Weekend Open Forum: Would you get a Chrome OS laptop?

By on May 13, 2011, 8:18 PM

Earlier this week Google announced the culmination of its CR-48 pilot program: two Chrome OS-powered notebooks manufactured by Acer and Samsung. Priced at $349 and $429, respectively, they are admittedly pricier than I was anticipating but Google will also offer leasing plans from $20 per month for students and businesses.

Although spec-wise they are par for the course, what's interesting is the fact that they offer a glimpse at the future Google envisions: one where all your computing is done hassle-free through the browser.

In their view, Windows is too much of a pain to use and maintain for regular folks who just want to get online. With Chrome OS there's no loading programs on startup, no need for software updates or virus protection, and all your stuff is saved 'in the cloud' so there's no need for local storage. Google is the first to admit that they are betting on a paradigm shift and even their introductory video ends with a voice that says: "I wonder if people are ready for this?"

Indeed many web applications already run well enough to replace some of their desktop counterparts and even complex tasks such as gaming are being enabled by projects like OnLive. With that in mind we want to ask you: would you be interested in getting a Chrome OS laptop, even if just as a secondary machine? What would you consider the sweet spot in terms of price? Vote and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

 




User Comments: 59

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Tanstar said:

"The cloud" isn't ready for this. As we've all recently had information stolen off of servers (PlayStation, Tivo, banks that use Epsilon, etc), why would we want EVERYTHING stored on servers? I've also had far more internet outages than I've had power outages. Besides, I can get a comparable notebook computer with Win7 and a hard drive for the same money they want for this cloudbook. Just makes no sense.

Guest said:

Getting a Chrome OS laptop is as fun as watching Glee.

Guest said:

Simply "No".

Chazz said:

No chance. I will not put all of my things in the cloud and require a internet connection to use my pc.

Nor would I let any of my family members, as they come to me for anything made after 1970, because I will not sit there and have to explain to them why they can't do anything at all because time warner is experiencing an outage.

dedparrot said:

the cloud isn't ready yet. we're not ready yet.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Computer maintenance really isn't that hard in general, and this seems like something people will buy and then ***** out their usual techy because it WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT CAN'T DO x???? Google said it was better!

With that said, I have no real interest relying that heavily on the cloud or google. I would have taken a free one in the pilot program, but you miss your chance google! :P

Rasta211 said:

Wish there was a vote option for "I'll consider it, but I'll wait for more information".

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hm.... well it doesn't hurt to try right?

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

I wont even use Google's browser, why would I trust them with the rest of my computer? They were ok when they were just a search engine.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"History ignored is destined to repeat itself"......

Oooo look, a laptop with a Google OS, and it does cloud computing!

This roughly parallels the citizens of Sparta saying, "Oooo look, open the city gates, Troy just sent us a horse"!

Now watch as I climb to the highest point I can find, with a bullhorn and shout at the top of my lungs, "No, N-O, no, never in a million years"...!

I'm simply baffled why everybody stands around and watches while Google tries to hijack every nook and cranny of the computing world, with a maniacal, monopolistic, obsession, and thinks its a good thing.

I have a single Gmail account, and I use their search engine. Beyond that, I avoid them like the plague.

Earlier this week Google announced the culmination of its CR-48 pilot program: two Chrome OS-powered notebooks manufactured by Acer and Samsung. Priced at $349 and $429, respectively, they are admittedly...
In direct response to this question, why would I do anything this stupid? I can buy a Windows 7 laptop for the same price, and woudn't have to use some Google "cloud" BS spyware OS.

And Jose, how long is a "moth"?

Google will also offer leasing plans from $20 per moth for students and businesses.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

This roughly parallels the citizens of Sparta saying, "Oooo look, open the city gates, Troy just sent us a horse"!

Hahaha, gold.

Chazz said:

captaincranky said:And Jose, how long is a "moth"?

Obviously google is trading thin clients for moths. 16-21 moths sound just about right for what this thing is worth.

Guest said:

I already have one. =)

Guest said:

yay lets all step back from Personal Computers and go networked again!!! yay google lets me forget about privacy and data protection concerns altogether!!! yay i am meek in the face of Almighty Server!...what do you mean unable to log on? well where's all my files? hang on the phone's ringing... hello? FBI? yes I am writing an essay on Al-Qaeda's logistical operations. No. no it's purely hypothetical, something for my PhD. what do you mean I must inform the police if I intend to leave the state? what was that about my passport and no-fly lists? Don't tell me not to be evil you just spied on me you motherbeeeeep.

the story of the cloud. Wave bye-bye to your freedom citizens.

p51d007 said:

Pass....My computer, My data. Google already knows more about me than my parents!

