money)

Re:Why? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41699547)

Google didn't invest in Firefox. They paid Firefox for funneling searches to them.

From most accounts I've seen, their willingness to pay the price they did to do that was driven both by the value of the search traffic directly funneled and by the value to them of Firefox disrupting IEs desktop browser dominance.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41700557)

But nobody is talking about the elephant in the room that seriously threatens Google's mobile plans...the ISPs and network carriers. The days of unlimited Internet are quickly drawing to a close and the carriers seem to get nastier with data plans and prices every time you turn around.

For Chrome OS this is practically a death sentence as who is gonna want an OS that is constantly blowing through bandwidth and is worthless without it when their ISPs are being stingy? And as an analyst I saw today said when it comes to smartphones "Google makes their bread and butter from ads but I don't click on an ad with my smartphone unless by accident because that bandwidth costs me money"

So I just don't see how Google's plans work out long term unless they want to get into the ISP and carrier business, because without bandwidth Google is screwed and the ISPs and carriers have no desire to give more bandwidth without price hikes. This is especially bad with Chrome OS as its worthless without bandwidth and why would you pay the same price as a netbook for something that is gonna cost you MORE money on top of that when you hit your cap?

Re:Why? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41700879)

yup, as isp's get greedier, they will charge you for what they once gave away. 'the first one's free' and all that.

wan connectivity is NOT an assumed thing, not for a lot of people and not to the point where you can really count on it. its a luxury but who really *counts* on it while being mobile?

the cloud is a good idea when YOU control the cloud. its not so great when you depend on it and someone else controls it.

so, bandwidth costs and limits plus the disappearance of 'cloud resources' makes the whole thing pretty sketchy to bet on.

I think I'll keep my real computer with real local storage. thanks, though!

Re:Why? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 years ago | (#41700803)

Windows 8 is essentially Windows 7 with some tweaks and the metro(I know it's not called that anymore) component added on. Windows 8 RT is the metro component without the Windows 7 bit built for ARM, Windows 8 Phone is Windows 8 RT. The components they share are the same code, software you write with the new Metro UIs will run on every single device.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41699651)

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.

Re:Why? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#41699819)

If all you want is web surfing your better off with a Kindle or Galaxy tab

Not if you're counting on using Google Docs. Typing on a tablet sucks unless you have a physical keyboard (which drives the price quite a bit higher), and a touchscreen for editing documents while sitting on a table is very uncomfortable. Also, Chromebooks have screens quite a big bigger than the 7" tablets on its price range. I could easily see myself using one of those if I had to go mobile and knew I'd always have a broadband connection available, though (as you say) I'd probably rather get an AMD C-60 and secure my offlinability as well.

Re:Why? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#41700087)

A lot of people outside Google believe that ChromeOS was actually their ultimate goal, but they needed to release a smartphone OS before it was ready.

Almost like my EEE PC 901 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699079)

My old EEE 901 also boots in 10 seconds and its (custom) battery also lasts 6.5 hours. (It used to last 9 hours, but after years of extensive use it lost capacity.) The price is fair, though, so I'm wondering whether it will be possible to put Linux on it? Also, does it have a non-glare screen?

Re:Almost like my EEE PC 901 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699505)

The only good thing about the 901 is the case. :P

The 900A has abetter CPU, better (multitouch) touchpad, and they both magically fits in the 901's smaller case. My sweet hybrid runs two hours on its aging stock battery (I had one of those big-ass batteries for my 901, but the hybrid needs a 900A pack and I never got one), but same quick bootup.

Then I got an N900 and a U2010, and between the two I've lost interest in laptops that don't fit in a jacket pocket.

Re:Almost like my EEE PC 901 (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#41700967)

I also have a 900a! Gotta rate it as one of my best purchases. Doesn't feel flimsy, has a great matte screen, nice size. XUbuntu works pretty good on it. If I were to replace it I'd go with an Acer Aspire One 756. Chromebook? More like Cripplebook.

