Would you buy a laptop running Chrome OS (aka Chromebook) for $249?

A Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google’s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is an operating system that essentially revolves around the web; it uses Google Chrome as its backbone and everything you do is through that browser and web apps. Until now Chromebooks have been fairly expensive which has probably stunted their adoption. After all, who would spend $500 on a Chromebook when you can get a Windows laptop for the same price? Google seems to have gotten the message and has now released a significantly cheaper Chrome — US$249.

It is an intriguing deal — a Samsung-built Chromebook (weighing in at 2.5 lbs and 0.8 inches thickness) for $249. Will it replace your Windows or Mac or Linux laptop? No. But it can be useful for people who want internet access on-the-go (it boots up in under 10 seconds) or people that primarily do their work via the web. It can also be used for taking notes, thanks to apps like QuickNotes for Chrome, Google Docs, or Office Web Apps.

The $249 version of the Chromebook is WiFi-only while the 3G version costs $329.99. Both versions are powered by a 1.7 GHz Samsung dual-core Exynos 5 ARM-based processor with accompanying GPU and 2GB RAM. Internal storage comes in the form of 16GB with free 100GB cloud storage via Google Drive. The screen is 11.6 inches with a 1,366 x 768 resolution meaning the laptop can do 1080p video playback. Other specs include Bluetooth 3.0, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, VGA camera, one HDMI out port, and an SD card slot. The battery is rated at 6.5 hours for the WiFi-only version and 6.3 hours for the 3G version, which seems to be very low for a laptop running an ARM-based processor but is still higher than most (if not all) Windows laptops.

This Samsung Chromebook is currently available only in the USA and UK. You can grab one by hitting up the link below. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you are considering jumping on this — I’d love to hear some feedback regarding the device!

Samsung Chromebook homepage

[via BGR, Google]

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  • J.L.

    @RealBull: “What if the system went down?” Do you honestly think that your computer is more stable than at least thousands in RAID, synced and backed up? You’re a fool if you think that’s the case, at least for the big companies. The only reason the system will go down, excluding catastrophes, is financial. That is reasonably moot (they’ll give you notices if nothing else) in big companies as well.

    As for the Internet question, why are you on the Internet? You shouldn’t even have (mainstream) news about cloud, at least not constantly. Public WiFi is everywhere as well, and don’t forget HTTPS.

    Of course cloud should be an option. Using your head and encrypting the data personally is an option as well. Actually, with that point, why are any Internet storage options treated as anything but an option? How is cloud different from old-school uploading?

    As a further note on security, I believe that should be separate from privacy. It is also true that storing multiple copies of data in multiple locations as backup is more secure.

    Edit: I almost forgot to answer Ashraf. Yes, if the hardware is worth the money. With lower cost than Windows, I believe that’s the case.
    Unfortunately for this one, it’s ARM-based. That limits the amount of OS one can install, but being a techie will help me.

  • Hamza

    I will buy it if i loved the hardware, but I will replace the Chrome OS by Linux of course!

  • Why not a 32 GB USB memory stick, this cost around 25 USD, you just have to put a copy on it, and forgot the cloud.And buy the one with physical look encryption. I don’t trust the cloud neither, law enforcement, NSA, pirates etc… Every body can go on your files depending the amount of money or power their have.

  • Mags

    @RealBull: My sentiments exactly!!!!!

  • BR

    @RealBull … Nailed it.

  • RealBull

    No, I would not buy a Chromebook because I don’t like the idea of storing all of my data on a cloud system. What if the system went down at a critical time? What if I don’t want to be connected to the Internet? What if I can’t connect to the Internet? Cloud storage should be an option and not a central base to do and/or store your work.
    And given Google’s snooping track record lately, I’m not sure if my data would be privately secure either…