Here's Everything You Need To Know About Google's Chromebooks

chromebook

Photo: Google

Google made its Chrome OS official yesterday, announcing a line of netbooks dubbed “Chromebooks” produced by Samsung and Acer.Our first impression of the Chromebooks is that consumers will not be too hot on them. The pricing (starting at $399) is too high for a trimmed down PC. Plus they’re not offering much innovation.

Yesterday, one of our commenters put it this way: “It’s like a $400 with a keyboard.”

That’s not to say Chromebooks won’t be a good option for some people. There some great opportunities for enterprise, and the $20 per month education system sounds like it could be a hit for some schools or colleges.

On top of that, Chrome’s app store is getting a ton of new apps, including some that work offline.

We gathered all the important Chromebook and Chrome OS announcements from yesterday’s keynote to break down everything you need to know.

Apps work offline

Now many new apps in Chrome's app store will work offline. That way you can get work done if you can't get a connection. Everything will sync again the next time you log on.

USB accessories (like cameras) will work now

Google's CR-48 Chrome prototype laptop had USB ports, but you couldn't do anything with them. Now Chrome OS can recognise cameras, allowing you to upload photos and post them directly to Picasa.

Gmail and Calendar will work offline

Like some third-party Chrome apps, Gmail and Calendar will now work offline and sync when you connect again.

Samsung's Series 5 will run Chrome OS

It was an open secret that Samsung was developing a Chromebook. Now we know what it is. The Series 5 is a sleek and slim Chromebook. It's just 0.79 inches thick and sports a 12.1-inch screen.

The Wi-Fi only model will cost $429.99 and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model will cost $499.99.

Acer is making a Chromebook too

Acer will have a slightly cheaper Chromebook for sale starting June 15. The Wi-Fi only model will cost you $399. It has an 11.6-inch screen, HD web cam, and an HDMI out port. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Verizon will provide 3G service

Verizon will be providing pay-as-you go 3G plans for 3G-enabled Chromebooks.

In fact, Big Red will give you 100 MB of data per month for free. That's enough to do simple things like check your email. You can get up to 5 GB of data for $50 per month. Click here for the full pricing plans.

Chromebooks update themselves

Chrome OS updates are automatically pushed to your Chromebook. There aren't any prompts or restarts. It just happens.

Education and business plans will be on a subscription-based model

For $28 per month (business) and $20 per month (education), you can lease a Chromebook directly from Google. You must subscribe for three years, and you'll receive a new Chromebook at the end of the period. If your hardware breaks, Google will send you a brand new Chromebook. (As long as the original was under warranty.)

And since all your apps are stored in the cloud, all you have to do is log in to your new machine and everything will be ready for you.

What about the desktop? Samsung has you covered

There aren't too many details on Samsung's Chromebox other than it will be a desktop solution for people who want to use Chrome OS. The tiny Mac Mini-like box will likely run the same OS for those who don't feel like lugging a Chromebook around.

There's no release date for the Chromebox, we just know Samsung is working on it.

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