Who's to say that after you get everything "in the cloud" whoever controls the cloud that has your data, says pay up or it's gone.

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

Tanstar said:

"The cloud" isn't ready for this. As we've all recently had information stolen off of servers (PlayStation, Tivo, banks that use Epsilon, etc), why would we want EVERYTHING stored on servers? I've also had far more internet outages than I've had power outages. Besides, I can get a comparable notebook computer with Win7 and a hard drive for the same money they want for this cloudbook. Just makes no sense.

This be google mate, it ain't stupid like sony ect.

It won't be stolen... ur just a hater

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

dedparrot said:

the cloud isn't ready yet. we're not ready yet.

+1

Chazz said:

marinkvasina said:

Tanstar said:

"The cloud" isn't ready for this. As we've all recently had information stolen off of servers (PlayStation, Tivo, banks that use Epsilon, etc), why would we want EVERYTHING stored on servers? I've also had far more internet outages than I've had power outages. Besides, I can get a comparable notebook computer with Win7 and a hard drive for the same money they want for this cloudbook. Just makes no sense.

This be google mate, it ain't stupid like sony ect.

It won't be stolen... ur just a hater

Cause it's not like the chinese didn't just hack google or anything.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

At first i thought it was an awesome idea, but then when you really think about it, how is having your information saved "in the cloud" better or safer? If anything it sounds like it allows someone to steal your whole computer without actually needing to steal it. Now let's say for example you could have your info on the laptop, the OS idea is interesting. I saw OS boot and shut down and it's fast. Most people do just go online and use a browser and that's it, however, there are other markets that won't want it. Gamers won't want it, and people who need it for arts(photoshop) purposes wont want it. Students would want it but couldn't use it especially for college, i need powerpoint, word, excel, just to name a few. Now i am sure Chrome will have their own version but I and most likely many other need the Windows version, or Mac. I think it will need time to develop on the market, and improve in these areas, and i'm sure google will improve it. As of right now i'm not getting one because I don't need what it provides because my windows computer does what it does but better except starting up and shutting down but that's not a seller for me.

Guest said:

No way. For average user maybe, but if you have secific software and hardware, that you simply can't replace, the idea is useless.

Cloud is good for emails, flash and java games, simple graphics, youtube and "sharing". I prefer straight up private and offline work/fun.

Phone soft is more and more like computer soft, so why are we trying to make computer software more like that from phones?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Julio said:

dedparrot said:

the cloud isn't ready yet. we're not ready yet.

+1

+1/2 more

Its just not about all those cloudy things, I reckon it is more about why one would want to trust a corporation which want control everything in a way which culminate in making money for them at the expense of customer. Sometimes, I am amazed how people ignore this important aspect and jump on the 'recycled' new ideas as if its the next best or big thing for mankind.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

chazz said:

marinkvasina said:

Tanstar said:

".....As we've all recently had information stolen off of servers (PlayStation, Tivo, banks that use Epsilon, etc), why would we want EVERYTHING stored on servers? ......

This be google mate, it ain't stupid like sony ect.

It won't be stolen... ur just a hater

Cause it's not like the chinese didn't just hack google or anything.

DING DING DING! chazz wins :P

As for me...hellz no. I like having a device that's as useful offline as it is online. I like having my data on my physical hard disk. And because i'm not an *****, I save all of that to a flash drive, CD, AND on the cloud (in case the flash drive fails and something happens to the CD). But to put even 85% of everything strictly on the cloud? No thanks. Even my important emails get downloaded to my HDD. After-all, I may need access to some of that info if i'm in a non-wifi area or if my wifi card goes on the fritz or if the power goes out or if my router goes on the fritz or if or if or if or if.......

hitech0101 said:

Windows is too much pain to use ... But Google adds are more painful.Also I don't really see a point here regular folk who want to get online will opt for tablets or smartphones rather a laptop.Plus no serious gaming i think.Saving your data in the cloud can be way too risky.

Guest said:

I know its pretty but don't touch the fire

Guest said:

No way on earth. It's like the old mainframe days; one powerful machine and lots of dumb terminals. You gotta be kidding google! The web is not the center of the universe you know. I need hardware I can rely on. I dont want to rely on a network connection that's slow & jealously capped by my ISP...

bakape said:

Your average laptop + dualboot Chromium OS sounds like a good compromise, when you don't want W7 to plunder your battery, imo.

