I love Chromebooks! I think they are some of the most interesting devices to hit the market in recent history. For education they are fantastic!
Let me explain:
$249 for a device with a decent 11″ (or bigger) screen, a decent full-sized keyboard, 8 hour battery life, almost no software updates, no viruses or malware to worry about and it does almost everything a ‘normal’ computer user might want – how can it fail ?
Cast your mind back, way back, to December 2010. (Are you there yet?) Now do you remember Google announcing the CR-48 Chromebook? You’d be forgiven if you don’t remember. The original CR-48 was never available for public purchase, instead it was intended as a showcase for Google’s Chrome based Operating system called Chrome OS.
However since then, the platform has gained some traction and manufacturers including Acer and Samsung have released their own Chrome OS based notebooks (or Chromebooks as we like to call them). These Chromebooks were, initially, not priced particularly competitively and so didn’t gain much market share. However, more recently, Acer and Samsung have released $199 and $249 models, which together with improvements in both the operating system itself and the services the devices are able to run (Chromebooks are primarily an internet based device and can only run limited services when not connected to the internet) have made them far more attractive.
(We are currently reviewing a few models ourselves – full reviews will follow in the next few days.)
Indeed Acer reported, in January 2012, that Chromebook sales made up 5% to 10% of their US shipments. Since then others including HP and Lenovo have announced intentions to release Chromebook models.
To further cement their confidence and commitment to the platform, Google recently announced their high-end Chromebook Pixel which is the ultimate flagship model of the devices and is being touted as an Apple Macbook competitor, both in terms of it’s beautiful design, outstanding screen and it’s whopping cost (it’s has a starting price of $1299).
However a report today from Digitimes today claims that Google Chromebooks have not been selling particularly well. The report claims only around 500,000 units have sold in the past 2 years. This seems to contradict everything we have heard so far. So what’s the truth? Are they selling are aren’t they?
Stay tuned to Google I/O next month – If Chromebooks were not selling well before, I have a feeling that after the event, things may change!