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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.

  • acadia11
    Screw off google, do all evil!!!! Where is the new kid on the block?
    Reply
  • irish_adam
    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
    Reply
  • dread_cthulhu
    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.
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    See, here's my problem with Google's logic. Part of the fee involves service, support, and upgrades. Now, if I terminate the contract, I'm not getting 3 years of service, support, and upgrades, so why would I have to pay the FULL contract? Even at the maximum, the termination fee should involve the price of the machine + the service received thus far, minus what's already been paid.

    Now, I'll admit that these contracts are for businesses and education, and part of the contract for businesses requires a minimum purchase of 10, so this contract is for major establishments who can likely commit to the machines for 3 years. Still, the price seems to be insane for a machine that will be outdated sooner than the first year. Google used to be the good guy, but with every step they take, they seem to be getting closer to a worse corporate entity than MS or Apple. I have a feeling that contract will draw the attention of the feds into their business practices.
    Reply
  • I pity the people forced to use one of those pieces of crap for 3 years because their employer was cheap.

    Atom cpu and an OS that is just a web browser. Those poor bastards!
    Reply
  • What do you get with the "free software and hardware upgrades" what is are we calling hardware? is it that i get a new laptop every year then I am cool with the cost.
    Reply
  • My company was apart of the pilot program. They were used in our sales department and I have to say everyone loved it. Sure not all of our departments could use it for everything , but considering our CRM and email are all web based it really was helpful. Now I am not happy about the price. I think that price is a little high. Not if they also included the free that most businesses pay to use google apps (50 bucks a year) then maybe. I personally own one of the originals and I can honestly say I use it more that my regular laptop.
    Reply
  • this is by far one of the worst products to come out in recent memory, cost more and does less than even the cheapest pc's out there, it looks like Google is catering to Americas "Stupid" Demographic with this one.
    Reply
  • reggieray
    Google who is in bed with the Obozo regime can take their new laptop
    Reply
  • The screen is too small, Atom and especially it's graphics are too weak to adequately do tasks such as Flash, video and Javascript, or 3D even if the cloud is doing the heavy lifting. For just a little more, you can get a real laptop and some el cheapo cable internet for 3 years.
    Reply