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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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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.

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