Not even Google think that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699117)

According to the Arstechnica article (http://is.gd/mj2c9D), Google are positioning this as a second PC for people who already have a PC or Mac, so the headline is just clickbait.
This and the price-point means they're pitching these to compete with cheap tablets. After all tablets are the second computer for a lot of people, using it alongside a PC or Mac, costing similar dollars in some cases (and of course, Arm-based and cloud-friendly, like tablets).

My personal feeling is that these new Chromebooks will be about as successful as the last lot. Which is not very successful.

L8r.

What is the ARM bringing? (4, Insightful)

mattbee (17533) | about 2 years ago | (#41699135)

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?

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (2)

mattbee (17533) | about 2 years ago | (#41699241)

Oh I misread ... obviously $250 is nearly half of £300, ish. Am still surprised that the ARM doesn't stand for better battery life though.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41699305)

The missing factor is the physical size and weight of the respective batteries. I expect Google doesn't prizes smaller/thinner/cooler over longer charge once it passed about 6 hours.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

geekboybt (866398) | about 2 years ago | (#41699313)

I believe I've heard that in mobile computing, the largest consumer of power is the LCD screen itself.

I'm also not sure which version of Atom you're referring to, but the original one was paired with such a crappy chipset that it basically negated most of the power savings.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

kukulcan (1440401) | about 2 years ago | (#41699297)

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?

£300 GBP are $482.
That's what ARM is bringing.
BTW where do you get a netbook with an 80 GB SSD?

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

mattbee (17533) | about 2 years ago | (#41699533)

Yeah sorry I spotted the disparity too late. It's an ASUS 1025CE which has a spec of 1GB RAM and 320GB HDD, for £320. It's upgradeable to 4GB RAM, but because they forgot to cut a whole in the underneath, you have to take the bastard thing apart. The SSD was an Intel 80GB I had spare which I think goes for about £70-80 these days.

Linux i386 installs fine, but the "Cedar View" Intel graphics drivers are still hard to find packaged. The rest of the hardware worked with Ubuntu 12.04 just fine though.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

mattbee (17533) | about 2 years ago | (#41699551)

For fuck's sake, sorry, the base price is £220 not £320.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41699925)

Well, the intel-based one was even more expensive when it came out, IIRC it was approaching £500. This - the cheaper ARM version - is what they should have done in the first place, though arguably the price is still a bit too high for a dumb terminal that can't be used on an aircraft.

Re:What is the ARM bringing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700021)

From the Engadget hands on, I reckon it sounds like it's giving your netbook a run for its money:

"This is a solid machine -- build quality and materials are fantastic for the price. It's also pleasantly thin and light, a boon for people who are used to carrying a laptop around every day. "

Good build, low weight.

"Performance is somewhere between the original Atom-based Chromebooks and the current Celeron-equipped Series-5 model."

Not bad, considering the price. Sounds like it performs about on par with or better than your netbook.

"If you're used to working in the cloud, you're basically getting 80 percent of the entry-level MacBook Air experience for a quarter of the price. Factor in the Google Now integration and 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years and this latest Chromebook is a winner."

Sounds pretty good to me. And tbh, it's probably more handsome than your run of the mill netbook. That just sounds like icing on the cake to me, though.

Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41699147)

My three year old laptop outperforms this thing, has higher resolution, weighs about half a pound more, and I don't have to worry about needing internet connectivity to access EVERYTHING (since this thing comes with horrendously shitty local storage space.)

Weak, lame. No thanks.

Google has zero clue how to design much of anything. Failure after failure shows this.

So much for all of those PhDs.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699199)

Your laptop? What kind of battery life does that bad bitch have? Not 6.5 hours, probably. And if you're concerned about local storage, you are entirely missing the point of the Chromebook and Chrome OS.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699293)

mine currently has 9 hours. true it is actually about 50% higher cost than the chromebook, but it is also about 4 times faster and 100 times more usefull

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (1, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41699309)

More like 9 hours since half of the weight is a custom battery, and it covers the bottom of the laptop in its entirety.

