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Chromebook Takes Top Place In Laptop Sales On Amazon 372

rtfa-troll writes "Amazon's latest table of the top selling laptops will be a surprise for many on Slashdot whose first reaction when we discussed this before was 'so what,' with pundits describing it as 'an enterprise contender.' Given the recent launch and huge advertising campaign, you might expect that the top selling consumer laptop would be based on Win8. If you read recent discussions about Microsoft's troubled new system you might expect a Mac to be leading, but Google's Chromebook topping the sales chart on a consumer site without any major advertising campaign is a major surprise. We've discussed before that apart from its web based ChromeOS, Chromebooks are also very fast running Ubuntu Linux and have several other distributions already ported."
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Chromebook Takes Top Place In Laptop Sales On Amazon

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  • so what (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    so what

    • by rvw ( 755107 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:30AM (#42448679)

      so what

      So what??? This means 2013 must be the year of the Linux Desktop!

  • by Subm ( 79417 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:24AM (#42448329)

    Soon the tech industry will proudly proclaim

    Declared "Lame" by Slashdot! ... with whatever that time's less space than a Nomad and having no wireless are.

  • by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:27AM (#42448335)

    My mom's laptop failed, so I convinced her to get the Samsung Chromebook. So far, she says she really likes it. It's dead simple to use, as it pretty much only does what she needs--web browsing and email. There's no settings for her to mess up, updates are silent and automatic, and it's next to impossible to "break" the OS. I offered to set it up for her, but all I actually had to do was enter her Gmail password and the WiFi password. The only setting I changed was to enable Google Instant.

    From my own observations of playing around for 10 minutes, the hardware itself leaves a (very) little bit to be desired. The trackpad feels a little rough (though I'm comparing it to a MacBook Air, so it's hardly a fair comparison), and there is a noticeable delay when switching tabs. Again, though, I'm comparing a $250 machine to a $1400 machine, so it's hard to complain. Software-wise, accessing the settings page is slightly unintuitive (from the "desktop", click your username; it's not in the app list). Also, there's no caps lock, which may or may not be annoying. It's been replaced by a search button which doubles as the Windows key on a PC keyboard.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      The thing I find sucky about a Chromebook is the lack of Skype.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'd like to think Microsoft are deliberately making a second rate Android version, but I have to admit it's probably just incompetence.

        To list the major faults Skype for Android has:
        1. Video is upside down, if you rotate the device, then both the camera and video playback are upside down, but the other person does see you right way up in that case.
        2. Video is landscape only & very fuzzy, but the camera video is not fuzzy, probably the compression?
        3. Audio plays back very very quietly even with full volu

        • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

          WP7 skype was utterly terrible as well. You couldn't even receive calls on it when it wasn't on foreground. It seems more an issue of actual incompetence then intentional malice.

        • by djsmiley ( 752149 ) <> on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:05AM (#42448629) Homepage Journal

          1. Not for me
          2. Not for me
          3. Not for me
          4. Not for me
          5. Not for me
          6. Not for me.

          Have you attempted to raise any bugs, give any indication of what device your using or anything you've tried? No?

          I'm all for MS bashing (see previous comments :D) however spoutting utter shit like this without any facts is 1. expected on slashdot, 2. unhelpful to everyone other than trolls.

          • Yeah, it's been downloaded over 100 million times and has a 4 star rating on the Play store, so clearly not everyone is running into all 6 of the OP's problems. Maybe he was using an older version - I heard it had some bugs on certain devices earlier.
      • by iserlohn ( 49556 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:17AM (#42448493) Homepage

        Try Google Hangouts. It works much better than Skype.

        • by mdonley ( 1059086 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:34AM (#42449591)

          Try Google Hangouts. It works much better than Skype.

          Somebody mod this up, please! Google Hangouts has been so very much more stable than Skype ever was when video chatting with our son off at college. Skype would die 2-3 times during a normal conversation, and we'd have to reconnect. Google Hangouts is rock solid so far, and leverages account credentials we already use heavily. No need to maintain a second username and password for the Skype ecosystem.

          • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

            I don't feel this is that balanced, partly due to my experiences with Google hangouts (admittedly Skype is currently my preferred platform here, but to say Google hangouts is solid is not the case in my experience).

            Somebody mod this up, please! Google Hangouts has been so very much more stable than Skype ever was when video chatting with our son off at college.

            I have had instances when Skype was the only way to communicate with people over fairly restrictive networks. I will reflect on stability in my follo

      • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:23AM (#42448513)

        Yes, though Hangouts are a good replacement.

        But it's not a lack of skype, it's a lack of each and every local app, but then again, that's part of the concept.

      • Have you tried a web based IM service that supports voice? I know has voice call buttons for Skype... maybe that'll work.

      • Well Microsoft owns Skype so that is definitely never going to get fixed.
      • There are a couple of apps, such as "imo messenger" that claim they will connect you to a skype call from within Chrome. I haven't tried them, but they get decent reviews. There's some instructions here on how to get a skype call going from a chromebook with imo: []
        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          That seems really limited compared to the regular Skype client. I'm not really convinced that buying a Chromebook would be better than buying a netbook because I'd lose out on so much Skype functionality and there is nothing really stopping from going away like Meebo.

    • Dammit! Now I don't know the setxkbmap option to turn a search button into a control key!
    • I just realized I never use Caps Lock anymore. I don't even know when was the last time I used it, but it was long ago.

    • Pretty near everyone I've talked to who's gotten a Chromebook has been happy with it. They know what they are getting when they buy it, the price is good, so they are satisfied.
      • Yeah, it's pretty cool. Anyone can sign into it with their gmail account, so I pass it around to others a lot. Everyone loves the hell out of it. So small.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:29AM (#42448339)

    My big question is what the return rate will be like. I suspect that some people are expecting a full desktop OS, like Windows.

    • by isorox ( 205688 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:46AM (#42448389) Homepage Journal

      My big question is what the return rate will be like. I suspect that some people are expecting a full desktop OS, like Windows.

      The big question is how few will tell the difference. Apple knows this, Microsoft knows this, google knows this. Slashdot doesn't.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:43AM (#42448729)

        My big question is what the return rate will be like. I suspect that some people are expecting a full desktop OS, like Windows.

        The big question is how few will tell the difference. Apple knows this, Microsoft knows this, google knows this. Slashdot doesn't.

        Anyone who has ever had to do any sort of tech support with the general public will have this sort of conversation:

        Tech support: "What operating system are you running?"

        Jane Q Public: "HP."

        It's not an exaggeration.

    • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:54AM (#42448421)
      Product received great reviews from buyers, so no.
    • by idealego ( 32141 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:55AM (#42448429)

      It currently receives 4/5 stars based on 569 reviews, so it's fair to say that people like it.

      I browsed over the reviews and there's nothing there to suggest that many people are returning it because it's a Chromebook.

    • I'm intrested in that number, too...

      But if you get people to accept Win8RT instead of a full desktop app, ChromeOS should be on the safe side....

    • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @06:24AM (#42448853)
      I asked the guys at BestBuy that I bought mine from. They said they weren't getting returns. When I bought mine, they were pretty aggressive in making sure I knew that it was a web-based system, and not Windows or Mac.
    • My big question is what the return rate will be like. I suspect that some people are expecting a full desktop OS, like Windows.

      That's the general line Microsoft like to tot out - that people will be expecting Windows. From the reviews, worryingly, it appears not.

    • And these people will return them and buy a Surface, running Windows RT :)

  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:38AM (#42448365) Journal
    1. Chrome
    2. OSX
    3. Win 7
    4. OSX
    5. Win 8
    6. Win 7
    7. Win 7
    8. OSX
    9. Win 8
    10. Win 8

    So, certainly, laptops come in so many different flavors that the OSs that circulate in "one size fits all" SKUs will float to the top. We'd expect Macs and Chromebooks to sell more of a given configuration than a Microsoft box. But two months after the launch of Win 8, to see Win 7 beating it in the retail channel, that's news.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      It's due to New-Old-Stock, i.e. laptops made last year when Win 7 was the only option and now being sold off cheaply. Most people don't chose Win7/Win8, they just buy whatever laptop suits their wallet.

  • a few models vs thousands of models and the story submitter is surprised that it can be the number 1 selling model? The only thing I am surprised at is that it beat out the also limited model ranges of Mac's.
  • by asola ( 2778943 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:48AM (#42448397)
    I have been using the new ARM Chromebook with ChrUbuntu Alpha + refinemeents for almost 2 weeks and I have to say that it already a usable configuration. Most of the important desktop stuff already works (suspend-resume, playing videos...etc) and with good speed. This new Exynos 5250 is really a desktop class processor (at least as strong as the one in my old Toshiba Portege m200). For example: it cold-starts LibreOffice Writer in 5s which is pretty unheard of in the ARM world. If I manage to setup hw accelerated video playing and Oracle's Java, I will be an extremely happy Chromebook owner but I already consider it a good purchase in its current state.
    • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @06:39AM (#42448929)
      Yeah, it's shocking how fast this Exynos processor is, and the Chromebook handles graphics processes with ease. I can run more videos concurrently on it than on my desktop. My daughter hooks up the HDMI port to run her big flat screen TV with it and watch Hulu. I guess Netflix isn't working yet on the $250 model, but they are supposed to fix that soon. Also nice that you get a full-sized USB 3.0 port, a full-sized USB 2.0 port, and a full-sized HDMI port. Nicer than the MacBook Air in that regard - no need to run out and buy the MacBook-to-HDMI conversion adaptor for $30.
  • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:50AM (#42448405)
    Just like Android, this OS will bring $100 Chinese laptops, that would be great for Linux users, and also provide great OLPC solution as a side effect. Only feature I need in future ChromeOS editions, is integrated VirtualBox, so that I can launch Ubuntu from within ChromeOS.
    • Chrome Remote Desktop works so well on the Chromebook, I haven't felt the need for a VM running on it - I just call up my desktop. But I'm doing that less and less, as the apps work really well, and the most important apps are almost all available offline now. In fact, I find the spreadsheet program to be more nimble and have some features that are missing in Excel, and I've been using it more than Excel recently.
  • by WegianWarrior ( 649800 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:59AM (#42448443) Journal

    It's cheap and do what most people want a laptop to do - check emails, surf the web and type up the occasional letter. It's also a good machine for geeks, since it's not locked down with Windows or OSX - meaning you can stick any flavour of Linux you want on it if you know how. In the current economic situation it taps into the same markets as the original netbooks - the 7" and 9" Eee - did; people needing a cheap machine to get online and geek-heads wanting a toy.

    The danger is off course that the Chromebook will go down the same slippery slope as the netbooks fif; bigger screens, more beefed up hardware... until they are just another laptop.

    • by Henriok ( 6762 )
      No Mac is locked down in a way that you can't run Windows or Linux on them. A Mac isn't locked down in any other way I can think of either
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:20AM (#42448655)

        A Mac is locked down so you can't *only* run Windows on it - Windows cannot update the boot configuration if you try and do a fully native install! You need to install it via bootcamp.

        You also cannot boot the Windows install media from an external device (hard disk, usb key or external dvd drive) on many Macs - the Mac won't allow it, you have to boot it fm the internal DVD drive.

        You also cannot boot OSX externally and try and partition the non-boot disk for Bootcamp, again it won't allow it. You have to partition the device OSX is booted from.

        So, right now, my 256GB SSD in my 2010 MBP sports a 10GB OSX partition that wll never again be booted into. Rather sad :(

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @07:42AM (#42449139)

          Not being able to deal with UEFI is a limitation of windows. Apple didn't do anything to intentionally prevent Windows from running.

          • by Nimey ( 114278 )

            Thing is, Apple firmware is based on UEFI 1.x, while on the PC side everything that's not BIOS is UEFI 2.0, which is different enough to cause problems. On top of that a lot of older Apple firmware is 32-bit and can't directly boot a 64-bit Windows even though the processor could handle it.

    • What windows pc is locked down? You can format and install whatever you want on just about any windows pc. You can stick any flavor of linux you want on them.
    • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @06:32AM (#42448891)
      Mostly the Chromebook is just so lightweight. My daughter's 11.6 inch MacBook Air is heavy compared to this thing.
    • by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:21AM (#42449903) Homepage Journal

      Not quite the same markets as the original netbooks, there is a difference and that is android and ios.
      non computer geeks had the mind set that they needed a windows pc like they had at work otherwise it wouldn't be compatible. The alternative was either a Mac or some obscure Linux machine.

      The netbooks that were released with Linux either had the obscure xandros or the even more obscure linpus. Which were even disliked by people who liked to run linux.

      The modern day computer buyer is not so naive as in 2007/2008 they have been using Android or IOS or both have been able to choose from 1000's of apps and games and there is a huge number that run in the browser.

      Windows is an unpleasant experience from new, the trial ware, antivirus warnings and hard sell that come with a new windows system are confusing and frightening people. Nobody wants to deal with this junk. Even the create a back up disc is scary, you get one chance to make this disk if you mess up you are without a paddle, when was the last time you were asked to set up a windows device, pretty recently if you are the go to guy when it comes to computers.

