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11.6-inch, $249 USD laptop is drawing rave reviews

The top selling notebook on, Inc. (AMZN) currently is... a Google Inc. (GOOG) Chromebook?!

This news may come as a shock to many, but the Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. $249 USD Wi-Fi model Chromebook seized that crown recently, placing #3 in overall PC sales on Amazon.  The $310 USD 3G-equipped model settled for a respectable #19 place in notebooks.

The only "PC" that's currently outselling the (Linux) Chrome OS based Samsung laptop on Amazon is the 7-inch $170 USD Galaxy Tab 2.

Amazon sales aren't everything, but Chromebooks are clearly rising fast and appear dangerous.  According to Gartner, Inc. (IT) they accounted for nearly 5 percent of PC sales last quarter (1 in every 20 PCs sold).  Moreover, they comprised roughly 25 percent of sub-$300 USD notebook sales.
Samsung Chromebook
That's a shocking comeback for an operating system that appeared all but dead after abysmal sales half in H2 2011.  The key appears to be what drew excitement to Chromebooks in the first place -- prices.

Prices were originally expected to be in the $200-300 USD range, when Chrome OS was first announced way back in Nov. '09, but when it finally landed in May '11 they slotted in at $350-500 USD.  Samsung refused to release sales on its original Chromebook priced at $430 (Wi-Fi); $500 (3G), but it was rumored to be in the tens of thousands of units.

By contrast, after cutting its price nearly in half, Samsung is moving millions of Chromebooks.  Aside from the price, another key to the Chromebook resurgence is a tweaked operating system user interface, which Google has devoted a lot of TLC to, even when Chromebooks weren't selling.

For its price the 11.6-inch Wi-Fi model includes impressive specs:
  • 1366x768 11.6-inch display
  • 2 GB DDR3 (1333 MHz)
  • 1.7 GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250
  • 16 GB NAND Flash hard drive
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Weight: 2.4 lb
  • Dimensions: 11.40 x 8.09 x 0.69 inches
Is Chrome OS the next Android?  It's too early to say, but it's enjoying a similar meteoric rise in sales after a slow start much like Android did.  For Google, it appears patience and devotion to its craft is yet again paying off.

Source: Amazon

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I wonder
By Motoman on 7/18/2013 2:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
...why not get a Windows laptop for the same price? I see $250 Windows laptops with comparable specs all the time.

RE: I wonder
By Red Storm on 7/18/2013 3:39:06 PM , Rating: 3
I call shens, please show us these laptops. And keep in mind comparable to the Chromebook means totally fanless with no normal HDD.

RE: I wonder
By aliasfox on 7/18/2013 3:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not saying it's any good, but:

There you go. A laptop from a well known manufacturer, running Windows, <$300.

There are occasionally other brands for sale too - I saw Toshibas running AMD chips a few months ago.

RE: I wonder
By othercents on 7/18/2013 4:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
The specifications might be comparable, but they don't perform the same. Your best starting point for a Windows Laptop is a i3. The Acer C7 Chromebook is also only $199 with a faster processor than the Samsung. Chromebook is a very good choice for elementary kids who need to be able to complete their web assignments and you don't want to deal with the excess software they might accidentally load.


RE: I wonder
By w8gaming on 7/20/2013 3:05:47 AM , Rating: 2
Comparing Exynos 5250 Dual Core with an i3? Even Celeron performs way better than Exynos 5250. Chromebook is simply overpriced as far as performance goes.

RE: I wonder
By quiksilvr on 7/18/2013 5:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not only is that thing a monster in comparison, it isn't fanless, it has a HDD, weighs more and has a worse battery life.

Find a 11-13" Windows laptop going for $249 with HDMI, USB 3.0, dual band wifi, and 5 hours battery life.

RE: I wonder
By aliasfox on 7/19/2013 8:59:08 AM , Rating: 2
Not really saying it's truly comparable, just that there *are* Windows laptops available for <$300. Hulking, relatively underpowered beasts with gawdawful screens, heinous battery life, abusive build quality, and atrocious noise/vibration/harshness characteristics, but they're there, they run Windows, Office, and IE, and sometimes that's what people need.

RE: I wonder
By Motoman on 7/18/2013 4:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
There's lots of them. Micro Center, BBY, etc. advertise them all the time.

And thanks for pointing out the lack of an actual hard drive. That's a big point in the Windows machine's favor. Aside from, you know, being able to use essentially 95% of all the software available on the planet.

Don't give a rat's a$s about the fan. Who cares?

I will say that I find it to make perfect sense that many people need nothing more than what a Chromebook will do - lots of people do nothing more than flounder about on Facebook and check their AOL email accounts.

...but granted that a Windows machine of the same price can do that, and everything else seems odd to buy a Chromebook instead. The Chromebook would only really make sense to me if it was significantly cheaper yet - like, $150 instead of $250. But I kind of doubt they could even be made for that price, let alone sold for that price.

RE: I wonder
By lelias2k on 7/18/2013 5:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
I see your points, and I most likely would go with the Windows machine for now. But:

One point most people overlook when getting a laptop: weight.

That Dell weights about 5lbs. The Samsung 2.4lbs.

If you spend your day sitting on the same place, no difference. If you move around and travel though, that's a whole different story. :)

Also, the way Android and Chrome OS are evolving, I'm not sure how much more you can do in Windows that you can't do with them. At least at this price level (try doing video editing or gaming with that POS Dell).

And with the evolution of the cloud, hard drive size is not as important as it once was. And even though I still worry about privacy, I feel my data is much safer at a data center than in my hard drive, which is prone to accidents and failures and forces me to back it up all the time.

So there are pros and cons to both choices, it depends on what's important to you. :)

RE: I wonder
By nafhan on 7/18/2013 6:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
I will say that I find it to make perfect sense that many people need nothing more than what a Chromebook will do
If a Chromebook is all you need, a similarly priced Windows machine will be nothing but a hassle.

The reason a Chromebook doesn't make sense to you is because that's not all you need, and you'd want a lower price to make up for that loss in functionality (I'm in the same boat, BTW).

RE: I wonder
By jabber on 7/19/2013 6:40:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yep the Chromebook is a great solution for a lot of people.

Surprising how many people live totally in a web browser now.

The Chromebook is a great mum and dad computer. Zero support required in most cases!

I love my 11" Samsung. The only concern I've seen over them is the wi-fi is quite flakey for some users.

Don't knock em till you try them.

RE: I wonder
By Motoman on 7/19/2013 10:40:39 AM , Rating: 2
I just wonder how many of these basic users will trundle into Walmart next spring to buy a copy of TurboTax, and then be all "WTF" when they get home with it and discover there's no way to install it on their Chromebook.

RE: I wonder
By severian37 on 7/19/2013 2:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't made for Windows apps. It's for surfing, email, and all things cloud-related. For that, it's perfect. For admins, you can remote into client workstations and/or servers. It's also a great alternative to taking a heavy, larger laptop while traveling.

RE: I wonder
By Motoman on 7/19/2013 3:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't made for Windows apps.

*GASP* You're kidding me! I had no idea! Oh wait...yes I did. That's precisely why I made the comments I did. So thank you, Captain Obvious.

The problem I'm pointing out is that *lots* of people aren't really going to get the concept that a Chromebook won't do anything beyond what you can do in a browser. They'll just buy one now because it's cheap and boots up fast, and later discover that they didn't buy what they thought they did.

RE: I wonder
By Jeffk464 on 7/22/2013 2:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
Turbo tax like most things is now cloud based it works fine on chrome.

This is how
By Argon18 on 7/18/2013 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 1
Linux will conquer the desktop. Linux (Android) has already conquered phones and tablets. Next will be entry notebooks like the Chromebook, which will drive developer support. Then it will move to home desktop market, and finally corporate.

RE: This is how
By Samus on 7/18/2013 2:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Every Apple product essentially runs Linux, with OSX being kernel compatible (application recompilation required.)

That's why I'm surprised there aren't as many programs for Mac...but I guess it comes down to there just aren't many programs for Linux.

RE: This is how
By Luticus on 7/18/2013 2:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of programs for mac just as there are countless programs for Linux distributions. OSX is no more Linux than Android is. To say Android is Linux is a huge stretch. It's Linux "like", but it lacks several things that today's "GNU/Linux" distributions have. Android is based on Linux just like OSX is based on FreeBSD, this does not mean that Android IS Linux, just as Ubuntu is not Debian.

To further stress this: "Android consists of a kernel based on Linux kernel version 2.6 and, from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onwards, version 3.x", "Android's Linux kernel has further architecture changes by Google outside the typical Linux kernel development cycle.[63] Android does not have a native X Window System by default nor does it support the full set of standard GNU libraries, and this makes it difficult to port existing Linux applications or libraries to Android." Source:

RE: This is how
By nafhan on 7/18/2013 4:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
The reason Android apps are generally not compatible with other Linux based systems is because most Android apps are written for the Dalvik VM. Dalvik is essentially a JVM like layer that runs on top of Android. The fact that Android does not include various unnecessary (for Android) OS utilities has nothing to do with whether or not it's Linux.

RE: This is how
By nafhan on 7/18/2013 4:10:58 PM , Rating: 3
Every Apple product runs a BSD derived kernel that's POSIX compliant. Linux kernel based OS's are mostly compliant. There's some level of interoperability between most POSIX compliant systems, but that's nothing like "essentially running Linux".
That's why I'm surprised there aren't as many programs for Mac...but I guess it comes down to there just aren't many programs for Linux.
I think it's more likely that you want a specific program you are used to using in Windows and can't find it on OS X or Linux.

RE: This is how
By dsumanik on 7/18/2013 3:16:14 PM , Rating: 3
Love nix, its the most powerful and flexible but seriously doubt this will happen.

Even if it starts to happen, others will slash the price of commercial OS to be free, or priced so low its negligible.

You need to press a single button and have things "just work" to compete in the market of the average computer illiterate consumer. Unfortunately after years of development, linux just isn't there yet. Screwing around with terminal packages and browsing forums looking for drivers to get basic hardware to work...after 30 seconds the same peeps just going to say this thing sucks, I want my iphone!

They would be better off rewriting android for desktop, and ditching chrome OS I think.

But along comes the big ugly elephant in the room again: fragmentation.

I mean how bad would it it suck to buy a PC, or notebook, and then not be able to receive updates on a timely basis? Google should require all handset makers to run stock android on their device, as well as any custom versions to be compliant.

Overall, there are just millions more computer illiterate dummies out there with pockets full of money, apple is living proof.

If you want a piece of that pie, you have to play within the "dummies" rules, and linux by design, won't ever do that...the hardcore nerds are in charge and they wont be changing things to accommodate apple lovers any time soon. I mean seriously go browse a linux forum and watch how someone asking for help gets cut down and told to use the search button etc etc. or read a guide.....It will be 10 posts of irrelevant argument before you hit someone with decent helpful info lol.

You want linux to succeed heres what you need:

- free, competitive UI
- lightweight out of the box driver support (yeah no biggie right!? lol)
- no fragmentation (yeah right lol)
- App store, with latest popular software offerings, with auto installs a button, done.

You don't have these things, you aren't in the game anymore. I mean look at palm and BB os.. fantastic software but dead out of the gate...the average linux distro isnt even close to that level of polish.

Oh yeah dont forget M$ is constantly cutting all sorts of backroom deals to make sure windows is sold on every piece of hardware manufactured.

One last thing:

Imagine if the entire world just switched to linux tomoroow.. i mean seriously, stock market crash, power outages, communications would go down.....We'd all be f*cked.

The sheeps just wouldn't know what to do, and there are alot of damn sheeps.

RE: This is how
By nafhan on 7/18/2013 4:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
You need to press a single button and have things "just work" to compete in the market of the average computer illiterate consumer.
Uhm... that's basically a description of a Chromebook or Android. It's also many of the major desktop Linux based OS's - if the OS is pre-installed. Ask your average "computer illiterate" to install OS X or Windows, and they'll be just as lost as they would be with Linux.

RE: This is how
By Flunk on 7/19/2013 9:11:55 AM , Rating: 2
There are distributions of Linux that are easier to install than Windows. Ubuntu, for example (there are a lot of others). Ubuntu's installer is capable of literally doing everything if you just push the next button a few times.

You don't even need to find drivers yourself because it will install the base ones and the updater will prompt to install proprietary binary drivers if they like after the install is finished.

Heck, you can install most software through the Ubuntu software center which is about as easy as using Google.

The reason no one is using Linux is not because it's not easy, it's because of three things. All new systems ship with Windows, most software is available for Windows, people are used to Windows. You see the outcry when Microsoft changes tiny UI elements in Windows, moving to a new OS is much more disruptive than that.

RE: This is how
By nafhan on 7/19/2013 9:58:49 AM , Rating: 2
It sounds like we generally agree on this stuff... The point I was making is that installing an OS is difficult enough that many people are unwilling to even try it - regardless of which OS you're talking about, and Linux based OS's generally don't come pre-installed on many consumer PC's.

Don't count your chickens
By CaedenV on 7/18/2013 3:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I am turned off by Android, I really like Chrome. Where Android UI is all 90's darkness and clutter, chrome is clean, simple, and still very useful. From my limited experience with a Chromebook I think that they have transferred all that I love about Chrome the browser into Chrome the OS.

There is however an issue: A Chromebook (at least how it stands now) is only ever going to be an accessory to a larger machine. They are cheap and gutless... which gets them great battery life on the road. But then again they are cheap and gutless, lacking a lot of power user function, and even some not so power user functions... like local storage.

So yes, for what they are, they are awesome, and finally appropriately priced. But at the same time it is a limited market that is jumping in at a non-commitment price point to test the waters. I would be very surprised to see these have sustained high sales for years on end like Android has.

On the flip side to this, I think that Chrome OS is the future for Google. Android may remain in name, but the tech behind it will slowly move over to chrome simply so that they can move onto more of their own technologies and rely less and less on MS for patent leases. I am personally a pretty big Windows Phone fan... but the idea of a simple but capable Chrome-like phone would be very tempting to me.

