Google and Intel jointly announce new Chromebooks, are they finally worth buying?

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 12 Sep 2013

Chromebooks are extremely polarizing pieces of technology. People think they’re either the best thing to happen to laptops or they’re the worst thing to ever happen to computing. Stepping back for a second, what is a Chromebook? Put simply, it’s an ultra cheap computer that only runs one application: Chrome. It’s built on Linux, obviously, and similar to Chrome for the desktop, it gets updated roughly every six weeks. It’s incredibly secure, it’s incredibly basic, and again, they’re stupid cheap.

Yesterday, Intel and Google jointly announced new Chromebooks from HP, Acer, ASUS, and Toshiba that are powered by the new Haswell architecture Intel released earlier this summer. What do you gain by going Haswell? To quote Google:

“Intel’s latest processors sip less power to improve battery life by more than 2X over previous generations, while offering increased performance. This means these new Chromebooks last almost all day so you can focus on getting things done.

Details are light, but the guys at Engadget got some hands-on time with the new HP Chromebook and the new Acer Chromebook. They say both are solid, but are built using materials that feel cheap.

For $300, should you buy a Chromebook or an Android tablet? Personally, I’d go Chrome.