Google Announces 'Chromebook' Laptops, No Word on Chrome-Based Tablets


On the second day of its I/O conference, Google has announced the June 15th launch of Chromebooks, small web-only notebooks running the company's browser-based Chrome OS.

These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook you won't wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You'll be reading your email in seconds. Thanks to automatic updates the software on your Chromebook will get faster over time. Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don't need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G, just like your phone, you'll have the web when you need it.

Chromebooks will initially launch with models from Samsung and Acer, typically checking in as dual-core Atom-based machines with displays in the 11-12 inch range and limited onboard storage of 16 GB. Pricing for early models is said to begin at $350 and range up to $500 for a Samsung model with integrated 3G connectivity and limited monthly data allowances from Verizon. Google is also offering monthly subscription pricing for students ($20) and businesses ($28), providing them with a manageable fee that includes full support, software updates, and even hardware upgrades.

According to Mashable, Google is "fully focused on notebooks" when it comes to Chrome OS, suggesting that the company will continue to utilize Android to drive tablet products, despite long-standing rumblings and evidence indicating that the company is contemplating bringing Chrome OS to tablet devices.

When asked about Google's future plans for Chrome OS beyond the notebook, Google SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai said that Chrome OS is "agnostic" to the hardware it runs on. In other words, Chrome OS can easily be ported to tablets, desktops and other Internet-connected devices.

With that said, Pichai made it clear that Google is laser focused on Chrome OS for the notebook. He noted that Google wants to reach the greatest amount of people possible, and most people use notebooks rather than tablets or desktops. "We are fully focused on notebooks," Pichai said.

Google's Chrome OS has been looked to as a lightweight operating system potentially capable of revolutionizing the netbook and tablet industries. Apple of course has continued moving forward with its own products in these areas, launching and even updating the iPad in the tablet market and sticking to the high end of the "netbook" market with its newly-redesigned MacBook Air finally extending into the sub-12 inch display range since Google first previewed Chrome OS in late 2009.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
121 months ago

Sounds like a very interesting cheap computer option.


Yes, more expensive than a netbook, with all the power of a netbook, without the netbook's ability to really function offline. Sounds just fabulous. :p
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
The lack of vision in this thread is astounding but perhaps understandable. These machines are not targeted at iPad owners or even Mac owners generally. They are targeted at students and enterprise.

These machines have day-long battery life, require no antivirus software, require no software updates or patches whatsoever, store all of your files in the cloud, and come with a three-year full replacement and support plan. All for $20/mo. as a student or $28/mo. as an enterprise user. To put that in perspective, the student user would spend $960 for four years of college, and get two laptops out of it.

This is potentially a Windows killer (eventually). Anything that the Chrome OS can't run right now, you can run virtually via Citrix on a remote Windows machine. Large corporations could gut IT departments if they switched to these machines. And small corporations can scale up faster by essentially outsourcing their IT problems to Google.

I don't understand the comments about Internet access either. Where you do use a laptop that doesn't have wireless? On college campuses, wifi is ubiquitous. In cases where it's not, you can get the 3G version. I can't remember the last time I turned on my MacBook and didn't have a live Internet connection. But Google announced offline access to Gmail, Docs, and Calendar coming in the next Chrome OS update anyway, which some of you seem to have ignored.

If you are not a student interested in a MacBook, a heavy PC gamer, or going to major in something heavy on Windows-based software, then I foresee no reason laying out $1000 on a Windows machine that will be obsolete by the time you graduate college. You can lease one of these devices without increasing your loan burden.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
I've always been curious of the "instant on"/short boot argument. Does that many people actually shut down their pc's every time after use? I can't remember the last time I shut down my Macbook, and not my Dell laptop either for that sake. I always put them to sleep, which always gives me "instant on"......
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago

I would rather use Ubuntu Linux or similar distro. Being Linux available for so long, being as good as it is, and still not been able to gain enough popularity to be a contender to the main Operating Systems: Windows and Mac OS X, we now have yet another O.S. Kind of a waste I would say, but only time would tell.

in my case, I'm staying with MAC OS X and iOS.


I've been a linux guy for 13 years and I will be the first one to say that linux is not a consumer friendly OS - it will never be a mainstream desktop contender.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
Starting at $350? You can pick up Acer netbooks for less than that with better specs, a camera, and a full, legal OS.

These devices are cutting out the cost of the Windows software license, and presumably (as they are running a lightweight OS) also cutting out storage space/RAM allotment/ GPU. The bottom end devices should be cheaper than bottom end netbooks.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
As a beta tester, these suck

I can buy a real laptop or tablet for $500 that doesn't need Internet access to work
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...