QUESTION: What is your opinion of the Chromebook concept and also the Chrome OS? Do you think Google will support the concept for the long haul or will it be a “new idea” that eventually loses support? – Dorothy from New Whiteland, Indiana
ANSWER: In many ways, the Chromebook reminds me of the laptop version of an iPad. It’s designed to be lightweight, boot incredibly fast and have all of the security built-in. In this respect, I really like it.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt either that some versions of the Chromebooks are priced as low as $200-300, a price point proven to be attractive to buyers.
But it ultimately comes down to how you want to use your laptop. If you primarily check your email, browse the web and update your Facebook status, the Chromebook is a perfect solution. On the other hand, if you want to do graphics work, video editing or install Microsoft Office, you may to look elsewhere.
Remember, the Chromebook relies on most of your work being done on the Internet. So instead of Microsoft Office, Google wants you to use their cloud-based Google docs and store your documents on your Google Drive. There are a few benefits to this namely, document collaboration and the elimination of the need to back up your files since they are stored in the cloud.
Do I think Google will support the concept for the long haul? Yes, I do. Right now, the market is prime for this type of device. That being said, Google has also shown us over the past few years that they are willing to cut their losses and not go down with a sinking ship if one of their products or services (ex: Google Wave) isn’t panning out the way they had hoped.
So while I can’t predict the future, I can tell you this. If someone walked into my office right now and handed me a brand-new Google Chromebook, I would be pretty darn excited.
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