The only advantage that chromebook has it that is does not require as much processing power as a netbook. If hardware manufactures don't take advantage of that fact to reduce prices, there is no reason to buy one (like the article pointed out). I thought that the only market for it would be for businesses that do all their processing entirely on web based enterprises applications. The problem with that is, companies don't like portable devices because they tend to "walk off site" easily.
I think this is one of just Google's, let's make a prototype and let the manufactures worry about the market whims.
The problem I have with many of the reviews (including pcworld and the NYTimes) is that they are written by technical people who are assuming the needs of others match theirs. Some people (like the elderly crowd) don't *want* a netbook. They want to check their e-mail and look at pictures of the grandkids. They don't want to worry about virus scan, firewalls, connecting to the internet. The chromebook is simpler for them.
When I read a review about limitations like not being able to use it on a plane, that misses the point. The target audience of the chromebook has no desire to do that. zdnet includes the phrase "I want to poke around and see the innards of this PC". He does recognize this is illogical. While I want to see the innards of my computer, my mother certainly doesn't. Anything beyond surfing the net involves a call to me.
The NY Times points out no caps lock key (bad) and mentions it includes USB (good for separate keyboard or mouse). It lists "but no Bluetooth, Ethernet jack, FireWire port or DVD drive." as limitations. My mother and her friends haven't heard of the first three let alone use them and use a DVD player to watch DVDs. Or not as the case may be. It then covers using the Chromebook as the author's main machine. I agree - if *I* used it as my machine, I'd go crazy. But I recognize I am not in the target audience of this computer.
I view this as the biggest problem here. The people the Chromebook targets aren't early adopters of things. The best I think we can hope for is that some techies give the computer to their 4-6 year olds to play with and show how it is simple for just surfing websites.
I've been looking for reviews from the point of view of a small child or older non computer savvy person. Haven't found anything yet.
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:The NY Times points out no caps lock key (bad)
Not having a Caps Lock key is wonderful. When I get a new computer, the first thing I do is find out the magic code to disable forever the stinking caps lock key. Whoever designed that stupid key should be made to listen to ABBA songs forever.
Yes, it is always funny to see the people that don't fully grasp the purpose of a device write a review of the device.
The thing with the Chromebook, is there has never been a device like this for the actual purpose that the Google Chromebook was created for.
One is for people that aren't technical, but this is a laptop where Chrome is the OS, the OS. This is not an internet browser device. This is not a netbook nor a laptop. But most people will only be able to compare it to what they know and this device actually can't be compared because it is something else.
So the writers of the reviews come from comparing them to netbooks and expect the device to follow netbook like standards and it just won't.
Mark Spritzler wrote:One is for people that aren't technical, but this is a laptop where Chrome is the OS, the OS. This is not an internet browser device. This is not a netbook nor a laptop. But most people will only be able to compare it to what they know and this device actually can't be compared because it is something else.
Why do you say it isn't an internet browser device. Because Chrome OS is the OS? It's a different product than the Chrome browser that happens to only run Chrome. I'd actually compare it more to a tablet (except you can't install apps) than a netbook.
Mark Spritzler wrote:So the writers of the reviews come from comparing them to netbooks and expect the device to follow netbook like standards and it just won't.
Agreed. Every time I read that it is more limited than the a netbook, I keep thinking "but that's a good thing." My mother and others like her just want to get online. They would like things to be as simple as possible and not have all the capabilities of a netbook. I should write a blog entry on the reviews of Chromebook.
author & internet detective
So imagine that you don't think of the browser as an application that you are running on top of an operating system. Look as te browser being the OS/Desktop. Visibly the desktop is the browser. To run an application or go to a web page you just type in the URL. So say to start up a Word Processing application, you don't install tha application, just type in the URL for that app and it starts up by downloading information that the OS interprets and displays that as the application.
The same thing happened with the iPad was announced. So many reviewers couldn't conceive its potential because of it lacking this or lacking that. And then look what happened. At least Google picked a better name for their product than Apple did. Not terribly easy to make fun of "chromebook".
Bear: That review is exactly the point. It says you could get a netbook for that price and if you want simplicity instead you should get an iPad. People afraid of technology are likely to not have the dexterity to use a touchscreen and touch keyboard. And hooking up an external keyboard over bluetooth may not be hard, but it sure sounds scary enough.
@Jeanne, I take it you were trying to tell Bear that his linked review has the same flaw as all of the other tech press: They start assuming that the target audience is the same geeky folks who read tech press, and then compound it comparing it to a netbook.
I don't know if there is a market that will actually buy the Chromebook, but its not aimed at at geeks. Its aimed at anti-geeks. Its aimed at the folks who have had their kids install broadband and/or WiFi, but they are still paying AOL $18 a month to access the Internet. And its aimed at the enterprise world, where they have thousands of computers running Windows XP and two or three applications.
My bet is that it can't be much cheaper than a netbook, because there is about the same stuff in each. Perhaps the netbook has a cheap disk, the ones that retail, quantity one, for $40. The rest of the parts are the same. The question is: are there people who don't need the options of a "PC"?
I know that there are huge numbers of folks that don't understand anything about their PC and use it for email and a browser. These folks don't want any options.
author & internet detective
Pat Farrell wrote:@Jeanne, I take it you were trying to tell Bear that his linked review has the same flaw as all of the other tech press: They start assuming that the target audience is the same geeky folks who read tech press, and then compound it comparing it to a netbook.
Yes. Apparently less than eloquently
I agree it can't be cheaper than a netbook and I think that is fine. The anti-computer set would rather pay the same price and have less that can go wrong. The geeky reviewer is upset at paying the same and being able to run list.