The Google Chromebook has been available to consumers since late spring this year. While the initial feedback was mixed, the improvements have been flowing steadily. On Nov. 21st, the prices on Acer and Samsung offerings were cut.
Sounds like early adopters will be party to the growing pains - but it appears that Google and its partners are not just idly standing by this novel Web appliance.
And I mean "appliance," as the Chromebook looks and operates alot like what I've long imagined a laptop as a toaster. No, not to make toast, but to grab it and it starts working in the time it takes your toaster to start heating up.
Now, let me add that the Chromebook is a laptop-like device with a keyboard, two USB 2.0 ports, a slot for SD flash memory cards and a 16 GB SSD hard drive installed. The operating system is Google's ChromeOS, which gets updates automatically. All sorts of Web apps are available online, like Netflix & Facebook. The Chromebook will connect to the Internet via WiFi for free or the optional 3G upgrade (along with a contract with a 3G wireless provider like Verizon).
No antivirus software required. Now do I have your attention?
The Chromebook boots fully in under ten seconds, and wakes up from sleep mode in under two seconds. Do I still have your attention? Oh, I had you at "no antivirus software required."
Just to be sure, check Samsung's realtime video clip for evidence here (at 0:22 & 0:39, respectively - Samsung's clip found on Amazon.com).
Need just a keyboard and the Web? Here's what the world is saying about the Web-only laptop called the Chromebook. Click on each image to go to the article or review.
1st, from Jason Gilbert at the Huffington Post online:
Dana Wollman at Engaget seems to like it:
For ZDNet, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols blogs about some key areas for improvement:
Joe Wilcox used a Chromebook exclusively for a month - August - "I shacked up with Chromebook":
Richard Lawler wrote, also for Engadget, Netflix Watch Instantly streaming now works on ChromeOS, when it's working. His article illustrates how exciting when an anticipated feature becomes available, and how frustrating when it still needs a few tweaks.
Then Joe Wilcox announces I'm giving up Google Chromebook where he succinctly states, "It's a bittersweet goodbye, but some journeys end so others can begin."
Safe to say that the current crop of Chromebooks are not the instant sensation & polished product that the first iPod was. A fast enough and reliable wireless connection will make the Chromebook more pleasing to the user.
But the question remains - how much better can improve the overall Chromebook experience get by (a) upgrades to ChromeOS and (b) new and improved apps without having to replace the hardware. You too? Who isn't!