Google’s Chromebook computers are making their debut in stores this week to mixed reviews. With instant-on startup, all-day battery life and lightweight web apps, they seem to be what many of us want in a computer.

Or maybe they’re what we wanted two years ago, before the iPad and Android tablets, and the promises of a tablet-friendly Windows.

“Netbooks are pretty much over,” Lenovo’s president, Rory Read, tells Dow Jones Newswires.

But aren’t the Chromebooks supposed to be better than those awkward old netbooks? USA Today does a good job running through the pros and cons, concluding that, for now, at least, “many consumers will want to stick with more earthbound notebooks.”

In any event, the real test may not be whether they end up in homes, but whether they end up in businesses, as ZDNet observes.

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  • Tommy Ferguson

    This thing is DOA. Why would a corporate user ever want a mobile (notebook) that has to be always on the net. If you travel, you know that today most hotel’s internet service is spotty at best. Using the cellular system would just be too much $$. Google is so out of touch with reality.
    And the tablet is not the reason this is DOA either, as Acer is the latest to roll back their production of Android tablets due to sales below expectations.
    I bought an iPad and as it is great in the bathroom, at the dinner table and on the plane, that’s about the extent of it’s utility. Definately not replacing my laptop which is Win7.

  • Guest

    I think I speak for everyone when I say that the U.S.’s mobile telephone infrastructure is inferior to most in the third world. I have also been rebuffed from using so-called “free” wifi as numerous providers thereof insist that to use it I must purchase a food or beverage item that I have no interest in consuming.

    In conclusion, if you want to spend $400, buy a proper laptop and Linux it. You can even run Chrome on it.

  • Christopher Ross

    I think the Chromebook will go the way of Google Wave.  From the outset, I think most industry pundits recognized the impracticality of a “thin” laptop priced like a traditional laptop, but without the ability to do anything without the consumer or business having a wifi connection.

  • Kendrick Bryan

    Chromebooks need Ethernet ports if Google expects the devices to appear in workplaces.

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