The long awaited Google driven laptop is set to go on sale here in the UK and the US next month (June). Google claims this laptop will transform the users experience with the device only performing one simple function, web access using their own Chrome browser.
Understandably, the device claims to boot up and have web access in around 8 seconds - I say understandably because that's just about all you can do with it, go online
Google claim that most people spend much of their time online, which again is a viable claim, and if they were knocking these machines out at a price we couldn't refuse then all good, although the suggested prices range from $350 upto around $499 for a 3G version. The $350 model from Acer is a noteable effort, working out at around £214 which some consumers may find attractive but the biggest turn off has to be the limitations of the machine. It can ONLY give you access to the net, thats it!. I think even asking for $350 is a bit cheeky, given you could buy a Windows powered machine for not much more and have all the usual bells and whistles associated with a laptop, you can even load Chrome and any number of Chrome apps so in short would have the same thing, but much better.
OK, so a laptop may not start up in 8 seconds, but seriously, people are not going to be convinced by that alone - given the possibilities of a normal laptop against a Chromebook there's no way that I'd pay anymore than £100 for such a device. Then comes the question of internet on the move, the 3G version Chromebook will sell for something like $499 (£305) which will also come with a limited amount of free bandwidth, but just as parents have started clearing up large mobile phone bills for their kids who run over their contracted time, they could now be faced with a similar issue on the Chromebook - I for one wouldn't dream of a contract phone for the kids, and I certainly wouldn't be buying them a Chromebook with 3G to run the risk of them clearing out my bank account with 24/7 net usage when I already pay handsomely for our internet at home. My daughter has an iPod glued to both her laptop and her ears so the thought of her NOT having access to sync these devices would make her run a mile!
So, seems a tad unrealistic of Google to expect people to part with even a few hundred quid for what is, in essence, a large mobile phone - problem is, anyone who would normally be interested in a Chromebook already has a mobile phone they are paying for, they probably already have a laptop also, and I know they will have the associated running costs of both, so why would they want an additional device that's between the two with a potential extra bill to boot??!!.
Bring the price down a bit, offer an attractive amount of free mobile internet useage with transparent charges and you may, MAY, just have a product that people are willing to buy.