Exclusive: Chrome notebooks confirmed to be released June/July

To be sold as a subscription.

You may or may not have seen the news about the Google Chrome production notebooks floating around the web today. Ariotech reports that "Google product manager Sundar Pichai said, Google were still fixing some bugs and improving compatibility with devices such as digital cameras on Chrome OS." and that they expected the company to release the devices during "Summer 2011."

Neowin can now confirm from a reliable source that the Google Chrome OS based notebooks will be available for "purchase" in late June/early July. The search giant also is planning on using an unconventional form of distribution to customers. Google will be selling the devices as part of a subscription based model with Gmail to customers. It's not clear if this applies to mainstream Gmail.com users, or to Google Apps premier customers.

According to our source, Google plans to make the notebooks available for $10-$20 a month per user, and will provide hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package, and will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription. On top of this, Google will make the devices available for a one time payment as a normal retailer would, but is likely to not distribute the devices directly. Instead, the company will distribute them in a fashion similar to the way Android is distributed.

Will you buy a device? Let us know in the comments!

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If you want to try the OS just download Chrome browser set your home page for the Chrome store. From the store you can download apps and they can be launched from the Chrome store page.

I've been using the Chorme laptop for 2 months or so. The Problem is the $20.00 is to use the laptop. If using while traveling you pay for the verizon monthy fee (for each Verizon device you have). It would be nice if the Telecom companies would come up with a plan that allows multiple devices. That means every device you have that uses the Verizon network you pay the monthly fee.

Also yes the laptop does have a SD card but you can't access it unless u are in development mode. In development mode you can actually install a new Non-cloud operating system. You can add a bigger SD card also.

A co-worker lets her child use their Chrome laptop to play online games and since she has 2 kids one uses the pc and the other uses the Chrome laptop. Well the one using the chrome laptop gets upset because its SLOWER.

Yes it boots fast but it does EVERY other things slow. I downloaded Jolicloud and it has some nice cloud applications. I download an application that I take to meeting to take notes and it pretty nice BUT my data in saved to the cloud and not locally.

People are conecerned with GPS in our phones tracking us. How about our financial spreadsheets stored in the clouds. We can sure trust those Google employees with our credit card numbers.

To sum it up the 20.00 per month is to Google and that doesn't include the verizon charge. Remember you can't use a wireless connection that has security and you don't know the password. So you have to have another pc to do your private stuff which will cost you around 50 if you want internet so soon your going to be over 100.00 a month just for internet. I use mine on a wireless connection at work and have used it once or twice at home to test it.

its too costly just to surf the web.


I don't think Google should be charging for services until they learn how to provide customer service. Their lack of support for everything is astounding.

But why the ChromeOS? Honestly, ChromeOS was under development well before the recent explosion in tab computing. The cloud model for ChromeOS netbooks seems well founded, but think they should be looking to launch with an Android Honeycomb OS. It just does not seem to make sense to have one OS for smartphones and tab computers, and yet something completely different for netbooks.

You're right, they might choose one of those, especially if they want touch screen, but they are still general purpose machines (i.e. can run a variety or programs in the foreground and background) that will be harder to maintain (more stuff that can go wrong) whereas Chrome is dead easy and can be reimaged, or the whole device replaced, any time with no worries about local data, local logins etc.

Many companies want/have their pcs locked down so that only a few operations are possible. I have seen some that boot windows into a browser. You cannot leave the browser nor run anything else. On top of that, they can only go to one or two internal sites. The companies are the thus forcing their staff to do only certain tasks with their computers. Still, underneath is a windows system that can be attacked. Companies still have to pay for, run and manage complicated anti hacking programs. Still have to manage OS upgrades and patches. Chrome is pretty simple.

I am not expecting Chrome OS to enter the accounting office, nor the developer area, nor the marketing people. But I do see it in places where there are multiple similar functions. Point of Sale, Call centers, data entry centers, maybe libraries, are where it's destined. Many of these are already running web aps and the change to dumber terminals will often be far cheaper than the total costs of running full widows systems.