Anyone stupid enough to risk the security of their data to the outside world deserves to be an idiot with a Chromebook.

Especially in this world of privacy violations and shit security software.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699479)

A custom battery. Dont tell me you build the laptop in your garage. I have seen many outlandish claims from you, and this is too outlandish even for you.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#41699909)

His "custom" battery most likely includes Li-ion cells from ebay and duct tape. I can make an even longer lasting battery with a backpack and some deep cycle lead acid batteries.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (1, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41699227)

how true it is!

book smarts (mostly what google hires for) doesn't mean shit when it comes to shipping products, designing them and not abandoning them!

so far, google used to do search right. they can do some anti-spam (less and less effective as they are gamed more and more) but not much else.

the nexus one 'flagship' was quickly abandoned and to this day you cannot use it for more than a few hours before it loses its screen touch calibration and goes crazy, needing a power cycle.

I know its not the current flagship but to abandon stuff like that and not even to have fixed a true showstopper leaves me completely unimpressed.

(and having interviewed at G, I'm also underwhelmed in everything I've seen about them, other than their highly luxurious facilities!)

Re:Crap Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699441)

(and having interviewed at G, I'm also underwhelmed in everything I've seen about them, other than their highly luxurious facilities!)

So in other words, they said "don't call us, we'll call you" and you never heard from them again.

Re:Crap Sour Grapes (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41699529)

actually, after meeting many of the employees and managers, I can honestly say, those are people that I'd not choose to work with.

the koolaid drinkage there is actually the worst I've seen in the 35+ years I've been working in software development.

Re:Crap Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700325)

I'm in the middle of the Google gauntlet, and I'll tell you this: they've definitely entered the phase where they're more worried about credentials instead of experience and proven track records.

They hired all the veterans early on. Now they either hire college graduates from the top schools, or ex-coworkers from Amazon, Apple, etc. In other words, the incumbents are developing a bunker mentality---hire the non-threatening kids, or your non-threatening friends.

It's far easier to get into Apple or Yahoo, the former because of the rapid expansion, and the latter because they can't afford to be too selective. At Google and even Amazon, unless you're a C++ or Java developer, you're name is mud. This is a function of the inbreeding, and the fact that so many of the new hires are young---in the last 5 years anybody coming out of the university thinks the world revolves around either C++ or Java. It's counterintuitive, because Google and Amazon are well known for using different languages. But they earned that reputation years ago. They've grown since, and those communities are backwaters, now.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41699777)

My Nexus 1 worked like trooper., Now I have a nexus II.
Also works like a trooper.

I take you you aren't smart enough and the only way your ego can handle it is by blaming them.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700013)

Nexus II? Can you tell us more? ...nothing's been released with that name yet.

Re:Crap Resolution, Crap Specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700365)

What model, sir, if I may ask?

Does it run Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699175)

No? Not interested... But I'd buy one long before I'd buy any Apple product...

Is the problem Chrome itself? (2)

cait56 (677299) | about 2 years ago | (#41699183)

This hardware at this price running Linux, Android, Windows RT or even iOS would be a great bargain. What I have not yet seen in any promotion of a Chromebook is how well it works as a basic document editor when I'm *not* connected to the Cloud. If I need a lightweight mobile editing device with a permanently attached keyboard (which I cannot accidentally leave behind) then I need that portable document editor to be able to work even if the WiFI at the conference I am attending isn't working yet or is just plain overloaded. Adding a carrying case with a bluetooth keyboard, and software, to my Nexus 7 comes out way ahead Microsoft Surface. If this Chromebook ran Android, it would come out ahead. But have they really enabled Chromebooks to work effectively when detached from the network yet?

Re:Is the problem Chrome itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699255)

Google Doc's will work off-line saving a copy on the local SSD and will update the online copy as soon as you log on. At the moment only the Documentation will work offline while the spreadsheets and slides can be viewed but not edited offline for now.

