Google’s Chromebook hasn’t proved to be quite popular amongst the general consumer since first being announced at last year’s I/O, and the Mountain View-based outfit has just announced a new addition to the roster. Sundar Pinchai, Senior VP of Chrome and Apps, has revealed the $249 kit for release next week, while special kiosks will begin popping up over 500 of the most heavily-populated Best Buy stores across the US to give prospective consumers a taster of what’s on offer.
So, for those of us not planning to mosey on down to our local Best Buy, what is on offer exactly? Well, it’s being marketed as the perfect all-rounder for a large portion of families, schools, and those generally productive, and with a price only outshone by an agreeable list of specs, it’s shaping up to be the Nexus 7 of the notebook game.
Yes, yes – okay – it does look somewhat similar to the ghastly netbooks we thought we’d drawn a line under, but aside from being a great deal lighter, thinner and slicker, it packs in a useful range of specs. As well as an 11.6-inch display, it’s equipped with 2GB of RAM, and is capable of running 1080p video at 30fps without fuss. It packs in Bluetooth, weighs just 2.5 pounds, and will run for an impressive 6.5 hours.
As you’d expect, it’s pretty cloud-centric, and as such, only musters 16GB of solid-state storage space. Then again, it was never meant to pack in your entire music and video collection, and if you were to require an increase in physical storage, a 64GB USB pen drive can be found for <$20. That’s not what the search giant wants you to do, though, and offers two years of 100GB Google Drive real-estate to further coerce you into using the cloud.
There’s no cellular connectivity, so anybody picking up the new Chromebook will need to be connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot or tether out their smartphone’s connection. Google doesn’t believe it to be the notebook you take with you on-the-fly, hence the lack of a data plan, but still, for sub-$250, looks a relatively worthy acquisition.