Like Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG) is in a period of transition. Both companies cut their teeth in software and grew to lead their respective industries, but then they came to a realization: unless a company controls all aspects of the user experience — software and hardware — a product will never take shape in the manner they intended. On Microsoft’s end, the company is changing that with its Surface lineup. Google, on the other hand, bought Motorola for $12.5 billion. More →
Since the Windows-based PC market hasn’t been doing so hot lately, HP (HPQ) has apparently decided to give Chromebooks a shot. 9to5Google on Monday found a new specs sheet posted on HP’s website detailing a not-yet-announced Pavilion Chromebook that features a 14-inch display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels, a 1.1GHz Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD. There’s no word yet on when the pricing or release date for the new Chromebook, but it’s hardly surprising that HP has decided to try its own hand at selling Chromebooks since rival manufacturer Samsung (005930) has had some success in selling the low-cost laptops in recent weeks.
Executives at Acer (2353) have had some harsh words for Microsoft (MSFT) regarding its Windows 8 operating system. CEO JT Wang was fuming after the software giant unveiled its Surface tablet and even issued a warning to the company, while other executives have blamed Microsoft for confusing would-be Windows 8 buyers. President Jim Wong said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday that Windows 8 has not been successful and the company has explored alternatives to increase revenue, such as Google’s (GOOG) Chrome OS. More →
Now that Google (GOOG) has released smartphones and tablets under its own name, it was only a matter of time before it started releasing its own self-branded Chromebook computers as well. Unnamed sources have told the Chinese-language China Times that Google plans to launch a 12.85-inch Chromebook with touchscreen capabilities by the end of the year. And unlike with the Nexus 4 smartphone or the Nexus 7 tablet, Google isn’t going to a big-name OEM to produce the new Chromebook either, as China Times’ sources say Google is directly employing Taiwan-based Compal Electronics as its OEM, while tapping Wintek to supply touch panels.
What’s better than a $249 Samsung (005930) Chromebook? How about a Chromebook from Acer (2353) that sells for just $199. Google (GOOG) announced on Monday that Acer’s new C7 Chromebook would go on sale starting Tuesday for just $199 on Google Play and on Best Buy’s (BBY) website. The C7 Chromebook features an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366×768, 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage and a 320 GB hard disk drive, while weighing in at three pounds. Google’s first super-cheap Chrome-based laptop, the Samsung Chromebook, quickly sold out of stock when it went on sale last month, so it will be interesting to see if the company has similar success with the even-cheaper Acer model.
Google’s (GOOG) new 11.6-inch Chromebook built by Samsung (005930) might finally be the notebook that helps it get Chrome OS off the ground. Initial stock of the $249 notebook sold out shortly after it was made available for purchase on the Google Play Store. The Chromebook has been generating buzz not only for its low price, but because Google chose an ARM processor – a CPU normally used for smartphones and tablets – to power it. More →
Google’s (GOOG) newly announced Samsung (005930) Chromebook is getting quite a bit of attention for its ARM-based processor and low $249.99 price, but there’s another new Chromebook that comes with 3G connectivity for people who want to take it on the road with them. Samsung is listing a 3G Chromebook with Verizon Wireless (VZ) 3G WWAN connectivity including two years of data capped at 100MB per month that costs $329.99. All other specs remain the same: 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Dual ARM processor, 11.6-inch display (1366 x 768 resolution), 16GB of flash storage, 100GB of free Google Drive cloud storage, 2GB of RAM, 6.3 hours of battery life, an SD card slot, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out port and a VGA web camera.
Google (GOOG) isn’t giving up its dream of putting a Chromebook in everyone’s hands yet. The company announced on Thursday a brand new Samsung (005930) Chromebook that weighs 2.5 pounds and measures 0.8-inches thick. Touted as the “Chromebook for everyone,” the notebook has an 11.6-inch display (1366 x 768 resolution), 16GB of internal storage, 100GB of free Google Drive cloud storage, 6.5 hours of battery life, 2GB of RAM, an SD card slot, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, VGA webcam and an HDMI out port. The most interesting part about the new Chromebook is its processor: a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual ARM, a CPU normally reserved for smartphones and tablets. Google is selling the Chromebook for $249 and it’s available for preorder starting today.
Acer (2353) will reportedly launch a second-generation Chromebook computer in mid-October, according to a report from Digitimes. The company hopes the device will be able to replace its dying netbook line, which is expected to be phased out of the market in the coming months. Acer was initially hesitant about promoting a new Chromebook due to low sales of its earlier model, the report claims. After Microsoft (MSFT) announced the Surface tablet, however, the company was outraged and decided to “aggressively” push its new Chromebook. According to Digitimes, the 11.6-inch computer has already entered mass production and monthly shipments are expected to reach as high as 200,000 units. In addition to Acer, it has also been reported that Lenovo (0992) may be developing a Chromebook product. More →
Consumers who bought one of Google’s (GOOG) browser-based Chromebook computers may soon be getting 100GB of free cloud storage through Google Drive. A man by the name of François Beaufort recently discovered a piece of code in the Chromium source that states “Get 100 GB free with Google Drive,” according to Chrome Story. Google normally charges $4.99 per month for the 100GB option, so the Mountain View-based company’s generosity will allow Chromebook owners to save almost $60 a year. Unfortunately, it seems as if the offer will only be available for the newly released Chromebook and Chromebox by Samsung (005930), and users who bought one of the first-generation Chromebooks may be left in the dark. More →
Google and Samsung on Tuesday announced a new Chromebook and Chromebox computer. Both machines are powered by Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS and are built for speed. Samsung’s newest Chromebook, the Series 5 550, features a 12.1-inch display, an Intel Core processor, 4GB of RAM, an HD Camera, two USB 2.0 ports and six hours of continuous battery life. The Chromebox resembles Apple’s Mac mini, and adds four additional USB 2.0 ports. Both come equipped with built-in dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Gigbit ethernet, however the Chromebook also has a 3G connectivity option. The Chromebook Series 5 550 starts at $449 and the Chromebox can be purchased for $329 — the two devices are available now. More →
Amazon launched its new Kindle Cloud Reader service on Wednesday that provides users with access their Kindle library using Chrome or Safari on Mac, PC, Linux and the Chromebook. Kindle Cloud Reader is also optimized for the iPad and offers a caching feature for offline reading. To get started, simply navigate to http://read.amazon.com and install the small required plug-in. We gave the service a quick run this morning and were impressed by how fast it loaded our eBook library. We definitely still prefer the standalone app on the iPad, but we’re sure Amazon created this option as a loophole to get around Apple’s iTunes App Store rules. Don’t use Safari or Chrome? Amazon still has you covered with its Kindle for PC client. Read on for the full press release. More →
The first notebook model to run Google’s Chrome OS is now available for $499 through a private sale. Samsung’s Chromebook Series 5 notebook computer is currently a featured item on Gilt Men, a subsection of Gilt Groupe’s popular private sale website. Gilt’s sale began today and it runs until 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday. The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook features a 12.1-inch display, a dual-core Intel processor, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and an HD webcam, and it ships with a free sleeve as part of Gilt’s sale. Samsung will release the notebook to the general public on June 15th but Chromebooks purchased through the Gilt sale will be delivered between June 8th and June 14th. More →