Google confirms Chromebooks are for the beautiful people

Google is letting passengers aboard Virgin America and guests staying at the Ace Hotel in New York try out its browser-only laptops for free.

The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, coming soon to a Virgin America flight near you.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, coming soon to a Virgin America flight near you James Martin/CNET

The uber-hip Ace Hotel in Manhattan already has a computer lab, but will provide guests with Google Chromebooks during a summer trial.
The uber-hip Ace Hotel in Manhattan already has a computer lab, but will provide guests with Chromebooks during a free summer trial. Tablet Hotels

What do Virgin America and New York's Ace Hotel have in common? They are frequented by the digerati, the beautiful, and the in-the-know.

So it's a shrewd marketing move by Google to announce today that some Virgin America flights this summer and the Ace will be testbeds for the brand new Chromebook.

Chromebooks were a concept initially introduced two years ago, but are just now making their way to retailers.

The laptops are made by Samsung and Acer and boot directly to Google's Chrome browser, which means a Wi-Fi or 3G connection are necessary to get anything done on them . So it's only natural that Google will be providing free Wi-Fi on flights that offer Chromebooks and will set up Wi-Fi hot spots at the Ace Hotel.

The laptops can be checked out from Virgin America gates at four airports: San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, and Boston. Passengers are allowed to use them on the flight and return them at their destination gate. Guests at the Ace get an arguably better deal. A Chromebook will be in each guestroom upon check-in and can be taken anywhere during a stay at the hotel.

The free trial will last from July 1 to September 30.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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