By TakinYourPoints on 7/18/2013 11:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
Android and Chrome are completely different groups within Google. They don't really have much influence or say over each other, which partly accounts for the difference in quality between the two. My friends at Google happen to work in the Chrome group, they do a great job. The Chromebook isn't really for me but the Chrome browser itself is probably my favorite Google product.

This is why Microsoft loses
By tayb on 7/18/2013 5:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
Google is willing to sell products at a loss or zero profit to gain market share. Microsoft used to be willing to do this but it seems current management has no long term strategy or vision.

If the Surface RT was $250 - $300 would it still have been a sales failure? Doubt it. I consider the Surface RT to be a vastly superior product to the Chromebook. But instead of buying 2 or more Surface RT for myself and my family I ended up just buying a Chromebook for my mom.

While Microsoft sits around chasing a profit Google is making sure people get used to their entire ecosystem from top to bottom. One day Microsoft is going to wonder how it became a shell of its former self and this will be the reason why. Stupidity from management and a complete lack of interest in long term strategy.

RE: This is why Microsoft loses
By Mint on 7/18/2013 9:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
RT was just a contingency plan in case Intel didn't deliver and some ARM chip (esp Qualcomm) blew by them in the low end. Atom started of as a blatantly half-baked product, likely because Intel didn't want it cannibalizing higher margin Core/Celeron/Pentium sales. They just made made it good enough to keep Via, AMD, etc from taking that market.

Assuming Silvermont is as good as we think it'll be, and that Intel doesn't overprice it, there won't be any need for RT.

I think Win8 is proof positive of a long term strategy. Pain now, but convergence is the future.

Chromebooks Catching On
By AG4EM on 7/19/2013 5:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
Chromebooks got off to a rocky start when they were first released, but Google has finally started to get the Chromebook concept message across to more and more manufacturers, retailers, analysts and users.

But what about Chromebook users that need to access Windows applications like Microsoft office? They can try products like Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP solution that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Servers and/or VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications or desktops in a browser tab.

There's nothing to install on the Chromebook, so AcccessNow is easy to deploy and manage.

For an online, interactive demo, open your Chrome browser and visit:

Please note that I work for Ericom

RE: Chromebooks Catching On
By jabber on 7/19/2013 6:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
Rayyyy the obligatory Ericom post for any Chromebook thread!

2 things:
By Sunrise089 on 7/18/2013 3:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
1) Highest seller in a huge list of items doesn't mean that CLASS of item is necessarily very popular. Example: the Prius is a popular car, but hybrid cars as a whole are only a tiny subset of the auto industry. That's because there are a handful of dedicated hybrids (or Chromebooks) and hundreds of conventional cars (or Windows notebooks).

2) Selling prices and profits matter. At $250.00 it may move units but Apple (or Razer if you prefer) may make 20x on each of their units sold.

Anyways, I feel I've seen this record before with netbooks. "OMG the EeePC is so hot selling" didn't exactly predict the future of computing.

These are cool
By Ammohunt on 7/18/2013 3:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
ARM based laptops for me are pretty cool! however I am not a fan of chromeOS if I could strip that off and install my own flavor of Linux(nativily and without all the funky tricks currently) I might have considering buying one for fun.

By Shadowmaster625 on 7/19/2013 3:26:57 PM , Rating: 1
Micro... err BloatSoft has done priced itself into extinction. Both by charging way to much for their OS and also by eating up so much more memory and hard drive space. Those two things add cost and prevent the use of NAND, which means users have to deal with horribly slow 5400RPM hard drives that make you want to pull your hair out. HAha I hope microsoft burns hard for this, and itnel too. Intel charging waaaaaay too much for cpus and refusing to integrate the bridge chip, SSD controller, etc. so they could gouge the everloving **** out of everyone. Who is laughing now, suckers.

RE: HaHAha
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/21/2013 9:41:45 PM , Rating: 1
Micro... err BloatSoft has done priced itself into extinction.
Yep, they sure have /roll eyes

By Jeffk464 on 7/22/2013 2:38:32 AM , Rating: 2
Chrome OS is

Easy to learn

By inewton on 8/10/2013 3:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
I see a chrome PC in a couple of years

That's not saying much
By BRB29 on 7/18/2013 2:24:07 PM , Rating: 1
Amazon marketplace = people looking for cheap stuff, no sales tax, and free shipping.
Chromebook = cheap

No wonder why it sells there.
Chrome book is nothing more than a bigger network. Unless it matures into something 20x better than it is today, I just don't see it being a threat. It'll rise and die like the netbook....There is the other scenario where MS screw up W8 so bad...

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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