Blogger can’t decide if new Google Chromebook is awesome or not

posted at 6:07 pm on May 13, 2011 by Allahpundit

You tell me, techies. Like everyone else, I dig the idea: Cloud computing, no more hard drives, total portability, nothing in your hands but a window onto the galaxy of information in which we now reside. That’s all super, but what does it give me that my iPad doesn’t? A real keyboard plus a guarantee that I won’t lose my data even if I lose the laptop (I’ve never lost a laptop), and … anything else? When I first saw the video below, I figured they must be selling it ridiculously cheap in order to give it an irresistible price advantage over the iPad. And it is cheaper, but not by as much as I would have thought. Samsung’s WiFi/3G Chromebook retails for $499; Acer’s slightly smaller version goes for $349. A 16GB WiFi/3G iPad will run you $629 or, if you’re happy with WiFi-only, a mere $499. Is that enough of a price break on the Chromebooks to erase the cachet that the iPad’s established? My hunch is “no” but I’m willing to be persuaded. Apparently Google initially priced the Chromebook in the $199-299 range, which would have made it formidable, but the price has risen to the point where PC Mag is now running features like this. Alas.

Presumably the Chromebook is a solid pick if you’re using lots of Google applications already. If not, then maybe not. Why am I wrong?

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Why might this not be a good idea?

Let’s ask Professor Althouse.

Hesiodos on May 13, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Excellent example. Google is in the pocket of little Bammie’s sorry presidency.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2011 at 9:02 PM

It’s not a good idea but neither was your purchase of a tablet so history suggests you might just go for it.

Sailfish on May 13, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Blogger was down for days this week and lost a bunch of posts. Microsoft and Sony have had similar screw ups. You’d be crazy to trust the cloud without a backup.

RadClown on May 13, 2011 at 9:35 PM

It’s not a good idea but neither was your purchase of a tablet so history suggests you might just go for it.
Sailfish on May 13, 2011

Well, actually these things are given away free as “review gifts” to tech reviewers and blogger types, the companies expect this type of “Is this awesome or what!!!??” review. (and bloggers go play along with it to keep the free crap coming.)
It’s a variation on the old Payola practice ( Payola – Wikipedia ). So the ones dumb enough to entrust their info to Google’s “cloud” don’t get financially burned til a little later, like when they can’t figure out why/how their bank account was cleaned out. There’s more than just a tech reason why “Chromebook” is called a “dumb terminal”.

whatcat on May 13, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Well, there is a problem and the problem is with the direction we are heading. Will the internet remain free or not? Will it be controlled by the governments or by a free people?
There is a big risk when all you have is the internet for all of your communication, news and information and then that is controlled by a government agency that at any time can delete, alter or rewrite.

There is so much history sitting in books in libraries and yet I am afraid too many of us are getting used to the idea that if it isn’t on the net, it doesn’t exist.

JellyToast on May 13, 2011 at 9:55 PM

You’re wrong because it isn’t that much cheaper than having a full blown PC, you can’t trust Google or anyone else with your data and data portability for the few who really need it can be accomplished pretty easily by other means.

Then of course you are restricted by available bandwidth and living with the features supplied by the provider. If their servers go down or get hacked, it becomes your problem and you won’t have much recourse.

For a person who is overwhelmed by having a PC and the burden of managing an O/S and all the apps that go with it, it could be a viable alternative. Of course Netbooks pretty much do that now anyway. Cloud computing means nothing to me and I am in the tech business. It is basically a new twist on a very old idea which is dumb terminals communicating with a mainframe computer. It is the same idea only with a prettier interface. Fail.

echosyst on May 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM

My data will remain mine and my software will remain free.

No thanks.

AbeFroman on May 13, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Here is what I have concluded:

1. Google’s motto “Don’t be evil” is like the Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil saying “Follow bio-ethical princples”. By the time things get out of hand, it is too late.

2. Google is unable to define what “evil” really means. Case in point, Google took a stance against Proposition 8 in California (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/our-position-on-californias-no-on-8.html). This means that Google is willing to go against democratic principles when it suits their political agenda. How can we trust Google to not be evil if Google’s definition of evil is apparently and completely subjective?

3. While adoption of Software-as-a-Service is gaining traction, there is no doubt that consolidation in the software industry will result in a few select companies owning most, if not all, of the data we rely on. In addition, Google is taking on too much too soon. Google docs, while nice, does not provide nearly the capabilities of Microsoft Office. Maybe in time but you have to understand that it has taken Salesforce.com 11 or so years to get where it is today!

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Well, there is a problem and the problem is with the direction we are heading. Will the internet remain free or not? Will it be controlled by the governments or by a free people?
There is a big risk when all you have is the internet for all of your communication, news and information and then that is controlled by a government agency that at any time can delete, alter or rewrite.