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

to all things google I sald a BIG NO WAY ...

Leeky Leeky said:

I'd just get a budget laptop and throw Linux on it tbh, but each to their own.

I'm prepared to try Chrome OS, would rather experience it before bashing it straight out of the cloud - literally.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Since I already have a browser and have no intention of ever doing cloud computing can't really see any reason to buy one of these.

blackbellysheep said:

Not many people read Eula's but people should read Google's for chrome cause there is a line in there that allow Google to use anything you've posted using chrome without your permission, and if that's a trend then beware of the cloud connected PC, always remember all your stuff is stored at someone else's server and what's on their server belongs to them, no matter what you think, and in this volatile industry companies die like flies and all your shit is gone.. so beware my friends treat all your data's like your children and always know where it is and how to retrieve it at anytime you want and for me the best place is with me., i know how to backup and fireproof and waterproof and all the shit they'll do and charge me monthly for...

*ps* no need to curse me out.. this is just my opinion.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

And Jose, how long is a "moth"?

Sorry, typo. What's your excuse for this:

This roughly parallels the citizens of Sparta saying, "Oooo look, open the city gates, Troy just sent us a horse"!

Actually Spartans have nothing to do with this story. It was the Greeks that left the horse as a 'gift' for Trojans, then destroyed the city of Troy :-P

But back on topic, I also think that neither people nor 'the cloud' is ready. Maybe as a secondary computer for browsing and simple tasks, but at that price I'd rather get a netbook with a full-fledged OS and still have access to anything a Chromebook offers -- minus the 8-second boot time but who cares?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Point well made, Jos. I'll add one more thing to this, as soon as SSD prices start to fall into general area of normal HDDs, they should become standard on netbooks + notebooks + PCs etc. the boot times debate will be pretty much non-starter, because few second boot time is nothing to talk about. Now once that happens, that leave this Chrome OS (an extension of browser?) with not much breathing space with its limited hardware support and useful applications, a point which I can support with hundred of thousands of stupid applications on android market (sometime I wonder why someone haven't 'developed' a fart-o-meter for android just in case it is wanted by some people).

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Jos said:

Actually Spartans have nothing to do with this story. It was the Greeks that left the horse as a 'gift' for Trojans, then destroyed the city of Troy :-P

Actually the Spartans were a part of the Greek force that destroyed Troy (as they should since Helen was married to the King of Sparta).

As for a chrome netbook, I gave chrome a whirl on my acer aspire one and was not overly impressed. Their are a lot better and more useful versions of Linux.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Jos beat me to it.

As for the topic: NO!

Guest said:

Not a chance I would get a Chrome laptop/netbook/tablet. I won't use their browser, OS, or mobile devices either. I think Google itself (the search engine) is great (mostly) but all these other sectors they're trying to take over, no thanks.

Anything they do is all about one thing, and that's advertising. If you wanna see a brilliant person speak about advertising, just search "Bill Hicks advertising" on youtube, and enjoy.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Short answer is: No. Slightly longer answer is: Not without an in-depth review.

I think it's premature to ask this question because the answers will be based on gut reaction. Sure reviews typically just help strengthen what you thought about something before, but at least you can back up what you think. As is the gut reaction is just based on people's idea about cloud computing, Google and such things, not the particular implementation.

I think what needs to be seen is what can be done with this. Is there any storage where movies can be kept and played back? How does the OS function is the internet connection fails? There are many questions which need to be answered to determine how limited this solution is.

My one gut reaction is that I'm not in the market for this, partly due to the price and partly due to the concept. That's because if I have to limit my freedom to install the applications I like, there'd rather be either other serious advantages or a price low enough that I'd be willing to pay even if I don't really need the product (and that price is really too low these days to be practical). I just recently bought a Thinkpad X120e (which I'll get soon, hopefully), and it feels to me like these AMD E-350 ultraportables are much better value than one of these Chromebooks.

If I wanted to lose the Microsoft tax, I'd rather go with Linux. Cloud computing is always available from a browser on a real OS.

Guest said:

I would like to play with one, but I don't want to give control to Google Cloud.

many years ago during a consulting assignment at a big retailer, our PC applicatrions resided on a server, not the PC. We called it client-server in those days.

deja vu

gmad22 gmad22 said:

This is a very good move by Google i think. Just like with TV, most people dont care about the underlying magic, they just want to use it. Internet is going in that direction, and even if their first attempt doesnt came out great, they are severall steps ahead of the rest with chrome and android.

