Google Details Its Chromebook Subscriptions

By now you’ve probably heard about Google's new Chromebooks. Manufactured by Samsung and Acer, they’ll cost you between $349 and $499 to buy upfront. However, Google also revealed that it will offer Chromebooks to schools and businesses on a subscription basis. The cost for a Chromebook subscription is priced at as little as $20/month for students and $28/month for business users.

This monthly subscription includes free software and hardware upgrades, as well as administrative support. The annual cost of such a program works out at $240 per student or $336 per business user. However, Google is also insisting on a three-year minimum contract for businesses and educational institutes availing of this deal, which drives the total cost for a three-year subscription to $1,008 per computer for businesses and $720 per computer for educational institutions. What's more, Google says a customer that wants out of the three-year deal must "pay out the rest of their contract." There's also a minimum of 10 computers per company/school, though it would appear there is no limit on the number of consumers.

Of course, as is the case with buying up front, going for the 3G option is more expensive, with the price jumping from $20/month to $23/month for schools purchasing the 3G version of either the Acer Chromebook or the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. Enterprise customers purchasing the 3G Acer Chromebook will see the price jump from $28/month to $31/month, while the WiFi version of Samsung's Chromebook costs $30/month and the 3G model costs $33/month. Schools and business selecting the 3G models will get 100MB of free data per month.

Specs for the laptops announced this week are as follows:

Acer Chromebook

  • 11.6" HD Widescreen CineCrystalTM LED-backlit LCD
  • 2.95 lbs. | 1.34 kg.
  • 6 hours of continuous usage
  • Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
  • Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
  • HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
  • High-Definition Audio Support
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot
  • HDMI port
  • Fullsize Chrome keyboard
  • Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

  • 12.1" (1280x800) 300 nit Display
  • 3.26 lbs / 1.48 kg
  • 8.5 hours of continuous usage 1
  • Intel® AtomTM Dual-Core Processor
  • Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and World-mode 3G (optional)
  • HD Webcam with noise cancelling microphone
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot
  • Mini-VGA port
  • Fullsize Chrome keyboard
  • Oversize fully-clickable trackpad

Both of these computers will be up for preorder on June 15.

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24 comments
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  • Screw off google, do all evil!!!! Where is the new kid on the block?
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  • I think its a great idea for students that cant afford to pay upfront for a laptop, as a uni student i def see a use for the subsciption. I have a PC for my uni work at home but for note taking and research while at uni it would be a great tool to have thats pretty cheap
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  • Honestly... This would probably make a great textbook replacement. Give every kid a laptop, teach em how to use it day one, and lock it down so they can't screw it up. We pay enough in taxes, and schools could use their massive textbook budgets to grab a number of these babies. Of course, I'm not an educator, so I really don't know how the actual numbers would add up, or if they'd come out cheaper this way, but still... neat idea.
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