Chromebooks: Not Flops!

By  |  Friday, July 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

It’s been exactly one month since the first Chromebooks–netbooks powered by Google’s Chrome OS–became available for purchase, and so far, sales seem to be holding up.

Over at CNet, Brooke Crothers¬†checked Amazon’s list of best-selling laptops, and found the number four spot occupied by Acer’s 11.6-inch, $349 Chromebook. (It’s in fifth place as I type). Only Apple’s MacBook Pro and a pair of Toshiba laptops ranked higher.¬†Samsung’s Series 5, a 12.1-inch Chromebook with built-in 3G service for $499, is ranked 10th.

Amazon’s sales charts don’t necessarily signify that Chromebooks are a hit. There are lots of other places to buy laptops, and PC makers tend to sell many different models, reducing the chances that any particular one will dominate. But the chart does at least prove that Chromebooks aren’t a failure. People are actually buying them.

That wasn’t a guarantee. Chrome OS is little more than a web browser, and Chromebooks generally are more expensive than netbooks, despite having no support for installed software and hardly any local storage.

And yet, for a significant number of Amazon customers, that’s okay. What Chromebooks lack in tech specs, they make up for with big trackpads, solid keyboards, slim designs and long battery life. Increasingly, those attributes are becoming more important than raw performance, especially when all you’re doing is browsing the Web.

Still, I’d like to see Google take the concept further with built-in online storage that could integrate into the browser just like a local hard drive. Either way, Chrome OS is interesting to me, and seems worthy of further exploration both by Google and hardware makers. Strong sales are a good way to ensure that’ll happen.

 
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10 Comments For This Post

  1. techman212 Says:

    I wonder how many of the sales went to Google employees. I hear the average salary at Google is six figures, buying a $350 netbook to boost people's impression of your new product isn't too much.

  2. Supervan Says:

    Typing this on a white Samsung Chromebook (Wifi only version). Brilliant laptop. Same size as my work Notebook (Lenovo X201) but a lot more useful in may ways. Now only use the the Lenovo when I want to work in Visual Studio. There is nothing else I need a windows computer for.

    It's a pity they don't have these in shops so people can try them. The keyboard and screen are topnotch.

  3. Geoff Stevens Says:

    It will be interesting to see the next generations of the Chromebooks. I think they could get some good stuff going, but i don't think they'll ever be able to be as good as a Mac Book. Time will tell.

  4. bobpuffer Says:

    Seems like my chromebook came with the requested built-in online storage requested… Google docs — with numerous ways with which the OS interacts.

  5. @christianficara Says:

    A Chromebook would probably be fine for me but I can't see paying more for it than a traditional laptop when I can have more options for the same or even reduced price.. I agree, though, they're most certainly not a flop and I am doing most of my work and play online through Google apps and services.

  6. Jon Says:

    Yea it is totally a conspiracy, that's the best explanation.

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  8. AGVIRT Says:

    Chromebooks are targeted to specific types of users that want an easy, portable Internet browsing device. They are not meant to replace the traditional PC or laptop.

    In addition, there are third party apps out there that can bridge the gap for Chromebook users that require occasional access to those tools found only in a Windows environment. For example, if a Chromebook user needs quick, easy, temporary access to a Windows desktop or Windows app, they can use Ericom AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run their applications and desktops in a browser.

    Ericom‘s AccessNow does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices – an HTML5 browser is all that is required.

    For more info, and to download a demo, visit: http://www.ericom.com/html5_rdp_client.asp?URL_ID

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