The Cost of Chrome OS: How About $250 or Less?

By  |  Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 10:16 am

When I wrote about Google’s experimental CR-48 Chrome OS notebook last December, I guessed that it might cost about $449 if it were a commercial product. That seemed high for a device that was entirely dedicated to accessing the Web (and nearly useless when you couldn’t get online). And a bunch of people told me my guestimate was too high.

Months later, nobody has announced any detail on the Chrome OS machines which will supposedly be shipping in just a few months. But there are rumors–courtesy of rumor kingpin Digitimes–that Asus has plans to release a netbook for $200-$250 in June. One that might conceivably run Chrome OS. (I say “might conceivably” because Digitimes’ sources say that Asus “should” use either Chrome OS or Android on the machine–which is a whole lot vaguer than saying that Asus will use either one of those operating systems.)

Could Asus sell a decent Chrome OS laptop with an 12.1″ screen and built-in wireless broadband for $250 or less? That sounds aggressive to me. But if they can manage it, the deal sounds a whole lot more appealing than the $449 Chromebook I envisioned. And if they can sell a clamshell device at that pricetag, couldn’t they whack off the keyboard, add an on-screen one, and have a plausible low-end tablet?





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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Dale Larson Says:

    Wow, at that price I could almost imagine having one to use along side others rather than choosing one or the other. A device dedicated to gmail, Google docs, etc., almost makes sense.

    I wish it were easier to cut and paste between devices — I already want to read and browse on iPad even when the laptop (that I use for writing/creating) is at hand.

    Perhaps several small screens is actually better than one big one?

  2. Brandon Backlin Says:

    Yeah, that estimate does seem a bit high there Harry; especially since I only paid $150 for my EEE PC. Of course it was discounted; from $200… A 2 Gb RAM upgrade brought it to $175.

  3. Mike Cerm Says:

    When a netbook (with a real operating system and a real hard drive) costs exactly the same, but does way more stuff, why would anyone want a ChromeBook? It seems like the only people who would think that ChromeOS is worthy of consideration are the people who think of a $1,000 MacBook as entry-level. To them, $250 sounds like a bargain. To everyone else, it sounds like a netbook (with a crappy OS).

    If they can't get the price down under $200, they'll have a pretty hard time selling these.

  4. James Says:

    Really staggers me that at any price there are people who view this as anything other then bad for them. If the apple walled garden is bad then havin to rely on my ISP (and what about three strikes effects on such a device?) and google for everything.

    A toy, a concept but at no price will it rival a standard os or full tablet for either the full usage capabilities or convenience.

  5. dholyer Says:

    What about for free, you pay nothing for the laptop, what you pay for is leasing the Wireless Net connection. Is not this the way they do Cell phones today. And with Wi-Fi every where I can see kids with their wireless game virtual 3D head sets. The money they could make off addicting kids to these toys.

    Will this be the new PS4 or 5 in few years?