Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Are Chromebooks Getting Pricier?

by Tony Thomas

When they were introduced, Chromebooks were seen as a low-cost alternative to a notebook PC.  How things have changed.  

I visited my local Best Buy yesterday and noticed that the prices of Chromebooks are moving on up.  At the very top of the line is the Google Pixel - the flagship of Chromebooks.  Even with its impressive specs, at $999, I think the Pixel has very limited appeal unless the buyer is a Chromebook fanatic.  

Bolstered by the high price of the Pixel, other manufacturers, like Samsung, Asus, and HP, are coming out with new Chromebooks in the medium-price range of $500 to $750.  At the lower end of the pricing scale, there are fewer offerings to choose from.  I think this is because the recently introduced Android functionality requires more RAM and storage space to be used effectively.  

Personally, I find the dependence on Android troubling as I am a big fan of the offline native apps on Chrome OS that have apparently been deprecated.  Google will be adding Linux functionality which may help to fill in the gap between mobile apps and more powerful desktop computer programs.  They are also betting heavily on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that are beginning to appear but have not gained much traction or acceptance yet.

The problem with the more expensive Chromebooks is that they lose their advantage of being a low-cost solution and have solid competition from lower-end notebooks and tablets like the iPad.   And, speaking of the iPad, I will be watching with interest how well the new ChromeOS tablets will do compared to Apple's new affordable base model.  

In any case, ChromeOS is still a strong option for anyone looking for a secure web-based computing solution.

Check out my YouTube Video: