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

The top selling notebook on Amazon.com, 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





"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton



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