Google Unveils Samsung, Acer Chromebooks, Coming Mid-June
The Chromebooks will be available for order on June 15 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. More countries will follow. You'll even be able to order them online at Amazon.com, if you so choose, and Best Buy will also be selling them.
The Acer Chromebook will have the following specs:
- Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor
- 11.6-inch HD Widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit LCD
- 16GB SSD
- 2.95 lbs.
- 6 hours of continuous usage
- 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
- $349 to start
- Intel ATOM Processor N570 1.66Ghz (Samsung's original press release said it was a Core 2 Duo CPU, which was incorrect
- 2GB RAM
- 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 SuperBright Display, 36 percent brighter than a standard display, 16:10 resolution
- 16GB SSD
- 3.3 pounds
- Up to 8.5 hours battery life
- wi-fi (802.11b/g/n), optional 3G
- Starts up in less than 10-seconds
- Resumes instantly from standby
- HD Webcam, built-in digital microphone and stereo speakers
- Two USB ports capable of charging mobile phones and accessories, connecting digital cameras and media storage devices
- Full-size Chrome keyboard
- Oversized multi-touch trackpad
- wi-fi only model will retail at $429.99, wi-fi + 3G: $499.99
Also included is enterprise-level support will be provided, as well as device warranties and replacements as well as regular hardware refreshes (though it is unclear what that means). Monthly subscriptions to Chromebooks for Business and Education will start at $28 per user for businesses and $20 per user for schools.
Acer left, Samsung right
These are subscriptions, though, so what does that mean? It means you're tied into a contract. Think of it as a subsidized smartphone, and you'll get the idea. In order to get these deals, customers will be linked to a three-year contract. 36 months x $20 for educational use means $720. For business use, that's $1,008.
Granted, you're getting a hardware refresh at the end of the cycle, and the cloud management console. Does that justify the pricing and the term? Google had reportedly considered a shorter term with a higher monthly fee, but after market research Google found that most institutions never upgraded their machines before three years, anyway.
Finally, offline versions of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will be made available for Chromebook users this summer.
You can see a video on Google's Chromebooks, below.