Re:Is the problem Chrome itself? (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 2 years ago | (#41699433)

Really? How is this possibly useful? So I can't use this thing to work on trains or planes, just on my home wifi, on the 3G portable hotspot I would need to buy (so long as I'm in a city) or at Starbucks? I would get better value from a pen a calculator and 40 pads of quad-ruled A4...

Re:Is the problem Chrome itself? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41699497)

This hardware at this price running Linux, Android, Windows RT or even iOS would be a great bargain. What I have not yet seen in any promotion of a Chromebook is how well it works as a basic document editor when I'm *not* connected to the Cloud.

The Chrome browser (including Chrome OS) has considerable support for web apps that operate offline. Using it as a "document editor" offline depends on the kind of document you are editing and the availability of a web app that supports editing that kind of document offline. Google Docs supports offline editing.

But have they really enabled Chromebooks to work effectively when detached from the network yet?

From a platform (OS/browser) level, yes; but like most platforms, its not just a matter of whether the platform supports functionality but whether there are applications that leverage that support.

Re:Is the problem Chrome itself? (1)

cait56 (677299) | about 2 years ago | (#41700185)

So you're saying that Chrome can do almost 40% of what Android can do.

Re:Is the problem Chrome itself? (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about 2 years ago | (#41700655)

This hardware at this price running Linux

It is hardware running Linux. You can even install Ubuntu if you want.

compete with netbooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699205)

How does this compete with netbooks, such as an Acer Aspire with Windows 7 Home Edition for under $238?

Re:compete with netbooks? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41699381)

It doesn't. It appears to not compete with anything. It is too expensive compared to other cheap functional options. Lacks performance and functionality of similarly priced devices and has kinda average battery and screen quality. I don't actually see any market for this device.

Valid price comparison? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41700053)

How does this compete with netbooks, such as an Acer Aspire with Windows 7 Home Edition for under $238?

I just checked Acer's website and the range of list prices for Aspire models is $349.99 through $1,299.99.

Re:Valid price comparison? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41700323)

He's probably referring to buying it either used or from somewhere like Amazon where you aren't paying full retail like here [amazon.com] .

Re:Valid price comparison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41701007)

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Your-Choice-of-Color-Acer-10.1-Netbook-PC-with-Intel-Atom-Dual-Core-N2600-Processor-and-Windows-7-Starter-Value-Bundle/21054383

Re:Valid price comparison? (1)

yelvington (8169) | about 2 years ago | (#41700871)

How does this compete with netbooks, such as an Acer Aspire with Windows 7 Home Edition for under $238?

I just checked Acer's website and the range of list prices for Aspire models is $349.99 through $1,299.99.

This is absolutely right. $249 LIST is a breakthrough price, even though some people are too thick to see that. Occasionally you'll find an 11.6 Acer on clearance or special in that price range (and if you do, BUY IT and install Linux), but over $300 is more typical.

The 11.6 size is a sweet spot. I have an Acer 1410 and my wife has an AO725, both running Ubuntu. It's rare that either of us does anything that couldn't be done with the Chromebook -- except for moving photos from an SD card to a hard drive. I know it's simple to plug either into a Chromebook. What I don't know is whether the ChromeOS UI plays nicely with external storage.

Re:Valid price comparison? (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#41700993)

I see them regularly for $300 at Target and Best Buy.

no hard drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699211)

No hard drive. Kinda sucks. Supports USB 3 so an external might be OK.

Fixed the headline for you... (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41699233)

ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8 and Android Tablets

Sometimes I just have to sit and scratch my head wondering at some of the things these self-destructive companies do. Chromebook is for simple, inexpensive, low-end devices. Is iPad any of those things? No. Are the new Windows 8 tablets? No. The only other devices in the same category as Chromebook are eReaders like Kindle and Nook (both running a modified version of Android), and "actual" Android Tablets like the Google Nexus. Just fragment your own market there as much as possible, Google.

