We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,812 News Articles

Chromebooks Now Available For Pre-Orders

Amazon and Best Buy are accepting advance orders for Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung.

Amazon and Best Buy have started taking advance orders for Chromebooks, lightweight laptops running Google's Chrome OS. The Chromebooks are set to start shipping June 15, and orders are limited to the U.S. right now, but Google promises to release them in other countries this year.

The first Chromebooks available for pre-order come from Acer and Samsung, with Wi-Fi-only versions starting at $380 for the Acer Cromia, or $450 for the 3G version. Samsung's Series 5 Chromebooks start at $430 for the Wi-Fi-only version, and $500 for the 3G model.

My PCWorld colleague Jason Cross reviewed the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, giving it only 2.5 out of 5 stars, highlighting fast boot and resume time, but poor performance and severely limited utility.

Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook has a 12.1-inch screen, powered by an Intel Atom processor, with 2GB of RAM and 16Gb solid-state storage. The keyboard and clickpad are where Chromebooks seek to improve the general netbook experience. The Samsung Series 5 has well spaced-out keys and a roomy trackpad, making it comfortable to type and scroll through Web pages.

Software-wise, the novelty with Chromebooks is, of course, Chrome OS, which can be summed up as Google's Chrome browser on steroids. As Jason Cross puts it, "Just launch the Chrome browser, maximize the window, and try to live your entire computing life right there." There is however a rudimentary file browser and media browser, but most of your experience is limited to what you can do through a browser window.

The limited capability of Chromebooks will probably be the biggest hurdle for the category. Their price is so close to tablets and even higher-speed cheap laptops, that Chromebooks are going to face a tough battle for customers' hearts.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter

IDG UK Sites

45 Best Android games: top Android games for your smartphone or tablet in 2014 (24 are free!)

IDG UK Sites

How Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and others have let us down over UltraHD and hiDPI screens

IDG UK Sites

Miranda July's Somebody app offers a very unusual take on messaging

IDG UK Sites

iPad Pro release date, rumours and leaked images - 12.9 screen 'coming in 2015'