      Microsofts strategy is still obviously "you need windows" which is why they push the "windows experience" on every device and is also why they are failing, Chances are most people have a windows laptop in the house, (people do not want a work station at home ,it is their home) In the vague circumstances that they need windows it is there and these days gathering dust.

      There is next to zero configuration to do on an android or ios device usually its just a question of typing in the password written on the back of the router, and with android your google name and password. you do that and your pretty much set. Chromebook is pretty much more of the same.

      Google has pretty much changed the landscape, about one of the few things people want to do that is slightly complicated is edit photo's and google gave us picassa. they gave us google docs and a place to keep the letters and spreadsheets and pdf files and its all there for us anywhere on our google accounts. I'm fairly sure apple does the same for ios and osx users.

      Everything is simpler to do now. If i want to watch a movie that is on my tablet i can plug 1 hdmi cable from my TV / home cinema and hit play. it is that easy. With things like dlna i can have any media on my tablet or phone and playing on my tv. Did you never listen to the people who were saying how do i watch this on my tv not on my laptop.

      So no it's not just a replacement for the netbook of a few years ago times have changed, people have changed and Microsoft are losing out. You know Google has been very clever in that they haven't locked down the chromebooks they have included developer mode, even look at the name doesn't it stroke your ego to be called a developer, not a neck beard or a computer geek. So there is Linux for those of us who want a little more and the best stuff that gets created will probably end up in android or chromebook or ios.

      Repositories are a great idea, App stores are even better, play store is better than that, it's not work its play!
      To be fair look at the Repositories which are full of version numbers, no reviews a screenshot if your lucky no user feedback no developer feedback for the users. No alternatives and other programs you might like to try.

      The playstore doesn't make a big deal about installing an App in fact they say carry on shopping while we download and install this and no stupid questions like do you want to install this here? or maybe not install this option? Shopping who doesn't like shopping and when most of the goods on sale are at the low price point of free, well maybe free with some ads (because nothings really free, is it). The ads probably don't sell a thing except the pro version of the software you are using.

      Microsoft is as boring as it gets, don't you remember when everything was beige and to get hip everything became black and blue led strips

  • Let's just wait for it. The strategy will be known soon, right?

  • Does the basics (but don't look for serious application software for it soon, if ever), is as cheap as an old netbook was, and by being largely cloud-based, is probably "safer" in a lot of ways - not just malware, but the potential for corporations or institutions to remotely configure, update and "manage" (control) what their users can access.

  • by devent ( 1627873 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:40AM (#42448581) Homepage

    I mean, can I install Ubuntu, Debian or Fedora on the Box? Is it locked down or can I just boot from USB stick?

    Thanks for the info.

  • What qualifies as major? I know i've seen ads for it a number of times. Admittedly i can't remember now if they were on TV or YouTube. Obviously putting self-promoting ads on YouTube is pretty easy for Google, but it's not like a lot of people wouldn't see them there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are Chrome Book ads on national prime time TV here in the UK, started before Christmas and still going on.

  • by water-and-sewer ( 612923 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:54AM (#42448755) Homepage

    Yes I know, Chipzilla is doing just fine, thankyaverymuch. But think about it: about 10 years ago we thought AMD would be the big challenger that would compete with Intel and reduce the Wintel monopoly. But AMD only did that semi-effectively. Yes it helped control costs (God help us to think what we'd be paying for computers these days if Intel were allowed to set its prices in a world without competition). But Android on ARM, some netbooks not long ago, and now Chromebooks seem to be the ones challenging the dominant computing paradigm. That means ARM has actually been the chip(s) that is currently causing the folks at Intel to sweat a little bit. Interesting times we live in.

    • For either $200 or $300 you can get an Asus Chromebook with an Intel Celeron and a big hard drive. Or you can stick with the ARM devices. Lots of choices.
    • AMD did one very important thing though. It made people realize that Intel is not a given, there are alternatives. Before K5 and K6 processors, the only choice people thought existed was choosing between P-I and P-II.
    • AMD is turning into the chip for Linux this round. Bulldozer has a big, mixed TLB for any size page; while Linux allows you to set automatic defragmentation and consolidation of RAM to make transparent huge pages. This means instead of reading a bunch of TLB entries for 4KiB pages and yanking 32MB of RAiM just to read 1GiB of RAM and having a 64 entry TLB that has to constantly rotate out cache because you're all over the place, Linux will automatically take 2MiB or 4MiB (or on some platforms a very wide

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @05:57AM (#42448773)

    This doesn't surprise me for a number of reasons:

      - There have also been plenty of prime-time ads for Chromebooks on TV - at least in the UK, and I imagine elsewhere.

