After a year of testing concept models, Google’s Web-based laptop goes on sale to the general public today. Called Chromebook, the laptop runs all its software applications and stores all its information on the Internet. That’s right. No hard drive, no programs and no operating system. With a price of either $430 or $500, is it worth it? David Pogue gives a qualified “No”. He says Wi-Fi networks are currently not robust enough to support a laptop that depends on the Web to function.
What’s the Big Idea?
Pogue does give Google credit for its experiment. Its vision of a Web-based laptop demonstrates the confidence the company has in a future where cloud computing is the norm. In other words, Google expects the day to come when everyone is dependent upon having a ready Internet connection to access and manipulate information. This assumption is the same one, says Pogue, which currently makes its Chromebook a bad investment.