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Am I The Only Person That Bought a Chromebook?

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So, Google announced this whole Chrome OS idea back in 2009. A laptop OS that would allow users to jump right onto the web. And nothing but the web. There were promises of awesome web apps that would run from the cloud. People were excited that Google was jumping into this arena.

Late last year, Google started shipping thousands of Cr-48 laptops to developers and reviewers. Skeptics discounted the idea, stating that netbooks and tablets running on Windows 7 and Linux already filled the void that Google was hoping to fill.

As reviewers started to receive these prototypes, there were mixed feelings. Some loved them and the idea, some found them to be redundant and wondered if “regular” consumers, as opposed to geeks like me, would actually drop cash to buy one. A single device that only allows you access to the web and web apps. A laptop that can’t handle complex work tasks. A mobile device that becomes a paperweight when you have no WiFi or cellular data coverage. I know I wasn’t very interested initially.

Here’s a video from Google from 2009 that explains Chrome OS:

Well, I never got my hands on a Cr-48 like Xavier did, so I moved on with little excitement. Xavier did get his hands on one and shared tons of experience with GBM.

As you can see, around Part 4 in Xavier’s series of reports, he started to get the idea. Nobody is going to buy this. Expensive data plans, expensive hardware, crappy apps, etc… there is too much bad to overcome the positives.

Fast forward to May 2011, it was announced that these Chromebooks were going to start shipping in June. Well, I was keeping my distance from the mobile industry and didn’t even know this when I received an email from Google. On June 1st, 2011, I got any email stating that they (Google) were sorry I didn’t receive a Cr-48 but they’d like to make it up to me by offering an early retail model. Their great marketing along with my habit of impulse buying had me immediately take advantage of the opportunity to get something like this early.

The actual date that Samsung was going to begin sales was June 14th. I jumped all over this. I got home later that evening and thought to myself, “I just dropped five bills on something I will never use….” To top it off, I had no outlet with which to share my Samsung Chromebook experience. Why did I do this? The next morning I attempted to cancel my order, but was told that I agreed to buy it and that there were no cancellations. Doh! I was stuck now.

I received it a week before they were to be available to the public. I had decided to leave it sealed and try to peddle it to my techie followers and friends on Twitter. I had several bites, but they all assumed that I got it free at a Google IO event that happened around the same time frame. They thought since I got it free, I would sell it cheap. Well, I paid $500 and I was willing to take a $100 loss but those that were interested weren’t willing to pay that much. I was truly stuck with this device now. It sat sealed under my desk for a couple weeks.

I finally ended up opening it. I was underwhelmed, but since I was stuck with it, I thought I might as well use it. Today, I use it as a Living Room web browser mainly. I tried to use it for blogging and really couldn’t get much done without a full-featured photo editing package. I tried using Aviary, a Google OS web app for editing photos, but it was slow and didn’t offer the functionality I needed.

Long story short: I have an overpriced web browser slid under the couch for when I need to check something out while watching TV.

The model I bought was the Artic White Samsung Chromebook with 3G and WiFi.

I have to ask:

Am I the only one that bought one of these?

Chris is a former Microsoft MVP, Windows Phone. Chris works for AT&T, but his thoughts and opinions are his own and that he does not represent AT&T in any capacity online. ChrisLeckness.com

29 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    11/10/2011 at 11:26 am

    I get there is an “ease of administration” aside to the arguement, but paying twice the price of a netbook, plus a large data contract, for a machine that’s a paperweight when not connected, and does less than any other netbook or tablet when connected, sounds unjustifiable. 

  2. Brad Linder

    11/10/2011 at 11:33 am

    Nope… but it looks like you might be pretty close. I take DigiTimes with a grain of salt, but it’s possible that fewer than 10,000 commercial Chromebooks have been sold:

    http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20111109PD222.html

    • Chris Leckness

      11/10/2011 at 8:15 pm

      Digitimes has interesting, but sometimes farfetched stats. :)

      • Anonymous

        11/10/2011 at 9:17 pm

        Yes, 10,000 seems a bit high.

    • Chris Leckness

      11/10/2011 at 8:15 pm

      Digitimes has interesting, but sometimes farfetched stats. :)

  3. Anonymous

    11/10/2011 at 1:12 pm

    “Am I the only one that bought one of these?” 

    Pretty much, broheim.

  4. Charbax

    11/10/2011 at 1:15 pm

    Ice Cream Sandwich merges Android with Chrome OS and it’s going to kill Windows and Mac, reason being ARM Powered Android/Chrome laptops can be sold for $199, run 2x longer on a battery, yet feel and perform like an Ultrabook for 99% of the tasks most people need to use on a laptop. Photo and Video editing on the cloud works better and faster than offline.

    • Goimg

      11/10/2011 at 3:21 pm

      I don’t think that is what Ice Cream Sandwich does….sorry.

      • Charbax

        11/10/2011 at 3:58 pm

        If you can open a full Chrome browser in Android, what do you have? yup, it’s a merger between Android and Chrome OS, and that’s what happens once the ARM Powered laptops are ready.

        • Cuhulin

          11/11/2011 at 12:29 am

          There’s a lot more to Chrome OS than just the browser — i.e., the whole OS part.  Ice Cream Sandwich is the merger of the phone and tablet OS’s, not of Chrome OS.

          As to the $199 price-point compared to Windows and Mac systems, Win 8 will be running on ARM as well, and IOS essentially does now, so where’s the big advantage?

        • Charbax

          11/11/2011 at 4:38 am

          There’s a lot more than smartphones and tablets in Ice Cream Sandwich. There is also Set-top-boxes, E-readers and Laptops. The Chrome OS features such as secure boot, quick boot, all that can be integrated in the Laptop version of Android now. And basically the Laptop version of Android boots into browser-mostly, yet also supporting Android apps in the status bar if needed, and if the Laptop has a touch screen as soon as the screen is touched the browser may go more into the background revealing all the touch screen apps UI of Android more. $199 Android laptops will dominate just as $99 Android smartphones dominate over the $600 iphone and $199 Android tablets are about to dominate over the $499 ipad. Microsoft may target the $199 laptops also if they want, but that means they have to ask a very small licence fee or the price increases too much. A $199 Android-with-Chrome laptop will be the standard pricing. So if Microsoft wants access to the laptop market, they may ask $5 or $10 licence at the most, or else the Windows ARM laptop will be $229 and above and that’s a less attractive pricing already. If Microsoft can shift their business model to shipping a nearly-open source nearly-free ARM Windows OS, and to profit instead on web services, cloud services, then yes they can still be big. Otherwise they are finished. And the ARM Macbook is surely coming, but Apple wants to sell it at $500 probably. Not very interesting.

      • Charbax

        11/10/2011 at 3:58 pm

        If you can open a full Chrome browser in Android, what do you have? yup, it’s a merger between Android and Chrome OS, and that’s what happens once the ARM Powered laptops are ready.

  5. Manacap

    11/10/2011 at 2:32 pm

    Pretty close to the only one.  At least nobody that I know has one.  Alas, I was the only one who bought the IREX 800, and the Amiga, so I know what it is like.

    • Anonymous

      11/10/2011 at 8:40 pm

      oooooh, Amiga

    • Anonymous

      11/10/2011 at 8:40 pm

      oooooh, Amiga

    • Chris Leckness

      11/10/2011 at 8:53 pm

      I had an Amiga 500 hand me down when I was a kid. My dad had a couple Amigas.

    • Chris Leckness

      11/10/2011 at 8:53 pm

      I had an Amiga 500 hand me down when I was a kid. My dad had a couple Amigas.

  6. ol1bit

    11/10/2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yes.   With Android Tablets, not sure why buy a chrome anything.  I have my goggle TV in Sony’s blu ray player for the bedroom, cool to have a web browser in it…but Goggle Tv blows.  I’ll bet the dump Chrome os, PCs have lost their appeal for some reason.

  7. ol1bit

    11/10/2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yes.   With Android Tablets, not sure why buy a chrome anything.  I have my goggle TV in Sony’s blu ray player for the bedroom, cool to have a web browser in it…but Goggle Tv blows.  I’ll bet the dump Chrome os, PCs have lost their appeal for some reason.

  8. Chris Leckness

    11/10/2011 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t know anyone personally that bought one, but I know several with free ones.

  9. Chris Leckness

    11/10/2011 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t know anyone personally that bought one, but I know several with free ones.

  10. Anonymous

    11/11/2011 at 11:39 am

    I would have taken one for free, but as much as I like new gadgets, I never considered buying one. As others have said, too expensive for what it was.

  11. TimW

    11/11/2011 at 1:15 pm

    I bought one as well from Gilt.  I am disappointed in the speed and functionality but I do it use it occasionally when I travel but like you, browse with it in the living room (when my Ipad is unavailable)

  12. Daniel Holke

    04/16/2012 at 9:16 pm

    How about now for $300 flat, no monthly fee intending to just use WiFi? Still too expensive?

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