Re:Fixed the headline for you... (1)

kwerle (39371) | about 2 years ago | (#41699519)

I agree - though it'll be interesting to see what the iPad mini brings, next week. With the touch at $200 and the pad at $400, it seems like $300 for the mini is a pretty solid guess.

While there are plenty of reasons for *me* to prefer a chromebook, the truth is that I have a laptop already. The rest of my family would probably be much better off with a tablet, and the iDevices pretty much have that nailed down.

Re:Fixed the headline for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699521)

Welcome to tech. You eat your babies and you move on. And you do it early and you do it often. If you don't someone else will and leave you in the dust to be discounted and forgotten.

Re:Fixed the headline for you... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 years ago | (#41700057)

Given the number of sales of Chromebooks they aren't really fragmenting anything.

Re:Fixed the headline for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700379)

> Just fragment your own market there as much as possible, Google.

The risk of not "fragmenting your own market" is that you get left behind when the market shifts due to innovation because you were too busy trying to protect your old product from internal cannibalization.

How many people do you know who are using Sony MP3 players?

Or Motorola cell phones? Or RIM or Nokia smartphones, for that matter?

Re:Fixed the headline for you... (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 years ago | (#41700839)

Google isn't fragmenting their market because they don't sell tablets, they sell advertising based on all the personal information they collect.

Fundamentally the problem for Google is that android is just too damned useful. You can do things on it that Google isn't made instantly aware of and without Google showing you advertising. So instead they're releasing crippleware crap no one is going to buy.

Get ready for the Battle in Seattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699273)

Only one can come out alive, but which? Teh Google is in the shithouse so the outcome is inevitable, and nevermind that Google's crap HW has been around more than your sister's yahoo! Microsoft shoots and scores! Teh Google floats downstream, prone and naked for all the fanboyz to see.

Challenging Windows with this? (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about 2 years ago | (#41699315)

I believe Microsoft has better chance fighting Android with Windows Phone than Google has fighting Windows with this... thing.

What, No Touchscreen? (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41699323)

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:What, No Touchscreen? (1)

tgetzoya (827201) | about 2 years ago | (#41699481)

Are these comments not the same as when the iPod was announced a decade ago? Then again I doubt there are Google fanboys (if any) that are as rabid as the Apple ones.

For the record: I own an Android based phone and a Nexus 7, use Google products extensively and I still wouldn't buy this thing.

Re:What, No Touchscreen? (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#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:What, No Touchscreen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699755)

It has one of these newfangled dedicated tactile touchscreens that really feel 3d for input. The only downside it its rather slow refresh rate of up to 300,000 ms.
But I think that is worth it, for having an extra dedicated input device that doesn't take half of your main screen space away, and has such a great feeling that you can... get this.. type completely blind! I kid you not! You can find the keys without even looking! And you feel *exactly* when the key is pressed! How great is that?! SO INNOVATIVE!

It's called a "keyboard"! Check it out!

Re:What, No Touchscreen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699987)

300 s refresh rate? Sounds like a strange unit for refresh rate. And if it is once every 300s, it is damn too slow.

Re:What, No Touchscreen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700779)

Remote Desktop for real apps. But I haven't tested it myself.

O_0 (1)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699357)

Google has zero clue how to design much of anything. Failure after failure shows this.
You must have a seriously impressive resume to legitimately claim that.

Re:O_0 (1)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41699475)

Whoops. Guess I should learn how to use /.

Re:O_0 (-1, Troll)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41699559)

actually, some of us DO have really stellar resumes. I've worked on some really amazing products that have shipped and had a good long life. can't say the same about most of the google products!

Re:O_0 (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41699801)

Sure you have.

Re:O_0 (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#41699923)

He invented a new type of douche nozzle. True story...

Who cares how long things take to boot?!?!? (0)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#41699417)

ESPECIALLY on a portable device that you use roughly daily, assuming it wakes from sleep quickly. Booting is for a) after software updates or b) when you know you're not going to use it for several days. And personally, I can count on my hands how many times I've done (b) in the seven years I've owned a laptop.

