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Chromebooks Get OS Update, Holiday Price Cuts

By - Source: Google Chrome Blog | B 13 comments

Google is pushing Chromebooks this holiday season with price cuts and a revamped OS.

"'Tis the season for Chromebooks," claims Google on the official Google Chrome Blog. The company states that the Chrome team "elves" have been busy packing a few extra "goodies" into Chromebooks in time for the upcoming holiday season (AKA Friday).

According to the blog, Chromebooks will now sport a simple, streamlined user interface including an 8-second boot process, a "clean login experience," and a revamped New Tabs page that includes a shortcut to the File Manager as well as to music apps and games in the Chrome Web Store (which also just received a facelift).

"We’ve also been working closely with our partners to continually improve the overall Chromebook experience while making them even more affordable," the Google blog reads. "So, we’re excited to share that beginning this week Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will be available starting at $299. The updated prices will be available through our online retail partners."

While browsing through the group of new Chromebooks, Samsung is launching a Wi-Fi only version of its Series 5 12.1-inch Chromebook for $349.99 USD. Acer is the one selling the $299.99 Chromebook via Tiger Direct, the Acer AC700-1099. Here's the entire list:

Amazon
Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($349.99) (Black, Titan Silver, Arctic White)
Samsung Series 5 3G 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($449.99) (Titan Silver, Arctic White)
Acer AC700-1090 11.6-Inch Chromebook (3G)
(not priced)
Acer AC700-1099 11.6-inch Chromebook (Wi-Fi)
(not priced)
Acer AC700-1529 Chromebook (3G)
($429.99)

Tiger Direct
Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($349.99) (Titan Silver, Arctic White)
Samsung Series 5 3G 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($449.99) (Arctic White, Titan Silver)
Acer AC700-1099 Chromebook Wi-Fi
($299.99)

Best Buy
Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($429.99)
Samsung Series 5 3G 12.1-Inch Chromebook
($499.99)

"If you’re in the U.S. and you’d like to take a Chromebook for a test drive, visit the Samsung Experience in New York City or check one out when flying with Virgin America," Google's adds in its blog. "We’re excited to hear your feedback, as we continue to build a faster, simpler and more secure experience on a computer that always gets better."

Discuss
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  • 1 Hide
    sinfulpotato , November 23, 2011 2:14 PM
    I was under the impression Chrome was going to be fully Cloud based storage? Many of these have 16gb harddrives.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 2:24 PM
    16gb is for the os
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 2:35 PM
    Update? You mean the browser got updated? What else is there? You know these would be Ok for a quick notebook for web surfing and travel. But the price they have on these machines is too high for the hardware and OS inside. If your going to try and gain a foothold with a unfamiliar product to most consumers. You have to advertise and inform.A really good intro price would be helpful too. Chromebooks will be the next Netbook failure. You cannot even buy them and put another OS on them because they lack any kind of decent size hard drive. They are worthless if you end up hating the cloud from Google.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 3:20 PM
    The 16 gb solid state drive (NOT hard drive) on a Chromebook allows users to temporarily download files to their Chromebooks if they want to open them online, or as a holding place before uploading to cloud storage. I have a Chromebook and use the 16 gb SSD all the time. For example, I've download mp3s and movies onto the hard drive so I can listen/watch them when on a plane. In addition to the browser, Chrome OS has an integrated video/audio player and a file manager that looks like any file manager for accessing and managing files on the SSD.

    Chrome OS is not just the Chrome browser. Even in a Chrome browser on a Windows laptop there are a lot of other plugins and programs that need to be running to make it work. For example, Adobe Flash. When you visit a website with Adobe Flash content on a Windows laptop with any browser, if you don't have Flash installed on your computer, you won't be able to view the content. Since you cannot install any programs on a Chromebook, Google needs to update the Chrome OS if they want to give users the latest version of Flash. Other examples include video codecs, ability to handle zip file formats, rendering of PDFs - these all require updates of extensions that are not part of the Chrome browser. These updates happen automatically, in the background. A user of the Chromebook on the mainstream stable channel may not even realize it when their OS is updated.

    I read a lot of comments that say Chromebooks are too expensive for what they are. But in my opinion, $299 is not a lot of money. I have a high-end Windows laptop, an iPad, and recently, a Chromebook. Out of those three computers, my Chromebook is the cheapest and gets 75% of my use, my iPad about 20%, and my Windows laptop about 5%. It is a fantastic device, well worth the price.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 3:32 PM
    So glai why did you waste so much on a high end laptop only to use a $300 Cloud book? Seems to me that was a bad decision on your part? I have a nice Macbook Air and a iPad. I can see no reason for someone to spend $300 on yet another web based piece of hardware? I guess its great if like you they have extra money to buy another piece of hardware. But myself I intend to use my Macbook Air as I have plenty invested in it. If you already have a laptop I am not sure what you gain buying a Chromebook?
  • 7 Hide
    theconsolegamer , November 23, 2011 3:46 PM
    jescott418So glai why did you waste so much on a high end laptop only to use a $300 Cloud book? Seems to me that was a bad decision on your part? I have a nice Macbook Air and a iPad. I can see no reason for someone to spend $300 on yet another web based piece of hardware? I guess its great if like you they have extra money to buy another piece of hardware. But myself I intend to use my Macbook Air as I have plenty invested in it. If you already have a laptop I am not sure what you gain buying a Chromebook?
    You have a Macbook Air AND an iPad, what makes you think you can give such an advice?
  • -2 Hide
    tramit , November 23, 2011 5:19 PM
    theconsolegamerYou have a Macbook Air AND an iPad, what makes you think you can give such an advice?



    You are a console gamer, what makes you think you can give such advice?
  • 1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 23, 2011 5:30 PM
    Who's buying these things? I have yet to meet one person that owns one.
    Get a tablet.
  • -3 Hide
    blurr91 , November 23, 2011 5:41 PM
    Why spend almost the same money for a Chromebook when I can get a Windows notebook? If I want something small and fast, I'd get a tablet. If I want a notebook, I want something that can be more productive than a Chromebook.
  • -1 Hide
    Vladislaus , November 23, 2011 6:18 PM
    is it me or are the prices a bit high?
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 24, 2011 3:03 AM
    Anything to just move those undesirable notebooks off the shelf, I presume.

    Though, it would be tempting to get one and install either Ubuntu or Windows 7.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmy-bee , November 24, 2011 5:50 PM
    eddieroolzAnything to just move those undesirable notebooks off the shelf, I presume.Though, it would be tempting to get one and install either Ubuntu or Windows 7.

    Agree on the Ubuntu but I don't think these things have a HD.
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , November 24, 2011 7:42 PM
    jimmy-beeAgree on the Ubuntu but I don't think these things have a HD.

    They don't have an HDD but they do have an SSD.