      - IME, most people don't really like Windows, they see it as a necessary evil. The advent of smartphones and tablets has very efficiently demonstrated that it's no longer necessary.

      - Why don't people like Windows? There's a number of reasons, but most of them relate to incomprehensible and/or nonsensical error messages, a death-by-a-thousand-cuts of other expenses you pretty much have to incur like antivirus software, cheap hardware that's so damn nasty it doesn't look very cheap once you start trying to use it and dealing with the fallout when despite all of that you still click on the wrong thing and need to get someone in to fix it. (Yes, I know Android, iOS and ChromeOS are all hypothetically susceptible to similar issues. But the important point is they're not being actively exploited today).

      - What is the recommended fix for these issues? Go out and buy the next version of Windows! (Which many people automatically assume means "buy a new PC", even if that's not true. You'd be surprised how many people honestly have no idea that you can replace Windows with a different version or even with something else entirely).

      - Google has carved out an extremely strong brand. People see the word Google and associate it with finding what they want quickly and easily with a minimal amount of bullshit getting in the way. Associate Google with a laptop that doesn't do any of the things people dislike about Windows and you have a very interesting product indeed.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @07:15AM (#42449051) Homepage Journal

    Maybe by then desktop will lose its meaning or be irrelevant, but many signals are pointing in the direction that in a not so far future will finally reach the year of Linux in the desktop. Is already the main OS for servers, supercomputers, mobile, computing devices [] in general (those last 2 mainly because Android), and not sure about embedded. And Chromebooks, Steam and Windows 8, among other factors, will be giving it a nice push this year.

    The next debate probably will be that what is in the desktop (over the linux kernel) won't be a "traditional" linux desktop, KDE/Gnome and others will still be around, but the mainly used user interface/programs could be something not so native like android or html5 apps, but being Linux probably will be options to use what you prefer.

  • by sa1lnr ( 669048 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @07:43AM (#42449151)

    "without any major advertising campaign"

    Regular Chromebook TV ads here in the UK. There is a big wide world outside of the U.S.A.

  • Apple like for $300 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:51AM (#42449409)
    An apple like laptop for $300 bucks seems to be a bit of a no brainer. Like many slashdotters I am the technical adviser for most of my large family as well as work. With the exception of those who need specific Microsoft Programs or iTunes a Linux desktop on a machine with those specs would nicely meet the budget and needs of at least half my family. For my self I would love it as a second laptop. There are so many specs in the typical computer that far exceed the typical user's needs. My sister for example just bought an asus machine that I suggested as staples had a pretty good deal and her 7 year desktop really needed replacement. She is one of the people who must run a Windows machine so the specs are more demanding yet her 2TB HD is extreme overkill as she might need 20GB between the OS, MS Office and whatnot. I am willing to bet that in 2018 when she replaces this machine that the vast majority of her machine will be empty. Thus the tiny storage capacity of a Chromebook should be little detriment to most. But the better construction and lighter weight are far more important features that make the chromebook comparable to staples machines priced closer to $1000 as most of the sub $1000 stapes machines are clunky with cheap features such the split left shift key and load of bloatware. The same with many of the other lesser features of the chromebook as compared to "better" machines; most of the features where the chromebook is lesser are unimportant. The fact that at a glance the thing looks like a macbook won't hurt sales at all. So for anyone to be surprised that the chromebook is kicking ass is a surprise to me.

    I am willing to bet that the MBA-types at places like HP are scratching their heads saying HP entry models are better than that damn thing as they go through a check list of how their machines are so much better feature for feature not realizing that 98% of customers don't even know what RAM does but their customers do know what they like when they see a friend with one and see that it runs a HD youtube video just as smoothly as the HP machine that has way more "L2 Cache".

    The other thing that the MBA types are not realizing is that they are no longer competing with the laptop next to theirs in the display section of Staples or Best Buy but they are competing with the cell phone in the person's pocket.
  • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:35AM (#42450453)
    I was under the impression it was heavily advertised. I don't remember what show my spouse was watching a few nights ago, but a Chromebook ad was part of every ad break. Given how little we watch stuff, from my experience the Chromebook is heavily advertised.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake