Amazon and best buy will starting saling the chromebook on June 15th...However, I expect prices to drop considerably within the first 3 months...just to damn pricey.
First, I am a test pilot user and find the product refreshing and highly useful. But I just dont know why Google didnt go ahead and offer a tablet version and 2 or 3 netbook versions (a wifi and a 3g, which should be a 4g) instead of the 5 netbook versions? People want tablets! Besides, it would do what android tablets havent been able to do. Also, android and its marketplace are at a critical junction with the fragmentation that is occurring, sure to cause consternation both in the consumer and the developer world, as its lifespan continues.
Most important for Chrome OS survivability is the fact that web and software developers will have to tailor and support their programs for Chrome, which will take a while but undeniably will happen, once the popularity of the OS and cloud computing usage in general increases, but first a price drop for these devices; Google must get them into the hands of everyone with a couple of extra dollars in their pockets and the desire to find a new OS (which there are many of), even if it means doing it at a loss (see: the kindle). Eventually Google is going to run into the classic "guns versus butter" quandary with all its operating systems out there. Ill place my money on its ONLY TRUE OPEN OS, the Chrome OS (android is by invite only until Google decides to release version's source code). Chrome is more than just a browser, any browsing on goggle labs will convince you of that! So why not capitalize on its unified design/operating concept and install it as an OS? This is what many people dont "get about Chrome as an OS, the say "I have chrome on my computer already"...in a few years pretty much all of your operations will exist in/on the cloud.
All of the chromebooks weigh in at about 3lbs, or twice the wight of the ipad2, which is still very light. Also, battery life is pretty identical to the advertised specs. Boot time is ridiculously fast, less than 10 secs from a dead sleep! Amazon's cloud player is integrated very, very nicely integrated. Most important Chrome OS function: you DONT have to pay for web applications as you do with iOS or Android OS (unless site owners wish to charge for content, that is).
No HDMI but a VGA instead (yeah, I know, its 2011). No bluetooth, NO GPS, webcam issues, cant use USB drives...most of the issues (I did not list several others) can be patched through updates. However some are hardware and will need to be addressed next production run or model design.
I recommend any of the SAMSUNG chromebooks w/the dual core Atom n570 cpu.
The cpu will cut down significantly on streaming video stuttering that the acer chromebook will see (only the acer wifi only version has the N570, but a smaller screen though, have to wait and see the cost to determine a proper cost/benefit ratio.
On a final note: I almost wish I hadnt bought my ipad2, but I got tired of waiting for the chromebook to release and needed a portable computing device(I dont use windows netbook/laptops or Mac's. I will however grudgingly settle for chrome on a netbook). I suppose now I can now wait for chrome OS to be released on a tablet before letting go of the ipad; hopefully a Chrome OS tablet will come before xmas.
Many are missing larger picture of Chrome OS: ..for organizations the cost of ownership will be GREATLY CHEAPER than using windows machine...also less of a headaches for IT-dept...and personally speaking, windows sucks to use (who doesnt agree, really?). Also, this isnt made for gamers, media encoding, etc...which is why its PRICE WILL HAVE TO DROP...but stuff is always more $$$ at start .