The Year of the Chromebook

in hardware on (#3KH)
story image2014 just might be remembered as the year of the Chromebook . It will be to me at least. I just bought one, and I'm not alone. So have a lot of other people. A whole lot. From the Register:
According to US market-watcher NPD, during the 11 months from January through November 2013, the platform’s share of the computing device market had risen to 9.6 per cent from just 0.2 per cent in the same months of the previous year. By contrast, Apple’s laptops accounted for a mere 1.8 per cent of the market in 2013, down from 2.6 per cent the year before. Windows-based laptops also declined, though they remain the biggest seller: their combined share fell from 42.9 per cent to 34.1 per cent. Do the sums, and that means Windows laptops took 75 per cent of the US notebook market, Chromebooks 21 per cent and Apple a measly four per cent. Some 6.6 million laptops were shipped through commercial channels, says NPD, of which just under 1.4 million were Chromebooks. Five Chromebooks were sold for every MacBook.
When first released in 2011, they failed to capture the market's attention, as the hardware remained somewhat limited and the software options weren't appealing, but time has been kind to Chromebooks. This year Google and Intel have partnered to make sure some compelling new hardware was released, including the ASUS Chromebox desktop , the 21.5" all-in-one by LG , and 20 other models by the likes of HP, ASUS, Acer, Samsung, and Lenovo. CNET is hugely bullish on Chromebooks; so is Richi Jennings over at Computerworld.

As for me, I consider myself a power user and I'm not a huge fan of Google's software ecosystem, but I like my new Chromebook. My HP14 is pretty nice hardware, it's running great, I find the user environment hugely useable, and hell - the price was awesome: under $300. It's hard to believe I paid something like $1600 for a PIII laptop and Win98 in 2000.

Re: The Economics Are Ridiculous (Score: 1)

by on 2014-05-17 20:52 (#1PK)

This thread just cost us $230. The spousal unit teaches online courses in the summer and would like to untether from his desk. He's got a tablet, but it's not sufficient to the task. We have an old netbook, but ... netbook. He's got a laptop, but it's long in the tooth and short on battery life. He's been eyeballing the MacBook Air 11, but it's pricy and hasn't updated adequately in a very long time. If one is going to spend that many $$, one wants a bit more in terms of screen, power, storage ... all of it.

Realizing all that, he was at the point of deciding whether to spend $$$ on a prior-gen MBP 13, or wait to see what possible updates might be on the horizon for the MBAs, when this thread got started. I poked around, found the Acer C720, looked into whether slapping elementary OS on it was a thing (it is), and floated the idea to him: "So ... it's kinda like the netbook of today, but better and more useable ... you could think about maybe this for $230? It wouldn't be an MBP, but it'd be ... it'd be $230." Sold. It arrives Tuesday. I can't wait to get my grubby, little fingers all over it.

A few questions, though, assuming anyone is still looking at this days-old thread:
  • Anyone have the C720 with elementary OS?
  • Anyone have above, but with C720P and, if so, is the touch screen well-supported and worth it?
  • Anything else I should've told the spousal unit to consider before he squeezed the trigger on the purchase (not too late to change the order), e.g. is 2GB RAM sufficient?
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If a person is called Jennifer, what is their name?