Report: Google to offer Chrome OS laptops for $20/month

Students too broke to afford a regular PC might have an interesting option when the first Chrome OS laptop debuts, according to Forbes blogger Quentin Hardy. Quoting an anonymous "senior Google executive," Hardy says the machine will be available as part of a $20-a-month "student package" that "combines both hardware and online services." He adds that Google might make an official announcement today.

The blogger doesn’t quote a price or term length for the system, so it’s hard to tell just how good a deal we’re looking at here. With $20 monthly payments, you’d take a whole year to pay off a bottom-of-the-barrel, $240 netbook—and that’s without interest or paid services thrown in the mix. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google asked students to keep dragging the ball and chain for a few extra months.

Interestingly, Hardy adds that the service will be a "precursor" to a business offering. For example, Google might chuck in a laptop with its Google Apps for Business package, which is currently priced at $50 per user account per year, for a little bit of extra dough. Hardy quotes the anonymous Google executive as saying, "Small and medium-sized businesses are banging on our doors to get something like this." (Thanks to Engadget for the link.)

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    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    And this, my fellow DIY tech enthusiasts, is the future of computing when everyone gets e-wood over the latest non-expandable, locked down, or proprietary device. People often write hopefully about ‘one day being able to carry around my portable device and just have it work wih whatever I/O is available’ or some such futuristic fantasy. Well, in those futures you don’t own anything and are bound by the dictates of your service contract.

    Be careful what you wish for…

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    I always believe in paying up front for your hardware.

    I think its ridiculous to let people trick you into paying monthly. Credit Cards, automobile payment plans… and stuff like renting a computer… its all a rip off, a way to get more money out of you.

    I realize that sometimes you need to buy some of these services if you are really poor and need them in order to make a living, but i believe that if people were patient they could save up and buy the thing outright.

    Students and Businesses are all 4+ years of investment… I don’t see why you would look short term in these situations.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Here is a commercial/keynote of what (perhaps) this article is about:

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onzJ31_Enkk&feature=youtu.be&hd=1[/url<] It's a pretty good ad.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    This is very interesting.

    I’ve been waiting for this for a while because it will dramatically change the small and medium business IT landscape. Microsoft has already lowered prices in preparation of this if you negotiate directly with a sales rep and say you are hemming and hawing on Google Apps(even if you aren’t).

    • gamoniac
    • 8 years ago

    I am sure this would be a good option for some, though not everyone. Essentially, it all comes down to how much data they can collect, which at the end is about MONEY. At this point, Google has enough data to influence our lives more than we know. For example, they could influence investors’ decisions whether to continue investing or bulid a factory in a town, hence accelerates its growth or death. And, it definitely decides what ads we see on the front-page of our favorite sites.

    I am scared. I should just smash my Android phone.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]I am scared. I should just smash my Android phone.[/quote<] I have a few times, (droid) and the damn thing is amazingly well built (Power button requires a hard press to toggle.)

    • Skrying
    • 8 years ago

    Students too broke to buy a computer should instead use those provided by their school or visit the school’s library, which likely have a few laptops available for student checkout.

    EDIT: Or visit your local library if you’re not attending college. Simply, there are tons of ways to get free Internet access. In the mean time, save up the $20 a month to buy a laptop. Or look into the school’s programs for buying laptops. It just doesn’t make sense. Students have superior options available to them already.

    • xii
    • 8 years ago

    Renting, no… I’d want to buy one. It’s one of the nicest laptop designs I’ve seen. Some company ought to use this model as a base to produce something rivalling the MacBook Air line.

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    You can buy a $200 netbook for the price of 10 months of this. So, why?

      • HiggsBoson
      • 8 years ago

      Looks like the hardware is a loss leader to do SaaS.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      It’s called the “student package,” not the, “people who are good with money package.”

        • JDZZL
        • 8 years ago

        wait, college kids are stupid with money??

          • albundy
          • 8 years ago

          well, only the ones that have mommy and daddy paying for everything. but at that age, i’d just call them leeches.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            And whouldn’t they just outright buy something better?

            • d0g_p00p
            • 8 years ago

            Maybe they don’t have all the money for a lump sum one time purchase. Maybe they can allocate the $20 a month just like a utility. Something like this would be good for minimum wage workers, people living on SS, etc. I personally think this is a good deal if it comes with 3G tossed in. That alone is worth $20 a month.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            albundy: “well, only the ones that have mommy and daddy paying for everything. but at that age, i’d just call them leeches.”

            me: “And whouldn’t they just outright buy something better?”

            Want to try again?

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            so they can spend 50$ a month on mobile network access? f that, i’d just buy a better pc and use wifi.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            You know you’re not understanding a conversation when SSK gets the point and you don’t. 😛

      • gecko575
      • 8 years ago

      To bring data mining to a new level?

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      Most $200 netbooks don’t come with a 3G data plan.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        Most universities come with wi-fi, so who cares?

          • FuturePastNow
          • 8 years ago

          Then don’t buy it.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            And that takes us back to the original post where I suggest that it makes little sense to buy it. Wanna try again?

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