A Samsung Chromebook is today, in essence, an Intel Celeron 867-based PC system with a 16GB solid-state drive instead of a 320GB (or thereabouts) hard drive, 4GB of (apparently non-expandable) RAM, two USB ports and no built-in DVD drive. Its suggested retail price is $549 which, if it were applied to the Windows ultraportable market, would probably translate to a street price of less than $500. But discounts come as a result of competition with other machines in its class, and as Google keeps reminding us, there are no other machines in this class. So for now, $549 is probably the street price.
Let's take the perspective of actual consumers and businesses. Let's ask the kinds of questions that humans will ask when they see one of these Chromebooks for the first time.
First, obviously there's no optical disc drive, yet the software would have me store all my files on this cloud-based service called Google Drive. So how do I get my existing files from here to there? Presumably I would plug a storage device into one of the USB ports. Will the operating system recognize my storage device? This is an important but unanswered question. Perhaps this thing recognizes most flash-based USB thumb drives in the world (again, an assumption) but will it read data from a Western Digital My Passport or Seagate Expansion drive? Windows 7 needed to download new drivers to recognize the latest My Passport drives (I've watched it happen). When a new class of hardware comes out, is Chrome OS equipped to download the latest drivers?
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