Above all the things that google is doing right, i think the vision they have is unique. Who would have thought 10 years ago that google would be what it is today? On the other hand, Microsoft is still huge, but in the last 10 years hasnt change all that much right?

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

matrix86 said:

chazz said:

marinkvasina said:

Tanstar said:

".....As we've all recently had information stolen off of servers (PlayStation, Tivo, banks that use Epsilon, etc), why would we want EVERYTHING stored on servers? ......

This be google mate, it ain't stupid like sony ect.

It won't be stolen... ur just a hater

Cause it's not like the chinese didn't just hack google or anything.

DING DING DING! chazz wins :P

As for me...hellz no. I like having a device that's as useful offline as it is online. I like having my data on my physical hard disk. And because i'm not an *****, I save all of that to a flash drive, CD, AND on the cloud (in case the flash drive fails and something happens to the CD). But to put even 85% of everything strictly on the cloud? No thanks. Even my important emails get downloaded to my HDD. After-all, I may need access to some of that info if i'm in a non-wifi area or if my wifi card goes on the fritz or if the power goes out or if my router goes on the fritz or if or if or if or if.......

U ever heard of an USB or external HDD?

u can keep the data there DUH

And chinese hacked google? soo wut?

Every single thing/website was hacked atleast once.

Cloud service will probably have one of the best security.... google ain't stupid like Sony ....

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@marinkvasina

Nothing is or can be completely secure IMO, so it is no more than a pipe dream. Google is becoming just as bureaucratic as any other big corporation, hence, their ability to react or adjust quickly will diminish overtime, just like it has happened to many corporations. By the way having their spyware (i.e. chrome browser) on your PC is secure enough?

ramonsterns said:

marinkvasina said:

Cloud service will probably have one of the best security.... google ain't stupid like Sony ....

Yeah, that's what PS3 users thought.

Everything's secure until someone cracks it open, and then everything spills out.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well Jos, it's the thought that counts....Either that or, "movies ignored are destined to be misquoted".....

Actually Spartans have nothing to do with this story. It was the Greeks that left the horse as a 'gift' for Trojans, then destroyed the city of Troy:P

Oooo look, a laptop with a Google OS, and it does cloud computing!

This roughly parallels the citizens of Troy saying, "Oooo look, open the city gates, Sparta, (and some other Greeks to be named later), just sent us a horse"!

OK, "cranky's frac-wards history analog has been, to one degree or another, repaired.

Still the "Trojan Horse Affair", to this day has left us with this axiom, "beware of Greeks bearing laptops"!

But back on topic,...[ ]..., but at that price I'd rather get a netbook with a full-fledged OS and still have access to anything a Chromebook offers -- minus the 8-second boot time but who cares.
"Boot time", is why on the eight day, man created the personal coffeemaker, before he created the personal computer.

(The computer came later in the day, well after lunch).

In direct response to this question, why would I do anything this stupid? I can buy a Windows 7 laptop for the same price, and wouldn't have to use some Google "cloud" BS spyware OS.
See, I said that too.

And Jose, how long is a "moth"?

Well, you guys could stick with things like, "mothly" leasing; but only if I'm allowed to say, "although I personally loath this "Chromebook" idea, I'm sure people will be drawn to it like, "months" to a flame"......

cesarc said:

Hell NO! Anyone ever wonder why Google is banned in so many other countries?

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

No thanks, I am quite happy with my Windows laptop and as pointed out by almost everyone, cloud computing just has to many downsides for me to ever really trust it with something this important. I may look at just picking one up on the side to mess around with, however the price would need to come down first.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hell no! I rather have something useful.

Kthxbye

bioflex said:

i dont think i see myself using any chrome OS product for quite a for see-able future, i mean where i am is not a good place for cloud computing and besides i am used to good old miscrosoft. the only viable of OS i see myself using is either linux which i am not too familiar with or IOS would also do just fine

tonylukac said:

You all seem to be missing the point. With all the drive by downloads windows has bringing all the spyware/adware, this idea is great to surf the web. What do people do with college computers, for example? If it would only come down in price.

Jurassic4096 said:

In their view, Windows is too much of a pain to use and maintain for regular folks who just want to get online.

So Chromebooks are for stupid people? I'll pass.

unrealmp3 unrealmp3 said:

I'm a PC gamer so I'm definitely out of the radar for now. If OnLive makes it to Chrome OS I might reconsider, otherwise this type of device might fit my mother's computing needs.

Guest said:

What's Glee?

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