The inmates are truly running the asylum. The technical specs are completely irrelevant to the interests of the majority of consumers. This page needs to show what this is capable of without the foreknowledge of what Chrome OS is or is capable of or what Googles other offerings are.
Sell me a story! Tell me why my life is going to be better with it.
What most people going to ask:
Can I use my social networks?
Can I do my internet banking?
Can I get my photos off of my camera and share them?
What about my music?
Can I watch movies?
How about spreadsheets and word documents?
Is that better?
To explain, I think how they expect you to experience the website is:
http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/ (from www.google.com/chromeos)
So, we're looking at a relatively deep link, which assumes the reader has been shown the main OS features and is looking for which specific product to buy. That said, I agree that this page doesn't do much except show pretty pictures and throw out a few tech specs, and won't sell the product on its own.
When I search Google for chromebox the first result is the link that was submitted. I concur: it is a terrible landing page for a product. Consider the first page results for things like macbook, ipad, or mac mini and you can see where the failure lies. They do, after all, have control of search results, don't they?
http://www.apple.com/iphone/ vs https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebox.html
I'd say Google's doing a better job.
Hope that helps?
McDonald's sells the most burgers in the world, that definitely means it's the best in everything burger-related right?
Why not specifying what processor and hardware is in the box ?
That being said, it's a 1.9ghz Celeron CPU. That can give negative connotations since Celeron is Intel's cheap line of processors.
They're very different machines, with very different goals. If you compare the components, then yes, it probably doesn't make any sense for you to get a Chromebox. If you look at the features they both have, then it might make more sense.
If I were buying a machine for my grandmother, I'd buy the Chromebox over your $377 desktop, in a heartbeat.
"Go fast". The set top Androids are also pretty fast. Also, as someone said, who reboots these days? (though it's a selling point for a media player replacement)
"Stream HD movies without a hitch", ok, that's a selling point, though my cheap Android phone does well enough on "good enough" quality, so I'd expect the Android set top boxes or equivalents to do just as well.
"Go straight online to creating, sharing and enjoying. Chrome devices come with built-in apps for editing photos, creating documents and presentations, and video chat, so you can get everyday tasks done right out of the box."
Ok, though the Android boxes do that too.
"Google+ Hangouts. You can also integrate multiple chat accounts with apps like imo or eBuddy. "
Not a selling point for me (what is a Hangout?)
Edit: I tried explaining myself. Why the downvote instead of a rebuttal? (I can accept those)
Examples of Android set top boxes (the first one has 4 GB):
They were featured recently by a local supermarket chain.
I mean, the sales pitch for the Chromebox is: surf the internet, stream movies and use some apps...
My point was it's like saying you don't understand why Apple sells the Mac Mini when the Apple TV is only $99.
Google TV (aka Logitech Revue, Sony Internet TV, LG Smart TV). They've been at your local Best Buy type store for years.
They're Android 3.0 STBs, or in the case of the Smart TVs starting to come out, built into the TV.
(LG has announced GoogleTV/Android support, and showed samples at CES this year but AFAIK isn't shipping them yet).
The LG TV with Google TV (Android) has been available for ~5 months at least. Amazon started selling it in February.
Right-click on the comment, choose "Inspect Element", and delete it.
And of course the same could be done with any modern browser's inspector.
If specs help sell the things, by all means Google should include them. Whether they are "relevant" or not.
Also note that the info that it is _not_ an Intel Atom CPU is highly relevant IMO, because the Atom is slow as molasses.
Apple is great at identifying context. A lot of people don't realize that Apple does "sell specifications", because they're mostly exposed to Apple's advertising, which rarely uses specification. However, when you get to their website, they recognize that you're probably looking for more detail. That shows an understanding of context.
There's another contextual difference they play as well. Have a look at their pages for traditional computing hardware, then have a look at their pages for iOS devices.
Notice the difference in pitch? There are even identifiable differences in the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad pages. Which one is closer to a traditional computing device? The iPad. Which page is more specification oriented? The iPad.
A lot of lip service is given to Apple's avoidance of specification, but I think too many people treat it as a black & white scenario: you either do talk about specification, or you don't. Like many stereotypes, this focuses on the wrong distinction. It's not a matter of do or don't, but a matter of when and why. Specification isn't the best way to get customers interested in your product, but once the customer is in the door, you do need to be prepared to communicate the specifications clearly and in a relatable way. Apple is very adept at identifying that transition and guiding the customer on their way to a sale.
