Google announces 'Chromebook' PCs. Who the heck is gonna buy these things?

At any given point in time, there are numerous stupid ideas floating about.

Google's Chromebook PC is currently one of them.

Google plans to launch these devices at the start of June for between $350 and $500. They'll have 11 to 12 inch screens and an astoundingly puny 16 GB storage - but Google says that's all you need, because these Chrome-based notebooks are essentially web-only gizmos.

Touting instant bootups and the convenience of having everything - including all your documents and apps - stored on the internet, the search engine company wants to change how people use their computers.

But come on, who the heck is gonna buy these things?

Netbooks are the same price with the same or better specs - the difference being they can actually function without a internet connection. Then there are, of course, tablets. While slightly more expensive and lacking a physical keyboard, their intuitive touch-screen concept and enhanced portability makes much more sense as a platform for cloud-heavy computing. Tablets, combined with netbooks, leave absolutely no room for Google's Chromebooks. The device simply doesn't fill a void, simply doesn't serve a purpose.

And that's the view of many. Multiple commenters at The Globe and Mail cited this as being a resurrection of the "dumb terminal," with one observing that Chromebooks are reduced to "paperweights" when no internet is readily available. And the buzz on MacRumors is equally as skeptical: "Welcome to 1999," "D.O.A.," and "As a beta tester, these suck," among other comments.

I'm on board with the doubters - I'd take a netbook or tablet any day over these Chromebooks.

And I have a feeling that's going to be the general consensus come launch date.


Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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