There is so much history sitting in books in libraries and yet I am afraid too many of us are getting used to the idea that if it isn’t on the net, it doesn’t exist.

JellyToast on May 13, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I completely agree! I have taken up my own personal book collection to pass on to my children for fear that some books may in fact be banned or lost on Kindles forever! :-)

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Um, these chromebooks are being primarily sold to institutions like schools and businesses. They do have consumer options, but that is not the main focus. If you cannot see how awesome it would be for schools of businesses to have a laptop that is built so that anyone with a google account can login and instantly have all of their programs and documents and files instantly available, well then idk what to say.

thphilli on May 13, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Also, lol at some of the commenters on here. Completely ridiculous opinions.

thphilli on May 13, 2011 at 10:33 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

D’oh! They have the internet on computers now?

Dale Wyckoff on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Blogger can’t decide if new Google Chromebook is awesome or not

It’s Google, best to stick with or not.

rukiddingme on May 13, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Im using a 32 gb iPad 1 that I got second hand for $400. Things like new, not a scratch on it. The guy wanted a ipad2. I have to admit I didn’t want one, my wife made me do it. Now I love it. My biggest issue is no flash. Jobs says it’s old, obsolete. But its still the standard and it limits clips, movie viewing and games. He really needs to give in.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

you can use Bing that seems to work ok.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Also, lol at some of the commenters on here. Completely ridiculous opinions.

thphilli on May 13, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Thanks for your genius opinion. It was quite a bit of wisdom.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:22 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

you can use Bing that seems to work ok.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

I just need to find an alternative to gmail and I’ll be set.

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

you can use Bing that seems to work ok.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

I just need to find an alternative to gmail and I’ll be set.

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?
rbendana

you can use Bing that seems to work ok.
Greed

I guess I should be surprised that people are not aware of any other search engine option other than Google. If nothing else, they could just search Google for “search engines” and become quickly educated.

whatcat on May 13, 2011 at 11:29 PM

So this is a “web appliance”? They have been around for years. Does it come with free built in MS Office? I suppose subscription fee right? And a subscription fee to store your data too right? And what if you want other apps like Adobe apps or some apps for you camera or videos or fourie-transform calculations? Where do the apps go? A fee for each I suppose?

paulsur on May 13, 2011 at 11:31 PM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

Isnt Google God? Who wants to use something that isnt a God?

paulsur on May 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM

I got to play with one of the Acer Chromebooks about six months ago, and I wasn’t impressed.

Ward Cleaver on May 13, 2011 at 11:58 PM

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Yahoo?

Cindy Munford on May 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM

I try to use other searches besides Google but often they seem to find what I’m looking for faster.

Cindy Munford on May 14, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Well, aside from everything else, the ad is a stitch.

“Could I use it on a unicycle?”?
“Our lawyers wouldn’t like that.”

Voyager on May 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM

No viruses huh?

Yeah, until it becomes popular and someone makes one…I hate the whole “no viruses” thing. Anything can get a virus if the hacker understands the code. It also does have an OS. It doesn’t have windows, but it has an OS. It also has a load time, a short one, but it still has a load time. Any electronic device has a load time, it might be near instantaneous, but it is still there. Your bloody car stereo has a load time. This is just a netbook with an extremely limited static memory that the user cannot fully manipulate.

Lying ad.

Pattosensei on May 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Reminds me of the book/movie- the first $20 million is always the hardest. To create a sub $100 laptop, they remove the hard drive and store all the programs and files on the web.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD_lbHsKOGk

TheBlueSite on May 14, 2011 at 12:42 AM

I’ve gotta ask for those who don’t use Google; what DO you use?

Isnt Google God? Who wants to use something that isnt a God?

paulsur on May 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM

I think you misunderstood my question. Assuming we’ve all determined Google is evil (which I believe to be true because it is an unintended consequence despite their motto); what would you use as an alternative? As far as I can tell, the alternatives do exactly what Google does, and, if that is the case, what is the point of changing emails, etc?

rbendana on May 14, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Can it run the Adobe creative suite? What about all my other programs? Nope? Ok then, I will pass. Although, I can seen having one in addition to my PC/Mac, but not a replacement….yet anyway.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

CG - Colorado on May 14, 2011 at 12:53 AM

you can use Bing that seems to work ok.

Greed on May 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

As bad as Google might seem, Microsoft is far worse.

unclesmrgol on May 14, 2011 at 1:27 AM

I just need to find an alternative to gmail and I’ll be set.

rbendana on May 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Run your own mailserver. It’s not hard. sendmail with spamassassin extensions should be good enough. Major linux distros provide these.

