Tech Review: Google Chromebook

(Google Chromebook.  Photo provided)

(Google Chromebook. Photo provided)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s an ultralight laptop with a low sticker price.  But is Google’s web-centric device the right fit for you?

The Chromebook, made by Samsung for Google, is designed differently from other portable computers.

“It’s really meant to surf the web and use web-type apps as opposed to standard computer applications,” says CNet senior editor Scott Stein, who points out that most of its capability depends on you being online.  You won’t be able to put Photoshop on this, for example.

“You’re really going to be relying on the power of web-based applications to get that work done,” Stein tells KYW Newsradio.  “You’re not going to be able to install applications to help you.”

Google envisions a browser-based world where you won’t need a big hard drive to work on and store files.   But Stein says we’re not there yet.  He points to the iPad 2 and well-equipped netbooks that are cheaper and more functional offline than the $450 (base model) Chromebook  ($550 with Verizon Wireless 3G built in).

“If you had this thing at $99, at $150, then it’s an interesting concept.  But not at this price,” Stein says.

There’s also a $329 desktop version, called Chromebox.

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