The Chromebook was Google's valiant attempt at pushing the Web as the next great operating system. It didn't work out that well for them, but that could be attributed to the fact that tablets and smartphones are far more popular than laptops. Well, Google is going to try it again with a new Chromebook that has one distinct advantage over its mobile competitors - it's cheap.
Google announced what they're calling the "new Chromebook" today. It's manufactured by Samsung and only costs $250. That's ridiculously cheap no matter how you slice it. Google's vision is to get a Chromebook into every home, but not as a main computer. They envision the Chromebook as the sidekick that's always there when you need it.
To push that message, Google has a new ad campaign that simply says, "Chromebook: For Everyone."
Now you may be curious about the specs. In all honesty, it's not that important when it comes to the Chromebook. The real star is the Web with Google Drive integration being the most important factor. The new Chromebook comes with 100GB of free storage on Drive so owners can access all of their music, videos and photos from the cloud without having to use any local storage.
Aside from personal applications, Google also made their educational aspirations known. They cited a IDC sponsored white paper that said Chromebooks are optimal tools for the classroom as they require 69 percent less labor to install and 92 percent less labor to support. In short, schools will have to hire less IT staff to handle problems if they all just switched to Chromebooks.
Will the Chromebook succeed now where past iterations have not done so well? The new price is definitely attractive. Those who aren't into hardcore gaming may find that a Chromebook fits their everyday computing needs quite well. It's continuously supported by Google's automatic security updates, and it's quick and quiet to boot. Now it's up to the consumer to decide if laptops are still relevant in today's world of tablets and smartphones. Good thing Google is heavily invested in that area as well.
The new Chromebook will be available for pre-order today from Amazon, Best Buy, PC World and others. It will be available via online retailers and the Google Play store next week.