Google Chromebooks Pre-Order Available, No Partner Updates
Who’s ready for the first web-only OS? If you raised your hand, you’ll probably be interested to know the first round of Samsung and Acer-built Google Chromebooks — the first enterprise hardware running the controversial-but-innovative Google Chrome OS — are now available for pre-order from Amazon and Best Buy. These pre-orders are cutting it pretty close to the official Google Chromebook June 15,2011, launch. And of course, it would be nice if that news came with a solid update on when Google’s fledgling channel can begin offering Chromebooks to its customers.
The cheapest Google Chromebook device available, according to Amazon.com, is a WiFi-only Acer Chromia with an 11.6-inch screen and 2GB of RAM for $380. On the other end of the spectrum, the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook boasts a 12.1-inch screen, but that same 2GB of RAM, for $499.99. The other specs, such as processor speed and hard drive space, hardly seem pertinent when discussing a Chromebook, but they’re there for your perusal.
Of course, if you’re a business user, Google will offer Chromebooks under a hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model for $28 a month ($20/month for educational institutions) — and that price includes hardware refreshes. Combined with the fact that Amazon and Best Buy are the launch partners, I get the sense that this is really a consumer launch.
There are still many, many questions around Google’s Chromebook for Business channel strategy — especially since all we know is that there will be one. But with rumors that Google is building its own consulting practice, TalkinCloud probably isn’t alone in hoping that all becomes clear sooner rather than later.
Regardless, Google partners and customers seem to be excited, if a little uncertain, about Chromebook’s potential to shake up the marketplace. And in just a few scant days, we’ll start getting a clearer picture around just how much of that hype is warranted.