John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google's Chromebooks Debut June 15

Evidently Google’s Chrome laptop pilot program served its purpose, helping the company to ready the devices for wider distribution.

At the company’s annual I/O conference this morning, Google announced the Chromebook, a true consumer version of the machine that had previously been available only via the Cr-48 Pilot Program.

The Chromebook features an improved trackpad and a faster processor and takes about eight seconds to start up. It comes with built-in connectivity options–pay as you go with a bit of free usage or an option to buy day passes. “I think this is game-changing in terms of how you use your notebooks,” SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai explained. “These are some of the attributes that make phones and tablets great as well.”

The first devices will come from Samsung ($429 with Wi-Fi, $499 with 3G) and from Acer ($349). Come June 15, the devices can be ordered directly from Google and both will be available at Best Buy and on Amazon. Also available, a $28-per-user monthly subscription for business and a $20-a-month deal for students and teachers. And when the hardware is upgraded, users automatically get a replacement.

All the storage is in the cloud and all the updates are automatic. Google’s pitch is that the devices improve in real time.

Courtesy of Samsung, here are some key specs for its Series 5 Chromebook:

? 0.79-inch thin case designed for comfort and mobility
? Full-size Chrome keyboard
? Oversized multi-touch trackpad
? Intel® Core™2 Duo N570 1.66Ghz Processor
? 16:10 resolution
? 12.1-inch SuperBright Display – 36% brighter than standard display
? Starts up in less than 10-seconds
? Resumes instantly from standby
? Up to 8.5 hours battery life
? HD Webcam, built-in digital microphone and stereo speakers
? Two USB ports capable of charging mobile phones and accessories, connecting digital cameras and media storage devices
? Support for removable media cards (SD, SDHC, MMC) for photos, videos, music and documents

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus