Two of the three best selling laptops at Amazon.com this holiday season were Google Chromebooks: the Acer C720 11.6-Inch Haswell/Celeron powered Chromebook at $199.00 and the base 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook at $192. The third best-selling notebook was the hybrid ASUS Transformer Book listing at $424.99, and Acer’s C720P 11.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook at $299.99 was in fourth-place.
Chromebooks are clamshell laptops that run Google’s cloud-based operating system based on the Chrome browser, with most Chromebook models selling for less than Apple’s entry-level iPads, and Amazon’s two-bestsellers going for one-fifth the cost of Apple’s cheapest MacBook Air. You need an active Internet connection to do much of anything with a Chromebook, but for users like my wife—98-percent of whose computer use is for email, Web surfing and social networking—an Internet connection is necessary anyway, regardless of device.
Interestingly, the top-selling Apple notebook at Amazon this season, and the only Apple product to make the top 20, was the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro at $2,549.99 in 15th-place.
The Acer C720 Chromebook features an Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz CPU (Haswell micro-architecture), 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM, a16 GB Solid-State Drive, an 11.6-Inch Anti-Glare Screen, Intel HD Graphics, an HDMI port, and claimed 8.5-hour battery life.
Samsung’s WiFi Chromebook has a 11.6 inch Display, is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 5250 Dual Core Processor, comes with 2 GB DDR3L RAM, a 16 GB Solid State Drive, 2 USB Ports (1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0), an HDMI port, and built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n.
The ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR 10.1-Inch Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop comes preinstalled with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, a dock, is powered by an Intel Atom Baytrail-T Z3740 Quad Core Processor, has 64 GB Solid-State Drive Storage, 2 GB DDR3 RAM, a detachable 10.1″1366 x 768 HD IPS Panel screen, claimed 11-hour battery life, and USB 3.0.
All three of these machines are currently selling for less than Apple’s Retina iPad mini and iPad 2 (The ASUS Transformer is discounted on Amazon to $389.99 as of December 27).
Hard to argue with that Chromebook price/utility ratio.
Amazon reports that more than half of its customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday, and that the Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. Incidentally, the three top-selling tablets of the season at Amazon were its own Kindle Fire HD; Kindle Fire HDX 7”; and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9”.
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