"What does your phone have?"
"Oh yeah, it's got Mega megapixels."
This http://www.apple.com/mac/ is equivalent to https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/
You have to click "Explore", then the "Devices" tab and then on the Chromebox image. Or you have specifically click "Chromebox" in the top-menu.
Using a deeplink and complaining it provides no general information about the whole ecosystem is imho a little bit silly.
Let's talk about the base url: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/ that's bad. It should have its own domain.
Instead of listing how much it can compute, they talk about how big it is (x inches by y inches by z inches), relative speed improvements (which aren't useful since the consumer may have no idea how slow or fast the prior one is), lots of specs around the price (price is a specification), what kind of I/O it has (thunderbolt), the processor (just not the Ghz), the graphics part (just not which model, but strangely they list the CPU speed over there -- and of course it's the rated speed for the more expensive model) then some generic statements about which Apple software you can run on it.
But because some people still want to have an idea of what it can compute they still offer
I'm not particularly interested in either device, but it's clear that Google's sales page is almost a copy of Apples page.
What I took offense at was the suggestion that the specs are irrelevant and by consequence should not be shown _at all_.
(Also note that on my screen, the "fold" is below the Core i5/i7, Radeon HD and Thunderbolt blurbs. Meanwhile even above that, it emphasises "2x faster processors", "Thunderbolt I/O", "upgradeable memory", as well as physical size and software.)
I really would like to know 'what' a Chromebox does as opposed to 'how' it does it. Whereas with a Mac product I'm more interested in the 'how'.
Early adopters will be techies. It's OK to be geeky at this stage.
They can dumb-it-down later.
Reminded me of this: http://www.theonion.com/video/sony-releases-new-stupid-piece...
I've completely forgotten that Chromebooks even exist because I've never heard of anyone buying one.
Those are not details that techies want. It is clearly extolling the mythical Apple advertising (the one where they aren't talking about quad core GPUs and retina displays and 5MP "iSight" cameras) that, supposedly, is lifestyle focused.
The first sentence describes this as a device not a computer. This seems like a poor choice, as is that the page mentions the word 'computer' not once.
"The Chromebox is a fast, compact home or office device."
That means nothing to me.
Fast, compact device used in homes and offices. A microwave maybe? Or maybe a novel type of stapler?
Exactly, this is why I always tell people that if you let technical people run companies you'll run into huge failures like you see with companies like Google and Facebook.
However, putting the specs up front and not under the specs tab (which is strangely almost empty) is poor. The overview should be pushed up to the top and expanded upon a la Apple's products pages.
Even with all the specs, there's one I care about that's not on here, how much can I store on the device? All the USB ports aren't doing me any good if I can't jam my photos or some movies onto it.
I think you're completely missing the point of ChromeOS. You're not supposed to jam photos or movies onto it. It's a web browser in box. Google Docs/Drive, Youtube, Picasa. These are all available on the first boot. Ford doesn't advertise how far their cars can go when driven off a cliff because it's a car, not an airplane. You can't fault them for that.
I suspect both of those users care a little bit more about the tech specs than an average user.
The only clear thing is that you plug mouse/keyboard/monitor in it, but that's it. I'm not sure what exactly that "device" is and does.
> The Chromebox is a fast, compact home or office device.
Oh, I see. It must be a printer.
I bet it makes a mean espresso, though.
I noticed that it conveniently comes with a remote desktop utility.. you know, in case you want to do something other than use Gmail or Google Docs with it. And you're too comfortable in your chair to just go to your real computer.
Does it do anything different?
I'm in tech and I don't know anything about Chrome OS, and I wouldn't buy even if I had disposable income (and I do want a media player/home theater PC someday). Heck, I could probably buy an equivalent Windows-based HTPC for a similar price.
See http://s.dealextreme.com/search/android+set+top or alibaba prices.
Edit: once again, why the downvote? Also, I showed it to my coworkers, one of them was quite receptive to the Chromebox.
For example, does it have enough USB to accommodate a mouse/keyboard as well as an external disk and a digital camera?
Can I plug it into my Monitor and my HDTV at the same time?
Or does it have sufficient oomph to run HD video or graphically intensive games?
At this point google will be targeting early adopters who will be more tech savvy, and also hoping that they recommend it to their family and friends.
Until we can offload close to 100% of our computing to the server, specifications for client side machines will still be relevant.
Every ad doesn't need to ape Apple, you know.
Here's an image:
I actually think it's a pretty good product for that purpose. The economics are compelling if you maintain hundreds of desktops. Instead of PC + Windows + Office + McAffee + a large desktop support organization, you just have ChromeOS devices and Google Apps. It's not sexy but 99% of the employees at the DMV don't need sexy, they just need to run a handful of basic apps.
Making a disruptive improvement for one market would probably end up being compelling to both so you focus on either for a start.
I don't like the decision to focus on office staff first. Google's in a great position to sell to consumers. Also I think Apple demonstrated that going through consumers first encourages better products.
The only thing that's weird is printing, but for 90% of "generic internet stuff" it works fantastic. ChromeOS just updated last night and I haven't even had a chance to mess with it.
It will even work mostly-ish as a web-dev terminal as it'll do SSH as well as chrome developer tools (although it is slightly hokey).
I'm a 15+ year linux user and I don't mind using the chromebook at all AS AN ADJUNCT TO A REAL COMPUTER!
A ChromeBook is ~1/10th the cost of a "real" computer, is SSD by default (only I think), is great for "kitchen computing", great for travel (just turn on password-protection and it gets very good battery life, and you don't mind if it gets lost, stolen, or damaged and it's very lightweight).
It's got a lot of advantages even for a power-user, although it doesn't (yet) replace a "real" computer / linux / osx box.
The things I've used my "real" computer for since then have been seashore (gimp), inkscape, video editing, printing, and some minor gaming, and I've had the MBP for 1-2 years and the chromebook for ~6 mo.
I think if you put a Chromebook/Chromebox in front of most business users, the organization has to be using Citrix. Google Apps is not even remotely viable as a replacement for Office except in cost or for very basic work.
The big challenge with business users are that they have established workflows and habits. Converting an existing Office-based infrastructure to Google Apps is a struggle mostly because it's expensive and difficult to retrain workers. On the other hand, if you start off with Google Apps, it works pretty well.
Certainly every now and then you have The Giant Spreadsheet Of Doom to maintain cost models or whatnot; this is more like custom application software that only a handful of users use. Give them Excel if they need it. There aren't many of these employees even in a large organization.
Since the Galaxy Nexus can use a keyboard and mouse over Bluetooth and run a 1080p display over HDMI, the advantage of the Chromebox is that it can run multiple displays and connect external storage devices.
With Ubuntu for Android scheduled to be released later this year, a logical progression is that Google's future home appliances and mobile devices will run the same exact operating system, rather than two different ones.
However, Android is supposed to be open and has many different App Stores like Amazon Appstore that compete with Google's Android Play (Android Market), while Chrome O.S. will allow Google to own the entire purchase process (like Apple), which benefits the consumer by allowing them to purchase an app they already own on their iPad, Android phone, Mac, PC, and XBox a 6th time.
From the software side, it's a whole different animal. ChromeOS is intended to be very different from Android. I don't think you can compare some of the features like verified boot or integrated cloud services. Also, you can install apps on android as you like with the flick of a setting. ChromeOS doesn't have installed apps in the sense that they reside on the device. Apps are websites in ChromeOS, no difference. I'm pretty sure "installing an app" and "bookmarking a website" are the same thing in ChromeOS.
Not quiet so. I write chrome apps myself and there is is difference between websites and installable apps. Mostly they have more API access and features such as background processes. But the underlying technology is exactly same as websites. It's essentially a local website that is not hosted on any server but in browser's environment.
If you are interested to know exact differences then allow me to make a shameless plug. This is a media player but is installable instead of hosted. This makes it possible for the app to have a background page which runs even if the browser is closed. Being instalable instead of hosted also has an advantage of more flexible file API. But that is bound to change soon.
Also, installable web apps should be something not specific to Chrome. Why not make this an open standard so I can install my apps to other browsers without extra effort from the app developer.
And there is a thing known as installable web-apps. Which basically means you can install an app with just one manifest file hosted online. (it used to be in about:flags but now i think it has landed in stable release, but not sure). Which means no hassle of webstore or even maintaining a separate crx file, just upload a manifest.js once and forget :) Unfortunately background processing is not possible in hosted apps, just in installable ones.
That's not true. You can install crx files from places other than the webstore. Infact there are a few app stores out there if anyone tries to google them.
Wait, doesn't that defeat the entire premise of the Chrome OS?
Also, what does this have to do with Android?
What can it actually do? Stop telling me about "multiple USB ports and multiple display options". Should I get one instead of an iPad or a new laptop? Is it a new name for a Google TV device?
"Place it anywhere" ? As opposed to what?
Buy now? OK I'm in the United Kingdom, that's lucky. Let me buy it from...PC World? This leads to a page with a screenshot of a netbook/Chromebook and a Chromebox somewhere in the background. The word "Chromebox" doesn't even appear on the page.
I like how the specifications tab just gives us 2 pictures. Really, that's the specifications?
Now I know there was a /sarc comment aboce about Apple and sepcs... but even mobile phone websites have better specs than this!
Seriously Google, your average user is not going to give a sh!t about this at moment and only those more tech savvy will likely but this right now!
However, I question who would get a Chromebox though, because the portability + battery life + instant on are no longer relevant in this case, and those were by far the biggest benefits for the Chromebook. For a little more (~400), you could get a very respectable machine running a more powerful OS.
Some general thoughts on my experiences with the Chromebook:
As a general computing device, I thought it was more or less completely sufficient. I used it to take notes (google docs / evernote) in class and it was awesome for that (light and portable).
With more than 7-8 tabs, things can get slightly sluggish (read: not instantaneous). Running more than 15 or so and you start getting serious performance issues. This is less of a problem than I thought because it forces me to maintain focus (I regularly can have >100 tabs when using my desktop). Full screen 1080p video also was sluggish.
It has a shell, so you can SSH and code also.
Frequently less technical friends would ask "but ... it only runs chrome?" to which I respond "well what can you not do in chrome?" and they have a very hard time giving an example. With gmail / calendar / docs / evernote / your music web app service of choice / etc, almost everything can be done in the browser.
To be fair, I also use a powerful desktop for more intense tasks (photo editing, coding, and occasional gaming). I doubt I would use the chromebook/box as my primary computer.
I honestly don't think these will get any market penetration they are just too under powered, sluggish and expensive. They are definitely no use as a primary machine but even as a secondary machine its basically useless (I mean you are paying 300 quid to open 10 tabs and nothing else!!!) Im reaching to my ipad for a second device.
Instant on is still a factor, maybe not for you and certainly not for me (my home PC runs 24/7), but there's plenty of people who don't leave computers running when not using them, and still would enjoy not having to wait while it boots up.
The biggest use-case I see for the future is as a media centre connected to your TV. Google are already trying to replace computer software with web apps, why not TV software too - think Boxee or any other similar device, but all through web apps. If it took off I think it would be awesome.
Think of how many places have convenience computers that they have to manage from an IT perspective. Not with a Chromebox.
That said, I don't have a Chromebook, and haven't watched the changes for a while. Anyone have a link or something handy for what they're up to lately?
edit: Amazon has a lot more info: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-XE300M22-A01US-Series-3-Chrome...
edit the second: it seems pretty competitive with a Mac mini, actually. 1.9ghz Celeron instead of 2.3 i5, same RAM, and same graphics card. The 16gb SSD vs 500gb HDD might make the Chromebox feel snappier, though. And at $329 vs $599, it's quite a bit cheaper.
So Clock frequency IS the main differentiator here, 1.9Ghz vs 2.3-2.9Ghz (with turbo), which probably corresponds to 30% to 60% difference in general.
Specs of both processors:
The main difference is that the Chromebox is limited to 4GB of RAM, whereas you can put upto 16GB in the Mini.
Actually, the Chromebox has 4 GB of RAM whereas the mini with the $599 list price has only 2 GB. So, technically your statement "same RAM" is incorrect even though upgrading the RAM on the mini to 4 GB will not cost very much.
There's a tiny little thing called the operating system which makes significantly more of a difference to the overall experience, performance and value of a computer than a few GHz.
So, also from my point of view the OS provided in the beginning is not interesting.
2. Chrome laptops and (now) desktops use verified boot, you won't be able to install your own OS unless you literally crack open the case (there are physical implements to prevent firmware flashing) and flash your own BIOS.
The guides that don't require flashing the BIOS are nightmares. Awful, awful hackish nightmares. I say this as someone who did it. It's much easier to open it up, but a piece of tape over some contact, flash the BIOS and install whatever you like.
However, I flat out don't think the disable BIOS protection option is available on retail devices. (I have the cr-48).
If you want a lightweight Linux box, don't buy this, you don't want it, honest.
Easy… one of them is a full computer and one of them is a web browser with 6 USB ports and 16 gig of storage
I was first to buy one at PCWorld on Tottenham Court Road in London yesterday for £279. Will be testing it out next week.
Well, that pretty much kills it for me right that. That and the privacy implication of the Chome* line in general.
Also, I see no reason why these shouldn't be running ARM chips. All you're using is the web, so it's not tied down to the x86 architecture like Windows is.
Because there are no ARM chips as powerful as the Celeron in the Chromebox.
If this could run Android apps too, $329 would appear to be a bargain.
That said, personally, I'd rather see Chrome OS on phones and tablets, and Android die off, since Chrome OS is the most web-first platform out there.
Right now Android has the massive advantage in being able to work reasonably well while offline, something you can just forget with most web apps run on top of Chrome OS.
For a "desktop PC" I'm sure Chrome OS will be more than sufficient, since internet connectivity is not going to be an issue. For mobile devices however, you must always assume connectivity is missing, flaky or slow.
When web-apps finally get the whole offline thingie working a web-first option will become much more of a real option also for mobile, but it's the web which will need to drive it, not the other way around.
When web-app DEVELOPERS finally get the whole offline thingie working, a web-first option will become much more of a real option...
/edit: Then again, I'm not positive if Google Chrome's "intalled web apps" often being shortcuts are developer's fault or Google's? I'd love someone with insight to tell us.
I agree that it's confusing and it's one area where Google could (and I'm not saying they will, I really hope they don't) exert themselves and use the Chrome Web Store as a way of gating "web apps" in Chrome (versus branded "Chrome Apps")
IOW: Just because web-browsers support offline, doesn't mean the apps does it.
They advertise "built-in anti virus" all over, when the truth probably is that there is no anti-virus at all. You can argue that there is a lack of need for this and as such advertising for a device without mentioning anti virus at all would make it seem "unsafe" or confusing for the less technically inclined.
But still claiming it has things it doesn't just to make the marketing department's job easier is in my books disingenuous. It's factually inaccurate. It's a lie.
To me it sounds like "Macs can't have viruses" all over again: It supposedly is safe and "has anti-virus" because it isn't Windows. That's pretty cheap and far from factual.
Menotek Micro USB to HDMI MHL Adapter: ~13 usd (Amazon)
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000: ~50 usd (Staples)
Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000: ~50 usd (Staples)
Full Android ICS Desktop, battery, camera/mic, hspda+, 1920x1080, Chrome for Android.
EDIT: added camera/mic, format
People will get an iPad instead, rather than paying 3xx$ for a dumb box.
And remember $300 over here (sunny Britain) is more like 300 quid, which is more like equivalent $460!! over there ;)
No one I have shown this to would buy it and they think im insane for doing so.
I realise Chrome OS is somewhat still a market experiment, but I think it would've gone a lot further at a better price point. For ~$200 I would put one in my living room for checking the web & controlling my home web apps. I see that as the perfect way to get people familiar with it (thinking of it more like a tablet, a limited utility), then once NaCl goes mainstream, you have a who market who's ready to start replacing their other PCs.
That is a huge claim and one that will be false as web technologies continue to need more power.
It just strikes me that 'never' is a long time.
Google has already been through a few of these situations already ($300 Google TV set top box, $430 Chromebook at launch, $800 Honeycomb tablet at launch) and they still haven't learned anything. They haven't learned that the "early adopter price" tactic doesn't work well anymore. You need to price it for mainstream from day one, maintain the price throughout the year, and then just update the hardware for the same price every year. Consumers don't want to be cheated into buying a product that is twice as much at launch, compared to 6 months later.