I haven't used the google chrome OS (although I do use Chrome browser), and I don't doubt there are bugs. On the other hand, these bugs will eventually be fixed by the free automatic updates. Personally, I would rather have a linux/unix box (I'm a developer), but I do see the advantages of an incredibly simple interface, simple management, simple security etc. There are lot's of people that will find this sufficient.

On the other hand, I do not see this starting out big as a consumer product. This is the testing/fixing phase. The big gains will be in the business world. A lot of money is spent managing windows os on many computers that really never need local aps. I think google estimated that 60% of windows machines could be replaced. I doubt they will get this penetration, but if you consider a retail chain that has windows running on all their "Point of sale" devices, but all they ever run is a browser app, replacing these can spell huge savings to a corporation. I believe this is where the real penetration will be. These business applications will have the bugs squashed fairly quickly.

Looking forward to it... They blew everyone out of the water with Android (it's only real competition being the iPhone now (the Win7 phone being late to the game and lame as of now)... Excited to take it for a test drive.

I don't know, why not just a tablet version (but then there is Android)? I don't see these netbook/notebook going anywhere... even though I would love to test one!

iMaPi said,
I don't know, why not just a tablet version (but then there is Android)? I don't see these netbook/notebook going anywhere... even though I would love to test one!

ChromeOS tablets are on the way too.

confused why you all keep using the cr-48 as a base of comparison, when it says nothing of netbooks, only notebooks, and yes there is a difference

I have a Cr-48. I love it. I ALSO have an HP pavilion dv-7 that is a monster of a laptop. My gaming needs are met with my HP but my daily internet and computing needs are now met NICELY and QUICKLY with my Cr-48. ChromeOS is amazing and I love the speed. Anyone that says the inability to store things on the device really need an update to their lives. There IS an SD card slot if you REALLY need to store things on it. There are DROPBOX addons for chrome that you can save directly to (plus then get's sync'd to your other pc's). This is a WIN for Google and everyone I have let use mine has really loved it. The people that normally read tech blogs love the power of typical devices but normal everyday people will love this and Google will make tons of money off of it. I know many people that already want to buy them just from using mine to supplement their computing habits. This is NOT a REPLACEMENT to typical computers, it supplements what people have to be able to compute on the go with a very light netbook with amazing battery times.

devi59 said,
I have a Cr-48. I love it. I ALSO have an HP pavilion dv-7.

Bingo. Most people already have a computer at home and/or mostly live on the internet.
For the developers, they will probably have a ssh or other capability to access your home computer or work when it ships. I just went on vacation and took the CR-48 instead of my notebook. Much easier to travel with.

typing this from my CR48 right now, and I can tell you, that it's nowhere near ready. Freeze-ups, random reboots, not noticing when I plug in my 6 button mouse, and using the buttons correctly...the list goes on, but it's got a long way to go, IMO....not to mention that the 3G was an absolute PAIN IN THE NECK to get working... C'mon, google, you'll have to get this thing right before you can consider selling. Oh, and to the person that claimed above that the CR48 boots in 3 seconds....wanna trade cr48's? Because mine's never booted that fast (15-20 secs, maybe, but 3 seconds? O.o (that is, in developer mode, dev switch flipped, dev mode in chrome://settings/about>More Info>Developer (in stead of beta) channel

obiwankenobi said,
CR48 ...Freeze-ups, random reboots,...the list goes on, but it's got a long way to go, IMO....(in developer mode, (in stead of beta) channel

There is a stable channel, beta channel, and (if you go out of your way) the developer channel.
The stable channel is what the average person will be using. When you went to the developer channel, you were warned you were getting the newest, least tested software and it could be unstable.

Cloud or not, $10 a month for a laptop to browse the web and type things up isn't bad, especially if you get hardware updates as well.

I'll pass, I don't have any problem with having a real OS on my machine, this only advantageous to Google.

No thanks.

Joe05 said,
I'll pass, I don't have any problem with having a real OS on my machine, this only advantageous to Google.

No thanks.

But, but, but, real OSs are teh suck! I can assure you, you really want reduced functionality, vendor lock-in, and gimped hardware!

Setnom said,

Thank you! Didn't know that link. Will try soon.

I'm hoping Google release an ISO image of Chrome OS when it is officially unveiled but I doubt it. If not, I'm sure some people would compile the latest builds of Chrome OS and make them available for us as an ISO image.

Pam14160 said,

Do you really need to ask that question?

I mean, I get the NOs are mostly trolling. But I havent heard much about the chrome netbooks other than they look good. Maybe they're good at what they're supposed to be for ?

Frylock86 said,

Do you want to use a cloud only OS from Google?

I think the internet is a pretty cool thing, and Google has some of the best services the web has to offer.... so yes!

1+1 really isn't it.

SuperHans said,

I think the internet is a pretty cool thing, and Google has some of the best services the web has to offer.... so yes!

1+1 really isn't it.

I don't think Chrome OS would be for every one but I think it would be fine to use if Google has good web apps that replace what we use most often - WLM, Office, iTunes/WMP, whatever.

Jarrichvdv said,
My Macbook Pro boots in 20 secs. Instant-on. I don't need something faster. And especially not with the Chrome OS.

And how much was that Macbook?

farmeunit said,

And how much was that Macbook?

lol ^...definitely not $10 a month.

Joking aside, I'd be interested to see how it pans out - Google needs to improve Docs though, if it was to be a replacement to the conventional Office on Windows. Last time I used it the compatibility to/from Microsoft Office files weren't the best.

what i want to know and i am sure it will happen but users like me who have the CR-48 notbook if google ill update chrome OS on it to the finale version build and then allow updates to it as time goes on and improve features

notuptome2004 said,
if google will update chrome OS on it to the finale version build and then allow updates to it as time goes on and improve features

Yes, they have been and will continue to be automatic. This is part of the ease of use and a security feature.

If the $10-$20 a month covers any damage to the unit and a free replacement, it might be worth it to some people that travel a lot and only need basics. But at least they are offering a retail flat price option also through OEMs

xendrome said,
If the $10-$20 a month covers any damage to the unit and a free replacement, it might be worth it to some people that travel a lot and only need basics. But at least they are offering a retail flat price option also through OEMs

The is fee for Google only. You also need to pay Verizon a monthly fee to connect to the net. Without the internet connection the device is worthless.

No, just... no. These devices will be dreadfully slow; the prospect of 'free' upgrades would be appealing with a full PC, but not these netbooks.

andrew_f said,
No, just... no. These devices will be dreadfully slow; the prospect of 'free' upgrades would be appealing with a full PC, but not these netbooks.

They're faster than any Windows notebook I've ever used..

BoyBoppins said,

Meaning what?

Exactly, CR-48 boots in about 3-4 seconds to the logon screen from cold boot. And then resumes in 1 second when you open the lid.

xendrome said,

Exactly, CR-48 boots in about 3-4 seconds to the logon screen from cold boot. And then resumes in 1 second when you open the lid.

I do that with windows.. its called "standby"

Owen W said,

They're faster than any Windows notebook I've ever used..

Comparing my CR-48 to my Windows 7 netbook I'm not sure where you've gotten this measure of speed. Boot times mean nothing when the W7 unit is only ever slept, resume time is adequate too.

Don't get me right, I love the CR-48, but speed isn't the point. Simplicity is the whole purpose of ChromeOS, nothing stored and very little to break.

Add the data connection in the CR-48 (and presuming that the subscription will have a similar angle) it's a very interesting proposition.

xendrome said,

Exactly, CR-48 boots in about 3-4 seconds to the logon screen from cold boot. And then resumes in 1 second when you open the lid.


Owen W said,

They're faster than any Windows notebook I've ever used..

Well putting boot times aside, they struggle with Flash video terribly - among other intensive tasks such as advanced CSS3 animations and some JS powered sites.

andrew_f said,

Well putting boot times aside, they struggle with Flash video terribly - among other intensive tasks such as advanced CSS3 animations and some JS powered sites.


Not on the latest dev channel. No worries.

BoyBoppins said,

Meaning what?

They boot faster yes but they are way slower then any notebook I've ever used connecting to a site. Plus most of the time I have to connect twice because the first time it says couldn't find the site but the second time I try it finds it.