I run my own mailserver, and many here have called me stupid, so if I can do it, you can too.

unclesmrgol on May 14, 2011 at 1:33 AM

I wanted something smaller than a standard laptop for the wife and daughter that had more oomf than a netbook. My budget was *very* limited. I found that a cr*pload of Dell D410′s had come off lease from businesses and you could find some really good deals. All of 3.8 lbs. I ended up buying three–maybe $125 each total investment (they all needed batteries). They are very rugged and have done yeoman duty in our household (the college-age daughter doesn’t exactly treat hers gently, and you couldn’t pry the wife away from hers).

bandarlog on May 14, 2011 at 2:16 AM

Next to sliced bread, the iPad 2 is the greatest thing ever invented.

Until, of course, the iPad 3 comes out at which point you’ll be able to fly.

russcote on May 14, 2011 at 3:22 AM

At TechnologyReview.com: Six Reasons Why Chromebooks Are a Bad Idea.

Summary:
1. Won’t work with your iPod (no iTunes)
2. Too expensive (can you say ‘netbook’?)
3. Can’t trust the cloud (see PSN, Amazon, etc.)
4. Goldmine for hackers (centralized data)
5. Google can’t support hardware (e.g. Nexus)
6. Google gets too much control (lock-in)

Splashman on May 14, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Splashman, dead on, Bro.

And when will Google start deciding you cannot store a zip file in your “cloud?” They don’t allow you to send one via GMail. They are brilliant amateurs. (And FaceBook makes Google look good.)

{^_^}

herself on May 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Google is sponsoring a bunch of propagandists to revive alarmist ‘climate change’ fears in the general population. So I’ve switched the search engine on all my computers to Yahoo, and for web mail I use Yahoo as well.

/Mr Lynn

MrLynn on May 14, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Amazon’s cloud outage caused customers to lose data.

My home and business are Google-free zones and will remain that way. Color me skeptical of the cloud for all the reasons listed by Splashman.

stvnscott on May 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Personally I won’t use any Google product if possible and as long as you don’t care privacy and the fact that Google tracks and records everything you do with their products then go for it.

JeffinSac on May 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Hmmmm….

In a disaster/post-disaster situation, your chromebook is useless.

IF you want your data “in the cloud”, go ahead and keep it there, good for you.

Of course there is a use for chromebooks, just not as a primary personal device.

There’s really no good reason for taking out the hard-drive. You should always have the ability to store locally.

Jason Coleman on May 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Giving somebody else custody of all your digital stuff? Look what happened with the recent Blogger meltdown.

The Mt. View Moonbats want all your data. Why? What would they possibly want to do with it? “First, don’t be evil” really meant “Don’t get caught.”

SJBill on May 14, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Chrome sucks. Stick with FireFox.

jawkneemusic on May 13, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Unfortunately, Chrome is the best cross-platform browser out there now. I’ve been a Netscape/MoFo/MoCo fan and user since 1998; but let’s face it, they got as complacent and arrogant as the Microsoft they love to hate. Firefox 4 looks as if someone took big globs of Chrome and Opera and made a browser. The decline has set in for Mozilla.

I have no interest though in Chrome OS or Chromium OS, although I think the Google paranoia is way overdone. I use a lot of Google products, just as I use Microsoft and Apple products. Think you’re going to be wrapped in safe anonymity in anything you do related to the Web? Think again.

pseudoforce on May 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

You can’t recover, repair or work around a “cloud”: it’s either there, or it’s NOT.

Kind of like flying without a parachute….

landlines on May 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Firefox 4 looks as if someone took big globs of Chrome and Opera and made a browser. The decline has set in for Mozilla.

pseudoforce on May 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I have just the opposite opinion, Fx4 is the best release yet coming from the Mozilla team. Don’t like the theme, pick another from literally hundreds available at their site (even including the previous Fx 3.x style.) The Sync feature is great for non-technical types to keep their Fx stuff synchronized, the pinning tabs is a wonderful space saver as well as the integration of the Go/Stop/Reload buttons. Those are just a sampling of all the good stuff in Fx 4, it just ROX!.

Sailfish on May 14, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and…

Coronagold on May 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Firefox 4 looks as if someone took big globs of Chrome and Opera and made a browser. The decline has set in for Mozilla.

pseudoforce on May 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I have just the opposite opinion, Fx4 is the best release yet coming from the Mozilla team. Don’t like the theme, pick another from literally hundreds available at their site (even including the previous Fx 3.x style.) The Sync feature is great for non-technical types to keep their Fx stuff synchronized, the pinning tabs is a wonderful space saver as well as the integration of the Go/Stop/Reload buttons. Those are just a sampling of all the good stuff in Fx 4, it just ROX!.

Sailfish on May 14, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Yeah, I was a little too harsh. Firefox is still an excellent browser. I just don’t want it to be swamped by Chrome the way Netscape was blasted by MS back in the 90s.

pseudoforce on May 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM

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