Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer are now available for preorder, Google has confirmed.
Google said via Twitter yesterday that consumers hoping to get their hands on the lightweight computers can preorder them on Amazon and Best Buy. However, while Amazon currently has several Chromebooks available for preorder, Best Buy's listing of Chromebooks on its Web site says only that the devices are "coming soon" and does not allow users to order them from their individual pages.
Neither Best Buy nor Google immediately responded to request for clarification.
Google unveiled the line of Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung last month at the company's I/O conference. The devices run Google's Web-based Chrome operating system. In addition, they feature Wi-Fi connectivity, small displays that are no larger than 12.1 inches, and in some models, 3G connectivity. Amazon is selling them for between $379.99 and $499.99, depending on the model.
CNET's Joshua Goldman recently went hands-on with the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. He found that the device was a "good-looking, affordable laptop," but hobbled by several issues, including not being able to work while offline. The computer's 12.1-inch screen is quite bright, Goldman said, but on off angles, it doesn't hold up as well as it could.
It was a similar story for CNET's Seth Rosenblatt, who took Chrome OS for a spin. He too noted that the operating system was held back by its lack of offline support, and pointed out that the lack of pervasive 3G connectivity around the U.S. could mean trouble for Chromebooks.
"For now," Rosenblatt wrote about Google's operating system, "Chrome OS is an interesting concept that is at best, before its time."
Consumers will be able to make their own determination on that next week: the first set of Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer is expected to hit store shelves on June 15.