Google has opened the floodgates on cheap Chrome devices, announcing three brand-new ways you can use a browser-only PC without breaking the bank —from a tiny stick that plugs into an HDMI port to a laptop that flips over to become a tablet to $149 computers that are cheaper than most smartphones. With today's announcements, Google wants to show that no matter what you need a computer for, Google can meet those needs for a much lower price than Microsoft's Windows partners or Apple's Macs.
By this summer, Google and Intel will have 20 Chromebooks on the market including touch-screen versions and at least one tablet convertible, executives say. And nearly all of them will be priced under $350. Microsoft should be getting nervous indeed. In a press conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, executives shared some updated statistics on how well Chromebooks are doing.
On paper, the future of laptops looks disappointing. A few days ago, we learned Apple's new MacBook is about four years behind in terms of performance. It has a gorgeous new design and a sharp display, but costs more and isn't as powerful as the entry-level MacBook Air.
The growing popularity of Google Chromebooks doesn't directly translate into more revenue for Google. Google executives reminded Wall Street analysts of that fact on the company's conference call on Thursday.
Google's Chromebooks have proved to be an attractive option for those seeking a simple, cheap laptop on a budget. Microsoft wants that to change very soon. During the company's Worldwide Partner Conference on Monday, Microsoft announced that extremely cheap Windows 8.1 notebooks will be coming soon from HP, Acer, and Toshiba.