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Google Gives Away Free Chromebook Rentals

By - Source: Google | B 15 comments

This one I will leave open to your interpretation. The plain news is that Google is lending free Chromebooks if you are flying Virgin America or stay at the Ace Hotel in New York.

You won't be able to keep the Chromebook, but you can try it for the duration of your stay - and you can even take it with you outside the hotel. The devices come with free Wi-Fi connectivity at airports in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, New York and Boston.

However, the question I have is "Why?" Could it be that demand for those notebooks isn't too hot and there needs to be extra help to push them out the door? Google has been rather generous with Chromebooks so far and has given away thousands of them to developers in addition to tens of thousands of initial Cr-48 notebooks. The company also told some of its Chromebook forum contributors that they would get a free Chromebook.

Google has not released sales numbers of Chromebooks, but it has been no secret that the prices starting at $349 for Acer's Cromia and $429 for Samsung's Series 5 are much higher than initially expected. There is a good chance that consumers aren't picking those Chromebooks up as fast as anticipated and they certainly are not waiting in line as they did for an iPad 2. We don't know how well the Chromebook sells, but we will keep our eyes on this one.

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  • -6 Hide
    aoneone , July 1, 2011 8:54 PM
    Don't do it.. it's rigged with one of those pesky hidden cams again. I can just smell a lawsuit coming. ^_^
  • -4 Hide
    otacon72 , July 1, 2011 9:14 PM
    You could give me one for free and I still wouldn't use it.
  • 9 Hide
    dalethepcman , July 1, 2011 9:27 PM
    Unfortunately or fortunately, Android does more than chrome os and costs about the same. Android hit the ground running and has yet to slow down 3+ years later. Chrome OS hit the ground with a thud. Many users just aren't willing to pay $400 for what is essentially a thin client laptop when they could just get a windows laptop for the same price.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , July 1, 2011 9:40 PM
    There's too many negatives about ChromeOS.

    1. Cloud Computing.
    If there's anything the last few weeks have shown us, it's that no information is truly secure. Information stored on Google's servers is no exception. Cloud computing relies on data being transferred to and from Google's servers. For those willing to put forth the effort, this information can be intercepted during transmission. If someone chooses to do their taxes on a ChromeOS notebook, that data is a moving target for those wishing to commit identity theft.

    2. Internet connection REQUIRED
    Most people don't want to pay a monthly subscription fee to use a computer. Since ChromeOS relies on "cloud computing" you'll have to have either a Wi-Fi connection or wireless internet connection. If you choose to buy it through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc, you'll be forced into paying a monthly fee to use your ChromeOS notebook. If you're in an area with unstable internet service, you may experience peroids of time where the notebook becomes completely unusable. If you lose power and don't have a wireless internet subscription from one of the cellular providers, again, your notebook is completely useless.

    3. You get what you pay for....unless it's ChromeOS
    Most people actually want to own their least as much as the EULA permits anyway. With ChromeOS and it's "cloud computing" approach, you don't really own anything....except the notebook. You're stuck with an OS that is essentially featureless, aside from a browser. The software, however, resides on Google's servers and thus you don't actually own it. Instead you pay for access to the software. Also, you're paying the same price as you would for a full featured netbook, with considerably less functionality. At least with a netbook or budget notebook, you can get a full featured OS....where YOU make the decisions about security.
  • -1 Hide
    house70 , July 1, 2011 10:12 PM
    "However, the question I have is "Why?" "

    Same reason why ipads are provided in some first-class flights and elsewhere. It's called advertising.
    As I have said before, unless WiFi becomes ubiquitous, and dirt-cheap at that, cloud computing has no future. No one wants to burn through their data caps in a day, and being able to use your laptop only where there is cheap/free WiFi is NOT an option. Not for me. I'd rather use a fully functional client like Ubuntu or anything that doesn't require high computing power on the road.
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , July 1, 2011 10:16 PM
    @ sykozis: "that data is a moving target for those wishing to commit identity theft."

    I know what you meant, but "moving target" usually means a target that's difficult to hit. You might want to use "sitting duck" for your analogy.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2011 10:34 PM
    This is marketing, and clever marketing at that, as it seems to be working.

    If you take a look at the bestselling laptops on Amazon, the 3G Chromebook is listed as number one.
  • 0 Hide
    doive1231 , July 2, 2011 8:34 AM
    Better than a towel.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2011 12:01 AM
    It wouldn't be too bad, if there were hybrid netbooks that had the option of booting into Chrome OS and some other OS. Maybe with some synching between the two - Chrome loaded on the linux portion, and synched up with the chrome on the other partition.
  • -2 Hide
    reggieray , July 3, 2011 5:57 PM
    otacon72You could give me one for free and I still wouldn't use it.

    It's should be called spybook. Google is in bed with the Marxist Obama regime and I don't trust either.
    I would take one if I could wipe it, install a nice size SD card and install Ubuntu.
  • -1 Hide
    mkrijt , July 4, 2011 7:14 AM
    Do not want
  • 1 Hide
    icemunk , July 4, 2011 5:55 PM
    ReggieRayIt's should be called spybook. Google is in bed with the Marxist Obama regime and I don't trust either.I would take one if I could wipe it, install a nice size SD card and install Ubuntu.

    Seek help.
  • 0 Hide
    chickenhoagie , July 4, 2011 8:12 PM
    ReggieRayIt's should be called spybook. Google is in bed with the Marxist Obama regime and I don't trust either.I would take one if I could wipe it, install a nice size SD card and install Ubuntu.

    oh god here we go. linking oranges to apples.


    ConspiracyBeliever123: It's all obamas fault, 9/11 was a lie, no one is really living its all a conspiracy linked to living politicians in a fictitious nonliving earth destroying our souls from our bowels, upwards. the big-bang theory and the universe isn't real. nothing is real. im not even real. its all a conspiracy. I'm wasting my whole life (or non-existing life) trying to prove conspiracy theories, but conspiracy theories aren't real either, because its all a conspiracy to conspiratorial beliefs. oh and did i mention its obamas fault? oh i did sorry. and it was bush's fault too. and clintons. and george washingtons and lincolns and everyone elses fault. but not mine. I'm the smartest man on this earth, and apart of the most leet group in the world: the Conspiracy Theorists.

    hmm..did i get my point across?
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , July 4, 2011 11:34 PM
    By this way Google could make people more familiar with these Chromebook, so that potential buyers would test them for free and eventually buy one.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2011 3:51 PM
    Why should I pay $429 to $499 for a Chromebook when I can get a much better notebook for the same price?

    That same notebook can also run Chrome, so I get the full Chrome experience.

    Chromebooks aren't much more than netbooks. They have weak CPU's (Atom), little RAM (2gb), no hard drive and no optical drive AND can only be used while connected to the Internet!

    So what's the point?

    I'd consider buying one if the price were $100 to $200, but this is crazy!

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