Chromebook and Chromebox

Google is showing off a shiny new Samsung Chromebook and the new Chromebox today, which come to the table not only with beefier specs but with an all-new user interface. For those who aren't familiar, ChromeOS is a new computer operating system from Google, one where everything runs inside a Chrome browser and from the cloud. It's a concept well-received by many, hated by just as many, but leaves most folks wondering why. 

The first consumer Chromebooks came out last year, and their anemic hardware and high price tag overshadowed their main selling points -- a Chromebook is the ultimate multi-user system, as all your data is stored in the cloud and accessible when you log in with your Google account. When you shut it down, nothing is saved locally and the devices is ready for the next user. As long as you have a constant connection to the Internet (and use Google's services) they are a perfect web-machine. A couple of us here at AC use them, and they come in handy when you don't want (or need) to log in to a "real" computer for a few minutes work.

Today's news makes them a bit more attractive. The hardware has been revamped and now the system runs on an Intel dual-core Sandy Bridge Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM. This should offer up quite the performance boost, but we're curious how it affects the battery life. They look like something we want to try.

Most importantly (and the reason why we're as curious as we are) is the new software. ChromeOS version 19 is now live and stable for the new gear, and with it comes an entirely new UI. Instead of just the single browser window ChromeOS offered in the past, you now have a home screen, a system tray and notification area, and shortcuts to commonly used apps in place. Yes, apps -- Google is placing a new focus on the Chrome appstore, and the wonders of webapps (hello there, Enyo team!). We've been using the beta version of v19 for a while now, and to us, things look and feel a lot like an Android tablet. I even find myself touching the screen to try and launch things like the GMail app.

Could this be the first step to a true convergence of ChromeOS and Android? At one time Google told us that the two will never meet, but we've already seen Chrome Browser for Android, and many think a Chromium, open-sourced version will become the default browser. We expect to hear more about ChromeOS, and any potential future with Android at Google I/O in just a month. 

Source: Google


Reader comments

Google unveils the new app-driven ChromeOS (and its new hardware)


For people who want a laptop but don't want to pay the full price for one, or need all the computing powers that come with your average laptops.

If all I ever do is surf the web, facebook, email, twitter, online shopping, online banking, why should I pay $500 or $900 for a laptop when I can get this for much cheaper?

Also, google can keep them if they price them the same way the priced the ones from last year. $400? Eff that.

You gotta point , but that depends on how they gonna price it ! Especially that laptops are cheaper than what they use to be!

Laptops are so cheap these days that a Tablet can costs moe

For 400 dollars you CAN buy a decently specd laptop ! My mother bought a new Toshiba Laptop last week !
I think with laptops you get more bang for your buck & the best part : You are Not restricted to a internet connection

You can buy a laptop for less. I've seen decent laptops for as cheap as $260 and decent laptops as cheap as $350. I don't think this is a good alternative for folks who need low computing power.

For me the real benefit is for business, schools, etc.. where the public interface is through a UI. The chrome will be easy to maintain and reliable enough to reduce the overhead of a full desktop.


I thought about getting one, but after having a lapdock, I'm not sure the significance. The lapdock doesn't really do anything for me and is pretty slow for what it is. I like my desktop PC, Android tablet, and Android smartphone. I'm good.

THIS IS AN ANDROID SITE..... okay Jk . . . I've tried a chromebook... its nice... but it isn't worth that much. The laptop is too expensive. You're getting a browser and a desktop to lauch web apps, of which most are glorified bookmarks... $200 for the Laptop and $100 for the Box... THEN i'll buy

Yup, the price is the catch here. I don't know many people that want to pay $400 for a computer with only a browser on it. $200 or less would be reasonable.

True to a point... one of the big things here is the time to desktop. The article claims they are booted in under 7 seconds or less. You get your browser-only(ish) environment almost instantly compared to other machines you could get in the price range.

I'm still not personally convinced why you would ever go with this, however, if all you want is browser and email, and not a tablet. I suppose these will be a bit cheaper than most tablets. Also, if you can't let go of your need for a keyboard and mouse, these fit the bill. I personally don't see myself getting another full-blown laptop (unless I end up at a job that requires it for some reason) anytime soon. My next portable device will be a tablet. For the heavy PC stuff, I have a beefy desktop tower.

I'd like to propose the name of the site being changed to GoogleCentral so that articles like this fit the overall theme. Otherwise it's like reading about Windows 7 on wpcentral.

the new thing is android on a pen-drive with USB, HDMI, BT, WIFI connections, saw something for $79 somewhere online. cstick Cotton Candy is better but cost $200... I will wait till these things get cheaper with better specs. Chrome OS is too late in the game.

I see some real potential with this. Google could add support for VMWare View and Citrix. Everything's going to virtualization now. The regular user is only going to be browsing the internet anyway.