Google Gives Away Free Chromebook Rentals

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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  • aoneone
    Don't do it.. it's rigged with one of those pesky hidden cams again. I can just smell a lawsuit coming. ^_^
  • dalethepcman
    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.
  • sykozis
    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.