Google should work on fixing and polishing Google TV instead instead of this if they want to work on set top boxes. Even with the updates late last year, Google TV compared to the competition is still lagging especially in the UI / UX department.
So, it's a catch-22. Do you as a first party go it alone, and incur more cost, or curtail your retail spread and take less of a hit up front? From the disinterest in the retail Chromebooks, Google made the right call there.
That said, I wouldn't have minded a CR-48... But it was a little costly, and the other models were a little too wimpy. I'd think Google would take a risk by taking a loss on one huge product push... But I guess not.
2% of all available countries.
I wish Google understood how badly this undermines their international marketing. Apple understands this better.
Iterative design methods ("lets release and see what happens") in consumer hardware, may not be as suited as the Apple method viz. highly designed, integrated (aka ecosystem) and engineered approach.
Advantages the mini has over the Chromebox: memory upgradable to 16 gigs (Apple says 8 gigs, but others report that 16 gigs works) whereas the Chromebox's memory does not seem upgradable at all; Firewire and Thunderbolt ports whereas to attach an external drive to the Chromebox your only choice seems to be slow USB 2; storage upgradeable (specifically, you can add an SDD or a second hard drive to the mini).
How repairable and upgradable the Chromebox is I do not know -- googling for "chromebox teardown" finds nothing interesting. iFixit gives the mini a relatively-high repairability rating of 8.5 (but adding a second drive to the mini requires an expensive custom cable).
Size and weight are very close. Both have the power supply inside the device.
2. Can I increase the RAM?
3. Will it run LibreOffice?
If the answer to all of those is 'yes', I forsee myself buying this in the future.
If not, saving a couple hundred bucks plus the cost of a USB backup drive seems short-sighted at best.
I assume you are selling some software solution to your customers and they also need hardware to run it. It might be a good purchase for some companies but at this price they can also get a standard desktop.
Is your software a web app then?
I wonder how feasible it is to put a Linux distribution here and get it working. I know it is possible with the Chromebook, and if it's gonna work for the Chromebox, then shut up and take my money.
But seriously you can something with cheaper and better specs for less that $329 to run Linux.
But as small and quiet and that can drive two 30" monitors?
I have an Eee Box running Linux; it's physically larger, only supports one monitor (as far as I can tell), and the hardware video decoder can only do 720p. (The hardware video decoding is important because the Atom cannot decode 720p H.264 in real time itself.)
1, It is as small, slick and quiet as a Mac Mini.
2, It is designed to run Linux.
3, The hardware is backed by Smasung/Google.
4, It has a freakin' SSD? Unless you're compiling AOSP or put all of you music on it, 16GB is some space to spare. I guess there are ways to expand the internal storage too.
Newegg's Chromebox page states:
Processor: Intel Celeron B840 1.9GHz
RAM: 2GB DDR3 1333
Amazon's Chromebox page states:
Processor: 1.9 GHz Celeron B840
RAM: 4 GB
You don't know what this Chrome box do because Google doesn't know either. Companies threw hardware and see what developers can do, and see where it evolves.
The only thing coming up for me is if the non-savvy user's vision is really horrible, such that he or she will always be using a big TV as a monitor, then the Chromebox wins because even with Airplay Mirroring, the user would have to look at the iPad to manipulate the elements of the iPad's user interface.
I think you are letting your enthusiasm for Google's commitment to innovation or your enthusiasm for ChromeOS's being based mainly on open-source codebases or your enthusiasm for the open web bias your thinking about what would be best for a non-savvy user!
>It would be better if Samsung and Google could low the price a little bit.
That is what I wrote months ago.
The price is too high for what this thing is capable of.
Alternatively as a mediacenter or server. I've used an Acer Revo for exactly this for the past two years now. The low power consumption maked it great for at-home development and hosting in my case.
I think it would be much better for my marriage if I could handle the "work emergencies" from the same room as my wife.
> "The Chromebox is a fast, compact home or office device."
So...it's a computer. Why call it a "home or office device"?
Installable apps, like extensions, usually reside mostly locally and can have elevated permissions on some things: https://developers.google.com/chrome/apps/docs/developers_gu...