Besides, powering off a machine means I lose all my open windows, apps, etc., and the time it takes to create all that is much more than any boot time.

It's perfect . . . (2)

Idou (572394) | about 2 years ago | (#41699571)

For my mom . . . who is in her 70s. Windows should not even be considered for such a demographic.

Re:It's perfect . . . (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700741)

How often is she going to call you up asking why nothing is working - because she isn't connected to the internet? It's about as perfect for old people as drivers licenses are.

Should/could Chrome and Android merge ? (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41699625)

Both run on the same basic hardware. Android has more apps, local apps, a better image, and good touch control. Chrome has better multitasking, keyboard/pointer handling, and more cloudy stuff.

Is there any reason why the two can't just merge ? I want my android tablet to handle a keyboard and mouse/trackpad better (right-click, CUA-type shortcuts...), and to have 2 tiled windows on-screen (a la Win8 RT) + pip-type video, as well as to allow me to "pin" apps I want always on, and a "guest" mode. Chrome seems to have all that, but is far too cloudy for me, I need local apps and data, at least until international data roaming is priced cheaply, and 4G speed are available everywhere including in hi-speed trains.. which should take 10+ years.

Re:Should/could Chrome and Android merge ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41699743)

Asus Transformer series, just doesn't have window tiling which I've seen is included with Samsung Note 10.1 does have so not completely unlikely.

Re:Should/could Chrome and Android merge ? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41700125)

Google has long said their vision is for Android and ChromeOS to converge, from both sides, in the long term. Android getting Chrome as the default browser is a step in that direction.

Chrome seems to have all that, but is far too cloudy for me, I need local apps and data

Chrome -- the browser, whether in ChromeOS or elsewhere -- already supports local apps and data.

The purpose of a Chromebook is obvious... (-1, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41699941)

The idea is to route all traffic and usage data through Google, so that they can spy on you even more effectively. From what I understand, these Chromebooks record all audio in the area, compress it heavily, and send the recordings to Google to be analyzed for both advertising purposes, and additionally are passed off to the usual spy agencies if suspicious talk is detected.

These Chromebooks are dangerous to your privacy, and could be used to implicate you in criminal activities, ban you from air travel, or even get you NDAA'd by Obama's goon squads.

Re:The purpose of a Chromebook is obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700303)

"The idea is to route all traffic and usage data through Google, so that they can spy on you even more effectively. From what I understand, these Chromebooks record all audio in the area, compress it heavily, and send the recordings to Google to be analyzed for both advertising purposes"

Just FYI, if you don't ground the aluminium foil it acts as an antenna.

Re:The purpose of a Chromebook is obvious... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41700453)

Yeah, nice try. Why don't you TCPDUMP and check how much encrypted traffic is going off to Google?

In this day, you're either rightly paranoid or extremely low-functioning.

Chromebooks are a non-event (0)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41699957)

Seriously, a web only laptop is about as useful as getting AIDS. Some of us who commute have jobs that rely on more than facebook and gmail.

"Solution" in search of problem. (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41699983)

I really don't see the problem this solves.

Not a high enough portion of my computer usage goes through Google for monitoring/monetizing?

There are not enough limited use gadgets in peoples homes?

My portable machines have too much independent capability when offline?

I am surprised Google is still pushing chromebooks. This is the first I heard of them in ages.

ARM Linux Netbook finally arrives? (4, Insightful)

Zobeid (314469) | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Its main market is in business notebooks and PCs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41700389)

what non-IT office workers normally do on their notebooks? Web, outlook, and office suite. Google covers all hardware, software, and IT infra, with much less cost, compared to typical Windows environment. Moreover, this thing is easily replacable, because nothing is in there except the OS. Yours is broken? No problem. Go get a new one from a help desk. You're fired? yours will be used by your replacement the next day.
for me, i think this is the begining of the end of MS's era in their lucrative business market.

This battle... (1)

wzinc (612701) | about 2 years ago | (#41700849)

This battle brought to you by Webvan and Pets.com.
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