With the holiday season fast approaching, Google has announced a price cut for some of its Chromebook computers, with the cheapest models receiving a $50 discount – but will that really be enough to tempt consumers?
The news came in a blog post by Google’s senior product manager Venkat Rapaka. “We’re excited to share that beginning this week Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will be available starting at $299,” he wrote.
Wi-Fi-only Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will now sell for $299 down from $349, while the Wi-Fi and 3G Samsung Series-5 will drop to $349 down from $429.
The Chromebook was introduced by Google in June of this year and is supposed to make computing faster and simpler for users. Boot-up, for example, only takes eight seconds, and updates to its web-based Chrome OS take place automatically when you turn the machine on. All computing is done on the web, so application updates are also not an issue.
Of course, the drawback is that in order to do anything meaningful on a Chromebook, you need to be connected to the Internet. If the connection goes down, or if Google suffers an outage, you’ll be left twiddling your thumbs till things get sorted out.
Up to now, the Chromebook has failed to capture the public’s imagination, so Google will be hoping the price changes will cause consumers to take another look in the run up to Christmas. But with competitively priced laptops and a number of new tablets also vying for attention, the Chromebook will certainly have its work cut out.
The machine can only be bought online from Google’s retail partners – Amazon, Best Buy and TigerDirect.com.
Rapaka’s blog post also announced changes to the Chrome operating system, unveiling a simpler, more streamlined user interface.