A Bombshell Called Chromebook
Cecil is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) unveiled the Chromebook at a time when its disappointing quarterly earnings were released accidentally. I personally feel that this product could get Apple(NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) caught in a knot. So how will the Chromebook inflict damage to both Apple and Microsoft? The Chromebook laptop is priced at $249; that’s about 75% cheaper that the cheapest Macbook Air! Even the Surface tablets have been priced at $499, that’s two times the cost of a Chromebook. But the million dollar question is if the MacBook or any Windows 8 machine worth the price when compared to the Chromebook?
Technology-wise, this product is the first of its kind; the Chromebook is the first large-scale laptop to not have a fan. On the first look that might not impress you; but a fan-less laptop means no noise, better power management, and no hot air blowing on you. The Chromebook is made by Samsung, it also runs on a Samsung chip; in fact, this is the first chip that is based on the dual core system-on-chip A15 chipset from ARM. This chip will also be used to run on some of the newer high-end smart phones.
Critics have already started questioning Google for running an entire laptop on a chip that runs on smart phones, but I feel that Google settled for this option as its software is a lot more lighter than both the Mac and Windows. Don't forget the fact that the use of a modified smart phone chip set in a laptop is in itself a significant achievement; this will surely open the door for more products in this class.
As for the features, the Chromebook looks very similar to the 11.6 inch MacBook Air. It is still thicker than the Macbook and is still heavier than it too, at 2.5 pounds. The battery life of this product is also pretty impressive, at 6.5 hours. The Chromebook isn’t meant for running heavy process-oriented programs and so in a way cannot be compared with the Macbook; but the question is does an average user require all the heavy process-oriented programs in the Macbook? Of course not, and so this product seems to be targeting the right sort of audience.
The Chromebook is a product for the mainstream; that being said, I don’t think everyone will require this product, but this is an item that can help start a new sector in the market. I feel that with all of these features, the Chromebook could bite into the market shares of both Apple and Microsoft.
The price is where Google’s Chromebook really becomes tempting and will probably be the catalyst in terms of improving sales figures. Google’s stocks might be down a little bit, but I feel that this product could change things around for the tech titan. All of this said, I still feel that the success of this product will largely depend on how the market receives the Surface tablets.
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ceciljohn2002 has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.