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Google Chromebooks available in India for Rs. 22,999: Should you buy one?

Google’s laptop offering called Chromebooks are now officially available in India. There are two Chromebooks on sale in India, one being Acer C720 for Rs. 22,999 and the other being the HP Chromebook 14 for Rs. 26,990.

The Chromebooks can are available for pre-order on Flipkart and they will be available at select outlets of Reliance Digital and Croma retail shops from 17th October in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Chromebooks_India_Acer
Acer C70 Chromebook – priced at Rs. 22,999 in India

The Acer AC720 will be the bigger draw. Priced at Rs. 22,999/- it features a display screen of 11.6 inches. It will run on the new Intel Chips. These chips are supposed to improve the battery life of the device and this device promises upto 8.5 hours of uptime.

It will feature 100 GB space on the Google Drive for two years but only 16 GB Solid State Drive.

It will have a support Wi-Fi and have the option to have a 3G modem fitted.

HP Chromebook 14 - India
HP Chromebook 14 – priced at Rs. 26,990 in India

The more expensive HP Chromebook 14, will pack a 14 inch display screen and a battery that lasts 9.5 hours of active use. It is priced at Rs. 26,990/-

It will also pack 100 GB Google Drive cloud storage for two years with 16 GB Solid State Drive. The device will support WIFI and an optional 3G modem.

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Link: Chromebooks in India

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How will Chromebooks connect to the internet?

An obvious option to connect to the internet would using your own WIFI connection. But if users do not have their own connection, they can still connect using 3G broadband services offered with the Chromebooks.

Google has tied up with Tikona and Airtel to offer wireless broadband services to work with their Chromebooks as part of Chrome goodies.

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I checked these broadband bundles being offered and felt that they seemed to be good enough for casual users.

Link: Chrome Goodies

Is the Chromebook useful offline?

The Chromebook is mainly a device that is built for going useful online. But Chromebooks do have some offline capabilities. It will allow users to write emails, view appointments, play music from a USB stick or edit photos saved locally. More importantly you can view all Microsoft Office files and also .PDF files.

Unfortunately there is no capability to edit MS Office files from the Chromebooks in offline mode. But the Google Drive app will allow users to create, edit and view documents in offline mode.

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Chrome also has a lot of offline apps that can be installed.

Link: Offline Apps on Chrome

Who would be interested in Chromebooks?

The appeal for this small PC is usually for two types of users. One would be people who want a second laptop to basically surf the net, reply to emails and use some web apps and take advantage of the 100 GB space offered on Google Drive.

The other larger section of users Google is hoping to snag, are the kind who really are using a laptop for surfing the web and are not interested in anything much more. Though the it is a tough sell as many of these users might prefer to get themselves a tablet computer instead of a Chromebook. If someone is using an expensive laptop more or less to browse the net and check their emails at most times, a Chromebook would make sense.

Some added benefits are that the space on your Google Drive will be up from 5GB free space now to 100 GB. That would be a great benefit if you were paying for extra storage space on Google Drive.

Will you buy yourself a Chromebook? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Acer AC 720 | HP Chromebook 14

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News

Do Google’s Samsung Chromebooks for $249 make sense?

When Google unveiled Chromebooks, which are laptops running on Chrome OS, they were priced competitively to give some competition to Netbook manufacturers. That might not have happened possibly because of increasing number of tablet sales but Chromebooks have found some successes among the student population in the US and UK. Today, Google has unveiled Samsung Chromebooks for the price tag of $249. They are available at retailers in the US and UK.

Samsung Chromebook Features?

  • Samsung Chromebook has 6 hours battery life for general users.
  • It includes 100 GB free space on Google Drive.
  • It weighs only 2.5 pounds and 0.8 inches thick.
  • The bootup time is less than 10 seconds and all the data is stored on the cloud.
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But Chromebooks are not the future…

Chromebooks sound very good but I am not sure about it being a really viable device. The low-end PC market which includes laptops is basically heading towards its demise. They are being replaced by people spending more and more time on tablets.

Also with Microsoft Surface RT tablets for $499, people might prefer buying a hybrid tablet where data can be stored locally instead of a laptop which stores all data in the cloud. The Chromebooks might have it’s niche users but honestly it will not make a big difference to a computer industry increasingly shifting its focus on smartphones and tablets.

What do you think about the Chromebooks and its future? Do drop in your comments.