October 22, 2012 at 8:29 am #5124
Saw this on Sky website and thought it may interest some of us. Any views?
Google is launching its new low-priced Chromebook laptop as rivals Microsoft and Apple prepare to release their latest gadgets.
The lightweight computer will sell in the UK for around £200 and $249 in the US. It will go on sale early next week.
It is being made in a partnership with Samsung, which also makes smartphones and tablet computers that run on Google’s Android software.
The laptop, which does not have a hard drive, will run on an operating system revolving around Google’s Chrome Web browser.
It functions like a terminal dependent on an Internet connection to get to information and applications stored in large data centres run by Google or other technology providers.
It is the least expensive Chromebook that Google has released in the two years that it has been working on the product line.
Google and Samsung released a slightly more sophisticated Chromebook priced at $449 (£280) in the late spring.
Now it appears to be trying to get ahead of its rivals.
Microsoft is poised to release Windows 8, a dramatic makeover of its famous operating system, on October 26.
And Apple says it plans to show off a new product Tuesday. The event is widely expected to be the coming-out party for a slightly smaller version of its iPad.
“This is a big step in the journey for us,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome and apps. “I think it’s generally an exciting time in the computing industry.”
Despite the low price, the new Chromebook will face a tough time winning over consumers because it is notset up like a traditional PC with a hard drive, said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.
“A lot of people are going to see it and think, ‘Once I have it, what exactly do I do with it?'” Milanesi predicted.
Like tablets, the discount Chromebook will rely on a computer chip design known as ARM, instead of Intel microprocessors. The ARM architecture is more energy efficient, extending the duration of batteries between charges.
With an 11.6in (29.46cm) screen, the new Chromebooks also will have a larger display than tablets selling in the same price range.
The laptops will be set up to automatically use all of Google’s services, including its search engine, Gmail and YouTube video site.
Google also is offering 100 gigabytes of free storage on computers kept in its eight data centres.October 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #5168
Google are definitely pushing ahead aren’t they (partnering with Samsung again)! Very interesting this one, my impression is that the previous Chromebooks haven’t really set the tech world alight but I guess they still see some milage in them.
I quite like the idea but for me I’d want Windows on my next laptop, I’d want to be able to do some work on the move (which, for better or worse, is heavily dependent on the MS world). I’d want something a little bigger too.
Nexus 7 now exclusively handles all my casual Internet use so I’d only want another portable for work.
So I’m curious to see who this is aimed at, I guess the casual computer user who wants things to “just work” but needs a more traditional working tool that can go beyond the limits of a tablet.
Good luck to them, it’s a brave, innovative step. Seems good value for money, I think the challenge is convincing us that it can do everything a computer needs to do.